February 21, 2015

We Are Shining X Eliza Doolittle - "Killing" (Official Video)



If you can watch this video without looking away, flinching, or gasping you're made of tougher stuff than us here at Noisey. London-based production duo We Are Shining first came to our attention thanks to last year's "Hey You" 12" released via XL Recordings' offshoot Young Turks (The xx, SBTRKT, FKA Twigs). 

Their MO is groove rooted electronica—a blend of tribal beats, slapped palms and a heavy dose of soul. The pair's latest track, "Killing," is lifted from their forthcoming mixtape and features British singer Eliza Doolittle (last heard on Disclosure's smash "You & Me"). 

And the video? It's simple in concept, insane in practice and stars knife thrower John Taylor and blade dodging dancer Shannelle 'Tali' Fergus, who is basically the bravest girl around.

https://www.facebook.com/weareshining...
https://soundcloud.com/weareshining
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February 20, 2015

HOW SPIES STOLE THE KEYS TO THE ENCRYPTION CASTLE


AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world's cellular communications, including both voice and data.

The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands that makes the chips used in mobile phones and next-generation credit cards. Among its clients are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers around the world. The company operates in 85 countries and has more than 40 manufacturing facilities. One of its three global headquarters is in Austin, Texas and it has a large factory in Pennsylvania.

In all, Gemalto produces some 2 billion SIM cards a year. Its motto is "Security to be Free."

With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider's network that the communications were intercepted. Bulk key theft additionally enables the intelligence agencies to unlock any previously encrypted communications they had already intercepted, but did not yet have the ability to decrypt.

As part of the covert operations against Gemalto, spies from GCHQ — with support from the NSA — mined the private communications of unwitting engineers and other company employees in multiple countries.

Gemalto was totally oblivious to the penetration of its systems — and the spying on its employees. "I'm disturbed, quite concerned that this has happened," Paul Beverly, a Gemalto executive vice president, told The Intercept. "The most important thing for me is to understand exactly how this was done, so we can take every measure to ensure that it doesn't happen again, and also to make sure that there's no impact on the telecom operators that we have served in a very trusted manner for many years. What I want to understand is what sort of ramifications it has, or could have, on any of our customers." He added that "the most important thing for us now is to understand the degree" of the breach.

Leading privacy advocates and security experts say that the theft of encryption keys from major wireless network providers is tantamount to a thief obtaining the master ring of a building superintendent who holds the keys to every apartment. "Once you have the keys, decrypting traffic is trivial," says Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union. "The news of this key theft will send a shock wave through the security community."



THE MASSIVE KEY THEFT IS "BAD NEWS FOR PHONE SECURITY. REALLY BAD NEWS."
Beverly said that after being contacted by The Intercept, Gemalto's internal security team began on Wednesday to investigate how their system was penetrated and could find no trace of the hacks. When asked if the NSA or GCHQ had ever requested access to Gemalto-manufactured encryption keys, Beverly said, "I am totally unaware. To the best of my knowledge, no."

According to one secret GCHQ slide, the British intelligence agency penetrated Gemalto's internal networks, planting malware on several computers, giving GCHQ secret access. We "believe we have their entire network," the slide's author boasted about the operation against Gemalto.

Additionally, the spy agency targeted unnamed cellular companies' core networks, giving it access to "sales staff machines for customer information and network engineers machines for network maps." GCHQ also claimed the ability to manipulate the billing servers of cell companies to "suppress" charges in an effort to conceal the spy agency's secret actions against an individual's phone. Most significantly, GCHQ also penetrated "authentication servers," allowing it to decrypt data and voice communications between a targeted individual's phone and his or her telecom provider's network. A note accompanying the slide asserted that the spy agency was "very happy with the data so far and [was] working through the vast quantity of product."

The Mobile Handset Exploitation Team (MHET), whose existence has never before been disclosed, was formed in April 2010 to target vulnerabilities in cellphones. One of its main missions was to covertly penetrate computer networks of corporations that manufacture SIM cards, as well as those of wireless network providers. The team included operatives from both GCHQ and the NSA.

While the FBI and other U.S. agencies can obtain court orders compelling U.S.-based telecom companies to allow them to wiretap or intercept the communications of their customers, on the international front this type of data collection is much more challenging. Unless a foreign telecom or foreign government grants access to their citizens' data to a U.S. intelligence agency, the NSA or CIA would have to hack into the network or specifically target the user's device for a more risky "active" form of surveillance that could be detected by sophisticated targets. Moreover, foreign intelligence agencies would not allow U.S. or U.K. spy agencies access to the mobile communications of their heads of state or other government officials.

"It's unbelievable. Unbelievable," said Gerard Schouw, a member of the Dutch Parliament, when told of the spy agencies' actions. Schouw, the intelligence spokesperson for D66, the largest opposition party in the Netherlands, told The Intercept, "We don't want to have the secret services from other countries doing things like this." Schouw added that he and other lawmakers will ask the Dutch government to provide an official explanation and to clarify whether the country's intelligence services were aware of the targeting of Gemalto, whose official headquarters is in Amsterdam.

Last November, the Dutch government proposed an amendment to its constitution to include explicit protection for the privacy of digital communications, including those made on mobile devices. "We have, in the Netherlands, a law on the [activities] of secret services. And hacking is not allowed," Schouw said. Under Dutch law, the interior minister would have to sign off on such operations by foreign governments' intelligence agencies. "I don't believe that he has given his permission for these kind of actions."

The U.S. and British intelligence agencies pulled off the encryption key heist in great stealth, giving them the ability to intercept and decrypt communications without alerting the wireless network provider, the foreign government or the individual user that they have been targeted. "Gaining access to a database of keys is pretty much game over for cellular encryption," says Matthew Green, a cryptography specialist at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute. The massive key theft is "bad news for phone security. Really bad news."

att_sim
AS CONSUMERS BEGAN to adopt cellular phones en masse in the mid-1990s, there were no effective privacy protections in place. Anyone could buy a cheap device from RadioShack capable of intercepting calls placed on mobile phones. The shift from analog to digital networks introduced basic encryption technology, though it was still crackable by tech savvy computer science graduate students, as well as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, using readily available equipment.

Today, second-generation (2G) phone technology, which relies on a deeply flawed encryption system, remains the dominant platform globally, though U.S. and European cellphone companies now use 3G, 4G and LTE technology in urban areas. These include more secure, though not invincible, methods of encryption, and wireless carriers throughout the world are upgrading their networks to use these newer technologies.

It is in the context of such growing technical challenges to data collection that intelligence agencies, such as the NSA, have become interested in acquiring cellular encryption keys. "With old-fashioned [2G], there are other ways to work around cellphone security without those keys," says Green, the Johns Hopkins cryptographer. "With newer 3G, 4G and LTE protocols, however, the algorithms aren't as vulnerable, so getting those keys would be essential."

The privacy of all mobile communications — voice calls, text messages and Internet access — depends on an encrypted connection between the cellphone and the wireless carrier's network, using keys stored on the SIM, a tiny chip smaller than a postage stamp, which is inserted into the phone. All mobile communications on the phone depend on the SIM, which stores and guards the encryption keys created by companies like Gemalto. SIM cards can be used to store contacts, text messages, and other important data, like one's phone number. In some countries, SIM cards are used to transfer money. As The Intercept reported last year, having the wrong SIM card can make you the target of a drone strike.

SIM cards were not invented to protect individual communications — they were designed to do something much simpler: ensure proper billing and prevent fraud, which was pervasive in the early days of cellphones. Soghoian compares the use of encryption keys on SIM cards to the way Social Security numbers are used today. "Social security numbers were designed in the 1930s to track your contributions to your government pension," he says. "Today they are used as a quasi national identity number, which was never their intended purpose."

Because the SIM card wasn't created with call confidentiality in mind, the manufacturers and wireless carriers don't make a great effort to secure their supply chain. As a result, the SIM card is an extremely vulnerable component of a mobile phone. "I doubt anyone is treating those things very carefully," says Green. "Cell companies probably don't treat them as essential security tokens. They probably just care that nobody is defrauding their networks." The ACLU's Soghoian adds, "These keys are so valuable that it makes sense for intel agencies to go after them."

As a general rule, phone companies do not manufacture SIM cards, nor program them with secret encryption keys. It is cheaper and more efficient for them to outsource this sensitive step in the SIM card production process. They purchase them in bulk with the keys pre-loaded by other corporations. Gemalto is the largest of these SIM "personalization" companies.

After a SIM card is manufactured, the encryption key, known as a "Ki," is burned directly onto the chip. A copy of the key is also given to the cellular provider, allowing its network to recognize an individual's phone. In order for the phone to be able to connect to the wireless carrier's network, the phone — with the help of the SIM — authenticates itself using the Ki that has been programmed onto the SIM. The phone conducts a secret "handshake" that validates that the Ki on the SIM matches the Ki held by the mobile company. Once that happens, the communications between the phone and the network are encrypted. Even if GCHQ or the NSA were to intercept the phone signals as they are transmitted through the air, the intercepted data would be a garbled mess. Decrypting it can be challenging and time-consuming. Stealing the keys, on the other hand, is beautifully simple, from the intelligence agencies' point of view, as the pipeline for producing and distributing SIM cards was never designed to thwart mass surveillance efforts.

One of the creators of the encryption protocol that is widely used today for securing emails, Adi Shamir, famously asserted: "Cryptography is typically bypassed, not penetrated." In other words, it is much easier (and sneakier) to open a locked door when you have the key than it is to break down the door using brute force. While the NSA and GCHQ have substantial resources dedicated to breaking encryption, it is not the only way — and certainly not always the most efficient — to get at the data they want. "NSA has more mathematicians on its payroll than any other entity in the U.S.," says the ACLU's Soghoian. "But the NSA's hackers are way busier than its mathematicians."

GCHQ and the NSA could have taken any number of routes to steal SIM encryption keys and other data. They could have physically broken into a manufacturing plant. They could have broken into a wireless carrier's office. They could have bribed, blackmailed or coerced an employee of the manufacturer or cellphone provider. But all of that comes with substantial risk of exposure. In the case of Gemalto, hackers working for GCHQ remotely penetrated the company's computer network in order to steal the keys in bulk as they were en route to the wireless network providers.

SIM card "personalization" companies like Gemalto ship hundreds of thousands of SIM cards at a time to mobile phone operators across the world. International shipping records obtained by The Intercept show that in 2011, Gemalto shipped 450,000 smart cards from its plant in Mexico to Germany's Deutsche Telekom in just one shipment.

In order for the cards to work and for the phones' communications to be secure, Gemalto also needs to provide the mobile company with a file containing the encryption keys for each of the new SIM cards. These master key files could be shipped via FedEx, DHL, UPS or another snail mail provider. More commonly, they could be sent via email or through File Transfer Protocol, FTP, a method of sending files over the Internet.

The moment the master key set is generated by Gemalto or another personalization company, but before it is sent to the wireless carrier, is the most vulnerable moment for interception. "The value of getting them at the point of manufacture is you can presumably get a lot of keys in one go, since SIM chips get made in big batches," says Green, the cryptographer. "SIM cards get made for lots of different carriers in one facility." In Gemalto's case, GCHQ hit the jackpot, as the company manufactures SIMs for hundreds of wireless network providers, including all of the leading U.S.— and many of the largest European — companies.

But obtaining the encryption keys while Gemalto still held them required finding a way into the company's internal systems.


Diagram from a top-secret GCHQ slide.
TOP-SECRET GCHQ documents reveal that the intelligence agencies accessed the email and Facebook accounts of engineers and other employees of major telecom corporations and SIM card manufacturers in an effort to secretly obtain information that could give them access to millions of encryption keys. They did this by utilizing the NSA's X-KEYSCORE program, which allowed them access to private emails hosted by the SIM card and mobile companies' servers, as well as those of major tech corporations, including Yahoo and Google.

In effect, GCHQ clandestinely cyberstalked Gemalto employees, scouring their emails in an effort to find people who may have had access to the company's core networks and Ki-generating systems. The intelligence agency's goal was to find information that would aid in breaching Gemalto's systems, making it possible to steal large quantities of encryption keys. The agency hoped to intercept the files containing the keys as they were transmitted between Gemalto and its wireless network provider customers.

GCHQ operatives identified key individuals and their positions within Gemalto and then dug into their emails. In one instance, GCHQ zeroed in on a Gemalto employee in Thailand who they observed sending PGP-encrypted files, noting that if GCHQ wanted to expand its Gemalto operations, "he would certainly be a good place to start." They did not claim to have decrypted the employee's communications, but noted that the use of PGP could mean the contents were potentially valuable.

The cyberstalking was not limited to Gemalto. GCHQ operatives wrote a script that allowed the agency to mine the private communications of employees of major telecommunications and SIM "personalization" companies for technical terms used in the assigning of secret keys to mobile phone customers. Employees for the SIM card manufacturers and wireless network providers were labeled as "known individuals and operators targeted" in a top-secret GCHQ document.

According to that April 2010 document, "PCS Harvesting at Scale," hackers working for GCHQ focused on "harvesting" massive amounts of individual encryption keys "in transit between mobile network operators and SIM card personalisation centres" like Gemalto. The spies "developed a methodology for intercepting these keys as they are transferred between various network operators and SIM card providers." By that time, GCHQ had developed "an automated technique with the aim of increasing the volume of keys that can be harvested."

The PCS Harvesting document acknowledged that, in searching for information on encryption keys, GCHQ operatives would undoubtedly vacuum up "a large number of unrelated items" from the private communications of targeted employees. "[H]owever an analyst with good knowledge of the operators involved can perform this trawl regularly and spot the transfer of large batches of [keys]."

The document noted that many SIM card manufacturers transferred the encryption keys to wireless network providers "by email or FTP with simple encryption methods that can be broken … or occasionally with no encryption at all." To get bulk access to encryption keys, all the NSA or GCHQ needed to do was intercept emails or file transfers as they were sent over the Internet — something both agencies already do millions of times per day. A footnote in the 2010 document observed that the use of "strong encryption products … is becoming increasingly common" in transferring the keys.

In its key harvesting "trial" operations in the first quarter of 2010, GCHQ successfully intercepted keys used by wireless network providers in Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, India, Serbia, Iceland and Tajikistan. But, the agency noted, its automated key harvesting system failed to produce results against Pakistani networks, denoted as "priority targets" in the document, despite the fact that GCHQ had a store of Kis from two providers in the country, Mobilink and Telenor. "[I]t is possible that these networks now use more secure methods to transfer Kis," the document concluded.

From December 2009 through March 2010, a month before the Mobile Handset Exploitation Team was formed, GCHQ conducted a number of trials aimed at extracting encryption keys and other personalized data for individual phones. In one two-week period, they accessed the emails of 130 people associated with wireless network providers or SIM card manufacturing and personalization. This operation produced nearly 8,000 keys matched to specific phones in 10 countries. In another two-week period, by mining just six email addresses, they produced 85,000 keys. At one point in March 2010, GCHQ intercepted nearly 100,000 keys for mobile phone users in Somalia. By June, they'd compiled 300,000. "Somali providers are not on GCHQ's list of interest," the document noted. "[H]owever, this was usefully shared with NSA."

The GCHQ documents only contain statistics for three months of encryption key theft in 2010. During this period, millions of keys were harvested. The documents stated explicitly that GCHQ had already created a constantly evolving automated process for bulk harvesting of keys. They describe active operations targeting Gemalto's personalization centers across the globe, as well as other major SIM card manufacturers and the private communications of their employees.

A top-secret NSA document asserted that, as of 2009, the U.S. spy agency already had the capacity to process between 12 and 22 million keys per second for later use against surveillance targets. In the future, the agency predicted, it would be capable of processing more than 50 million per second. The document did not state how many keys were actually processed, just that the NSA had the technology to perform such swift, bulk operations. It is impossible to know how many keys have been stolen by the NSA and GCHQ to date, but, even using conservative math, the numbers are likely staggering.

GCHQ assigned "scores" to more than 150 individual email addresses based on how often the users mentioned certain technical terms, and then intensified the mining of those individuals' accounts based on priority. The highest-scoring email address was that of an employee of Chinese tech giant Huawei, which the U.S. has repeatedly accused of collaborating with Chinese intelligence. In all, GCHQ harvested the emails of employees of hardware companies that manufacture phones, such as Ericsson and Nokia; operators of mobile networks, such as MTN Irancell and Belgacom; SIM card providers, such as Bluefish and Gemalto; and employees of targeted companies who used email providers, such as Yahoo and Google. During the three-month trial, the largest number of email addresses harvested were those belonging to Huawei employees, followed by MTN Irancell. The third largest class of emails harvested in the trial were private Gmail accounts, presumably belonging to employees at targeted companies.

"PEOPLE WERE SPECIFICALLY HUNTED AND TARGETED BY INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES, NOT BECAUSE THEY DID ANYTHING WRONG, BUT BECAUSE THEY COULD BE USED."
The GCHQ program targeting Gemalto was called DAPINO GAMMA. In 2011, GCHQ launched operation HIGHLAND FLING to mine the email accounts of Gemalto employees in France and Poland. A top-secret document on the operation stated that one of the aims was "getting into French HQ" of Gemalto "to get in to core data repositories." France, home to one of Gemalto's global headquarters, is the nerve center of the company's worldwide operations. Another goal was to intercept private communications of employees in Poland that "could lead to penetration into one or more personalisation centers" — the factories where the encryption keys are burned onto SIM cards.

As part of these operations, GCHQ operatives acquired the usernames and passwords for Facebook accounts of Gemalto targets. An internal top-secret GCHQ wiki on the program from May 2011 indicated that GCHQ was in the process of "targeting" more than a dozen Gemalto facilities across the globe, including in Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Japan and Singapore.

The document also stated that GCHQ was preparing similar key theft operations against one of Gemalto's competitors, Germany-based SIM card giant Giesecke and Devrient.

On January 17, 2014, President Barack Obama gave a major address on the NSA spying scandal. "The bottom line is that people around the world, regardless of their nationality, should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security and that we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures," he said.

The monitoring of the lawful communications of employees of major international corporations shows that such statements by Obama, other U.S. officials and British leaders — that they only intercept and monitor the communications of known or suspected criminals or terrorists — were untrue. "The NSA and GCHQ view the private communications of people who work for these companies as fair game," says the ACLU's Soghoian. "These people were specifically hunted and targeted by intelligence agencies, not because they did anything wrong, but because they could be used as a means to an end."

key-slide2
THERE ARE TWO basic types of electronic or digital surveillance: passive and active. All intelligence agencies engage in extensive passive surveillance, which means they collect bulk data by intercepting communications sent over fiber-optic cables, radio waves or wireless devices.

Intelligence agencies place high-power antennas, known as "spy nests," on the top of their countries' embassies and consulates, which are capable of vacuuming up data sent to or from mobile phones in the surrounding area. The joint NSA/CIA Special Collection Service is the lead entity that installs and mans these nests for the United States. An embassy situated near a parliament or government agency could easily intercept the phone calls and data transfers of the mobile phones used by foreign government officials. The U.S. embassy in Berlin, for instance, is located a stone's throw from the Bundestag. But if the wireless carriers are using stronger encryption, which is built into modern 3G, 4G and LTE networks, then intercepted calls and other data would be more difficult to crack, particularly in bulk. If the intelligence agency wants to actually listen to or read what is being transmitted, they would need to decrypt the encrypted data.

Active surveillance is another option. This would require government agencies to "jam" a 3G or 4G network, forcing nearby phones onto 2G. Once forced down to the less secure 2G technology, the phone can be tricked into connecting to a fake cell tower operated by an intelligence agency. This method of surveillance, though effective, is risky, as it leaves a digital trace that counter-surveillance experts from foreign governments could detect.

Stealing the Kis solves all of these problems. This way, intelligence agencies can safely engage in passive, bulk surveillance without having to decrypt data and without leaving any trace whatsoever.

"Key theft enables the bulk, low-risk surveillance of encrypted communications," the ACLU's Soghoian says. "Agencies can collect all the communications and then look through them later. With the keys, they can decrypt whatever they want, whenever they want. It's like a time machine, enabling the surveillance of communications that occurred before someone was even a target."

Neither the NSA nor GCHQ would comment specifically on the key theft operations. In the past, they have argued more broadly that breaking encryption is a necessary part of tracking terrorists and other criminals. "It is longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters," a GCHQ official stated in an email, adding that the agency's work is conducted within a "strict legal and policy framework" that ensures its activities are "authorized, necessary and proportionate," with proper oversight, which is the standard response the agency has provided for previous stories published by The Intercept. The agency also said, "[T]he UK's interception regime is entirely compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights." The NSA declined to offer any comment.

It is unlikely that GCHQ's pronouncement about the legality of its operations will be universally embraced in Europe. "It is governments massively engaging in illegal activities," says Sophie in't Veld, a Dutch member of the European Parliament. "If you are not a government and you are a student doing this, you will end up in jail for 30 years." Veld, who chaired the European Parliament's recent inquiry into mass surveillance exposed by Snowden, told The Intercept: "The secret services are just behaving like cowboys. Governments are behaving like cowboys and nobody is holding them to account."

The Intercept's Laura Poitras has previously reported that in 2013 Australia's signals intelligence agency, a close partner of the NSA, stole some 1.8 million encryption keys from an Indonesian wireless carrier.

A few years ago, the FBI reportedly dismantled several transmitters set up by foreign intelligence agencies around the Washington, D.C. area, which could be used to intercept cellphone communications. Russia, China, Israel and other nations use similar technology as the NSA across the world. If those governments had the encryption keys for major U.S. cellphone companies' customers, such as those manufactured by Gemalto, mass snooping would be simple. "It would mean that with a few antennas placed around Washington, D.C., the Chinese or Russian governments could sweep up and decrypt the communications of members of Congress, U.S. agency heads, reporters, lobbyists and everyone else involved in the policymaking process and decrypt their telephone conversations," says Soghoian.

"Put a device in front of the U.N., record every bit you see going over the air. Steal some keys, you have all those conversations," says Green, the Johns Hopkins cryptographer. And it's not just spy agencies that would benefit from stealing encryption keys. "I can only imagine how much money you could make if you had access to the calls made around Wall Street," he adds.


GCHQ slide.
THE BREACH OF Gemalto's computer network by GCHQ has far-reaching global implications. The company, which brought in $2.7 billion in revenue in 2013, is a global leader in digital security, producing banking cards, mobile payment systems, two-factor authentication devices used for online security, hardware tokens used for securing buildings and offices, electronic passports and identification cards. It provides chips to Vodafone in Europe and France's Orange, as well as EE, a joint venture in the U.K. between France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. Royal KPN, the largest Dutch wireless network provider, also uses Gemalto technology.

In Asia, Gemalto's chips are used by China Unicom, Japan's NTT and Taiwan's Chungwa Telecom, as well as scores of wireless network providers throughout Africa and the Middle East. The company's security technology is used by more than 3,000 financial institutions and 80 government organizations. Among its clients are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JP Morgan Chase and Barclays. It also provides chips for use in luxury cars, including those made by Audi and BMW.

In 2012, Gemalto won a sizable contract, worth $175 million, from the U.S. government to produce the covers for electronic U.S. passports, which contain chips and antennas that can be used to better authenticate travelers. As part of its contract, Gemalto provides the personalization and software for the microchips implanted in the passports. The U.S. represents Gemalto's single largest market, accounting for some 15 percent of its total business. This raises the question of whether GCHQ, which was able to bypass encryption on mobile networks, has the ability to access private data protected by other Gemalto products created for banks and governments.

As smart phones become smarter, they are increasingly replacing credit cards and cash as a means of paying for goods and services. When Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile formed an alliance in 2010 to jointly build an electronic pay system to challenge Google Wallet and Apple Pay, they purchased Gemalto's technology for their program, known as Softcard. (Until July 2014, it previously went by the unfortunate name of "ISIS Mobile Wallet.") Whether data relating to that, and other Gemalto security products, has been compromised by GCHQ and the NSA is unclear. Both intelligence agencies declined to answer any specific questions for this story.


Signal, iMessage, WhatsApp, Silent Phone.
PRIVACY ADVOCATES and security experts say it would take billions of dollars, significant political pressure, and several years to fix the fundamental security flaws in the current mobile phone system that NSA, GCHQ and other intelligence agencies regularly exploit.

A current gaping hole in the protection of mobile communications is that cellphones and wireless network providers do not support the use of Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), a form of encryption designed to limit the damage caused by theft or disclosure of encryption keys. PFS, which is now built into modern web browsers and used by sites like Google and Twitter, works by generating unique encryption keys for each communication or message, which are then discarded. Rather than using the same encryption key to protect years' worth of data, as the permanent Kis on SIM cards can, a new key might be generated each minute, hour or day, and then promptly destroyed. Because cellphone communications do not utilize PFS, if an intelligence agency has been "passively" intercepting someone's communications for a year and later acquires the permanent encryption key, it can go back and decrypt all of those communications. If mobile phone networks were using PFS, that would not be possible — even if the permanent keys were later stolen.

The only effective way for individuals to protect themselves from Ki theft-enabled surveillance is to use secure communications software, rather than relying on SIM card-based security. Secure software includes email and other apps that use Transport Layer Security (TLS), the mechanism underlying the secure HTTPS web protocol. The email clients included with Android phones and iPhones support TLS, as do large email providers like Yahoo and Google.

Apps like TextSecure and Silent Text are secure alternatives to SMS messages, while Signal, RedPhone and Silent Phone encrypt voice calls. Governments still may be able to intercept communications, but reading or listening to them would require hacking a specific handset, obtaining internal data from an email provider, or installing a bug in a room to record the conversations.

"We need to stop assuming that the phone companies will provide us with a secure method of making calls or exchanging text messages," says Soghoian.

February 17, 2015

Mitch Feierstein double episode

http://planetponzi.com/

From 9/11 to Charlie Hebdo: The EU’s response to terrorism


The European Union has pledged closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism following the killing at Charlie Hebdo, building on measures already taken in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, and subsequent bombings in Madrid and London. EurActiv gives a round-up of existing and upcoming initiatives.

CLICK 

Former CIA Chief Controls Most Of The Media In Serbia – Report


http://inserbia.info/today/2015/02/former-cia-chief-controls-most-of-the-media-in-serbia-report/

Editors' ChoiceTodaySociety Published: Feb 8, 2015 at 2:14 pm
Modified: Feb 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm 10
 
American Fund “KKR investment”, headed by former CIA chief General David Petraeus, from October 2013 until this day, in less than a year and a half, has put under its control a significant part of Serbian media, internet portal “Vaseljenska” reported.


Americans first bought SBB, the largest cable television network in Serbia, then became the owner of “Grand production” through which they exercise control over “Prva TV”, then they founded CNN outlet “TV N1″, bought shares of the internet portal of the Serbian daily “Blic”, and more recently, as some sources claim, in the greatest secrecy they bought one Belgrade daily.

The fact is that Americans can, over the largest cable operator “SBB” and their media, control the flow of information in Serbia and are in a position to fully create public opinion in Serbia.

As Internet portal “Vaseljenska” found out, “KKR investment” will in the next few months formally take over control of the daily newspapers in whose operations they have already pumped substantial financial resources.

“Although in this case we could possibly be talking about inappropriate concentration or even monopoly, Americans made the deal on taking over the newspaper. They are, in fact, convinced that no one in the [Serbian] government will be allowed to prohibit purchasing of another media … “, says a source for daily “Informer”.

Coincidentally or not, last year Serbia changed the law on information and enabled an owner to have both the electronic and print media, which had previously been forbidden to ensure media pluralism.

The Ministry of Culture and Information did not want to comment on findings, but only briefly said that “as of February 13 begins registration of a media under the new rules.”

Before he became head of “KKR investment”, David Petraeus was the director of the CIA, from September 2011 to November 2012. Prior to that, he served as a commander of international forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

India and the World – an Update

India and the World – an Update

A Bi-weekly News Digest on India's Foreign Policy

February 1st - February 15th, 2015
Volume: 2-3​

Neighbourhood

Pakistan

Cricket diplomacy: PM Narendra Modi opens new innings with Pakistan
The Indian Express | February 14th, 2015 
During his conversation with Sharif, Modi said that S Jaishankar, who took charge as Foreign Secretary a fortnight ago, will be embarking on a tour of all SAARC countries, including Pakistan, over the next few months. This "will not be one long visit covering all seven countries"  but will be decided on the basis of availability of the Foreign Secretary's counterparts and other logistical factors, sources said.

Pakistan for meaningful dialogue with India: Sartaj Aziz 
IANS / India Today | February 15th, 2015 
Aziz said Modi's telephone call and the decision to send Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to Islamabad was a good start in breaking the ice between the two countries. But whether it would lead to the actual resumption of a meaningful dialogue remained to be seen and depended on the talks between the foreign secretaries.

Bangladesh

Joint patrolling of Indo-Bangla border by BSF and BGB 
PTI / Business Standard | February 4th, 2015 
Deputy Commissioner of Rangamati Hill district, Shamshul Arifin said that both sides have laid importance on containing crimes on the borders and decided for a joint patrolling by the border guards of the two countries. The border outposts of BSF have been improved on Indian side and similar initiatives were also taken on the side of Bangladesh to improve the infrastructures of BOPs, he said.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka prez Sirisena arrives in India today to boost ties 
Hindustan Times | February 15th, 2015 
India also expects Lanka to move swiftly on the issue of giving political rights to Tamil minorities, which is part of a 1987 accord between the two countries. "This is an important issue. We will discuss issues relating to reconciliation and reconstruction in Sri Lanka," external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said on Friday.


Asia Pacific

Myanmar

India to complete Myanmar port project in May 
The Hindu Business Line | February 1st, 2015 
While the commissioning of the port-cum-waterway will surely boost bilateral relations, India has to wait for years to start transhipment of goods to Mizoram in the North-East, as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is yet to kick off the road transport part of the Kaladan project.

China

'India, China major forces of world's multi-polarity' 
Hindustan Times | February 1st, 2015 
"Both China and India follow independent foreign policies. We give importance to neighbours. We believe India-US and India-China are two separate bilateral relations. We would like India to develop such relations," Wang told Indian journalists after her meeting with Swaraj.

India, China can realise 'Asian Century': Sushma
The Hindu | February 4th, 2015 
Ms. Swaraj stressed that New Delhi-Beijing ties can reach the next level if both sides enforce an "action- oriented approach and a broad-based bilateral engagement". She asserted that the two countries need to achieve "convergence on common regional and global interests" and "develop new areas of cooperation".

Doval, top Chinese diplomat meet ahead of border talks 
PTI / Business Standard | February 8th, 2015 
The Chinese official proposed to respect and look after each other's concerns, to push forward negotiations over boundaries and to effectively maintain the peace and safety of border areas, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China asks India to sign a new Code of Conduct on Border management 
IBN Live (with additional inputs from PTI) | February 9th, 2015 
China asked India to sign a new Code of Conduct on Border management to which the latter said it was open to the idea. China has called for pushing forward talks to resolve the border issue and remove "disturbances" in bilateral ties. The meeting assumes significance as it takes place ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden visit to China in May.

'PM Modi's China visit set to throw up $20-bn investments' 
Hindustan Times | February 11th, 2015 
"China takes the Indian concern of trade imbalance very seriously. Solving the problem requires joint efforts. China hopes India would ease restrictions on exporting competitive products such as iron ore etc to China, cut tariffs, encourage Indian firms to improve the quality of their products and produce more goods that meet the demand of the Chinese market," said the China's Ambassador to India, Le Yucheng.

China backs bigger role for India, Brazil at UNSC 
PTI / The Economic Times |February 12th, 2015 
About the Indian and Brazilian applications to become permanent members, China respects the willingness of the two countries to play a bigger role in the UN body, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. Hua, however, told reporters that Beijing would like to reach a "broadest consensus through diplomatic means" on UNSC reform.

The United States

Big Pharma groupings urges US to ask India to change its IPR policies 
The Economic Times | February 12th, 2015 
IPR issues, especially over drugs, have long been a sticky point in India-US bilateral relations though both countries are now trying to resolve the differences through high-level talks. India is already on US' Priority Watch List, which means Washington is closely monitoring New Delhi's efforts to protect IPR.

US move to make climate changes rejected 
PTI / The Asian Age | February 13th, 2015 
The US proposed to re-define the basic categories of the Convention at the ongoing six-day talks of the ad hoc working group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action which is tasked with drafting a negotiating text for the next climate change meet in June 2015.

Europe

Spain

India, Spain to partner for high speed railways 
ANI / DNA | February 2nd, 2015 
"With almost 25 percent of our energy coming from renewable sources, Spain has the highest percentage of renewable energy in Europe. We are eager to have India also increase its renewable energy production," Spanish Minister of State for Commerce Jaime Garcia Legaz said.

Miscellaneous

Ajit Doval: India suffers from 'exported terror' in J&K 
PTI / The Asian Age | February 9th, 2015 
Successive Indian governments have pursued a policy of closely integrating all minority groups into the mainstream of the society and as a result radical Islamists could not succeed in propagating their extremist ideologies among the Muslim population, Mr Doval said while participating in a panel discussion on "War on Terror" at the 51st Munich Security Conference here Saturday.

The world is looking at India again: Modi 
Hindustan Times | February 14th, 2015 
Modi invited GE to manufacture ships and defence equipment and said there are immense opportunities in India. In the first phase of its operations, GE will manufacture products and solutions for the power sector and the oil, gas and transportation industries. The company also announced its second phase on Saturday, in which it explore manufacturing capabilities for aviation engine components and machining for rail locomotives.

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