privacy wars

Harvard and MIT Students Launch ‘NSA-Proof’ Email Service

ProtonMail was created in Switzerland, where privacy laws are totally chill. (Facebook)

Troubled by Edward Snowden’s revelations about the U.S. government’s snooping habits, a group of Harvard and MIT students created an email service they insist is completely NSA-proof.

The new email platform is called ProtonMailBostInno reports. The service’s five brainy founders met while working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland. They bonded over a shared desire to build an email service even more secure than Lavabit, Mr. Snowden’s now-defunct email service of choice.

Following a few weeks in private beta, ProtonMail is launching its open beta phase starting today. Read More

privacy wars

Snowden Biographer Claims His Text Would ‘Self-Delete’ When He Wrote About NSA

Snowden proof. (Photo: File)

The journalist Luke Harding’s book, The Snowden Files, came out earlier this month. But judging by Mr. Harding’s assertion that his words were somehow deleting themselves while he wrote about the NSA, it’s a wonder it came out at all.

While he was working on the book about Edward Snowden’s exploits, Mr. Harding writes in the Guardian, the sentences he wrote about the NSA would periodically garble or delete themselves. Read More

privacy wars

Obama Will Likely Request End to NSA Metadata Storage Today

Hey bud, cool Blackberry. (Photo: Getty)

President Barack Obama will suggest that maybe some other people should try and figure out how to tackle this pesky NSA matter today in a press conference at 11 a.m.

The President is going to call for an end to the National Security Agency’s ability to store Americans’ phone data, USA Today reports, and he’s going to ask Congress, the Justice Department and the intelligence community to decide who should be holding the records instead of the U.S. government. Read More

Privacy is Dead

NSA Developing Code-Breaking Computer that Can See All Your Private Facebook Messages Anyway

These German protesters probably wouldn't be crazy about an NSA quantum computer. (Getty)

Don’t waste your energy fretting over the Snapchat leak, because the National Security Agency is trying to develop a groundbreaking new computer that probably already knows you’re making sparrow face in the mirror right now.

A January 2 Washington Post report announced the NSA is working to build a never-before-seen “cryptologically useful quantum computer” Read More

privacy wars

A Federal Judge Decided NSA Surveillance Is Legal So We Can All Chill Now

Holla. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Weirded out by the thought that the government could be listening to your mundane conversations about your day or — even worse — perusing your mundane sexts? Too bad. A federal judge has decided it’s legal, thereby dismissing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley said in a written opinion that the NSA’s collection of Americans’ phone records “represents the government’s counter-punch” to prevent terrorist attacks, the Associated Press reports. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Edward Snowden Says His ‘Mission’s Already Accomplished’ Because He Has Other Plans, Bye!

We're going to need some mouse ears. (Photo by Brian Harkin/Getty Images)

Edward Snowden, wringing his hands out in the sink and grabbing a towel, said his “mission’s already accomplished” in terms of disrupting everything. [Washington Post]

Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey is adding another job to his resume: joining Disney’s board of directors. Shareholders will vote on the appointment in March. [AdWeek]

Whatever the hell is going on at BlackBerry isn’t good. It shelved plans to release two new phones and axed its annual conference event. [The Verge]

The inside of an Amazon warehouse looks exactly how you imagined.  [AllThingsD]

In response to the City of Seattle wanting to cancel Uber from operating, the on-demand car app is offering Alaska Airlines customers credits from downtown to the airport.[Seattle Times]

LEAKS

British Authorities Smash Computers in Adorably Misguided Attempt at Destroying NSA Files

Snowden proof. (Photo: File)

Like a bunch of inept evil villains in an Austin Powers sequel, British authorities have reportedly smashed some Guardian-owned hard drives in order to get rid of NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger reports that a couple of shady government guys turned up at the paper’s HQ recently to smash some computers. He calls it “one of the more bizarre moments” in the paper’s history, two “security experts” (experts?!) “overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian‘s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents,” he writes. Read More

plug that leak

Russia’s Security Agency Spends $15,000 on Typewriters to Prevent Snowden-esque Leaks

RUSSIA - UNIVERSIADE GAMES

Edward Snowden’s lengthy layover in Moscow seems to have spooked the Russian government, whose security agency has reportedly shelled out major roubles for a brand new fleet of typewriters.

According to the BBC, Russia’s FSO agency has placed a nearly-$15,000 order for new typewriters in the hopes of converting their most sacred documents (like this image?) into paper form. It’s a strategy that’s apparently already being used in some of the Kremlin’s other ministries, where workers draft their most secret documents in un-leakable hardcopy form. Read More