Does the NSA have a spy in your hard drive?

A protestor holds up a sign at a rally against the NSA’s spying program. By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org | February 18, 2015 A Russian security firm claims to have uncovered a major tool used to rewrite hard drives and collect all stored information in potentially millions of computers and hard drives around the world. In a very technical post on its website, the Moscow-based Internet security firm Kaspersky Lab revealed the complex viruses programmed into computers and hard drives by the Equation Group, purported to be the National Security Agency, according to an unnamed former NSA employee who spoke […]

Wyden: No more ‘back doors’ in Americans’ computers, phones

SNOOP: One Senator wants to stop the practice of requiring back doors into phones and computers, which would allow the federal government to snoop on Americans. By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon wants to ban the practice of requiring tech companies to integrate back doors into their devices, allowing the federal government to snoop on Americans. In a bill introduced Thursday, titled the Secure Data Act, Wyden, a Democrat, lays out the case for scrapping government requirements for companies who produce cell phones and computers to include capabilities for law enforcement and federal agencies to […]

Op-ed in Washington Examiner on Executive Order 12333 and Ronald Reagan

One of my stories about Executive Order 12333 made it into the Washington Examiner newspaper. Mad about government spying and snooping? Look at Ronald Reagan’s executive order YAËL OSSOWSKI • | JANUARY 22, 2014 AT 7:07 PM  American uproar over revelations of mass government spying has provoked a significant revision of the actions of U.S. spy agencies across the board. While ire has been focused at the Obama and Bush administrations, such snooping was given the green light by none other than former President Reagan more than 30 years ago. As explained in testimony during last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring members of President […]

Mad about government spying and snooping? Blame Reagan

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org American uproar over revelations of mass government spying has provoked a significant revision of the actions of U.S. spy agencies across the board. While ire has been focused at the Obama and Bush administrations, such snooping was given the green light by none other than former President Ronald Reagan over 30 years ago. As revealed in testimony during last week’s Senate Judiciary Hearing featuring members of President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, a big share of the data collected by the government on its own citizens is authorized by Executive Order 12333, ushered in at the height of the Cold War in 1981 by […]

The Watchers of the Watchers Have Flipped

US Intel Oversight Committees Are Biggest Cheerleaders of Privacy Violations By Yaël Ossowski | PanAm Post In the months since revelations about mass surveillance programs deployed by US and foreign leaders came to the public’s attention, there has been formidable outrage at home and abroad. The practice has sowed the seeds of distrust in Germany, troubled relations between the United States and Brazil, and ignited the US population against intelligence agencies gone crazy on mass data collection under the guise of stopping terrorism. A survey conducted by the Associated Press in September found that 61 percent of US Americans are up in arms about the NSA’s collection of […]

Rubio, Nelson come together on warrantless wiretapping

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ORLANDO — Debts, deficits and doom were recurring themes during the New Year’s Day negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” but lost among the headlines was the extension of sweeping and expansive surveillance powers granted to the nation’s intelligence agencies during the Bush years. EAR ON YOU: The NSA and FBI have used FISA provisions to wiretap phones of suspected criminals and terrorists without judicial oversight. Along with extending warrantless wiretapping for people suspected of terrorism, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act gives immunity to telecommunications companies that have disclosed private phone records to theNational Security Agency and […]