Jun 12

Massive flaw could have exposed every Gmail user’s address (RT, June 12, 2014):

A gaping security bug in Google’s systems may have been used to unearth millions upon millions of users’ email addresses. The activist claimed it took Google a month to rectify the problem after his report to the company.

Tel Aviv-based security researcher Oren Hafif discovered the bug and has informed Google, which has managed to resolve the problem.

However, before Hafif notified Google, he successfully retrieved some 37,000 addresses from the system.

“I have every reason to believe every Gmail address could have been mined,”
Hafif told Wired.

He uploaded a video tutorial to his YouTube account at the beginning of June.

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Aug 31

India Moves to Ban Gmail (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 31, 2013):

The fallout from the Snowden revelations continue. While India has already been attempting to fight economic reality with import duties on gold in an desperate move to reduce buying, they are now also trying to take further control of their technology infrastructure. Although this may appear to be a good thing on the surface, perhaps it is merely a move to further consolidate their own domestic snooping powers, which we already know they are trying to do.

In the latest news, it is being reported that the government will soon ask its employees to stop using Google’s Gmail due to the presence of the company’s servers within the U.S.

More from The Times of India:

BANGALORE/NEW DELHI: The government will soon ask all its employees to stop using Google’s Gmail for official communication, a move intended to increase security ofconfidential government information after revelations of widespread cyberspying by the US.

A senior official in the ministry of communications and information technology said the government plans to send a formal notification to nearly 5 lakh employees barring them from email service providers such as Gmail that have their servers in the US, and instead asking them to stick to the official email service provided by India’s National Informatics Centre.

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Aug 16

GOOGLE: If You Send To Gmail, You Have ‘No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy’ (San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 13, 2013):

If you happen to send an email to one of the 400 million people who use Google’s Gmail service, you shouldn’t have any expectation of privacy, according to a court briefing obtained by the Consumer Watchdog website.

In a motion filed last month by Google to have a class action complaint dismissed, Google’s lawyers reference a 1979 ruling, holding that people who turn over information to third parties shouldn’t expect that information to remain private.

From the filing (emphasis added):

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Mar 28

FBI Pursuing Real-Time Gmail Spying Powers as “Top Priority” for 2013 (Slate, March 26, 2013):

Despite the pervasiveness of law enforcement surveillance of digital communication, the FBI still has a difficult time monitoring Gmail, Google Voice, and Dropbox in real time. But that may change soon, because the bureau says it has made gaining more powers to wiretap all forms of Internet conversation and cloud storage a “top priority” this year.

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Jan 31

Related article:

FDA Scientists And Doctors Sue Agency Over Surveillance Of Personal E-mail, Were Fired After Warning Congress About Approval Of Medical Devices Posing Unacceptable Health Risks To Patients


FDA hacked into private Gmail accounts of its own whistleblower scientist using covert spy technology (Natural News, Jan. 31, 2012):

The criminal tendencies of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were on full display today when it was revealed the agency installed spy software and illegally hacked into the private Gmail accounts of at least half a dozen of its own top scientists. Those scientists, it turns out, were the very same whistleblowers who warned Congress about the FDA’s approval of dangerous medical devices that threatened the lives of patients. In response to them taking action to protect the lives of the innocent — something the FDA is supposed to do but has long since abandoned — they were instead subjected to illegal hacking and having their employment contracts with the FDA terminated.

Those six scientists and doctors have now filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court which claims that they were subjected to FDA internal harassment and unjustified job termination. The lawsuit also describes how the FDA hacked into the private email accounts of these scientists, then intercepted their “whistleblower complaints” intended to be seen only by members of Congress.

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Jan 25

Google announces privacy changes across products; users can’t opt out (Washington Post, Jan. 24, 2012):

Google will soon know far more about who you are and what you do on the Web.

The Web giant announced Tuesday that it plans to follow the activities of users across nearly all of its ubiquitous sites, including YouTube, Gmail and its leading search engine.

Google has already been collecting some of this information. But for the first time, it is combining data across its Web sites to stitch together a fuller portrait of users.

Consumers won’t be able to opt out of the changes, which take effect March 1. And experts say the policy shift will invite greater scrutiny from federal regulators of the company’s privacy and competitive practices.

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Dec 05

Assange on mass surveillance: ‘You are all screwed!’

YouTube Added: 02.12.2011

Description:

The whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has begun releasing sensational information on the multi billion dollar global spying industry. The database contains hundreds of documents shining a light on the methods being used by secret services all over the world. Here’s the video of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaking to journalists and students at a press conference at City University London in central London on December 1, 2011. Along with a number of other guest speakers, Mr Assange spoke of the Wikileaks ongoing investigation of surveillance software companies and their alleged use by governments around the world.

Wikileaks Julian Assange tells iPhone, Blackberry and Gmail users: “You’re all screwed.” (Mirror, Dec. 1, 2011):

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has warned smartphone and email users: “You’re all screwed”.

The whistle-blowing website has released details of companies it says are selling information obtained by monitoring people’s mobile phones and computers.

According to Mr Assange, more than 150 organisations around the world have the ability to use phones as tracking devices as well as intercept messages and listen to calls.

Those companies then sell the wholesale information, often the telecommunications data of “entire populations”.

He told a press conference at City University in London that the publication of the “Spy Files” is a “mass attack on this mass surveillance industry”.

The 40-year-old asked the audience of students and press: “Who here has an iPhone? Who here has a BlackBerry? Who here uses Gmail?

“Well, you’re all screwed.

“The reality is, intelligence contractors are selling right now to countries across the world mass surveillance systems for all those products.”

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