Following the Obama administration’s deeply controversial decision to cede U.S. control over key elements of the Internet’s architecture, experts and former officials are warning that the United Nations and its largely autocratic member regimes are already plotting to tax and censor the World Wide Web. According to analysts, the UN would almost certainly start small — perhaps levying tiny “fees” on certain Web-based activities, or regulating content that virtually everybody would find objectionable — before quickly expanding the global Internet regime to raise vast sums of taxpayer cash while censoring free speech. The battle, however, is likely to be fierce.
Frank Swain, a British freelance writer, recently wrote an essay published online by the BBC Future Science website entitled: “Why I want a microchip implant.” Like upwards of 10 million Londoners, Swain uses his Oyster card — a credit card-sized smartcard that contains an embedded RFID chip — to pay his fare on public transit such as the Underground and buses within Greater London.
The NSA is collecting millions of text messages from innocent people and is using radio waves to control computers not connected to a network.
Apple Inc. executives have labeled leadership of the U.S. government's National Security Agency “malicious hackers” and have vowed to fight against reported NSA software hacks of all of Apple's iPhones. NSA documents published by the German magazine Der Spiegel boast that its program DROPOUTJEEP “includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device, SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc.”
The National Security Agency is collecting over 250 million e-mail address books and instant-messaging contact lists a year, many from Americans.
Opening of the highly controversial National Security Agency (NSA) data center in Utah has been delayed after major electrical problems at the facility led to a series of explosions and fires, according to news reports. Official documents suggest there have been at least ten power surges over the last year, each one costing taxpayers up to $100,000. Still, the problems are apparently not even properly understood yet, let alone close to being fixed.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI is using hacker tools to remotely activate Android smartphone microphones and laptop cameras. By Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
The London Guardian's Glenn Greenwald revealed in a July 31 exposé that the NSA has indeed been collecting the full text of every American's e-mails without a warrant under the “XKeyscore” program, flatly contradicting the claims of congressional opponents of the Amash amendment last week.
A story broken by CNET on July 25 stated that the U.S. government has “demanded” that major Internet companies provide federal agencies with their customers’ passwords. The report identified the information as coming from two unidentified technology industry sources “familiar with these orders.”