June 22, 2013
Skype Provided Backdoor Access To The NSA Before Microsoft Takeover.HT: Other and the InfiniteUnknown. Skype Provided Backdoor Access to the NSA Before Microsoft Takeover (Softpedia, June 20, 2013): The NSA saga continues in the Redmond-based empire, this time with a new report aimed at Microsoft’s flagship VoIP platform Skype. A report published by The New York Times and citing people who asked not to be named for obvious reasons, Skype developed its own user-monitoring system before the Microsoft acquisition in October 2011. It appears that US intelligence agencies have insisted that local software companies must cooperate closer with the NSA, so it asked several top vendors, including Skype, to put together secret teams to develop systems that would provide them with backdoor access to users’ conversations. The source claims that the NSA wanted “to control the process themselves” and thus skip the process of contacting the parent company and asking for details on select user accounts. This is how Skype Project Chess was born. “Less than a dozen people inside Skype” have been asked to develop a hidden system that would allow the NSA to access conversations and user details at any time. Skype officially joined the PRISM program on February 6, 2011, so it’s believed that the backdoor access system was already up and running at that time, more than half a year before the Microsoft acquisition was completed. It’s not yet confirmed, but it appears that those tools have already been removed from Skype, as part of Microsoft’s network updates over the years. Tipsters, on the other hand, claim that companies involved in this NSA secret plan have kept the monitoring systems to “control the process themselves.” The interesting thing is that Microsoft is now refusing to comment on this report, even though the company has often denied stories claiming that Skype calls can be wiretapped. The only thing we got from Microsoft in the PRISM scandal is the public statement rolled out this month and claiming that it never provides user details to the government on a voluntary basis.
“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.”
November 3, 2011
Last summer I went to Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park and some guy who got jealous that I was talking to his girlfriend went and told the cops that I was a pederast and I was escorted out of the park. I was silent about the story for the most part because it was embarrassing, but now it seems that the NYPD really are over the top in the parks and I’m getting sick of this. Lucky for us the NYPD picked on some goody goody college girl from Carnegie Mellon University. They could pick on me because I fear them, but this girl fought back. good for her, but it shows how there is sexual bias in favor of women. I would of spent the week or months in jail. Lucky for me I had not actually done anything wrong and was polite as all hell, but I was really freaked out.
(h/t Republican Jewish Coalition/Your Jewish News/Gothamist) Extending the courtesy of ticket-fixing to fellow officers, pepper-spraying peaceful protesters, and planting drugs on innocent suspects to meet arrest quotas are but three of the NYPD’s less savory on-the-job exploits which have been put under the microscope via recent high-profile cases. But the NYTimes’ Jim Dwyer points us in the direction of one person’s smaller story of a particularly frivolous arrest which seems just as ridiculous as those bigger cases: a 21-year-old female student was arrested and held by NYPD for 36 hours for not carrying ID. And as Dwyer so simply puts it, once she finally reached a courtroom, “the judge proceeded to dismiss the ticket in less than a minute.” Samantha Zucker, who is from Westchester but goes to school at Carnegie Mellon University, was visiting NYC on October 22 with a group of seniors looking for jobs in design industries when she had her fateful run-in with cops. She and friend Alex Fischer were walking in Riverside Park after its 1 a.m. closing when they were confronted by police. “We’re there five minutes when a police car came up and told us we had to leave because the park was closed,” Fischer said. “We said, ‘O.K., we didn’t know,’ and turned around to leave. Almost immediately, a second police car pulls up.” The students were given tickets for trespassing, and the officers demanded their IDs. While Fischer was allowed to leave after showing his, Zucker had left her wallet in a hotel two blocks away. Police wouldn’t allow Fischer to go get it for her, and Zucker was handcuffed and forced to spend the next 36 hours locked up shuffled between a cell in the 26th Precinct station house on West 126th Street and central booking in Lower Manhattan. It’s as if she had been eating doughnuts in a playground while unaccompanied by a minor! The arresting officer, identified as Police Officer Durrell of the 26th Precinct in court papers, also allegedly made fun of Zucker while she was being held: “He was telling me that I needed to get a new boyfriend, that I should get a guy who takes me out to dinner,” Zucker said. “He mocked me for being from Westchester.” After two nights in custody, the judge dismissed all charges in seconds. Dwyer describes Zucker’s pointless arrest in poetic terms, calling it indicative of a larger cancer choking the effectiveness of the NYPD: “the staggering waste of spirit, the squandering of public resources, the follies disguised as crime-fighting.” He also connects that with the controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which accounted for more than 600K arrests last year. According to NYPD spokesman Paul Browne, officers can allow a friend or relative to retrieve ID. Zucker isn’t only upset with the arresting officer however—she also blames a culture of complacency which prevented anyone from helping her during those 36 hours: “While it may have been one out-of-control officer that began the process, no other officer had the courage to stand up against what they knew was a poor decision,” she said. (image Riverside Park street stars’s flickr)
The police in NY are outrageous. I have some stories… I’ve been beat up by off duty cops working as security guards at MSG. I’ve been pulled over supposedly for gay cruising for Dominicans in Washington Heights and then asked if my pal (a Jewish doctor) was my boyfriend. I’ve been pulled over when hot women in expensive cars pass me on the right and then given a ticket as a cock block. and woah… the correction officers in jails were just plain abusive. When I worked for the Yellow Pages I knew the madame of the escort agency that serviced Bernard B. Kerik and GIULIANI and friends (it was my job to sell the advertising). I have this female cop that drives around my neighborhood in Poughkeepsie and she pulls the car over with the mother of my son in the car. Some kind of female bullshit. I’ve always been theoretically Conservative, but Rudy G was what kept me from crossing over for a long time. The media made it seem like Rudy was picking on black folks. That wasn’t true. The NYPD picks on all young men regardless of their skin color. It’s the police… not all police… just police in general. They are horrible. Can I prove any of what I am saying? No, probably not… though I do have a Jewish doctor as a witness from the Washington Heights claim. Point is that you can never prove the abuse of the police and many states are making it hard or impossible to record on video the behavior of the police. Any Conservative who is against people having video cameras I will reject for the same reason I want people to have guns. If we don’t protect ourselves it is asking for the police to abuse us.