ABSOLUTE PRIVACY, I AM WORRIED ABOUT ANY PRIVACY …
Yesterday at the Boston Conference on Cyber Security, FBI Director James Comey said, “there is no such thing as absolute privacy in America.” This comes in the wake of the recent WikiLeaks data dump exposing CIA documents and the processes they use to spy on individuals using smart phones and TV’s. Comey and the intelligence community can down talk this all they want, but the fact of the matter is that most people do not expect “absolute privacy,” they expect the federal government to abide by the US Constitution. One has to wonder whether we can expect any privacy in this day and age.
Private citizens who have committed no crimes do not expect their data, conversations, emails, tweets, instant messages, whatever to be ease-dropped on by the government.
FBI Director James Comey warned Wednesday that Americans should not have expectations of “absolute privacy,” adding that he planned to finish his term leading the FBI.
“There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America; there is no place outside of judicial reach,” Comey said at a Boston College conference on cybersecurity. He made the remark as he discussed the rise of encryption since 2013 disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed sensitive US spy practices.
“Even our communications with our spouses, with our clergy members, with our attorneys are not absolutely private in America,” Comey added. “In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel any one of us to testify in court about those very private communications.”
But, he also said Americans “have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our homes, in our cars, in our devices.
“It is a vital part of being an American. The government cannot invade our privacy without good reason, reviewable in court,” Comey continued.
MAKES ONE ALMOST WANT TO GO BACK TO A ROTARY DIAL LAND LINE OR BETTER YET, TELEGRAPH AND A PHILCO BLACK & WHITE TV WITH RABBIT EARS ANTENNA…
In the wake of the latest Wikileaks dump, several of the tech firms whose products have been allegedly compromised by the CIA have given their first reactions to the claims. Companies like Apple looked quell worries from their users by issuing a statement to TechCrunch designed to alleviate concerns that the company’s products might still be vulnerable to a laundry list of CIA exploits. In short, Apple maintains that many of the iOS vulnerabilities the CIA previously relied upon have already been patched.
Apple’s statement was the most detailed, saying it had already addressed some of the vulnerabilities.
“The technology built into today’s iPhone represents the best data security available to consumers, and we’re constantly working to keep it that way,” it said.
“Our products and software are designed to quickly get security updates into the hands of our customers, with nearly 80% of users running the latest version of our operating system.
“While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities.
“We always urge customers to download the latest iOS to make sure they have the most recent security update.”
Samsung – whose F8000 series of televisions was reportedly compromised via a USB connection-based hack co-developed with the UK’s MI5 agency – was briefer.
“Protecting consumers’ privacy and the security of our devices is a top priority at Samsung,” it said.
“We are aware of the report in question and are urgently looking into the matter.”
The leaks also claimed that the CIA had created malware to target PCs running Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
“We are aware of the report and are looking into it,” a spokesman from Microsoft said.
Google declined to comment about allegations that the CIA was able to “penetrate, infest and control” Android phones due to its discovery and acquisition of “zero day” bugs – previously unknown flaws in the operating system’s code.
Likewise, the Linux Foundation has yet to publicly react to claims the agency had created “attack and control systems” that could hijack computers powered by Linux-based software.
The World Wide Web Foundation – which campaigns for internet privacy – said the US government needed to issue a detailed response.
WikiLeaks Publishes ‘Biggest Ever Leak of Secret CIA Documents’ & Exposes CIA Hacking Processes Through Smartphones & TV’s
AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THE RUSSIANS?
Yesterday Wikileaks unloaded the the biggest ever leak of CIA secret documents and detailed the tools it uses to break into phones, communication apps and other electronic devices. WikiLeaks named the leak the “Vault 7”. The leak is not only that of secret CIA documents but also how CIA hackers target smart phones, computers and Samsung F8000 TV’s.
Just how much information does the CIA have a regular, normal citizens who have never committed a crime and have never been charged with anything? Who is to say that info is not going to be used against a private citizen for political purposes? We still do have a US Constitution in this country, right?
The US intelligence agencies are facing fresh embarrassment after WikiLeaks published what it described as the biggest ever leak of confidential documents from the CIA detailing the tools it uses to break into phones, communication apps and other electronic devices.
The thousands of leaked documents focus mainly on techniques for hacking and reveal how the CIA cooperated with British intelligence to engineer a way to compromise smart televisions and turn them into improvised surveillance devices.
The leak, named “Vault 7” by WikiLeaks, will once again raise questions about the inability of US spy agencies to protect secret documents in the digital age. It follows disclosures about Afghanistan and Iraq by army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010 and about the National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ by Edward Snowden in 2013.
The new documents appear to be from the CIA’s 200-strong Center for Cyber Intelligence and show in detail how the agency’s digital specialists engage in hacking. Monday’s leak of about 9,000 secret files, which WikiLeaks said was only the first tranche of documents it had obtained, were all relatively recent, running from 2013 to 2016.
The revelations in the documents include:
- CIA hackers targeted smartphones and computers.
- The Center for Cyber Intelligence, based at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, has a second covert base in the US consulate in Frankfurt which covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
- A programme called Weeping Angel describes how to attack a Samsung F8000 TV set so that it appears to be off but can still be used for monitoring.
CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs
CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).
The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.
The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.
The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.
As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
WHO SAYS ELECTIONS DON’T HAVE CONSEQUENCES …
According to The Washington Times and a report released by Customs and Border Protection, illegal immigration dropped 27% in January 2017 as compared to compared to December 2016. It would appear that some have heard that there is a new sheriff in town in the United States and his name is President Donald Trump.
Illegal immigration across the southwest border plummeted in January, compared to December, as the flow of both illegal immigrant families and children traveling alone dried up, according to numbers released by Customs and Border Protection on Monday.
The numbers are still high compared to past years — indeed, it’s the worst January in records dating back to 2012.
But total apprehensions of migrants trying to sneak across the border fell 27 percent on a month-to-month basis, to 31,575. And the number of inadmissible migrants who showed up at the southwest’s ports of entry fell 28 percent, to 10,899.
Apprehensions are deemed an indicator of the overall flow: The more people caught, the more are believed to be getting through.
The flow always decreases in the deep months of the winter, before picking up again in the spring. Last year Border Patrol apprehensions dropped 36 percent from December to January.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate and has been sworn in as the Director of the CIA. Pompeo is the third person appointed by President Donald Trump to be confirmed to his cabinet position, as Senate Democrats and Chuck Schumer play petty party politics in delaying Trump’s choices. The vote was 66-32. Pompeo was sworn in Monday evening by Vice President Pence.
The Senate on Monday confirmed Rep. Mike Pompeo to be director of the CIA, following a spirited debate in which Democrats expressed concern about his stances on domestic surveillance, data collection and torture.
The vote was 66 to 32, with a majority of Democrats voting no — as well as Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Pompeo was subsequently sworn in.
“The president and I are confident in your abilities and know you will rise to the challenge to lead the Central Intelligence Agency,” Vice President Mike Pence said at the swearing-in.