Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 30th Dec 2013 15:49 UTC
Legal

The German newspaper Der Spiegel has unveiled a whole bunch of stuff about the NSA and its tools that defy belief. Their tools and actions go way beyond what we already knew; we're not just talking passive information gathering through cables and such, but way, way more.

For instance, the NSA can divert shipments of purchased computers and equipment to their own secret workshops, where malware and spying hardware is added to these products before they are then shipped onward to the buyers. They also intercept Windows crash reports as they are sent from users' computers to Microsoft's servers. Worse yet, they can reportedly add special hardware to drones that can wirelessly infect computers from up to 8 kilometres away.

We've only seen the tip of the iceberg here. The fact that no heads are rolling in Washington over this illustrates just how corrupt and undemocratic the US government has become.

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Say no to binary blobs
by crystall on Mon 30th Dec 2013 17:33 UTC
crystall
Member since:
2007-02-06

Refusal by certain Linux distros to ship binary blobs has been usually met with scorn about excessive paranoia in the past. As it turns out the motivations behind that refusal have been more than vindicated by this leak.

It turns out that not only you cannot trust binary blobs obtained/download from vendors but you cannot trust baked-in firmware either. Just to put this into perspective pretty much every component today ships with some sort of firmware: BIOS/UEFI, hard-drives, SSDs, wireless cards, graphics cards, etc... You name it.

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