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NSA pwns the internet

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, June 7th, 2013 - 74 comments
Categories: internet, Spying, telecommunications, us politics - Tags: ,

The NSA has direct access to servers at Google, Apple, Facebook, and other Internet giants, and they collect pretty much whatever data they like. We shouldn’t be surprised. The Guardian has the story:

NSA taps in to internet giants’ systems to mine user data, secret files reveal

• Top secret PRISM program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple
• Companies deny any knowledge of program in operation since 2007

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows them to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.

Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.  …

The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under Obama in December 2012.

The program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.

It also opens the possibility of communications made entirely within the US being collected without warrants.  …

Prism

 

PRISM slide crop

74 comments on “NSA pwns the internet”

  1. RedLogix 1

    No such thing as conspiracy theories eh?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Long rumoured, but now this is a conspiracy fact.

      Your GMail, Facebook, Xtra (through Yahoo!), instant messaging, whatever, is an open book. Forget the GCSB scandal, they are just a small cog in this wheel allowing spying on any one deemed to be an enemy of the state…or of any incumbent government. Or if you are a friend, associate or family member of anyone under suspicion, sorry you are fair game too. We also know thanks to Julian Assange and Wikileaks that diplomatic negotiations, business deals, corporate activities etc. are all regularly spied upon by the US, these are just tools for them to do more of the same.

      I have also posted a link here previously from (popular mechanics?) on the new Utah data gathering site which attempts to capture and store in perpetuity every single electronic communication within, entering, and leaving the US (including messages from international sources going to non US destinations but simply routed through a US server).

      You may not be designated a protestor, activist or dissident now, but if any time down the track you are, or your children are, the archives of your previous communications are an open book for study.

      I believe a quote from that article is that the US is now a single turnkey away from being a totalitarian state.

    • weka 1.2

      “No such thing as conspiracy theories eh?”

      In light of the conversation a few days ago, +1 RL.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        there was a “conspiracy theory” going around a few years ago that one of FaceBook’s original investors was acting on behalf of the CIA; essentially that the CIA helped start FaceBook.

        Now it appears wherever there is “conspiracy smoke”, there is very likely to be “conspiracy fire”.

        I’m afraid in a world where real life is stranger than fiction, rationalists like Murray Olsen are going to be left far behind.

        • Murray Olsen 1.2.1.1

          Funnily enough, I’ve stated for years that we should act as if the government can and is reading all our electronic communications. I don’t see that as a conspiracy theory at all, it’s a realistic view of what intelligence agencies do. It also has nothing to do with chemtrails or the Illuminati.

          I also know in principle how to encode all my communications so they can’t be decrypted using presently available technology. I’ll stick to being rational, thank you very much.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.1

            “I also know in principle how to encode all my communications so they can’t be decrypted using presently available technology. I’ll stick to being rational, thank you very much.”

            You’re all right then Jack, good for you.

            You ok with your phone calls being recorded too? How about having a camera in your house?

            • Murray Olsen 1.2.1.1.1.1

              No.
              No.
              Any other ridiculous questions? I don’t eat human children either, in case that was next on your list.
              In fact, if you’d read anything I’ve written, you would have already known the answer to those questions, but I suppose it’s more entertaining to just make stuff up as you go.

              • weka

                I suppose that’s what happens when you comment smugly in a thread where other people might be concerned about their own safety.

                How come you are ok with your emails being recorded but not your phone calls?

                • Murray Olsen

                  I am not OK with my emails being recorded. I am not OK with anyone’s emails being recorded. The fact that I am not OK with it will not stop governments doing it. I also realise there are many paedophiles at large in society. Does that mean I’m OK with what they do? Following your specious logic, I’d have to conclude it does.

                  As for commenting, my name was brought up by CV in what seems a fairly smug manner. In fact, it was a direct attack. I don’t see how the hell I was being smug.

                  Anything else you’d like to find me guilty of while you’re at it? Or is selfishness (I’m alright, Jack), support of spy agencies, and being OK with having my emails recorded enough for one day?

                  By the way, plenty of people know how to encrypt their emails. Most don’t bother because it just attracts more attention. I don’t because I don’t put anything in my emails or on the internet that could compromise me in any way. The way things are these days, anyone using unbreakable encryption could well find themselves renditioned to warmer climes. Just to be clear, I’m not OK about that either.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    At least I didn’t call you an irrational paranoid conspiracy theorist. Or maybe I did? When I used your name I simply said that your rationalist approach was simply not going to keep up with a reality that was less than rational. I suppose as a scientist you may have seen that as an attack on the tenets of your world view belief system, but it wasn’t really an attack on you personally.

                    Anyways it seems to me like all the fears and suspicions you think are reasonable, even if they are vast in scope, are rational and well grounded, yet step outside those bounds, and they rapidly become “conspiracy theories”. Which I suppose is a fine way to view the order of things.

                    My observation: there’s a long grey scale of likely to unlikely, and there are a lot of surprises on that scale most of us are not yet aware of.

                  • RedLogix

                    As I said awhile back, us ordinary people know nutin’. As a result I try to take a middle road on this. Instead of taking black and white positions on these ‘conspiracy theories’, I mentally assign a probability to them.

                    Very few things are absolutely true or false, most things can be seen in some light between one extreme or another. NASA faking the moon landings is 99.999% untrue; the NSA comprehensively spying on us all; yesterday 95% true, is now 99.9999% true.

                    http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/misc/u05/ule-s.gif

                    What does annoy me is when people get all positional and confrontational about their personal perception of this probability. Fact is… to some extent or another we are all guessing.

                    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2939#comic

                    • Murray Olsen

                      Fair enough, RL, that’s pretty much how most people decide stuff. I get more confrontational than I should for a number of reasons. The main one is that I get sick of being told I’m either brainwashed and believe everything on the news, or a paid disinformation agent, because I don’t agree that chemtrails exist or that 9/11 was a controlled demolition, for example. I also get upset at the number of times I’ve seen people hijack movements, meetings, or discussions by insisting that whatever they think is the most important issue be the sole topic.

                      I will say that we’re not always just guessing. When someone tells me that the CIA uses optical fibres to transmit microwaves for mind control purposes and I say that’s a load of crap, I’m not guessing. I generally try to make it clear when I’m expressing an opinion/guess.

                    • weka

                      +1.

                      My problem with most conspiracy theorists isn’t the theory so much as the lack of critical thinking skills by some of the major proponents (the theory is after all just a theory). And when the rationalists can’t see past their own belief systems. Most of us live in the middle ground looking both ways, but it seems prudent to stay open to the possibility of things we don’t yet know or understand (which doesn’t mean giving up critical analysis).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      USA now employing systems and laws East Germany’s Stasi could only dream of

                      http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-06-06/government-also-monitoring-content-our-phone-calls

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.2

            I’ve stated for years that we should act as if the government can and is reading all our electronic communications. I don’t see that as a conspiracy theory at all, it’s a realistic view of what intelligence agencies do

            Lol conspiracy theory paranoid much?

            You left out the logical next step of what they do with that mass of data, and how the political powers in charge (who after all ordered and funded these activities in the first place) then use your information.

            Don’t say, maybe *that’s* when it finally becomes a “conspiracy theory” in your books?

            • Murray Olsen 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Just make up for yourself what I think. I’ve explained it before, but you’re more interested in scoring imaginary points. I can see how this is quite different from 9/11 stuff, chemtrails, HAARP, Illuminati, Hollow Earth etc. If you can’t, that’s not my problem.

        • Bill 1.2.1.2

          You do understand the difference between a suspicion (well grounded or otherwise) and a conspiracy theory CV, yes?

          • weka 1.2.1.2.1

            But who gets to judge which is which?

            • Bill 1.2.1.2.1.1

              You get to judge. And it’s fairly straight forward. It’s the difference between me suspecting you’re an alien on the one hane and announcing it as a matter of fact on the other.

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.2.2

            I think it takes secret agreement between multiple government agencies, senior political figures and business leaders to secretly fund and organise the mass capture and recording of every single electronic transmission made in a day within billion dollar data centres, for later use for any purpose they decide, completely outside of the realm of public, judicial or democratic oversight.

            You can tell me whether that is a conspiracy theory (now conspiracy fact) or whether that was a ‘plausible suspicion’.

            • Bill 1.2.1.2.2.1

              Do spy agencies employ undemocratic means to further information gathering agendas? I’d be surprised if that wasn’t the case. And what this NSA leek does is confirm the quite common sense suspicion that spy agencies do not operate in a transparent fashion and further (more importantly), give an insight to their capabilities and ways of operating.

              But I’d prefer a more subtle example such as – ‘Is it believable that the US government would allow the death of thousands of relatively innocant people?’ (Answer =Yes) Against – ‘Did the US government knowingly and directly conspire in the demolition of the twin towers by, for example, planting explosives in the towers?’ (Answer =No)

              And those that hold the answer to the latter question to be ‘yes’ throw occams razor wa-a-ay out the window in their tireless efforts to construct a conspiracy from spurious so-called *facts* surrounding the collapse of those towers (that can be shown to be false by the application of engineering principles) or by employing *facts* that are so tenuous and outlandish as to be utterly laughable.

              But since it is reasonable and able to be demonstrated from the historical record that governments (the US included) have scant regard for human life – to what degree is it reasonable to suspect that the US government knew that some form of terrorist act was being considered and allowed things to unfold for political reasons but had no idea of the specific details or targets? I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thought/suspicion, but also think it’s not worth wasting any time on. The political aftermath…the launching of the ‘war on terror’ and all of its consequences is what matters

              • Colonial Viper

                throw occams razor wa-a-ay out the window in their tireless efforts to construct a conspiracy from spurious so-called *facts* surrounding the collapse of those towers (that can be shown to be false by the application of engineering principles)

                3 skyscrapers suffered widely varying and assymetrical damage that day. Two out of the three were hit by planes from different directions and at different levels; the third skyscraper was not hit by any plane.

                However all three of them collapsed vertically upon their own foot print.

                I’d love to know what “engineering princples” allowed that circumstance to happen.

    • Murray Olsen 1.3

      Of course there are. The question is not whether the theories exist, but whether they are plausible. An even more important question is whether they are used to make people feel helpless rather than organising against the mess we’re in.

      • weka 1.3.1

        Well I’ll agree with you on that one. I’m not sure what the point is of scaring people if you don’t give them tools to deal with the problem.

      • rosy 1.3.2

        +1 Murray Olsen
        I don’t recall anyone of the left stating conspiracies don’t exist, and there’s been plenty of agreement that it’s the plausibility/probability/evidence-gathering that is important.

        Talking across each other because some people can agree on the plausibility of some conspiracies but entirely disagree about the plausibility of other seems to me a complete waste of energy.

        I note that on this thread is seems all agree there has been a conspiracy to secretly collect electronic communications data. Isn’t who, why, where, when, what and how is much more important than point scoring?

        I for one, am pretty interested to know if our flash new GCSB laws were written with aiding the U.S. in collecting data on U.S. citizens in mind, and if so, is there a reciprocal agreement?

        • Murray Olsen 1.3.2.1

          If we’re lucky, Nicky Hagar might write another book soon. If we’re really unlucky, Ian Wishart might.

          I’d suspect the US had a huge input into our new laws, but seeing how the GCSB could collect stuff on non-residents/citizens legally already, I’m not sure how what you suggest would fit. As for reciprocal agreements, my understanding is that we send them a lot of raw data, they analyse it, and then tell us what they decide we need to know. The reciprocal agreement our craven intelligence community and politicians would have with the seppos is probably heavily weighted in favour of the US and A, and then breached by them at will anyway. A bit reminiscent of the TPPA would be my guess. I just hope we get a government that realises we’re a sovereign nation before that obscenity gets signed, but I won’t be holding my breath.

          • ghostrider888 1.3.2.1.1

            so Murray, with your expertise, what do you think of ‘The Coming Technological Singularity’ – Vernor Vinge (Professor of Mathematics, Computer Scientist; SDSU) , in 30 years, from his statement in 1993.

            • Murray Olsen 1.3.2.1.1.1

              None of my professional expertise is really relevant to his article, which seems to be a metaview of AI (also IA), ethics, and philosophy. What I do see is something quite scary – we create something that makes us redundant and, if what he says about further evolution is right, we will never even understand why we’re regarded as redundant. At the moment we seem to be intent on destroying ourselves via global warming, so from a purely selfish (and pessimistic) perspective, that may not change much.

              Moore’s Law seems to have held so far where processing is concerned, but must break down one day with improvements of present architecture to depend on. Quantum computing offers a way past this, but I have two problems with that concept. One is that I am dubious that it will ever work as promised and the second is that the day it does, the NSA will grab it for themselves and it’ll effectively disappear. The technological singularity could end up being like commercial fusion – always 20 years away.

              It was an interesting read at least. Thanks. I wonder if it came out of a wine and cheese session at an AI conference?

              • ghostrider888

                😀

              • RedLogix

                Vernor Vinge is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science (San Diego SU) and a well known hard-SF author.

                From the very beginning of his career he has addressed many aspects of the apparently inexorable impact of Moore’s Law and the many implications of this brings. He’s definitely one of the groundbreaking thinkers in this area.

                Plus I’m a big fan … having a complete collection and all.

                • ghostrider888

                  gee, you guys (and gals) and your Science Fiction; I hardly find time to read the non-fiction I’m interested in, and then there’s that new-fangled magic-realism, and all those classics, modern literature and old; God, let the Internet crash soon, please.

    • Poission 1.4

      No such thing as conspiracy theories eh?

      Oh it gets better.The US DOJ is appealing (in secret) the secret findings of a us secret court’ that found the secret surveillance was unconstitutional ie PRISM.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/07/justice-department-prism_n_3405101.html

      • ghostrider888 1.4.1

        a raft of articles in the Herald ‘World’ section today, eeevin.

      • Murray Olsen 1.4.2

        Ironic that the fuss over there is about US agencies spying on US citizens when they were only supposed to spy on foreigners. Same script, different country.

        • ghostrider888 1.4.2.1

          Thanks for the reply; I appreciate the amplified architecture of your comments, and one can never be certain 😉 of the probabilities of having ones own Horrorscope read.

  2. ghostrider888 2

    Rev. 13:7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast- all whose names have not been written ( in another) book of life…

  3. RJL 3

    It could be interesting to know whether MegaUpload was “invited” to join PRISM. And whether or not it refused.

    • weka 3.1

      I’m a little confused. Are you saying the FB, google, apple etc have given permission?

      Does this open them up to lawsuits?

      edit – it’s been a long time since I actually read a privacy policy when signing up to something online.

      • RJL 3.1.1

        Read the Guardian article.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I have read the article. Is there a reason you won’t answer a straight forward request for clarification?

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Although lprent could answer more fully, I’d say yes all those large companies will have given permission to the NSA etc. But more than that, the corporates will have actually co-operated with the intelligence agencies to develop the applications and interfaces needed by the intelligence agencies to access every part of their databases and other systems.

            Google will no doubt have helped refine the intelligence agencies search strategies. (Google has previously been contracted to build proprietary search apps for military and government use).

            The corporates will have co-operated for many reasons, not the least of which that they didn’t want the intelligence agencies using ad-hoc “hacks” to get the information that they wanted, bad programming which might have inadvertently slowed down or even crashed the corporation’s commercial systems.

            btw when you look at news stories describing how the Chinese Government has previously blocked GMAIL in their country…I guess they figured this stuff out some time back.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks CV. I had taken the bit quoted in the post above about the companies denying knowledge at face value. I guess they’re lying then.

              • Colonial Viper

                it’s absolutely likely that only a couple of dozen people inside each of these companies has any exposure whatsoever to the work which has been done. And even then, they may have no idea that the work was done for an intelligence agency. Just another job from management refining a new set of database administrative tools.

                As an aside, Russia Today reports that senior executives from Google, Amazon, etc are a key part of the Bilderberg meetings. And that both the UK Tories and UK Labour have representatives there.

            • ghostrider888 3.1.1.1.1.2

              you guys (and gals) could be watching The Mechanic (for free on 2) in the ads. 😉

              there was a former Drone Pilot, Brandon Bryant on the News; 1626 documented ‘kills’ with a diploma to verify them.
              http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249252/Brandon-Bryant-Drone-operator-followed-orders-shoot-child–decided-quit.html

          • joe90 3.1.1.1.2

            Denials galore.

            http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57588337-38/no-evidence-of-nsas-direct-access-to-tech-companies/

            The National Security Agency has not obtained direct access to the systems of Apple, Google, Facebook, and other major Internet companies, CNET has learned.

            Recent reports in the Washington Post and the Guardian claimed a classified program called PRISM grants “intelligence services direct access to the companies’ servers” and that “from inside a company’s data stream the NSA is capable of pulling out anything it likes.”

            Those reports are incorrect and appear to be based on a misreading of a leaked Powerpoint document, according to a former government official who is intimately familiar with this process of data acquisition and spoke today on condition of anonymity.

            “It’s not as described in the histrionics in the Washington Post or the Guardian,” the person said. “None of it’s true. It’s a very formalized legal process that companies are obliged to do.”

            http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/07/in-response-to-prism-anonymous-leaks-classified-dod-documents/

            http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/06/google-facebook-apple-deny-participation-in-nsa-prism-program/

            http://googleblog.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/what.html

            http://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100828955847631

    • Murray Olsen 3.2

      I assume that anything sourced via MegaUpload would have gone through other servers anyway, so I doubt if this is why Kim attracted so much attention.

  4. weka 4

    If you’ve got nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

    /sarc

  5. Jacobin 5

    Wow. Just wow. The worst that privacy advocates have been alleging for years, particularly Glenn Greenwald who has often stood out like a lone pariah, turns out to be true and more.

    All the more reason we need to get our own GCSB house in order/investigations need to be cleaner than they have been

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      We need to abolish the GCSB. They are an American/British intelligence agency, staffed by and paid for by Kiwis. This is one case where I support economic austerity. The SIS can go as well.

  6. joe90 6

    So who’s going to stop voluntarily handing over their personal information because their service provider might be legally obliged to hand it over to those who request it?.

    • weka 6.1

      The way I read it, it’s not about a company legally handing over information. It’s about the NSA having free access to those companies’ databases.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          That doesn’t address my point.

          This was interesting though –

          5. The information the NSA is collecting is metadata, not content (like a wiretap), and not account names. Uncovering personally identifiable information would require separate warrants to do so. This was a pattern analysis, not really mass surveillance as we traditionally understand it. Anyone who calls this a “wiretap” is probably stupid or didn’t read the order.

          That is different from the Guardian is saying.

          • karol 6.1.1.1.1

            This is looking like the “Thin Thread” that I posted about a couple of weeks back. It is a metadata gathering programme that the GCSB supposedly trialed for the NSA:

            William Binney, a whistle blower from the US NSA (National Security Agency) claims that a surveillance device, Thin Thread was sent to spy agencies in places like NZ, Canada,, Australia, Germany and the UK in 2000-2001 for testing. According to author Tim Shorrock, ThinThread monitors the meta data of phone, internet and email communications, at first masking the identities of the participants in the communications. It only reveals these identities when the spies decide they are concerned enough to apply for a warrant.

            • freedom 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The NSA simply use whatever they want. The metadata collected with PRISM is most likely used in conjunction with other [fascist] tools such as ThinThread to create whatever they require, to do whatever they want. This admission though, is a smokescreen at best.

              Folk may wish to pause and reflect on this ‘forced’ declaration. What does it really mean in the wider context of the ugly hate machine the US has become. The NSA would by no means be the most extreme of US agencies involved. It has been widely discussed that since 9-11 over 1000 new Agencies have been added to the US Administration’s lexicon of acronyms. Since 2002, mostly throughout Virginia, there has been a massive ongoing construction programme, where some very large compounds have been planted deep into some very out of the way places. Some are said to challenge Langley for sheer scale of construction. Though unlike Langley many of these compounds are completely anonymous. These enormous glass and concrete bunkers, styled with a ‘YOU THERE! look away from here!’ attention to detail, are said to collectively house the biggest threat on the planet, to our privacy our security and our democracy.

              It is suspected the majority are officially assigned to assisting with Defense, The War on Terror and National Security. As far as the US is concerned, that ‘National Security’ bit involves controlling enslaving or simply destroying any bits of Earth that have the temerity to disagree with what it is doing. These largely unknown agencies all act under an umbrella yielded by DHS jurisdiction, thus are exempt from full public disclosure as to purpose budget and accountability. It sure is a wonderful world we are leaving the children.

        • joe90 6.1.1.2

          To me it appears that they have free access because congress legislated that they can.

          edit: The full court ruling.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/06/verizon-telephone-data-court-order

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.1

            Even totalitarian states need a legal framework to operate in.

            And which Bill was that authorising this?

            And isn’t it interesting that a company with the might and size of Google etc didn’t block it at every turn.

            Bye bye US constitution.

            • Poission 6.1.1.2.1.1

              tradeoff in exchange for your global information we will overlook your tax avoidance.

              • Colonial Viper

                Which we happen to know all about in the first place because we have the emails and phone recordings between you and your accountant. And you and your next prospective employer you are negotiating with. And you and your spouse. And you and your lover. And you and your ex.

                Good fun days.

                • Poission

                  Sergei Brin was given “temporary high security” clearance with regard to operation aurora.

                  There are suggestions also that a substantial part of the google gathering information (under the guise of google maps) was imparted to other parties (sic) prior to being destroyed.

          • joe90 6.1.1.2.2

            Bye bye US constitution.

            I think this is the end run around the fourth.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_v._Maryland

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.2.1

              Ahhhh thanks. So the same principle would apply to email addresses, instant messaging user names, login IDs and passwords, any pin verification, addresses on letters you write etc.

  7. the central scutinizer 7

    https://www.eff.org/

  8. ghostrider888 8

    …now, who were those sociologist prophets who predicted The Technological Society would witness the end of democracy.hmmm.

  9. Bill 9

    Maybe ‘faceleft’ or similar networking sites are the answer for those of a political persuasion? Of course, since they don’t sell your data or carry advertising, they do look to charge a small monthly subscription. And I’m only putting this here because maybe you are one of the people who ‘should’ take a closer look and consider it as a much safer alternative to the likes of facebook etc. Here’s a link to the FAQ page for those who might be interested http://www.zsocial.org/help

    My personal take is that, given its currently limited size, that it could be a valuable resource for any pre-existing groups that use internet based organising or communication tools.

    Anyways….

  10. xtasy 10

    To all those that may be “surprised”, I am not, and I have warned before of what is actually going on already with Facebook, Twitter, Google and others very actively harvesting your own info, including user profiles, your emails, your names and more. This is not a joke, it is real, and it is done so for “advertising purposes”, and if you look more closely at what you click and sign when registering for various services, you condone to be tracked and traced day in and out.

    So the NSA does spy on the services you use, big deal.

    You should have known this from the start, before using Facebook and allowing their cookies and else to connect to your browser and follow you, yes follow you, onto other websites, and onto whatever you click. The same applies to the Standard, and this site is being tracked by the ones I just mentioned constantly, same as most websites and forums.

    Try to get some Google blocking software and others, and then you will see your browser slowing down, as it has already been compromised, to only function if you allow all the track and spyware to follow you. If you block it, they try to slow your usage.

    That is capitalism and control on the web now. So dream of the freedom of the web, it is all commercialised, like the rest of this society and system. Dream on, dream on about “freedom”!

    The NSA have it so easy, and they are everywhere, so mind your language and comments, as they will take note and maybe get back at you, that is while we have a government so friendly with Washington and Hollywood, right?!

    • kiwicommie 10.1

      *shrug* They will learn less reading my mail than talking to me, also most users (like myself) these days create personas which are totally different to what they believe in real life. Then there are people just out to troll. Create useless information, then they have more to sift through. 😉

      • xtasy 10.1.1

        kiwicommie

        Every computer has its own identifiable number. So people may use different “personas” or profiles in social media and other communications, but that does not mean they cannot be identified. Most people have their own laptop, desktop or other computers, and they all are identifiable.

        And every website and function on a website that is clicked, does get recorded and can be tracked.

        Naturally most tracked and gathered information is only used for collecting browsing behaviour and sold encoded to advertisers, but if an agency like the NSA or GCSB takes an interest that goes deeper into “suspicious” or “undesirable” browsing behaviour, then they will have means to find out more about persons.

        There will always be limits to what they can do, and some software can limit what can be tracked and traced, but the way things are going certainly give sufficient reasons to be highly concerned.

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    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    23 hours ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    5 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    6 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    3 weeks ago

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