surveillance
Swiss Government Files Criminal Complaint Over CIA’s Decades-Long Global Encryption Racket

As US senators and tech companies scream their fears of Chinese spyware (TikTok) and state-funded telecoms (Huawei) from the rooftops, the US is being called to face up to its own penchant for planetary surveillance. Announced Sunday, a Swiss government agency has filed a criminal complaint against US and German intelligence entities for pushing spyware on over 120 other countries. This follows a joint investigation by the Washington Post, German public broadcaster ZDF, and Swiss broadcaster SRF, which revealed that the CIA and the German intelligence agency BDN had been selling encryption devices through a Swiss company Crypto AG for half a century, with “rigged systems” for less friendly countries. Read More >>

julian assange
Julian Assange Lawyers to Argue Trump’s New Intel Chief Sought Shady Extradition Deal

Defence lawyers for Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder facing possible extradition to the U.S. from the UK on 18 charges related to his leaks of U.S. military and security secrets, plan to argue they have evidence new acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell abused his power to interfere in the case on behalf of Donald Trump, Politico reported on Monday. Read More >>

julian assange
Julian Assange Says Trump Offered Him a Pardon to Deny Russia Hacked Democrats in 2016

Lawyers for beleaguered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claim that Donald Trump offered him a pardon if he’d claim the 2016 hacks of Democratic Party email systems had nothing to do with Russia, the Guardian reported on Wednesday. Read More >>

huawei
Looks Like Huawei Might Be Screwed This Time

The US Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it was unsealing a superseding indictment against Chinese tech giant Huawei, charging the company and several of its affiliates under a law traditionally used to take down sprawling criminal syndicates that operated under multiple layers of secrecy. Read More >>

espionage
CIA Spied Using Sabotaged Encryption Equipment It Sold to Foreign Governments Since the 1970s

America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) spied on allies and enemies alike through a company they owned that made cryptography equipment, according to an explosive new report from the Washington Post and Germany’s ZDF news outlet. Read More >>

tiktok
TikTok Owner ByteDance Denies That It’s Planning to Sell Majority Stake Amid Espionage Concerns

A Bloomberg report on Monday evening said that ByteDance is considering selling off a majority stake in its incredibly popular and fantastically annoying music app, TikTok, amid intensifying US government concerns that the China-based company is a security and espionage threat. However, the firm has denied the report as “inaccurate” and “meritless.” Read More >>

tiktok
Report: ByteDance Isolating TikTok From Rest of Chinese Operations Over Espionage Concerns

China’s ByteDance, owner of wildly popular (and often deeply annoying) music app TikTok, has moved to segregate much of the app’s operations from the rest of its business in a bid to convince the US government user data is safe from the prying eyes of Chinese spies, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Read More >>

whatsapp
Facebook Sues Shadowy Israeli Cyberweapons Firm NSO Group Over WhatsApp Malware

Facebook and subsidiary WhatsApp have filed suit against shadowy Israeli cyber-intelligence firm NSO Group, saying that it exploited a vulnerability in the encrypted messaging app to infect over 1,400 phones with malware. Read More >>

russia
Hackers Reportedly Break Into SyTech, a Contractor for Russia’s Federal Security Service

Hackers breached servers at a contractor for Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), SyTech, and stole about 7.5 terabytes of data after gaining access to the company’s entire network earlier this month, ZDnet reported on Saturday. Read More >>

espionage
UCLA Professor Faces 219 Years in Prison for Sending US Missile Chips to China

An adjunct professor of electrical engineering at UCLA has been convicted of 18 federal charges in connection with illegally exporting semiconductor chips with military applications to China, The Verge reports. Read More >>

huawei
Huawei, Still on Commerce Blacklist, Reportedly Planning U.S. Layoffs

Chinese tech firm Huawei is planning on laying off hundreds of U.S. workers after landing on a Commerce Department blacklist that has savaged its ability to do business stateside, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. Read More >>

north korea
Kim Jong Un’s Half Brother Kim Jong Nam, Killed With VX Nerve Agent, Was Reportedly CIA Informant

Kim Jong Un’s half brother Kim Jong Nam was an informant for the US Central Intelligence Agency who met more than once with unspecified “agency operatives” before he was killed with VX nerve toxin in a Malaysian airport in February 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday—albeit citing a “person knowledgeable with the matter.” Read More >>

huawei
Report: Trump Expected to Sign Order That Could Bar US Firms From Buying Huawei Telecom Gear

Amid a U.S.-China trade war that, after brief signs of abatement, now seems headed off the rails and continued assertions by U.S. intelligence agencies that Chinese tech giant Huawei poses a national security risk, Donald Trump is poised to sign an executive order that could bar telecommunications companies from buying its equipment, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Read More >>

whatsapp
Report: WhatsApp Vulnerability Used to Secretly Infect Phones With NSO Group’s Notorious Spyware

Powerful spyware developed by Israeli cyber-intelligence company NSO Group exploited a vulnerability in encrypted messaging app WhatsApp to transfer itself to targeted devices, the Financial Times reported on Monday. Read More >>

huawei
Backdoors in Huawei Equipment Discovered by Vodafone Italy in 2009

Vodafone Italy discovered backdoors in its Huawei home internet routers and software between 2009 and 2011 according to a new report from Bloomberg News. The backdoors have reportedly been fixed, but the revelations are still bad news for Huawei as the Chinese tech giant tries to secure contracts to build 5G infrastructure around the world. Read More >>