Yours Securely,

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Speaking at South By Southwest, Google’s Eric Schmidt for the first time (that I’m aware of) unequivocally stated that what the NSA did wasn’t just surveillance or your garden variety hack — it was a direct attack on one of the United States’ most successful companies:
“The solution to this is to encrypt data at multiple points of source. We had already been doing this, but we accelerated our activities,” he said. “We’re pretty sure right now that the information that’s inside of Google is safe from any government’s prying eyes, including the US government’s… We were attacked by the Chinese in 2010, we were attacked by the NSA in 2013. These are facts.”
You’re the executive chairman of one of the most powerful, wealthy compan

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Google, Facebook, and other Internet companies have aggressively expanded the kinds of data collected on their users, which helps them build better targeted ads and products that predict what users want. “Companies can surveil you to sell you products, to sell your information to other companies, and that can be bad, but you have legal recourse,” he argued. Noting, importantly, that with Internet companies, “it’s typically voluntary contracts.”

Governments, on the other hand, “have police powers, they have military powers, they have intelligence powers. They can literally kill you.”

When asked about the promises and peril of “big data,” Snowden argued that the crucial element is consent. The government often collects this data in secret.

“The bottom line is that data should not be collected without people’s knowledge and consent.”

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Snowden makes the point that his testimony doesn’t disclose anything that the press hasn’t already published, but there’s been so much that it’s worth reviewing some of it. He directs our attention to something I’d missed: the NSA’s Foreign Affairs Division (FAD) spends an extraordinary amount of time lobbying EU nations (and other countries) to change their laws so that the NSA can legally spy on everyone in the country. What’s more, they cook these deals — for example, they’ll get German permission to listen in on everything by non-Germans and get a Danish deal that covers all the non-Danes, but since the Internet backbones traverse both countries, they can spy on Germans in Denmark and Danes in Germany. As Snowden says, “The surest way for any nation to become subject to unnecessary surveillance is to allow its spies to dictate its policy.”

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Choosing a Secure Password

Great article on how to choose a password.

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Schneier on Security: The Insecurity of Secret IT Systems

Security is a process. For software, that process is iterative. It involves defenders trying to build a secure system, attackers — criminals, hackers, and researchers — defeating the security, and defenders improving their system. This is how all mass-market software improves its security. It’s the best system we have. And for systems that are kept out of the hands of the public, that process stalls. The result looks like the Rapiscan 522 B x-ray system.

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The power of two - All you need to know about two-factor authentication

If you can use two factor authentication, use it. It is the most effective protection against having your accounts hacked. Especially use it on your email account. Most providers have it available. security

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