Whistle-blower update: U.S. seeks Snowden extradition; WikiLeaker’s Gmail searched

Several stories involving whistle-blower/espionage suspect Edward Snowden cropped up Saturday, including word of a U.S. demand for his extradition. And news of a Justice Department search of a former WikiLeaks volunteer’s Gmail account has also surfaced. Here’s a quick summary:

In a brief report, The South China Morning Post said today that Snowden told the paper during a June 12 interview that the U.S. government has been hacking into the networks of cell-phone carriers based in Hong Kong and in mainland China. “The NSA [U.S. National Security Agency] does all kinds of things …

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Feds charge Snowden with espionage

The U.S. government has quietly charged ex-NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden with espionage, theft, and conversion of government property, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

Snowden, a former NSA contractor made headlines when he leaked details about top-secret surveillance programs that collect certain user information from Internet companies and phone service providers in an effort to track down terrorists.

In addition to filing a sealed criminal complaint, the U.S. has asked Hong Kong to detain Snowden, so he can be extradited to the U.S. for trial, unnamed U.S. officials told the Post. U.S. prosecutors have …

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Facebook bug exposed contact info of 6M users

Facebook is alerting 6 million of its users that their e-mails or phone numbers were inadvertently shared with other members.

The social network said Friday that it has discovered and patched a bug in its “Download Your Information” tool that unintentionally exposed some members’ contact details. The bug was reported earlier this month through the company’s White Hat program, which rewards security researchers for reporting vulnerabilities. The bug was fixed within 24 hours, a company spokesperson told CNET.


“It’s … something we’re upset and embarrassed by,” Facebook said in a note published to its …

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Woz: I feel ‘a little guilty’ about NSA surveillance

It’s as if Michelangelo’s paintings had been used to reinforce a religion he didn’t believe in. Or something.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is continuing to bare his angst about the seemingly endless revelations concerning the National Security Agency’s liberal use of technology.

Last week, he expressed his frustrations to Latin American journalists when they chatted with him at San Francisco Airport. He compared America to Russia.

Appearing on CNN with Piers Morgan on Thursday night, Woz revealed other emotions.

Asked whether he felt troubled that the inventions of technologists like himself were being used for potentially …

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U.K. regulator to Google: Delete Street View data — or else

The U.K.’s top privacy watchdog has decided that Google won’t be hit with any fines over its collection of Street View data.

The Information Commissioner Office (ICO) announced on Friday that it has placed a “legal requirement” on Google, forcing the company to delete any data it still has on hand related to its Street View snooping. The company had offered to delete data back in 2010. But Google kept some data on hand, leading the ICO to reopen its investigation in April 2012.

“Google has…confirmed that it still has in its possession …

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ExploitShield becomes Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit

ExploitShield launched in September 2012 (covered previously by Seth Rosenblatt) with an ambitious goal: to close the yawning security gap for zero-day threats, those nasty exploits that arise upon first notice of a security vulnerability in a browser or other application before developers can fix the hole. Today, the ExploitShield technology gained a lot more visibility as it was acquired by security-software publisher Malwarebytes, whose Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software has been a Top 10 product on Download.com for many years.

As a result of the purchase, Malwarebytes has released a new beta version of the software, now called Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit. …

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Silicon Valley, NSA might be closer than we thought

It appears that the National Security Agency and at least some Silicon Valley-based companies are tighter than both have contended.

Several unidentified Silicon Valley companies have at times established secret teams of employees charged with making their customers’ data more accessible to the NSA, The New York Times is reporting on Thursday, citing both current and former “industry officials.” The companies say that they’re establishing the teams so they can control how data is transferred to the NSA, but the government agency is also applying pressure to make it easier for its employees to access data.

The …

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