Caspar Bowden says he was unaware of Prism data-sharing program when he worked at software firm
Microsoft’s former chief privacy officer says he does not have faith in the security of the software company’s technology, following revelations about the U.S’s NSA spy agency published in the Guardian.
“I don’t trust Microsoft now,” he said, adding that he only uses open source software where he can examine the underlying code. He also said he has not carried a mobile phone for two years.
In June the Guardian revealed that an NSA program called Prism could demand data from a number of technology companies at will using court orders that were never rejected.
Bowden said the extent of the NSA’s surveillance efforts – where it shares and gathers intelligence with the UK’s GCHQ and intelligence agencies in Canada, New Zealand and Australia – was undermining democracy.
“The public now has to think about the fact that anybody in public life, or person in a position of influence in government, business or bureaucracy, now is thinking about what the NSA knows about them. So how can we trust that the decisions that they make are objective and that they aren’t changing the decisions that they make to protect their career? That strikes at any system of representative government.”
The wording of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) under which the NSA gathers intelligence means that “there’s no protection if you’re not an American”, said Bowden.
He added: “We’re living through a transformation in surveillance power that’s never been seen before on Earth. And we don’t know what type of government or leader will come to power next and exploit it. It could be the next president. It could be this one.”
Another speaker at the conference, digital activist Jacob Appelbaum, who has worked with WikiLeaks and on the Tor anonymity system, suggested that some employees of the NSA should be arrested if they visit Europe on the basis that by deliberately weakening cryptographic systems they had put people in danger.
Earlier this month the Guardian explained how NSA and GCHQ have worked to insert mathematical weaknesses into cryptography systems used to scramble internet data and other information.
That has put people at risk of their lives, Appelbaum argued. “People who commit mass human-rights violations, they should be prosecuted,” he said. “The NSA has a slogan internally — ‘we track ’em, you whack ’em’ – where they help to target drone strikes.” Such strikes were an abuse of natural justice, he said.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
‘It’s back-to-back 9/11s’: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace blasts Trump’s failed leadership on coronavirus pandemic
Speaking to physician Dr. Kavita Patel on Friday, MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace noted that the coronavirus crisis, along with the Russian bounty scandal, the recession and increasing unemployment numbers are like a bunch of little "back-to-back 9/11s."
Wallace, who served in the White House communications department under President George W. Bush saw 9/11 and the aftermath first hand. Under Trump's leadership, there have been several little crises one right after another. While 9/11 killed nearly 3,000 people and nearly that many have died due to injuries and illnesses connected to 9/11, nearly 135,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
As coronavirus spikes break new records Dr. Fauci reveals Trump doesn’t even speak to him anymore
President Donald Trump tried to claim the mantle of a "wartime president," battling the "unseen enemy," but as it turns out one of the people who could best help him with the coronavirus battle is who's really "unseen."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist and probably the most respected public health expert on the government's payroll, reveals the President of the United States no longer talks to him.
In fact, Trump hasn't talked to Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in over a month – and hasn't been able to update Trump in at least two.
Instagram to block all content promoting LGBT ‘conversion therapy’
Instagram said on Friday it would block content that promotes so-called conversion therapy, which aims to alter a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, as pressure to ban the practice grows.
The social media giant announced earlier this year it would no longer allow adverts for conversion therapy services, which can range from counseling and "praying away the gay" to electric shocks and sexual violence.
"We don't allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity," Tara Hopkins, Instagram's public policy director for Europe, Middle East and Africa said in an emailed statement.