Tag Archives: Scandal

Largest single personal data hack ever? 360mn stolen account credentials found online

Largest single personal data hack ever 360mn stolen account credentials found online Largest single personal data hack ever? 360mn stolen account credentials found online

A cyber security firm has reported a “mind boggling” cache of stolen credentials which has been put up for sale on online black markets. A total of 360 million accounts were affected in a series of hacks, one of which seems to be the biggest in history.
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Alex Holden, chief information security officer of Hold Security LLC, said that the firm had uncovered the data over the past three weeks.

He said that 360 million personal account records were obtained in separate attacks, but one single attack seems to have obtained some 105 million records which could make it the biggest single data breach to date, Reuters reports. “The sheer volume is overwhelming,” said Holden in a statement on Tuesday.

“These mind boggling figures are not meant to scare you and they are a product of multiple breaches which we are independently investigating. This is a call to action,” he added.

Hold Security said that as well as 360 million credentials, hackers were also selling 1.25 billion email addresses, which may be of interest to spammers.

The huge treasure trove of personal details includes user names, which are most often email addresses, and passwords, which in most cases are unencrypted.

Hold Security uncovered a similar breach in October last year, but the tens of millions of records had encrypted passwords, which made them much more difficult for hackers to use.

“In October 2013, Hold Security identified the biggest ever public disclosure of 153 million stolen credentials from Adobe Systems Inc. One month later we identified another large breach of 42 million credentials from Cupid Media,”
 Hold Security said in statement.

Largest single personal data hack ever 360mn stolen account credentials found online 2 Largest single personal data hack ever? 360mn stolen account credentials found online

 

Holden said he believes that in many cases the latest theft has yet to be publically reported and that the companies that have been attacked are unaware of it. He added that he will notify the companies concerned as soon as his staff has identified them.

“We have staff working around the clock to identify the victims,”
 he said.

However, he did say that the email addresses in question are from major providers such as AOL Inc, Google Inc, Yahoo Inc, and Microsoft Corp, as well as “almost all” Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations.

Heather Bearfield, who runs cybersecurity for an accounting firm Marcum LLP, told Reuters that while she had no information about Hold Security’s findings, she believed that it was quite plausible as hackers can do more with stolen credentials than they can with stolen credit cards, as people often use the same login and password for many different accounts.

“They can get access to your actual bank account. That is huge. That is not necessarily recoverable funds,”she said.

The latest revelation by Hold Security comes just months after the US retailer Target announced that 110 million of their customers had their data stolen by hackers. Target and the credit and debit card companies concerned said that consumers do not bear much risk as funds are rapidly refunded in fraud losses.

Source: RT

Apple security flaw could be a backdoor for the NSA

Apple security flaw could be a backdoor for the NSA Apple security flaw could be a backdoor for the NSA

Was the National Security Agency exploiting two just-discovered security flaws to hack into the iPhones and Apple computers of certain targets? Some skeptics are saying there is cause to be concerned about recent coincidences regarding the NSA and Apple.
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Within hours of one another over the weekend, Apple acknowledged that it had discovered critical vulnerabilities in both its iOS and OSX operating systems that, if exploited correctly, would put thought-to-be-secure communications into the hands of skilled hackers.

“An attacker with a privileged network position may capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS,” the company announced.

Apple has since taken steps to supposedly patch up the flaw that affected mobile devices running its iOS operating system, such as iPhones, but has yet to unveil any fix for the OSX used by desktop and laptop computers. As experts investigated the issue through the weekend, though, many couldn’t help but consider the likelihood — no matter how modicum — that the United States’ secretive spy agency exploited those security flaws to conduct surveillance on targets.

On Saturday, Apple enthusiast and blogger John Gruber noted on his personal website that information contained within internal NSA documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden last year coincide closely with the release of the affected mobile operating system, iOS 6.

According to a NSA slideshow leaked by Mr. Snowden last June, the US government has since 2007 relied on a program named PRISM that enables the agency to collect data “directly from the servers” of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and others. The most recent addition to that list, however, was Apple, which the NSA said it was only able to exploit using PRISM since October 2012.

The affected operating system — iOS 6.0 — was released days earlier on September 24, 2012.

These facts, Gruber blogged, “prove nothing” and are “purely circumstantial.” Nevertheless, he wrote, “the shoe fits.”

With the iOS vulnerability being blamed on a single line of erroneous code, Gruber considered a number of possibilities to explain how that happened.

Conspiratorially, one could suppose the NSA planted the bug, through an employee mole, perhaps. Innocuously, the Occam’s Razor explanation would be that this was an inadvertent error on the part of an Apple engineer,” he wrote.

Once the bug was in place, the NSA wouldn’t even have needed to find it by manually reading the source code. All they would need are automated tests using spoofed certificates that they run against each new release of every OS. Apple releases iOS, the NSA’s automated spoofed certificate testing finds the vulnerability, and boom, Apple gets ‘added’ to PRISM.

Gruber said he sees five possible scenarios, or “levels of paranoia,” as he put it:

Nothing. The NSA was not aware of this vulnerability.
The NSA knew about it, but never exploited it.
The NSA knew about it, and exploited it.
NSA itself planted it surreptitiously.
Apple, complicit with the NSA, added it.

Of course, Guber added, there is always the possibility that “this is all a coincidence.” He certainly wasn’t the only one to consider it, though.

Again, all of this is circumstantial and speculative, and Apple has come out numerous times vehemently denying its involvement in any NSA program,” iDownloadblog’s Cody Lee wrote on Monday. “But the timing is rather odd, and it makes you wonder how such a serious bug went undiscovered for over a year.”

Indeed, Apple has since the start of the Snowden leaks adamantly fended off allegations concerning a possible collusion with the NSA. On December 31, 2013, the company even issued a statement insisting “Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone.”

We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them,” Apple said then — nearly two months after acknowledging the major security vulnerability discovered last week.

At the time, though, Apple was responding to another serious allegation that, if correct, gives much more credence to the latest accusations. The Dec. 31 statement was sent hours after security researcher Jacob Appelbaum presented previously unpublished NSA slides at a hacking conference in Germany, including some where the spy agency boasted about being able to infiltrate any iPhone owned by a targeted person.

The NSA, Appelbaum said, “literally claim that any time they target an iOS device, that it will succeed for implantation.”

“Either they have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products — meaning they are hoarding information about critical systems American companies product and sabotaging them — or Apple sabotages it themselves.”

Last year, RT reported that the NSA entered into a contract in 2012 with VUPEN, a French security company that sells so-called 0-day exploits to governments and agencies so that vulnerabilities and flaws can be abused before the affected product’s owner is even made aware. It’s likely just another major coincidence that fits the time frame eerily well, but that contract was signed only days before iOS 6 was released — and, coincidentally, days before the NSA boasted about being able to access Apple communications through its PRISM program.

Source: RT

Judge sides with US servicemen used as guinea pigs in terrifying Cold War experiment

US Dept Army Judge sides with US servicemen used as guinea pigs in terrifying Cold War experiment

A federal judge has ruled the United States Army must quickly inform veterans of any potentially harmful health effects stemming from the secret medical and drug experiments conducted on them during the Cold War.
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According to a report by Courthouse News wire service, the ruling comes in favor of 7,800 soldiers claiming to have been involved in the experiments. After recruiting Nazi scientists to help through a program called “Project Paperclip,” the Army and CIA administered between 250 and 400 kinds of drugs to the soldiers in an attempt to advance US ability to wage war.

Among the many drugs used were Sarin, amphetamines, LSD, mustard gas, THC, incapacitating agents, and phosgene, a chemical weapon used in trenches during World War I. By administering these drugs and others, the military hoped to uncover new ways to control human behavior, pinpoint weaknesses, hypnotize, and increase an individual’s resistance to torture.

These experiments began in the 1950s and continued until President Richard Nixon halted research into offensive chemical weapons in 1969. Although soldiers signed consent forms agreeing to undertake the experiments, the soldiers argued in court they essentially had no other choice under training that directed them to follow orders. Veterans also argued these forms violated international law and the Wilson Directive, which mandates voluntary consent as “essential.”

After U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled the Army must notify veterans of possible health concerns related to the experiments in November, the Army requested a delay in the process, claiming the notification process would cost nearly $9 million. This request was denied after Wilken ruled the cost borne by the Army paled in comparison to the health of veterans.

“On the one hand, there are the expenses that will be incurred by defendants and, on the other, there is the very real possibility that the aging and adversely affected test subjects will not learn about health effects that could be mitigated if known,” Wilken wrote, according to Courthouse News.

“Any expense incurred by defendants doing research and providing information to adversely affected test subjects, even if defendants should not have been required to incur those expenses, would not be wasted.

“However, lost time for the adversely affected test subjects could lead to irreversible health consequences.”

The lingering effects of the experiments have become grounds for contention between former soldiers and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many veterans believe the long-term health issues they’ve developed can be traced directly back to the drugs they took decades ago at the behest of the government. The VA, however, has declined to cover the medical costs for the vast majority of those applying for coverage.

Speaking to CNN back in 2012, former Army Private Tim Josephs said that unless he agreed to the terms outlined in the experimental consent form, he would be thrown in jail.

“Sometimes it was an injection. Other times it was a pill,” Josephs said, though he didn’t know what exactly he was taking. “A lot of chemicals were referred to as agent one or agent two.”

Nonetheless, once the military began administering the drugs, Josephs was told, “There is nothing here that could ever harm you.” Nowadays, he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was forced to retire early. The VA granted him 40 percent disability, but others haven’t been so lucky: roughly 84 of 86 health claims related to chemical or biological contact are turned down.

“The whole thing stinks, and if the American people knew about it, they would not tolerate it,” said attorney Gordon Erspamer to CNN. “This kind of behavior toward our veterans would not be allowed to happen.”

Source: RT

 

Trooper sues more than 100 cops for harassment after pulling over Miami police officer

FHP Pullover Miami cop Trooper sues more than 100 cops for harassment after pulling over Miami police officer

Florida Highway Patrol trooper Donna Jane Watts was just doing her job when she pulled over a Miami police officer for topping speeds of 120 mph, but the fallout has been anything but routine: She’s now suing her colleagues for harassment.
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According to the Florida-based Sun-Sentinel, Watts has filed a lawsuit against more than 100 police officers and agencies for illegally accessing her personal information and creating a “life-threatening situation.”

Watts claims the harassment by law enforcement began after she pulled over Miami cop FaUsto Lopez in October 2011 for speeding in his patrol car. Traveling well over 100 mph, Lopez was reportedly weaving in and out of lanes so fast it took Watts seven minutes to pull him over even with her lights flashing and sirens blaring.

FHP Pullover Miami cop 2 Trooper sues more than 100 cops for harassment after pulling over Miami police officer

When Lopez finally pulled aside, Watts made her way to the police vehicle with her gun drawn, handcuffed the Miami officer, and took his weapon.

Lopez was eventually fired for his behavior, but that was just the beginning of the story for Watts. She began receiving phone calls from unknown phone numbers – some of which were prank calls, while others contained threats. The lawsuit alleges that orders for pizza were made in her name without her knowledge, and that multiple police vehicles would linger in front of her house or on her street.

The lawsuit states the situation became so dire that Watts “started to experience physical symptoms to include dry heaves and nausea when performing basic activities such as opening her mailbox, starting her ignition, or when being followed by a law enforcement vehicle for no apparent reason.”

FHP Pullover Miami cop 3 Trooper sues more than 100 cops for harassment after pulling over Miami police officer

After filing a public records request with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Watts discovered that her personal information was accessed by at least 88 officers from 25 different jurisdictions over a three-month span. Her profile was viewed more than 200 times total – a number that attorney Mirta Desir claims violates the Driver Privacy Protection Act. Under that law, improperly accessing an individuals profile results in a $2,500 fine per violation.

“This is an invasion of privacy,” Desir, who is representing Watts, told the Sun-Sentinel. “Law enforcement does have access to information most residents don’t and with that level of access there should come a certain amount of care. … This is something that is not supposed to be done.”

The various officials and law enforcement agencies have declined to comment on the matter, but they have asked the judge involved to throw out the lawsuit. According to the Associated Press, they believe Congress can only impose a penalty on police officers for selling personal data, not simply for viewing it.

0 Trooper sues more than 100 cops for harassment after pulling over Miami police officer

The Department of Justice, however, disagrees, and has filed its own argument stating that multiple courts have upheld Congress’ right to monitor the issue regardless of whether information is sold or not.

“There is value in drivers’ information and a market for it,” Justice Department lawyers said to the AP.“What the defendants fail to recognize is that there is value in drivers’ information whether or not it is actually sold.”

Already, some police agencies have settled the lawsuit with Watts, acknowledging that their employees had broken the law. The city of Margate agreed to pay Watts $10,000 for the incident.

Even so, groups like the National Association of Police Agencies are now looking to change the law itself and remove the $2,500 penalty except for cases in which officers pursue opportunities to make money off personal data.

As for Watts herself, she’s still employed by the FHP, but has been relocated to another county.

Source: RT

LAPD cops at fault for shooting innocent women during Dorner manhunt

lapd LAPD cops at fault for shooting innocent women during Dorner manhunt

A civilian oversight board now says that eight police officers from the Los Angeles, California area violated departmental policy last year when they mistakenly opened fire on a pickup truck believed to belong to at-large suspect Christopher Dorner.
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Two women were shot and injured a year ago this week in the town of Torrance, CA when their vehicle was erroneously assumed to be driven by Dorner, a 33-year-old ex-cop suspected of killing a police officer in cold blood only hours earlier in the nearby town of Riverside.

The women were delivering newspapers just before dawn on the morning of February 7 when their blue Toyota Tacoma was mistaken mid-route by police for the grey Nissan Titan that Dorner was spotted driving hours earlier. At a news conference on Tuesday this week, Chief Charlie Beck of the Los Angeles Police Department recalled that an officer confused the sound of a paper being thrown against the pavement with that of a gunshot, and opened fire on who he presumed to be the disgruntled former cop. Seven other officers then began shooting.

By the time the smoke had cleared, the officers involved had fired more than 100 rounds at the women’s pickup truck. Emma Hernandez, 71, suffered two gunshot wounds to the back, and her daughter, 47-year-old Margie Carranza, was injured by auto glass shattered during the early morning encounter.

At Tuesday’s conference, Beck said that the review board agreed that all eight officers acted improperly.

“While I certainly empathize and understand the conditions and circumstances that led to this particular officer-involved shooting, I hold our police officers to the highest standards in the application of deadly force,” Beck told reporters.

“As in all use-of-force incidents, the department has completed a thorough review and will adopt the lessons learned, both good and bad, from these incidents,” added Steve Soboroff, president of the Police Commission.

According to the Associated Press, Soboroff said that both Beck and Alex Bustamante, the inspector general for the Los Angeles Police Commission, had independently recommended that the shooting be ruled out of policy.

The LAPD and the City of Los Angeles agreed last year to compensate the women with $40,000 for a new truck, as well as a settlement worth a reported $4.2 million. Upon release of the review group’s findings, however, the officers involved may see that the serious consequences caused by the shooting don’t end there. Beck has declined to comment on what action the department will take against the eight cops found to have violated LAPD policies, but his options include ordering reprimands, suspensions or even the termination of those officers’ jobs.

Glen Jonas, an attorney for one of the two victims involved, told the AP he wasn’t surprised by the review group’s findings.

“There (are) 4.2 million reasons I have to believe it’s out of policy,” he said. “Anyone with any common sense would agree it’s out of policy.”

Authorities eventually narrowed in on Dorner, and on February 12 he died after his cabin hideout near a mountain resort burned to the ground. He had been charged with killing four people, including three police officers, starting Feb 3.

Source: RT

GCHQ secret unit uses DDOS attack tactics against Anonymous – Snowden leak

Anon GCHQ secret unit uses DDOS attack tactics against Anonymous – Snowden leak

British intelligence has its own hacker subdivision that uses questionable practices for hunting down enemies of the state, reveals a new leak from Edward Snowden. GCHQ is fighting Anonymous and LulzSec hacktivists with DDoS attacks and malware.
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classified document obtained by NBC News reveals that the British secret service is brandishing a cyber-sword in the guise of the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), an intelligence unit not constrained by domestic or international laws.

The JTRIG unit is staging distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber-attacks, implanting malware to disclose identities of hackers in order to prevent their communications. JTRIG is such a secret unit that its very name has never been mentioned anywhere before.

A PowerPoint presentation prepared for a 2012 NSA conference called SIGDEV, obviously from the collection of documents from the former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, contains information about the Rolling Thunder operation against Anonymous hacktivists. JTRIG organized a DDoS attack on the internet relay chat (IRC) used by Anonymous, which reportedly resulted in 80 percent of the users quitting internet chat rooms.

The fact that the presentation was made at a conference of America’s National Security Agency is particularly interesting. It means that the NSA was informed about such governmental activities in the UK.

A DDoS attack is a criminal offence in most countries, the US and UK included. For example, in the UK a person found guilty of a cyber attack would be charged in accordance with the Computer Misuse Act, while in the US such illegal activities are prosecuted with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Servers GCHQ secret unit uses DDOS attack tactics against Anonymous – Snowden leak

Besides that, according to cyber experts, a DDOS attack takes down an entire server, with all websites hosted on it, along with other severs operated by the same Internet Server Provider (ISP). This means that while attacking Anonymous chat rooms, JTRIG was actually disabling other web resources that had no connection to Anonymous whatsoever.

If the fact of a DDoS attack by a secret service gets some independent proof, it would mean that Britain will become the first state incriminated in staging a cyber-attack, internationally recognized as unlawful.

“Law enforcement and intelligence officials must be able to pursue individuals who are going far beyond speech and into the realm of breaking the law: defacing and stealing private property that happens to be online,” said the former head of the US National Counterterrorism Center and now an NBC News analyst Michael Leiter, noting that “there must, of course, be limitations”.

“No one should be targeted for speech or thoughts, but there is no reason law enforcement officials should unilaterally declare law breakers safe in the online environment,” said Leiter.

“Targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs,”said NBC News’ Gabriella Coleman, an anthropology professor at McGill University.

In another NSA document in possession of NBC News, a JTRIG official maintains that the unit’s activities are definitely not limited to computer network protection. JTRIG is staging attacks itself, Such as “Active Covert Internet Operations” and “Covert Technical Operations”. The unit is vigorously using cyber tools to disrupt enemy communications, engaging in computer and phone jamming, breaching email accounts and conducting ‘false flag’ operations.

The Anonymous global hacker community emerged in 2011, and conducted the “Operation Payback” campaign, a series of attacks against government websites in Britain and the US in protest against the prosecution of Chelsea Manning, who handed over thousands of classified US military documents to WikiLeaks. They also attacked several financial organizations, such as credit card companies and the PayPal pay service for blocking donations support to WikiLeaks.

Source: RT

Hackers sue Merkel and entire German government over NSA spying

hackers sue german government Hackers sue Merkel and entire German government over NSA spying

Europe’s largest association of hackers has filed a criminal complaint against the German government for aiding foreign spying by NSA and GCHQ, and violating the right to citizens’ privacy, basing their case on leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
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The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) in cooperation with the International League for Human Rights (ILMR) filed the complaint with the German Federal Prosecutor General’s office on Monday.

“We accuse US, British and German secret agents, their supervisors, the German Minister of the Interior as well as the German Chancellor of illegal and prohibited covert intelligence activities, of aiding and abetting of those activities, of violation of the right to privacy and obstruction of justice in office by bearing and cooperating with the electronic surveillance of German citizens by NSA and GCHQ, ” the group saidin a statement on its website.

The CCC also called for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to be invited to give testimony as a witness, and that he should “be provided safe passage to Germany” and “protection against extradition to the US.”

The hackers added that after Snowden’s revelations about US global spying activities they “now have certainty” that German and other foreign intelligence services have broken German criminal law.

The criminal complaint is meant to spark a “long-overdue investigation by federal prosecutors” into alleged law-breaking by government officials and foreign intelligence agencies.

“Every citizen is affected by the massive surveillance of their private communications. Our laws protect us and threaten those responsible for such surveillance with punishment. Therefore an investigation by the Federal Prosecutor General is necessary and mandatory by law – and a matter of course. It is unfortunate that those responsible and the circumstances of their crimes have not been investigated,” CCC member and attorney Julius Mittenzwei said on the group’s website.

The group accused government offices of being unwilling to help investigate the crimes, adding that CCC and the ILHR wanted “to bring to light more information about the illegal activities of German and foreign secret services” and bring the offenders “to account.”

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office is to process the complaint and consider whether to open a criminal investigation.

Steffen Seibert, the spokesman for Chancellor Merkel, declined to give a detailed comment, saying only that “everyone in Germany can file a criminal complaint,” AP reported.

2letter Hackers sue Merkel and entire German government over NSA spying

The documents leaked by Snowden have revealed that the NSA intercepted millions of phone calls, text messages, emails and internet chat comments by German citizens without any legal authorization. In October, a new report based on Snowden’s documents revealed that the US intelligence agency also tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal phone.

The revelations put transatlantic ties “to the test,” Merkel said last November, demanding that the US give an explanation. Washington, however, claimed that the surveillance was carried out to prevent threats to national security.

In January, US President Barack Obama said his government would “continue to gather information about the intentions” of foreign governments. However, he also promised the NSA “will not monitor the communications of heads of state” in allied countries, unless there were compelling national security reasons to do so.

Since August, Berlin and Washington have been negotiating a no-spying bilateral agreement, though the governments have not yet been able to reach a deal.

Source: RT

‘Our views are far apart’: German chancellor slams US, UK over spying

Germany slams US and UK for spying ‘Our views are far apart’: German chancellor slams US, UK over spying
 
Countries spying on their allies sow distrust that could result in less, rather than more security, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned. She particularly referred to the surveillance and spying activities by the US and the UK.
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“But does that make it right for our closest allies, like the United States or Britain, to access all imaginable data – arguing that it helps their own security and that of their partners?” Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Parliament in the first major policy speech of her third term.

Merkel, who herself was a target of US eavesdropping on her personal phone calls, warned that using “everything that is technically do-able” to obtain information leads to mistrust between allies, which would eventually undermine their mutual security.

The US, however, says its surveillance practices are focused on threats to national security, including terrorism. In its recent interview, US President Barack Obama assured Merkel that she does not need to worry about NSA surveillance, even though the Agency would continue surveillance on foreign governments.

“Can it be right that it’s not just about defending against terrorist threats but also to gain advantage over their allies, for example, in negotiations at G20 summits or UN sessions?”“Our answer can only be: ‘No, that cannot be right’.”

Merkel is set to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin on Friday to discuss “on the transatlantic partnership and global political issues”. The NSA and its surveillance practices are expected to be on the agenda.

“Our views are today far apart,” Merkel said.

In October, Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, where phone tapping was common practice, compared the NSA’s spying to that of the Stasi secret police in the former German Democratic Republic. Following the revelations, Merkel accused the US of a grave breach of trust.

The Chancellor has reiterated that Berlin was now driving efforts for “a European no spying”agreement and new rules to safeguard data privacy.

Since reports about spying emerged, Merkel’s government has been pressing for a “no spying” agreement with Washington. However, the US seems to be reluctant to sign such deal, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported in mid-January, citing a Federal Intelligence Service (BND) employee as saying: “We’re getting nothing.”

Negotiations on an anti-spying agreement began in August last year, after whistleblower Edward Snowden started leaking classified data in June. In her Wednesday speech Angela Merkel still vowed to continue negotiations.

“Many say the attempts for such an agreement are doomed to failure from the outset, an unrealistic endeavour. That may be,” Merkel said. “Certainly the problem won’t be solved by just one visit.”

NSA is after industrial spying – Snowden to German TV

 snowden nsa industrial interview.si NSA is after industrial spying – Snowden to German TV

 

The NSA agency is not preoccupied solely with national security, but also spies on foreign industrial entities in US business interests, former American intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden, has revealed in an interview to German TV.

Edward Snowden chose the German ARD broadcaster to make his first TV interview ever since he became a whistleblower. The interview was made in strict secrecy in an unspecified location in Russia, where Snowden is currently living under temporary asylum.
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“There is no question that the US is engaged in economic spying,” said Snowden, from a teaser aired late on Saturday.
If an industrial giant like Siemens has something that the NSA believes “would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they’ll take it,” the whistleblower said, giving an example.

 

snowden tv interview ard NSA is after industrial spying – Snowden to German TVReuters / Tobias Schwarz

 

Edward Snowden disavowed participation in any future publications of the documents he withdrew from the NSA databanks, saying in the same interview that he no longer possesses any NSA data. The information has been distributed among a number of trustworthy journalists, who are going to decide for themselves what to make public and in what sequence.

The full 30-minute version will be aired at 11pm local time (22:00 UTC) on Sunday right after prime-time talk show, ‘Günther Jauch’.

The former NSA contractor’s revelations about US global spying activities, including snooping on its closest allies, put transatlantic ties “to the test,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel last November and demanded that Washington give Germany clarity over the future of the NSA in the country.

Snowden’s revelation hit Berlin particularly hard because Germany is a non-Anglophone country, and therefore is not a member of the ‘Five eyes’ intelligence alliance that incorporates NSA-equivalent agencies in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Deutsche Welle points out. While members of the ‘Five eyes’ were exchanging intelligence on a regular basis, Berlin had to consider itself satisfied with less data, while both Washington and London, for example, were blatantly listening to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone right in the middle of Germany’s capital.

The Germans – according to polls – have lost confidence in the US as a trustworthy partner, and the majority of them consider NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a hero.

 

snowden nsa industrial interview .si NSA is after industrial spying – Snowden to German TVNational Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade, Maryland (AFP Photo / Jim Watson)

 

In order to mend fences, US President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on German TV. On January 18 President Obama told the ZDF TV channel that “As long as I’m president of the United States, the chancellor of Germany will not have to worry about this.”

Yet Germany remains skeptical about US promises of discontinuing spying on foreign leaders, and is in the vanguard of a number of European countries aiming to change data privacy rules in the EU.

Former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, remains in Russia, where his temporary political asylum status could be extended every year. He has no plans for returning to the US where he would face trial for alleged treason.

“Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it’s unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which through a failure in law did not cover national security contractors like myself,” said Snowden during his public Q&A session last Thursday.