The week in security: PRISM fallout drives push for monitoring transparency

Research firm Gartner says there are change of strategy in the form of a preference for secure mobile devices over insecure desktops.

The fallout from revelations about the US government’s PRISM surveillance program continued, with a declassified explanation of the program on offer even as debate about the program raged online and off. Former CIA staffer Edward Snowden, hiding in Hong Kong, named himself as the source of the leaked information and was quickly fired from his job, and variously painted as both a hero and a traitor.

Snowden is still in hiding but delayed a vote on guidelines around what authorities can do with airline passengers’ data. The inevitable introduced laws to declassify opinions of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. For its part, the UK’s GCHQ listening centre delivered a report on its role in PRISM.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed its own lawsuit against NSA surveillance, while a number of tech organisations banded together to launch an online anti-surveillance petition through the Stopwatching.us coalition hoping to stop the PRISM program.

Google asked the US Department of Justice for permission to release details of government data requests, and was supported by both Facebook and Twitter. Within days, Mozilla and 41 different privacy groups had joined forces to fight the NSA.

A retired US Navy admiral blasted the move as a , and others were completely unsurprised to learn the New Android malware was detected that spreads by Bluetooth and circumvents two-factor authentication while Kaspersky Labs identified a new Android Trojan that knocked out around 1000 servers run by security researchers, but about to seean explosion of data breaches in the Middle East are correct. Indeed, a UK thinktank said the Internet is increasingly going to be used for ‘militarisation’ while the Bank of England ranked the threat of cyber attacks as more concerning than the Eurozone crisis. Interestingly, an audit of online privacy protections found that social-media sites introduction of hashtags. The US Food and Drug Administration found a way to handle cloud data without decrypting it – potentially improving the strength of encryption-based security in shielding information from the government’s eyes.

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