Software flaw may have exposed whistleblower identities

The anonymity of whistleblowers who disclosed secrets online to news or nonprofit organizations may have been compromised. Forbes reports that Exodus Intelligence claims to have discovered “critical unpatched flaws” in Tails, the computer operating system that is used by news and nonprofit organizations to communicate privately with whistleblowers like Edward Snowden

“The flaws work on the latest version of Tails and allow for the ability to exploit a targeted user, both for de-anonymisation and remote code execution,” said Loc Nguyen a researcher at Exodus. Remote code execution means a hacker can do almost anything they want to the victim’s system, such as installing malware or siphoning off files. (Forbes)

Donations pour in to save whistleblower’s home

June 15, 2014

Father’s Day brought exciting news for CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, a father of five. Friday’s fundraiser succeeded in raising the $30,000 needed to save the family home from foreclosure. Kiriakou, who exposed CIA torture during the Bush administration, is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence.

CodePink forwards the following thank-you from John’s wife Heather.

Our family is so grateful for all you and your organization has done for us. There really are not words to capture our gratitude.
You are helping us to stay strong and optimistic about our future. I have to also say that it was a big gift to have the kids all sleep in this morning. They danced their hearts out last night!

Russians tracked and tricked Snowden, claims former KGB spy


Today, a British newspaper reported that an ex-KGB/FSB officer claims the Russian government tracked and manipulated Snowden. The (Daily) Mirror article by Nigel Nelson alleges:

  • Russia intelligence opened a file on Snowden in 2007 when he was working for the CIA in Geneva
  • Russian spies posing as diplomats tricked Snowden into seeking asylum in Russia after he fled to Hong Kong
  • Russians leaked information about Snowden’s presence in Russia to provoke the US into cancelling his passport

What Edward Snowden’s critics forget about Daniel Ellsberg

GTWN-22Apr2014-LLewis-j1-1 One year ago, The Guardian published the first disclosure of secret NSA surveillance activities by Edward Snowden. Four days later, the whistleblower revealed his identity to the world. Ever since, NSA officials and supporters have disparaged Snowden as “no Daniel Ellsberg.” But, the Ellsberg they use for comparison bears only a foggy resemblance to the Nixon-era, “Pentagon Papers” whistleblower.

Internal report supports VA whistleblowers’ claims; Shinseki apologizes and resigns

President Obama walks with VA Secretary Shinseki on WH grounds. Official WH photo by Pete Souza.

Shinseki walks with Obama on White House grounds. Official WH photo by Pete Souza.

President Obama announced Friday that he had accepted the resignation of Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.Sloan D. Gibson will replace Shinseki as acting secretary. Ron Nabors, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, will aid Gibson in the transition and report back to the president. “With considerable regret,” the president accepted the resignation.“It was Rick’s judgment that he could not carry out the next stages of reform without being a distraction himself,” Obama said.