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February 24 2014

12:21

February 10 2014

05:51

‘The Snowden Files’

A new biography of Edward Snowden lays out the life and motivations of the world’s “most wanted man.”

This handout file photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2013, and made available by Human Rights Watch shows NSA leaker Edward Snowden during his meeting with Russian activists and officials at Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow, Russia . (AP)

This handout file photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2013, and made available by Human Rights Watch shows NSA leaker Edward Snowden during his meeting with Russian activists and officials at Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow, Russia . (AP)

Guests

Luke Harding, foreign correspondent for The Guardian. Author of “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man.” Also co-author of “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy,” which served as the basis of the film “The Fifth Estate.” (@lukeharding1968)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: The Needles in the Monumental N.S.A. Haystack –”The portrait he creates of Mr. Snowden is a familiar one — a geek and gamer most at home online, who never graduated from high school but whose ‘exceptional I.T. skills’ landed him a job with the Central Intelligence Agency and later as an N.S.A. contractor.”

CNN: Edward Snowden: World’s most wanted man, says new book — “The Guardian is a key player in the Snowden saga, having provided an outlet for the former NSA contractor-turned-whistle-blower to expose what he knew about the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs. Harding accessed a wealth of inside information, such as this story about how Snowden first connected via e-mail with Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald.”

The Daily Beast: Snowden Keeps Outwitting U.S. Spies – “Some allies of Snowden have speculated that any kind of master file of Snowden documents could only be accessed through a pass code or cryptographic key broken out into pieces controlled by several people in multiple jurisdictions throughout the world. That way. No one government could force a single person to give up access to Snowden’s motherlode.”

Read An Excerpt Of “The Snowden Files” By Luke Harding

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January 22 2014

16:37

Social Sharing - Snapchat and the NSA

Marc, Randy, and Scott discuss the inherent weaknesses of social sharing on the internet, and how recent NSA revelations have pushed these privacy issues into the mainstream.

January 16 2014

07:01

NSA Reform And Resistance

Reforming the NSA. The President prepares to speak. The whole world is waiting to hear. We’ll go to Washington, Silicon Valley and beyond.

The cover story of the February 2014 issue of

The cover story of the February 2014 issue of “WIRED” (shown here) focuses on how NSA push back nearly “killed” public trust in technology. (courtesy WIRED Magazine)

Guests

Siobhan Gorman, terrorism, counter-terrorism and intelligence reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@Gorman_Siobhan)

Steven Levy, senior staffwriter for Wired. Author of “In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives” and “Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy In the Digital Age.” (@StevenLevy)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wired: How The N.S.A. Almost Killed The Internet — “If the net were seen as a means of widespread surveillance, the resulting paranoia might affect the way people used it. Nations outraged at US intelligence-gathering practices used the disclosures to justify a push to require data generated in their countries to remain there, where it could not easily be hoovered by American spies. Implementing such a scheme could balkanize the web, destroying its open essence and dramatically raising the cost of doing business. Silicon Valley was reeling, collateral damage in the war on terror. And it was only going to get worse.”

The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers Debate Overhauls to NSA Spying Programs — “The divide Tuesday on Capitol Hill—over just how far changes should go—raises the stakes for President Barack Obama as he prepares a Friday morning speech on his response to a domestic and international furor over disclosures by former NSA contractorEdward Snowden about U.S. surveillance practices. While Mr. Obama isn’t obligated to accept any of his review panel’s recommendations, its report has defined the range of potential changes. Mr. Obama now is in the position of accepting or rejecting each of the recommendations and explaining his decisions to sharply opposed camps.”

National Journal: NSA Unleashed, Obama Tells Public, ‘Trust Me’ — “Nearly six months ago, President Obama sought to temper outrage over the nation’s mushrooming surveillance programs by pledging new steps to balance privacy and safety. ‘It’s not enough for me, as president, to have confidence in these programs,’ he said. ‘The American people need to have confidence in them as well.’ In other words, no government, not even one led by a liberal constitutional lawyer, can shield bad policies with empty promises. It’s not enough to say, ‘Trust us,’ while curbing sacred liberties — and yet that still appears to be Obama’s position.”

January 09 2014

01:04

Quantum Computing, The NSA And The Future Of Cryptography | On Point with Tom Ashbrook

The NSA can already crack most cryptography; now it’s working on a quantum computer to bust the rest. Is it the end of for-your-eyes-only? The world’s been up in arms because the US National Security Agency, the NSA, has been tapping and hacking and buying its way into private data all over the place.  What if it didn’t have to tap and hack and buy?  What if the NSA could build a quantum computer that could break any encryption out there and walk right in?  The latest news out of the revelations from super-leaker Edward Snowden says it’s trying.  Racing for a computer exponentially more powerful than anything now.  This hour On Point:  the NSA, quantum computing, and the future of cryptography. – Tom Ashbrook Guests Steven Rich, database editor for the investigative at The Washington Post. (@dataeditor) Seth Lloyd, professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Matthew Green, cryptographer and research professor at Johns Hopkins University. Author of the blog, “A Few Thoughts On Cryptographic Engineering.” (@Matthew_D_Green) From Tom’s Reading List Washington Post: NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption — “The development of a quantum computer has long been a goal of many in the scientific community, with revolutionary implications for fields such as medicine as well as for the NSA’s code-breaking mission. With such technology, all current forms of public key encryption would be broken, including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.” Wired: The quest to make encryption accessible to the masses — “Kobeissi’s challenge, to make encrypted online messaging user-friendly, has long been a bugbear of the crypto community. A paper, written in 1999, demonstrated that the encryption program PGP completely baffled most users in a series of tests. The study, now fourteen years old, is still frequently cited today as a long-unanswered call to arms.” A Few Thoughts On Cryptographic Engineering: How does the NSA break SSL? — “You see, the NSA BULLRUN briefing sheet mentions that NSA has been breaking quite a few encryption technologies, some of which are more interesting than others. One of those technologies is particularly surprising to me, since I just can’t figure how NSA might be doing it. In this extremely long post I’m going to try to dig a bit deeper into the most important question facing the Internet today. Specifically: how the hell is NSA breaking SSL?” http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/01/08/nsa-cryptography-quantum

January 08 2014

05:51

Quantum Computing, The N.S.A. And The Future Of Cryptography

The NSA can already crack most cryptography; now it’s working on a quantum computer to bust the rest. Is it the end of for-your-eyes-only?

A June 6, 2013, file photo, is an aerial view of the cooling units at the NSA's Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah. Electrical failures are complicating the opening of the National Security Agency’s largest data storage center. (AP)

A June 6, 2013, file photo, is an aerial view of the cooling units at the NSA’s Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah. Electrical failures are complicating the opening of the National Security Agency’s largest data storage center. (AP)

Guests

Steven Rich, database editor for the investigative at The Washington Post. (@dataeditor)

Seth Lloyd, professor of quantum mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Matthew Green, cryptographer and research professor at Johns Hopkins University. Author of the blog, “A Few Thoughts On Cryptographic Engineering.” (@Matthew_D_Green)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption — “The development of a quantum computer has long been a goal of many in the scientific community, with revolutionary implications for fields such as medicine as well as for the NSA’s code-breaking mission. With such technology, all current forms of public key encryption would be broken, including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.”

Wired: The quest to make encryption accessible to the masses — “Kobeissi’s challenge, to make encrypted online messaging user-friendly, has long been a bugbear of the crypto community. A paper, written in 1999, demonstrated that the encryption program PGP completely baffled most users in a series of tests. The study, now fourteen years old, is still frequently cited today as a long-unanswered call to arms.”

A Few Thoughts On Cryptographic Engineering: How does the NSA break SSL? — “You see, the NSA BULLRUN briefing sheet mentions that NSA has been breaking quite a few encryption technologies, some of which are more interesting than others. One of those technologies is particularly surprising to me, since I just can’t figure how NSA might be doing it. In this extremely long post I’m going to try to dig a bit deeper into the most important question facing the Internet today. Specifically: how the hell is NSA breaking SSL?”

January 02 2014

22:54

Hardtalk: Thomas Drake

Stephen Sackur talks to Thomas Drake, a former senior executive at the highly-secretive National Security Agency in the US. His life changed when he decided to become a whistle-blower and leak to the media his concerns about the way in which the NSA was developing its surveillance strategy inside the United States. He became the subject of a long-running investigation which threatened to see him locked up for much of the rest of his life. His home was raided, his computers analysed, and he became a key figure in a wider Obama Administration drive to crackdown on leakers within the national security system. For Thomas Drake that meant years of anguish and uncertainty; but did he deserve it? http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ht/all

December 30 2013

01:45

Hardtalk: Glenn Greenwald

Interviews with the world's leading politicians, thinkers and cultural figures. In an in-depth, hard-hitting, half-hour discussion, Stephen Sackur talks to some of the most prominent people from around the world. Broadcast on the BBC World Service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Thanks to Edward Snowden's leaking of American intelligence secrets the whole world now knows the extent of US-UK surveillance of global phone and internet traffic. Have the revelations flagged up a corrosive infringement of individual liberty, or undermined efforts to protect the world from terrorism? HARDtalk speaks to journalist, Glenn Greenwald - he broke the Snowden story. His mission, he says, is to hold power to account. Is this a journalistic crusade that's gone too far? http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ht

December 27 2013

09:01

Week In The News: 2013 In Review

Our weekly news roundtable –live and lively–in the studio looks back over a whole year, 2013.

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.  (AP)

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (AP)

Guests

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for The Washington Post. (@ktumulty)

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times. (@SangerNYT)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: White House Tries to Prevent Judge From Ruling on Surveillance Efforts –”The government said that despite recent leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, that made public a fuller scope of the surveillance and data collection programs put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, sensitive secrets remained at risk in any courtroom discussion of their details — like whether the plaintiffs were targets of intelligence collection or whether particular telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon had helped the agency.”

Washington Post: Republicans reassess after shutdown debacle — “The GOP establishment has embarked, once again, on a round of soul-searching. But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partners. And that near-unanimity presents an opportunity for the establishment to strike back — and maybe regain some control from the insurgent wing.”

Boston Globe: The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev — “Federal investigators have suspected that Tamerlan, the 26-year-old boxer from southern Russia who is believed, along with his brother, to have set off the deadly Boston Marathon bombs in April, was motivated, if not deliberately directed, by real life jihadist revolutionaries on the other side of the globe. But an investigation by the Boston Globe suggests that Tamerlan was in the perilous grip of someone far more menacing: himself.”

December 20 2013

07:12

Week In The News: Fed Tapers, NSA Pushback, Billie Jean King To Sochi

A Fed step back, NSA pushback, Billie Jean King will go to the Olympics. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Fed will begin to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion in January because of a stronger U.S. job market. (AP)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Fed will begin to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion in January because of a stronger U.S. job market. (AP)

Guests

Diane Brady, senior editor at Bloomberg Businessweek. (@DianeBrady)

Bryan Monroe, Washington editor of opinion and commentary for CNN. (@BryanMonroeCNN)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian: NSA goes on 60 Minutes: the definitive facts behind CBS’s flawed report — “Even if NSA doesn’t mean to break the law, the way its data dragnets work in practice incline toward overcollection. During a damage-control conference call in August, an anonymous US intelligence official told reporters that the technical problem bothering Bates in 2011 persists today. The NSA even conceded to Walton in 2009 that ‘from a technical standpoint, there was no single person who had a complete understanding’ of the technical ‘architecture’ of NSA’s phone data collection.”

Bloomberg: Billie Jean King’s Message To Vladimir Putin — “These gestures are first of all important for the countries making them, which like to think they are being consistent about standing up for universal values (even if their own societies only rather recently saw the light on gay rights). They are also important in letting gay men and lesbians inside Russia know they have international support.”

USA Today: Stocks mixed after Fed’s mini-’taper’ – “The Fed said that starting in January, it will reduce its bond-buying program to $75 billion a month from $85 billion. The reductions, or tapering, will be the first step toward winding down a program that has been in place since the 2008 financial crisis.Asian markets were mixed Thursday, although Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index soared 1.7% to 15,859.22.”

December 18 2013

18:32

Ranga Yogeshwar über digitale Überwachung - Jung & Naiv: Folge 99

Politik für Desinteressierte. Ungekürzt, unbeschnitten. Folge 99 mit Ranga Yogeshwar, Wissenschaftsjournalist, Physiker und Moderator. Abonniert den Youtube-... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0K2TwPT-eo
18:16

Ranga Yogeshwar über digitale Überwachung - Jung & Naiv: Folge 99 - YouTube

Politik für Desinteressierte. Ungekürzt, unbeschnitten. Folge 99 mit Ranga Yogeshwar, Wissenschaftsjournalist, Physiker und Moderator. Abonniert den Youtube-... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0K2TwPT-eo
07:22

Reining In The N.S.A.

A Federal judge throws down the gauntlet on the National Security Agency. How will the N.S.A. respond? We’ll go deep with The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.

National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on

National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities” . (AP)

Guests

Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker. (@RyanLizza)

Devlin Barrett, Justice Department reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@DevlinBarrett)

Vincent Bevins, Brazil correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. Runs the “From Brazil” blog at Folha de S. Paulo. (@Vinncent)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New Yorker: State of Deception — “In the days after 9/11, General Michael Hayden, the director of the N.S.A., was under intense pressure to intercept communications between Al Qaeda leaders abroad and potential terrorists inside the U.S. According to the inspector general’s report, George Tenet, the director of the C.I.A., told Hayden that Vice-President Dick Cheney wanted to know ‘if N.S.A. could be doing more.’ Hayden noted the limitations of the fisa law, which prevented the N.S.A. from indiscriminately collecting electronic communications of Americans. The agency was legally vacuuming up just about any foreign communications it wanted. But when it targeted one side of a call or an e-mail that involved someone in the U.S. the spy agency had to seek permission from the fisacourt to conduct surveillance.”

The Washington Post: Judge: NSA’s collecting of phone records is probably unconstitutional — “‘I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,’ said Leon, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. ‘Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.’”

Lawfare: Matinee Idols: Ryan Lizza’s Flawed Account of Surveillance Law — “The piece is marred by Lizza’s flawed description of surveillance law.  He oversimplifies, and therefore distorts, the legal issues in a way that fits his narrative of Senator Wyden as the hero of his story.  Perhaps the most important problem is that Lizza doesn’t understand the issue with FISA prior to September 11 that led to these programs. He explains that while the NSA ‘was legally vacuuming up just about any foreign communications it wanted,’ it needed FISA court permission ‘when it targeted one side of a call or e-mail that involved someone in the United States . . . .’”

December 17 2013

15:10

December 13 2013

16:17

Political Scene: Surveillance, the N.S.A., and Our Values : The New Yorker

November 01 2013

05:56

Week In The News: Obamacare Blowup, NSA Fury And A Year After Sandy

Obamacare hullaballoos. NSA snooping fury still rising. Superstorm Sandy, one year on.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Guests

Siobhan Gorman, intelligence correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. (@Gorman_Siobhan)

Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for NPR. (@JRovner)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Europeans Shared Spy Data With U.S. — “The revelations suggest a greater level of European involvement in global surveillance, in conjunction at times with the NSA. The disclosures also put European leaders who loudly protested reports of the NSA’s spying in a difficult spot, showing how their spy agencies aided the Americans. The phone records collected by the Europeans—in war zones and other areas outside their borders—were shared with the NSA as part of efforts to help protect American and allied troops and civilians, U.S. officials said.”

NPR: Congressmen Berate Sebelius For Cancellations, Website Woes — “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a date with lawmakers frustrated by the rocky rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. What she got at the House Energy and Commerce Committee was four hours of venting from Democrats and Republicans alike.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: Sandusky Settlements Cost Nearly $60M – “The university’s board of trustees had approved paying up to $60 million earlier this year, and the tab came to $59.7 million, the university said in a news release. The first multimillion-dollar settlement, with a 25-year-old man who was abused in a campus shower, was announced in mid-August. University officials predicted at that time that 25 more settlements would soon follow as part of a global agreement.”

October 31 2013

22:09

Spying, International Relations and Reeling In the NSA

America's National Security Agency has built a massive, online intelligence apparatus in the name of protecting the nation. Is it too successful for America's http://www.kcrw.com/news/programs/tp/tp131031spying_international

October 29 2013

07:47

Debating The NSA’s Reach

More claims all over on NSA snooping. We look at the scope of American surveillance and what we need, or don’t.

Guests

Adam Entous, national security correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. (@AdamEntous)

Jesselyn Radack, attorney and National Security and Rights Human Rights Director for the Government Accountability Project. Author of “Traitor: The Whistleblower and the ‘American Taliban.’” Former ethics adviser for the U.S. Department of Justice. (@Jesselyn Raddack)

Michael Allen, founder and Managing Director of Beacon Global Strategies, LLC. Former Majority Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Author of: Blinking Red: Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence After 9/11.” (@BeaconGlobal)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Obama Unaware as U.S. Spied on World Leaders — “Officials said the internal review turned up NSA monitoring of some 35 world leaders, in the U.S. government’s first public acknowledgment that it tapped the phones of world leaders. European leaders have joined international outrage over revelations of U.S. surveillance of Ms. Merkel’s phone and of NSA’s monitoring of telephone call data in France.The White House cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders, a senior U.S. official said. Other programs have been slated for termination but haven’t been phased out completely yet, officials said.”

Reuters: Spain summons U.S. ambassador over spying — “El Mundo reproduced a graphic on Monday which it said was an NSA document showing the agency had spied on 60.5 million phone calls in Spain between December 10, 2012 and January 8 this year. The newspaper said it had reached a deal with Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based journalist who has worked with other media on information provided to him by Snowden, to get access to documents affecting Spain.”

National Journal: NSA Surveillance Back in Crosshairs on Hill — “By tightening or codifying current practices and adding transparency and accountability measures, the legislation from Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., is a response to critics who have questioned the NSA’s rationale for secretly collecting phone and Internet records of millions of Americans. The bill they plan to move through the committee protects the NSA’s power to conduct sweeping surveillance approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and is unlikely to go anywhere near appeasing reform advocates.”

October 25 2013

05:52

Week In The News: Obamacare Glitches, Drone Strikes And NSA Revelations

Obamacare rollout under scrutiny. NSA snooping angers U.S. allies. Students killing teachers. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Guests

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times. (@SangerNYT)

Kelly O’Donnell, Capitol Hill correspondent for NBC News. (@KellyO)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Pakistani Premier Meets Obama to Mend Ties – “To symbolize a new beginning, the Obama administration will release more than $1.5 billion in aid to Pakistan, which had been held up because of tensions over the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, as well as the killing of two civilians by a C.I.A. contractor in Lahore and a wayward American airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border.”

The Guardian: Angela Merkel’s call to Obama: are you bugging my mobile phone? – “While European leaders have generally been keen to play down the impact of the whistleblowing disclosures in recent months, events in the EU’s two biggest countries this week threatened an upward spiral of lack of trust in transatlantic relations. Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, made plain that Merkel upbraided Obama unusually sharply and also voiced exasperation at the slowness of the Americans to respond to detailed questions on the NSA scandal since the Snowden revelations first appeared in the Guardian in June.”

National Journal: Buck Stops With Obama on Rocky Rollout of Health Care Plan — “To be sure, every major rollout of a new or changed social policy, including Medicare itself, is rough and takes weeks or months to resolve. But this rollout is clearly worse, and, as we learn more about its history over the past six months and more, the failures in vision and execution, in the face of clear and blunt warnings of problems ahead, are striking and troubling.”

October 23 2013

09:45

vSoup Somebody’s Watching Me With Chris Hoff #38 | vSoup

Chris Hoff. Better known (at least on Twitter) as Beaker is our guest in this one. How we managed to pull that off, is still beyond us, but hey, it all worked http://vsoup.net/2013/10/vsoup-somebodys-watching-me-with-chris-hoff-38/
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