Tag Archives: nsa

Spy agencies attack game services similar to XBOX Live

The NSA could not get enough information from cable hacks and other means. So they decided to use a new technique, invading video games and spying on players.

 

The agencies, the documents show, have built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network, which has more than 48 million players. Real-life agents have been deployed into virtual realms, from those Orc hordes in World of Warcraft to the human avatars of Second Life. There were attempts, too, to recruit potential informants from the games’ tech-friendly users.

Online gaming is big business, attracting tens of millions of users worldwide who inhabit their digital worlds as make-believe characters, living and competing with the avatars of other players. What the intelligence agencies feared, however, was that among these clans of elves and goblins, terrorists were lurking

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/09/nsa-spies-online-games-world-warcraft-second-life

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How a Purse Snatching Led to the Legal Justification for NSA Domestic Spying | Threat Level | Wired.com

It began as an ordinary purse snatching. On an early Baltimore morning in 1976, a local street thug crouched alongside his green Monte Carlo, pretending to change a flat, biding his time. Finally, a young woman passed by walking alone to her suburban home. Smith wrenched her handbag from her grasp, jumped into his car and tore off down the street before the young victim could glimpse his license plate.

The perp, Michael Lee Smith, was apprehended weeks later, thanks in part to the police department’s use of a machine known as a “pen register” to track the threatening phone calls the assailant had started making to his victim. The court wrangling that followed, however, would continue for three years, and eventually land on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1979 the court upheld Smith’s conviction, and his 10-year prison term.

Almost 35 years later, the court’s decision — in a case involving the recording of a single individual’s phone records — turns out to be the basis for a legal rationale justifying governmental spying on virtually all Americans. Smith v. Maryland, as the case is titled, set the binding precedent for what we now call metadata surveillance. That, in turn, has recently been revealed to be the keystone of the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. telephone data, in which the government chronicles every phone call originating or terminating in the United States, all in the name of the war on terror.

“When they started quoting Smith in the NSA investigation and inquiry, I was flabbergasted,” says James Gitomer, who was one of Smith’s two lawyers at the Supreme Court. ”I don’t think this case should be used as the foundation to justify the NSA. It doesn’t apply.”

via How a Purse Snatching Led to the Legal Justification for NSA Domestic Spying | Threat Level | Wired.com.

LOVEINT: On his first day of work, NSA employee spied on ex-girlfriend

In 2005, a National Security Agency employee was given his first day of access to the United States’ SIGINT (signals intelligence) capability. So what did he do with his vast powers?

According to a newly published letter (PDF) by the NSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG), “he queried six e-mail addresses belonging to a former girlfriend, a U.S. person, without authorization.”

An internal NSA audit four days later revealed this violation. His punishment?

“A reduction in grade, 45 days restriction, 45 days of extra duty, and half pay for two months. It was recommended that the subject not be given a security clearance.”

via LOVEINT: On his first day of work, NSA employee spied on ex-girlfriend | Ars Technica.