“WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had executed more than 40 search warrants in the United States on Thursday as part of an investigation into an international group of computer hackers who attacked corporate Web sites last year in a show of support for WikiLeaks.
The F.B.I. investigation is part of a larger international inquiry into a loose confederation of hackers calling itself “Anonymous” that coordinated the cyberattacks against the Web sites of companies like PayPal, Visa and MasterCard late last year after they severed ties with WikiLeaks.”
From The New York Times
Posts tagged “US”
“Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., Wednesday re-introduced a nonbinding resolution calling on President Obama to oppose any efforts by the United Nations to take over governance of the Internet.
‘It has become increasingly clear that international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations, have aspirations to become the epicenter of Internet governance. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure this never happens,’ Bono Mack, the new chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, said in a statement.”
“A bill giving the president an Internet “kill switch” during times of emergency that failed to pass Congress last year will return this year, but with a revision that has many civil liberties advocates concerned: It will give the president the ability to shut down parts of the Internet without any court oversight.
The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act was introduced last year by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in an effort to combat cyber-crime and the threat of online warfare and terrorism.
Critics said the bill would allow the president to disconnect Internet networks and force private websites to comply with broad cybersecurity measures. Future US presidents would have those powers renewed indefinitely.”
From The Raw Story
“In 2008, monks in the Office of the High Dalai Lama had a strange feeling someone was reading their e-mail.
Discretely, the monks started making inquiries with Western security experts. They wound up at the doorstep of Information Warfare Monitor, a group of researchers based at the University of Toronto and led by a political scientist named Ronald J. Deibert.
Named one of Esquire’s “best and the brightest” a year earlier, Deibert was known as a passionate champion of online political freedom. He jumped at the chance to investigate security lapses threatening one of the highest-profile religious leaders on the planet.
Information Warfare Monitor investigators found the Dalai Lama’s network (and, ultimately, those of more than 100 countries) had been infected with malware — malicious software that covertly infiltrates a computer system.”
“A classified report on military operations provided to Congress by he Pentagon failed to disclose any information regarding the military’s use of cyber-based operations and tactics, although it is assumed cyber ops have become routine.
The Senate Armed Services Committee registered their concern that no details of cyber ops were provided in the clandestine activities report, provided to Congress on a quarterly basis.
The Pentagon’s assistant secretary for special operations, Michael Vickers, replied to the Congressional concerns by questioning whether or not cyber ops are covered by the law that dictates what should be covered in the reports.”
From Infosec Island
“On 15 June 2009, while thousands of Iranians were streaming on to the streets of Tehran to protest against the disputed results of the presidential election, Jared Cohen, an official in the US state department, quietly sent an email to Twitter. Despite coming from the youngest member of America’s foreign policy arm – Cohen was just 27 at the time – it was surprisingly serious. Cohen wrote that, in the view of the Obama administration, Twitter was playing a crucial role in Iran as a way for protesters to communicate. He implored the social networking site to delay routine maintenance work it had planned for the following day that would have brought down all its feeds in Iran and possibly disrupted the organisation of the protests. Twitter complied, putting off the maintenance for 24 hours, thus allowing the flow of tweets to continue uninterrputed. The demonstrations grew and grew.
At face value the exchange was harmless – an example of government and business working together to forward America’s interests abroad. But in the eyes of one scholar, this apparently benign interaction was to have powerful unforeseen consequences. In Evgeny Morozov’s analysis, Cohen’s email set a dangerous precedent, convincing the Iranian leadership, and many other authoritarian regimes around the world, that the US government was in cahoots with Silicon Valley and that the Internet was being turned into an extension of politics by other means.”
From The Guardian
“The furor surrounding Wikileaks has raised questions about the true limits of free speech in what is perhaps the most unregulated medium in the world. “Free speech online is under fire, but it has always been under fire to some degree,” said Syracuse University’s Milton Mueller. “What’s new is that governments are developing new institutional mechanisms to control Internet expression.”
In the wake of Cablegate, the massive release of sensitive documents released online by WikiLeaks and the subsequent DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks by pro- and anti-WikiLeaks factions on each others’ websites, a fact long-known to only a few cognoscenti became public — free speech online is very much endangered.”
“Amid the news that the U.S. government has subpoenaed from Twitter data about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and others thought to be tied to the group is the issue of IP addresses. An Internet Protocol address is a unique 32-bit numeric address that can identify a specific computer on a network. IP addresses, generally assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), can be temporary (called dynamic IP addresses) or permanently (called static IP addresses).”
From Privacy Lives
“SAN FRANCISCO — Concerned by the wave of requests for customer data from law enforcement agencies, Google last year set up an online tool showing the frequency of these requests in various countries. In the first half of 2010, it counted more than 4,200 in the United States.
Google is not alone among Internet and telecommunications companies in feeling inundated with requests for information. Verizon told Congress in 2007 that it received some 90,000 such requests each year. And Facebook told Newsweek in 2009 that subpoenas and other orders were arriving at the company at a rate of 10 to 20 a day.”
From The New York Times
“A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the ‘USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?’ ”
From The Guardian