The weekend’s new twists in the ongoing surreality of the NSA spying revelations: Greenwald investigates assassinations, countries race to provide data privacy, John McAfee launches “Decentral” project to thwart NSA
Things are getting even stranger, if possible, in the NSA saga: after having released Snowden’s documents, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald is now teaming up with The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill to investigate the NSA’s connections to the United States’ covert assassination programs:
Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, is now working with Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of “Dirty Wars.”
“The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don’t want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role on the U.S. assassination program,” said Scahill, speaking to moviegoers in Rio de Janeiro, where the documentary based on his book made its Latin American debut at the Rio Film Festival.
The recent NSA revelations have sparked competition to see who can offer data privacy: countries like Germany are competing to see who can be the “Cayman islands” of secure data.
Fueled by the controversy, countries are seeking to use data-privacy laws as a competitive advantage—a way to boost domestic companies that long have sought an edge over Google, Microsoft Corp. MSFT +1.50% and other U.S. tech giants.
“Countries are competing to be the Cayman Islands of data privacy,” says Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think tank that receives funding from the tech industry.
While establishing these islands of privacy might make for good marketing, the initiatives face hurdles. Laws demanding that data be stored in-country can give domestic Internet-service providers a boost but also could raise their customers’ costs.
And best of all in NSA-related news, infamous software mogul and bath salts aficionado John McAfee, not one to be left out of controversy, has announced plans to launch “Decentral,” a $100, pocket-sized device that he claims will block government surveillance.
Via the San Jose Mercury News:
John McAfee lived up to his reputation Saturday as tech’s most popular wild child, electrifying an audience with new details of his plan to thwart the NSA’s surveillance of ordinary Americans with an inexpensive, pocket-size gadget.
Dubbed “Decentral,” the as-yet-unbuilt device will cost less than $100, McAfee promised the enthusiastic crowd of about 300 engineers, musicians and artists at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.
“There will be no way (for the government) to tell who you are or where you are,” he said in an onstage interview with moderator Dan Holden at the inaugural C2SV Technology Conference + Music Festival.
If that wasn’t enough dirty NSA news, new reports have revealed that the agency spied on US senators during the Vietnam era—and that the NSA additionally mines US citizens’ Facebook accounts to develop profiles of their personalities and social networks. Surprise?