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Category Archives: E-Records

The Guardian – How the Pentagon punished NSA whistleblowers

Mark Hertsgaard – The Guardian – “By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did. He leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, collecting the phone calls and emails of virtually everyone on Earth who used a mobile phone or the internet. When this newspaper began publishing the NSA documents in June 2013, it ignited a fierce political debate that continues to this day – about government surveillance, but also about the morality, legality and civic value of whistleblowing. But if you want to know why Snowden did it, and the way he did it, you have to know the stories of two other men. The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed US whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed…”

Study identifies metadata mining of telephone data by NSA

“Privacy protections against government surveillance are often scoped to communications content and exclude communications metadata. In the United States, the National Security Agency operated a particularly controversial program, collecting bulk telephone metadata nationwide. We investigate the privacy properties of telephone metadata to assess the impact of policies that distinguish between content and metadata. We findContinue Reading

CIA allegedly destroyed sole copy of Senate torture report

The Independent: “The CIA inspector general’s office has said it “mistakenly” destroyed its only copy of a comprehensive Senate torture report, despite lawyers for the Justice Department assuring a federal judge that copies of the documents were being preserved. The erasure of the document by the spy agency’s internal watchdog was deemed an “inadvertent” foul-upContinue Reading

IG Report – GSA Data Breach – 18F and Slack

MANAGEMENT ALERT REPORT: GSA Data Breach JE16-004 May 12, 2016 “During the course of an ongoing evaluation, the OIG Office of Inspections and Forensic Auditing identified an issue that warrants immediate attention. Due to authorizations enabled by GSA 18F staff, over 100 GSA Google Drives were reportedly accessible by users both inside and outside ofContinue Reading

FCW – OPM’s sensitive data on feds still not encrypted

Federal Computer Week, Adam Mazmania, May 13, 2016 – “More than a year after a hack of Office of Personnel Management systems compromised more than 22 million records, the agency has not been able to encrypt all the sensitive data on 4 million federal employees, including Social Security numbers. “There are still elements of OPMContinue Reading

Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data

“The Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data by the Ponemon Institute, finds that criminal attacks are the leading cause of half of all data breaches in healthcare.  Employee mistakes, third-party snafus, and stolen computer devices—are the root cause of the other half of data breaches. The study also found thatContinue Reading

Lack of Trust in Internet Privacy and Security May Deter Economic and Other Online Activities

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): “Every day, billions of people around the world use the Internet to share ideas, conduct financial transactions, and keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Users send and store personal medical data, business communications, and even intimate conversations over this global network. But for the Internet to growContinue Reading

Multiple data security breaches reported by FDIC

Washington Post: “In yet another example of fragile security in federal cyber systems, data for 44,000 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. customers were breached by an employee leaving the agency. The breach occurred in February and was outlined in an internal FDIC memorandum obtained by The Washington Post. The March 18 memo from Lawrence Gross Jr.,Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings on Mass Surveillance Statute

Via EFF: “The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act Tuesday May 10. The Act, passed in 2008, created what is now known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  Section 702 is used for mass spying, and government surveillance conducted under the lawContinue Reading

UK Gov – Password Guidance Simplifying Your Approach

UK Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure – Password Guidance Simplifying Your Approach – By simplifying your organisation’s approach to passwords, you can reduce the workload on users, lessen the support burden on IT departments, and combat the false sense of security that unnecessarily complex passwords can encourage. “Passwords are an essential part ofContinue Reading

New Scientist – Google AI has access to huge haul of NHS patient data

Via New Scientist, Hal Hodson: ” It’s no secret that Google has broad ambitions in healthcare. But a document obtained by New Scientist reveals that the tech giant’s collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service goes far beyond what has been publicly announced. The document – a data-sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMindContinue Reading

EFF Sues for Secret Court Orders Requiring Tech Companies to Decrypt Users’ Communications

Via EFF: “The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit today against the Justice Department to shed light on whether the government has ever used secret court orders to force technology companies to decrypt their customers’ private communications, a practice that could undermine the safety and security of devices used byContinue Reading