Julian Assange defiant as Sweden drops rape investigation
Hailing an "important victory", he said he was prepared for dialogue with the US and UK authorities. Mr Assange, 45, is wanted in the US over the leaking of military and diplomatic documents. Sweden said on Friday it had decided to drop its rape investigation. Meanwhile Ecuador urged the UK to allow him safe passage out of the country.
WikiLeaks publishes ‘biggest ever leak of secret CIA documents’
The US intelligence agencies are facing fresh embarrassment after WikiLeaks published what it described as the biggest ever leak of confidential documents from the CIA detailing the tools it uses to break into phones, communication apps and other electronic devices.
Oliver Stone talks “Snowden”: NSA leaker is more than a whistleblower; he’s a “lie exposer”
“I know you’re not going to believe this, but I see myself as a storyteller,” said Oliver Stone. The director of “JFK,” “Platoon” and the new political thriller “Snowden” added that he tries to tell stories that others ignore. “There are too many things that are taboo in the American public,” he lamented.
Edward Snowden plea deal with US a possibility, says Eric Holder
The "possibility exists" that Edward Snowden could make a deal with the US Justice Department and return to his home country, former US attorney general Eric Holder says. But a spokeswoman for Loretta Lynch, Holder s replacement, told Yahoo News the Obama administration s position had not changed.
British spies ‘moved after Snowden files read’
UK intelligence agents have been moved because Russia and China have access to classified information which reveals how they operate, a senior government source has told the BBC. According to the Sunday Times, Moscow and Beijing have deciphered documents stolen by whistleblower Edward Snowden
Snowden files ‘read by Russia and China’ 5 questions for UK government
If the UK were to have evidence that Russia and China had managed to penetrate his document cache or that agents had been forced to move, London would have shared this with Washington. The White House would have happily briefed this openly, as would any number of Republican - and even Democratic - members of Congress close to the security services. They would not have stinted. It would have been a full-blown press conference.
US Congress passes surveillance reform in vindication for Edward Snowden
The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would end the bulk collection of millions of Americans' phone records, the most significant surveillance reform for decades and a direct result of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden s revelations to the Guardian two years ago. The passage of the USA Freedom Act paves the way for telecom companies to assume responsibility of the controversial phone records collection program, while also bringing to a close a short lapse in the broad NSA and FBI domestic spying authorities.
Edward Snowden: NSA reform in the US is only the beginning
Edward Snowden has hailed landmark shifts in Congress and the US courts on NSA surveillance but cautioned that much more needs to be done to restore the balance in favour of privacy. He also warned this was only the beginning of reform of the NSA, saying there are still many bulk collection programmes which are "even more intrusive", but expressed hope that the Senate would act to curb the NSA, saying retention of the status quo is untenable.
Assange appeal rejected by Sweden’s supreme court
Sweden s supreme court has rejected an appeal by Julian Assange over his arrest warrant for alleged rape and sexual assault. Sweden issued the warrant in 2010 following allegations from two Swedish women, one who said she was raped and another who alleged sexual assault. The court ruling on Monday means the arrest warrant against the WikiLeaks founder will not now be lifted.
Cover-up claims over revelation that Germany spied on EU partners for US
Germany has been spying and eavesdropping on its closest partners in the EU and passing the information to the US for more than a decade, a parliamentary inquiry in Berlin has found, triggering allegations of lying and cover-ups reaching to the very top of Chancellor Angela Merkel s administration. There was outrage in Germany two years ago over the revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden of US and British surveillance activities in Europe. The fresh disclosures are embarrassing for Berlin, which stands accused of hypocrisy in its protests about America spying on its allies.
WikiLeaks republishes all documents from Sony hacking scandal
WikiLeaks has republished the Sony data from last year s hacking scandal, making all the documents and emails "fully searchable" with a Google-style search engine. The move provides much easier access to the stolen information. Searching the name of, for example, former Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal, whose controversial comments were revealed by the hack, immediately yields nearly 5,700 results.
HSBC files show how Swiss bank helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions
HSBC's Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets, doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities, according to a huge cache of leaked secret bank account files.
Julian Assange: Costs of policing Wikileaks founder reach £10m
Scotland Yard has spent about 10m providing a 24-hour guard at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claimed asylum there, figures show. Mr Assange, who denies allegations he sexually assaulted two women in Sweden, faces arrest if he leaves the embassy. "It is embarrassing to see the UK government spending more on surveillance and detaining an uncharged political refugee than on its investigation into the Iraq war, which killed hundreds of thousands," WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said.
Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for ‘merely linking to hacked material’
In a rebuke to a legion of online supporters and what the journalist and one-time member of Anonymous called a "dangerous precedent", Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison by a federal judge in Dallas on Thursday. Brown s backers from across the web had hoped he would be able to walk free with his 31 months of time served for what they insist was "merely linking to hacked material".
WikiLeaks: not perfect, but more important than ever for free speech
The secret CIA files appeared just before Christmas. One detailed how CIA operatives could maintain cover, using fake IDs, when travelling through foreign airports. Israel s Ben Gurion airport was said to be one of the hardest to trick. The other document, from 2009, was an assessment of the CIA s assassination program. It raised doubts about the effectiveness of the program in reducing terrorism. Likewise with Israel s killing of Palestinians.
Facebook, Google and Apple lobby for curb to NSA surveillance
A coalition of technology and internet companies is lobbying to curb US National Security Agency surveillance powers and for more transparency on government data requests. The Reform Government Surveillance coalition, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Apple, added its support for the race to pass a bill through the US Senate before the end of the year, which would inhibit mass data collection from emails and internet metadata.
WikiLeaks’ free trade documents reveal ‘drastic’ Australian concessions
Secret negotiations over the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement have apparently been breached by another leak of material which shows Australian consumers could pay more for cancer medicines and face criminal penalties for non-commercial copyright breaches. The agreement has the capacity to affect Australian domestic law in many areas, but the secrecy of negotiations means citizens of member countries do not have full access to the Australian government s preferred outcomes.
Julian Assange says he will leave Ecuadorian embassy soon
Julian Assange has rebuffed reports that he is planning to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in order to hand himself in to police, saying only that he will leave "soon". Media reports had surfaced ahead of a press conference on Monday morning suggesting that the WikiLeaks founder intended imminently to give himself up to the British authorities. Assange has been confined in the embassy for more than two years after being granted political asylum
Snowden casts doubt on NSA investigation into security disclosures
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has called into question the competence of the investigation into the aftermath of his disclosures, which was overseen by the NSA s new deputy director, Rick Ledgett. In a new cover story for Wired magazine, the former NSA contractor provided writer James Bamford with previously unreported allegations of NSA cyberattack tools, including a piece of software, codenamed MonsterMind, that would automate a hostile response when it detected a network intrusion. He also alleged that a 2012 incident that took Syria's internet offline was the fault of the NSA.
Edward Snowden given permission to stay in Russia for three more years
Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower, has been given permission to stay in Russia for three more years and will be allowed to travel abroad for three-month stints. His Russian lawyer told reporters that Snowden, whose temporary asylum ran out on 1 August, has received a three-year residence permit.
Edward Snowden urges professionals to encrypt client communications
The NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has urged lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants, priests and others with a duty to protect confidentiality to upgrade security in the wake of the spy surveillance revelations. Snowden said professionals were failing in their obligations to their clients, sources, patients and parishioners in what he described as a new and challenging world.
Germany demands answers from US after arrest of suspected double agent
The White House and state department have so far declined to comment on the arrest of a 31-year-old employee of Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency, who has admitted passing documents to a US contact, according to intelligence and political sources. That includes information about a parliamentary committee looking into allegations by the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that Washington carried out major surveillance in Germany, including monitoring the phone of the chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Edward Snowden should have right to legal defence in US, says Hillary Clinton
The former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has said Edward Snowden should have the right to launch a legal and public defence of his decision to leak top-secret documents if he returns to the United States. "If he wishes to return knowing he would be held accountable and also able to present a defence, that is his decision to make," Clinton said in a video interview with the Guardian on Friday.
NSA reformers dismayed after privacy board vindicates surveillance dragnet
Civil libertarians saw their hopes for curtailing the National Security Agency's massive digital surveillance program dimmed in the wake of a report from a US government privacy board vindicating much of the international communications dragnet. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) voted Wednesday to adopt a 200-page report on the NSA's so-called "702" powers, which include the widespread collection of foreign email, voice and text messages and Americans' international calls.
Julian Assange to file fresh challenge in effort to escape two-year legal limbo
Lawyers for Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who on Thursday marks his second anniversary holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, are preparing to file a challenge to his detention order in Sweden in a move that could impact the state of legal limbo in which he is trapped
Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks ‘an important service’, says Al Gore
Edward Snowden has secured his highest endorsement yet in the US when former vice-president Al Gore described the leaking of top secret intelligence documents as "an important service". Asked if he regarded Snowden as a traitor or whistleblower, Gore veered away from the "traitor" label. He refused to go as far as labelling him a whistleblower but signalled he viewed him as being closer to that category than a traitor, saying: "What he revealed in the course of violating important laws included violations of the US constitution that were way more serious than the crimes he committed."
Edward Snowden, a year on reformers frustrated as NSA preserves its power
Senior leaders at the agency say that Snowden thrust them into a new era. The NSA, adept at cultivating a low profile, is now globally infamous so much so that even Snowden, in his recent NBC interview, cautioned against writing the agency off as a voracious privacy-killing monstrosity. James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, said the intelligence agencies need to grant a greater degree of transparency or risk losing public confidence permanently.
NSA chief Michael Rogers: Edward Snowden ‘probably not’ a foreign spy
The new director of the National Security Agency says he believes whistleblower Edward Snowden was "probably not" working for a foreign intelligence agency, despite frequent speculation and assertion by the NSA's allies to the contrary. In one of his first public remarks since becoming NSA director in April, Admiral Michael Rogers, who also leads the military s cybersecurity and cyberattack command, distanced himself on Tuesday from contentions that Snowden is or has been a spy for Russia or another intelligence service.
Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden would not get a fair trial – and Kerry is wrong
Edward Snowden is the greatest patriot whistleblower of our time, and he knows what I learned more than four decades ago: until the Espionage Act gets reformed, he can never come home safe and receive justice
NSA releases email in dispute over Snowden ‘internal whistleblowing’
Snowden told interviewer Brian Williams: "I actually did go through channels, and that is documented. The NSA has records, they have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA's interpretations of its legal authorities. "The response, more or less, in bureaucratic language, was: You should stop asking questions."
NSA releases email in dispute over Snowden ‘internal whistleblowing’ World news theguardian.com
The National Security Agency has disputed Edward Snowden's insistence that he made efforts to raise his concerns about its surveillance practices internally before he decided to go public. Releasing an email exchange it claimed to be the only record it could find of such an effort by Snowden, the agency said on Thursday he was merely "asking for an explanation of some material that was in a training course he had just completed". Six months ago, the agency issued a statement saying it had "not found any evidence to support Mr Snowden's contention that he brought these matters to anyone's attention".
Snowden unlikely to ‘man up’ in face of Espionage Act, legal adviser says
An adviser to Edward Snowden said on Wednesday that an unfair legal landscape made it unlikely that the NSA whistleblower would take US secretary of state John Kerry up on his invitation to "man up" and return to the United States
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald
This is a review of Glenn Greenwal's book "No place to hide" - Snowden's revelations challenge us to reflect on the ideal balance between the power of the state to know and the right of the individual to go about her or his business unencumbered, and this in turn raises fundamental questions about the power of the media, on which Greenwald has strong views, usually (but not always) fairly articulated.
NSA surveillance reform bill passes House by 303 votes to 121
The first legislation aimed specifically at curbing US surveillance abuses revealed by Edward Snowden passed the House of Representatives on Thursday, with a majority of both Republicans and Democrats. But last-minute efforts by intelligence community loyalists to weaken key language in the USA Freedom Act led to a larger-than-expected rebellion by members of Congress, with the measure passing by 303 votes to 121.
Pentagon report: scope of intelligence compromised by Snowden ‘staggering’
A top-secret Pentagon report to assess the damage to national security from the leak of classified National Security Agency documents by Edward Snowden concluded that "the scope of the compromised knowledge related to US intelligence capabilities is staggering". But while the DIA report describes the damage to US intelligence capabilities as "grave", the government still refuses to release any specific details to support this conclusion. The entire impact assessment was redacted from the material released to the Guardian under a presidential order that protects classified information and several other Foia exemptions.
Glenn Greenwald: ‘I don’t trust the UK not to arrest me. Their behaviour has been extreme’
He has been lauded and vilified in equal measure. But did the journalist's 'outsider' status help him land Edward Snowden's NSA revelations? Why did he nearly miss the story? And how powerless did he feel when his partner was detained at Heathrow? One year after the scoop, we meet him in his jungle paradise in Rio
MPs: Snowden files are ’embarrassing indictment’ of British spying oversight
Edward Snowden's disclosures of the scale of mass surveillance are "an embarrassing indictment" of the weak nature of the oversight and legal accountability of Britain's security and intelligence agencies, MPs have concluded. A highly critical report by the Commons home affairs select committee published on Friday calls for a radical reform of the current system of oversight of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, arguing that the current system is so ineffective it is undermining the credibility of the intelligence agencies and parliament itself
Everyone is under surveillance now, says whistleblower Edward Snowden
The US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has warned that entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance. "It's no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing," he said. "It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love."
Germany blocks Edward Snowden from testifying in person in NSA inquiry
The German government has blocked Edward Snowden from giving personal evidence in front of a parliamentary inquiry into NSA surveillance, it has emerged hours before Angela Merkel travels to Washington for a meeting with Barack Obama. In a letter to members of a parliamentary committee obtained by S ddeutsche Zeitung, government officials say a personal invitation for the US whistleblower would "run counter to the political interests of the Federal Republic", and "put a grave and permanent strain" on US-German relations.
Merkel urged to press Obama on NSA scandal ahead of Washington talks
Angela Merkel should ask Barack Obama to destroy her NSA file when she meets the American president in Washington this week, a leading German opposition politician has told the Guardian. The Greens warn that failure to address the intelligence monitor scandal would risk undermining the credibility of the western alliance during the Ukraine crisis
Edward Snowden defends decision to question Vladimir Putin on surveillance
Edward Snowden has defended his decision to appear on live Russian television, insisting his question to Vladimir Putin on mass surveillance was designed to hold the Russian president accountable and not, as critics have suggested, an act of compliant propaganda.
Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama says Edward Snowden
On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: "Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals' communications?" I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.
Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations
The Guardian and the Washington Post have been awarded the highest accolade in US journalism, winning the Pulitzer prize for public service for their groundbreaking articles on the National Security Agency s surveillance activities based on the leaks of Edward Snowden.
Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald address US campaigners via video
In Chicago, a sympathetic crowd of nearly 1,000 packed a downtown hotel ballroom at Amnesty International USA's annual human rights meeting and gave Greenwald, who dialled in from Brazil, a raucous welcome before Snowden was patched in 15 minutes later to a standing ovation. The pair cautioned that government monitoring of "metadata" is more intrusive than directly listening to phone calls or reading emails and stressed the importance of a free press willing to scrutinise government activity.
Snowden welcomes Obama’s plans for NSA reform as ‘turning point’
The National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has welcomed plans by Barack Obama to end the practice of systematically storing Americans telephone data. In a statement through the American Civil Liberties Union, Snowden said the plans outlined by Obama were a turning point . Obama confirmed on Tuesday that the US plans to end the NSA s bulk collection of Americans telephone records, admitting that trust in country s intelligence services had been shaken and pledging to address the concerns of privacy advocates.
Obama meets tech giants to discuss concerns over NSA surveillance
The president sought to provide reassurances that the administration is putting in place reforms to intelligence collection after revelations of widespread collection of data stirred outrage. "The president reiterated his administration's commitment to taking steps that can give people greater confidence that their rights are being protected while preserving important tools that keep us safe," the White House said.
Britain is treating journalists as terrorists – believe me, I know
Free speech and freedom of the press are under attack in the UK. I cannot return to England, my country, because of my journalistic work with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and at WikiLeaks. There are things I feel I cannot even write. For instance, if I were to say that I hoped my work at WikiLeaks would change government behaviour, this journalistic work could be considered a crime under the UK Terrorism Act of 2000.
Top Democrat on House intelligence panel offers new NSA reform plan
Supporters of a stalled congressional effort to end the National Security Agency s bulk collection of Americans metadata are looking warily at an alternative proposal by a key NSA advocate purporting to seek the same goal. This week, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who represents the Maryland district home to the NSA s Fort Meade headquarters, came out in favor of a remedy for the controversial surveillance.
Tim Berners-Lee ‘We should have ways of protecting people like Snowden’
Because he ? had no other alternative ? engaged as a journalist / with a journalist to be careful of how what was released, and ? provided an important net overall benefit to the world, I think he should be protected, and we should have ways of protecting people like him. Because we can try to design perfect systems of government, and they will never be perfect, and when they fail, then the whistleblower may be all that saves society.
Snowden accuses Senate intelligence chair of hypocrisy over CIA disclosures
The whistleblower Edward Snowden accused the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee of double standards on Tuesday, pointing out that her outrage at evidence her staff were spied on by the CIA was not matched by concern about widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens.
Edward Snowden discusses NSA leaks at SXSW ‘I would do it again’
Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose unprecedented leak of top-secret documents led to a worldwide debate about the nature of surveillance, insisted on Monday that his actions had improved the national security of the United States rather than undermined it, and declared that he would do it all again despite the personal sacrifices he had endured.
Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ
Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal. GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.
George Brandis refuses to back up claim that Snowden put lives at risk
Australia s attorney general, George Brandis, has told a Senate committee he is unable to provide confidential details to substantiate his claim that disclosures by the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have put lives at risk. Brandis also said on Monday he had no hesitation in describing Snowden as a "traitor", arguing the National Security Agency (NSA) leaker had betrayed his country and prejudiced the interests of its intelligence partners.
Julian Assange “Ghost Writer” tells all on Assange
I asked him if he had a working title yet and he said, to laughter, Yes. Ban This Book: From Swedish Whores to Pentagon Bores . It was interesting to see how he parried with some notion of himself as a public figure, as a rock star really, when all the activists I ve ever known tend to see themselves as marginal and possibly eccentric figures. Assange referred a number of times to the fact that people were in love with him, but I couldn t see the coolness, the charisma he took for granted. He spoke at length about his enemies , mainly the Guardian and the New York Times.
Snowden plea bargain speculation played down by ex-CIA and NSA chief
The former head of the CIA and the NSA, General Michael Hayden, dampened speculation on Monday that the US might offer a plea bargain to Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower. Hayden, speaking at an Oxford University lecture, said that while deals had been done with other leakers in the past, he detected little enthusiasm for such a deal for Snowden.
How Edward Snowden went from loyal NSA contractor to whistleblower
In late December 2001, someone calling themselves TheTrueHOOHA had a question. He was an 18-year-old American male with impressive IT skills and a sharp intelligence. His real identity was unknown. Everyone who posted on Ars Technica, a popular technology website, did so anonymously. Now we know this person was Edward Snowden. He was politically conservative, a gun owner, a geek - and the man behind the biggest intelligence leak in history.
German TV Edward Snowden says NSA is involved in industrial sabotage
The National Security Agency is involved in industrial espionage and will take intelligence regardless of its value to national security, the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has told a German television network. In text released ahead of a lengthy interview to be broadcast on Sunday, the public broadcaster ARD TV quoted Snowden saying the NSA does not limit its espionage to issues of national security and citing the German engineering firm Siemens as one target.
US hints at Edward Snowden plea bargain to allow return from Russia
The attorney general, Eric Holder, has indicated that the US could allow the national security whistleblower Edward Snowden to return from Russia under negotiated terms, saying he was prepared to "engage in conversation" with him. Holder said in an MSNBC interview that full clemency would be "going too far", but his comments suggest that US authorities are prepared to discuss a possible plea bargain with Snowden, who is living in exile in Russia.
Intelligence chair NSA leaker Edward Snowden may have had Russian help
Russia may have helped the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to reveal details of surveillance programmes and escape US authorities last year, the chairman of the House intelligence committee claimed on Sunday. Mike Rogers, a Republican representative from Michigan, interviewed by NBC s Meet the Press, said Snowden was a thief whom we believe had some help , and added that there was an ongoing investigation into whether Russia had aided Snowden.
Democracy needs whistleblowers. That’s why I broke into the FBI in 1971
Looking back on what we did, there are obvious parallels with what Edward Snowden has done in releasing National Security Agency documents that show the NSA's blanket surveillance of Americans. I think Snowden's a legitimate whistleblower, and I guess we could be called whistleblowers as well.
Napolitano: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden should not be given clemency
The former secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano on Sunday added her voice to opposition to clemency or a plea deal being offered to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked thousands of documents on the agency's surveillance operations to media outlets including the Guardian. Also on Sunday, the Republican senator Rand Paul, who has advocated a softer line on Snowden than many in his party, said he thought the whistleblower "probably would come home for a few years in prison".
Snowden affair the case for a pardon
Mr Snowden - through journalists, in the absence of meaningful, reliable democratic oversight - had given people enough knowledge about the nature of modern intelligence-gathering to allow an informed debate. Voters might, in fact, decide they were prepared to put privacy above security - but at least they could make that choice on the basis of information.
NSA ‘hacking unit’ infiltrates computers around the world
A top-secret National Security Agency hacking unit infiltrates computers around the world and breaks into the toughest data targets, according to internal documents quoted in a magazine report on Sunday. Details of how the division, known as Tailored Access Operations (TAO), steals data and inserts invisible "back door" spying devices into computer systems were published by the German magazine Der Spiegel.
The primary NSA issue isn’t privacy, it’s authority
I worry that the judges, as well as many commentators and Edward Snowden himself, may be debating on the wrong plane. I see some danger in arguing the case as a matter of privacy because I fear that could have serious impact on our concept of knowledge, of what is allowed to be known and thus of freedom of speech. Instead, I think this is an argument about authority - not so much what government (or anyone else) is allowed to know but what government, holding unique powers, is allowed to do with what it knows.
NSA mass collection of phone data is legal, federal judge rules
A legal battle over the scope of US government surveillance took a turn in favour of the National Security Agency on Friday with a court opinion declaring that bulk collection of telephone data does not violate the constitution. The judgement, in a case brought before a district court in New York by the American Civil Liberties Union, directly contradicts the result of a similar challenge in a Washington court last week which ruled the NSA's bulk collection program was likely to prove unconstitutional and was "almost Orwellian" in scale.
Internet privacy as important as human rights, says UN’s Navi Pillay
The UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has compared the uproar in the international community caused by revelations of mass surveillance with the collective response that helped bring down the apartheid regime in South Africa. Pillay, the first non-white woman to serve as a high-court judge in South Africa, made the comments in an interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee on a special edition of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, which the inventor of the world wide web was guest editing.
Edward Snowden declares ‘mission accomplished’ in Moscow interview
In 14 hours of interviews with Washington Post journalist Barton Gellman, Snowden said: "For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission's already accomplished." He continued: "I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.
GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief
British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU's competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top secret documents reveal.
Obama: Snowden leaks caused ‘unnecessary damage’
Barack Obama has declined to be drawn into a debate about possible amnesty for Edward Snowden, the whistleblower whose revelations about the NSA have sparked intense internal deliberation about changing US surveillance activities. In a press conference at the White House, the president distinguished between Snowden s leaks and the debate those leaks prompted, which he said was "an important conversation we needed to have", but left open the question of whether he should still be prosecuted.
Tech companies call for ‘aggressive’ NSA reforms at White House meeting
The top leaders from world s biggest technology companies called on the US to "move aggressively" to reform the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance operations after discussions with President Obama on Tuesday, resisting attempts by the White House to portray the encounter as covering a range of broader priorities.
Edward Snowden: MEPs vote to invite ex-NSA contractor to testify
The European parliament has voted to formally invite Edward Snowden to give testimony on NSA spying, despite opposition from conservative MEPs. If the US whistleblower provides answers to the questions compiled by parliamentarians in time, a hearing via video link could take place in early January.
Jeremy Hammond: FBI directed my attacks on foreign government sites
The Anonymous hacktivist sentenced on Friday to 10 years in federal prison for his role in releasing thousands of emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor has told a Manhattan court that he was directed by an FBI informant to break into the official websites of several governments around the world.
GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance
The German, French, Spanish and Swedish intelligence services have all developed methods of mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic over the past five years in close partnership with Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency. The bulk monitoring is carried out through direct taps into fibre optic cables and the development of covert relationships with telecommunications companies.
Germany hopes for details from Snowden on US spying
The German government says it is keen to hear directly from the fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about the US spy agency's activities. Reports that the US bugged Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone for years have caused a diplomatic rift. Mr Snowden's lawyer said there could be a meeting with German investigators in Moscow, but not Germany
Edward Snowden: US would have buried NSA warnings forever
Edward Snowden, the source of National Security Agency leaks, has insisted that he decided to become a whistleblower and flee America because he had no faith in the internal reporting mechanisms of the US government, which he believed would have destroyed him and buried his message for ever.
Chelsea Manning rejects ‘pacifist’ label in first statement since sentencing
Chelsea Manning, the WikiLeaks source formerly known as Bradley Manning, has expressed intense unhappiness at the public profile that is being presented about her, warning that a false impression is being given to the outside world that she is an anti-war pacifist and conscientious objector.
Edward Snowden has started a global debate. So why the silence in Britain
The Brazilian president cancels a state visit to Washington. The German justice minister talks of "a Hollywood nightmare". His chancellor, Angela Merkel, ponders offering Edward Snowden asylum. The EU may even end the "safe harbour" directive which would force US-based computer servers to relocate to European regulation. Russians and Chinese, so often accused of cyber-espionage, hop with glee. In response, an embarrassed Barack Obama pleads for debate and a review of the Patriot Acts.
Fisa judge: Snowden’s NSA disclosures triggered important spying debate
The court that oversees US surveillance has ordered the government to review for declassification a set of secret rulings about the National Security Agency's bulk trawls of Americans' phone records, acknowledging that disclosures by the whistleblower Edward Snowden had triggered an important public debate.
NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel
The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.
Microsoft and Yahoo voice alarm over NSA’s assault on internet encryption
Two of the world's biggest technology companies, Microsoft and Yahoo, expressed deep concern on Friday about widespread attempts by the US and UK intelligence services to circumvent the online security systems that protect the privacy of millions of people online.
Jailed activist Barrett Brown to fight government attempt at media gag order
The US attorney Sarah Saldana will call on the federal court for the northern district of Texas, in Dallas, to impose a stringent gagging order on Brown and his lawyers. Brown faces up to 100 years in prison for alleged offences relating to his work exposing online surveillance.
Julian Assange told stop using embassy to make fun of politicians
Julian Assange has been told to stop using the Ecuadorean embassy in London to poke fun at Australian politicians as part of his Senate election bid, it has been reported. The South American nation's president, Rafael Correa, chastised Assange after a video appeared online in which the WikiLeaks founder - along with Juice Rap News - ridiculed Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
UK government given Tuesday deadline over David Miranda data
The high court has given the government until Tuesday night to provide detailed evidence about why it wants the right to trawl and share data seized using terror laws from the partner of a Guardian journalist. Lord Justice Beatson and Judge Kenneth Parker said in a judgment outlining their decision to allow the police to continue accessing material taken from David Miranda that the ruling was made because while they could not judge the strength of the government's claims about the national security risks the material would pose if disclosed, they did have "serious assertions by responsible persons".
Bradley Manning ‘I am a woman named Chelsea’
Bradley Manning, the US soldier who leaked secret US government documents to the Wikileaks website, has announced he wants to live as a woman. "I am Chelsea Manning," Pte First Class Manning, 25, said in a statement to NBC's Today programme. "I am a female." He said he had felt female since childhood, wanted at once to begin hormone therapy, and wished to be addressed as Chelsea. He has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for crimes including espionage.
Bradley Manning given 35-year prison term for passing files to WikiLeaks
Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks. The sentence was more severe than many observers expected, and is much longer than any punishment given to any previous US government leaker
David Miranda ‘They said I would be put in jail if I didn’t co-operate’
David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist who broke stories of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency, has accused Britain of a "total abuse of power" for interrogating him for almost nine hours at Heathrow under the Terrorism Act - was held for the maximum time permitted under schedule seven of the Terrorism Act 2000 which allows officers to stop, search and question individuals at airports, ports and border areas. During that time, he said, he was not allowed to call his partner, who is a qualified lawyer in the US, nor was he given an interpreter, despite being promised one because he felt uncomfortable speaking in a second language.
US government requests Bradley Manning be sentenced to 60 years
The US government has urged a military judge to sentence Bradley Manning to 60 years in prison, arguing that the solider, who leaked a huge collection of classified documents to WikiLeaks, "deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life" in custody.
Bradley Manning’s leaks ‘wanton and reckless’, judge says
The military judge who will determine how long Bradley Manning will spend in prison for the biggest breach of classified data in the nation's history said Friday she found that his acts were "wanton and reckless." "Manning's conduct was of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others. His conduct was both wanton and reckless," Lind said in a series of written findings issued after prosecutors finished their sentencing arguments on Friday.
Bradley Manning flipped a table during counseling, defence tells hearing
Manning's defence team is expected to ask for leniency from the court-martial by arguing he was na ve but well-intentioned, and that his supervisors failed to properly supervise him or act upon warning signs that he was losing control. In pre-trial hearings, Coombs made an issue of Manning's fragile emotional state at the time he made the leaks - as well as his confusion over his gender.
Edward Snowden not in Moscow, say Russian authorities
A shroud of mystery has surrounded American whistleblower Edward Snowden's whereabouts since he received temporary asylum in Russia last week, but migration authorities have let slip that he is not in Moscow. On Tuesday, Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said the National Security Agency leaker had registered his place of residence with the authorities, as all foreigners must do, but did not divulge the location out of concern for his safety.