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BDFL
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Topic # 119618 7-Jun-2013 22:02 Send private message

So, the cat's out: the US government, through NSA seems to have a "direct line" to data stored by companies such as Apple, AOL, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! between others.

European laws already mandate that companies should not store their citizens' data outside EU if their original countries do not guarantee the security of this data. What are the implications for New Zealanders?

Telecom customers with Xtra email addresses automatically have their emails handled by Yahoo!. Some SOE entitities use Google Apps. Local businesses use Office 365...

What's the impact of having a foreign government with access to seemingly essential parts of our communications? How does it change New Zealand businesses view of these services?









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  Reply # 832465 7-Jun-2013 23:15 One person supports this post Send private message

I have real doubts whether this NSA news is actually even real story.

1. The PowerPoint slide 'acquired' by guardian.co.uk looks like that it was done by a 12 year old.
2. Someone actually managed to hack and gather a PowerPoint file from NSA?
3. All the companies have come out today and released statement publicly that they have not allowed any government backdoor access.
4. What benefit would these companies receive and why would they voluntarily want to join a program like PRISM?




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  Reply # 832468 7-Jun-2013 23:41 Send private message

The only way to know where your data is, is to host it in house or at least in NZ, have a solid corporate IT policy backed by firewalls with a data loss prevention mechanism. It will never be full proof, but if you have sensitive information then you better at least try keep it safe.

The number of corporate files shared via dropbox and Google docs there days is frightening!

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  Reply # 832471 7-Jun-2013 23:58 Send private message

insane:

The number of corporate files shared via dropbox and Google docs there days is frightening!


Yep. I totally agree with that. I have pin pointed this problem at work where quite a lot of groups within the organisation use dropbox. The reply back is 'it's fine'. People just want to wait for something to happen to them before they learn a lesson. This is so true in IT.






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  Reply # 832476 8-Jun-2013 00:23 Send private message

No one "hacked" the NSA to get the presentation. Apparently it was leaked by an intelligence officer.




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  Reply # 832477 8-Jun-2013 00:23 Send private message

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/Jun13/06-06statement.aspx
Microsoft:
REDMOND, Wash., June 6, 2013 - We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.




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  Reply # 832479 8-Jun-2013 00:28 Send private message

i'm glad i dont use an ex-govt owned ISP .... they are listed there with all the others at the top ;)








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  Reply # 832499 8-Jun-2013 08:09 2 people support this post Send private message

billgates:
insane:

The number of corporate files shared via dropbox and Google docs there days is frightening!


Yep. I totally agree with that. I have pin pointed this problem at work where quite a lot of groups within the organisation use dropbox. The reply back is 'it's fine'. People just want to wait for something to happen to them before they learn a lesson. This is so true in IT.


It's not 'fine' but it's no worse than sending an unencrypted email. If you don't want people reading it, encrypt it. Then it doesn't matter where you store it.

But also be aware that the new interception bills being drafted here require carriers (in the general sense; both data and voice) to be able to do all this too for the NZ government. The only thing that surprises me is that people are surprised.




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  Reply # 832526 8-Jun-2013 09:46 Send private message

SaltyNZ: But also be aware that the new interception bills being drafted here require carriers (in the general sense; both data and voice) to be able to do all this too for the NZ government. The only thing that surprises me is that people are surprised.


The only good part of this (as I am personally against the law change) is that the law will evenly shift the cost of compliance onto all providers.  One thing that has always bothered me is the extremely high cost of compliance for one company (Telco's in the traditional sense) where other OTT providers such as Skype, Google Voice, Facebook.  IMHO if the government mandate that we *need* to be spied on by our domestic spies, and there needs to be proper oversight over the agency doing the spying (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?) and if the general population is made well aware of it and isn't happy about it thankfully we live in a democracy and can vote out our elected representatives after 3 (or perhaps 4 if JK gets his way) years.

The current situation when some organisations have the extremely high burden of compliance from the govt of the day costing serious money where other providers have no compliance requirements at all isn't fair.




I work for Telecom, but as always my views are my own.



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  Reply # 832530 8-Jun-2013 09:51 Send private message

The 90s called and it wants its Carnivore back.

Now people might understand why the NSA is building a new billion dollars datacentre in Utah... It was talked about last month, and I see in the last two or three hours there's a wave of reports like "oh, that's what the new datacentre is for".




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  Reply # 833460 10-Jun-2013 11:35 Send private message

Here is a good explanation from ZDNet about the whole NSA fiasco.

The real story appears to be much less controversial than the original alarming accusations. All of the companies involved have established legal procedures to respond to warrants from a law enforcement agency or a court. None of them appear to be participating with widespread surveillance.


http://www.zdnet.com/the-real-story-in-the-nsa-scandal-is-the-collapse-of-journalism-7000016570/




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  Reply # 833491 10-Jun-2013 12:45 Send private message

With all these companies (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!) coming out and saying they do not participate in PRISM, what are the chances that the NSA has illegally made their own backdoor into these services? Perhaps via hardware manufacturers or database providers?

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  Reply # 833566 10-Jun-2013 13:57 One person supports this post Send private message

The issue isn't with the service providers; all they are doing is providing legal intercept dropboxes in their network where data that is required to be delivered in response to a warrant is placed. That's pretty standard - the 3GPP standard for legal intercept has the same concept.

The real issue is with the bad law that empowers it. There are legal loopholes in it big enough to drive an aircraft carrier through. We need to make sure *our* new law doesn't do it too.




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  Reply # 833570 10-Jun-2013 14:08 Send private message

billgates: Here is a good explanation from ZDNet about the whole NSA fiasco.

The real story appears to be much less controversial than the original alarming accusations. All of the companies involved have established legal procedures to respond to warrants from a law enforcement agency or a court. None of them appear to be participating with widespread surveillance.


http://www.zdnet.com/the-real-story-in-the-nsa-scandal-is-the-collapse-of-journalism-7000016570/


I would not trust ZDNet with anything related to Microsoft: http://techrights.org/2013/06/04/zdnet-controlled/

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  Reply # 833667 10-Jun-2013 16:56 Send private message

insane: The only way to know where your data is, is to host it in house or at least in NZ, have a solid corporate IT policy backed by firewalls with a data loss prevention mechanism. It will never be full proof, but if you have sensitive information then you better at least try keep it safe.

The number of corporate files shared via dropbox and Google docs there days is frightening!


With the recent NZ law changes you're going to see the same kind of spying/interception happen here in NZ soon enough Frown

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  Reply # 833833 10-Jun-2013 23:33 Send private message

In my opinion this has been massively overblown by a misunderstanding of a few unconfirmed slides. I haven't seen any actual evidence but I have seen a number of unjustified conclusions.

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