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NBIB hires KeyPoint, same company suspected of blame in OPM breach

According to Reuters, The company called KeyPoint, a “private company whose login credentials were used in hack attacks that looted the personal data of 22 million current and former federal employees” from the US Office of Personnel Management has now won a major contract for security clearance process from the new agency created because of the OPM hack, the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB). What could possibly go wrong?

In 2014, the US Office of Personnel Management was hacked (presumably by Chinese spies), and leaked 22,000,000+ records of Americans who’d applied for security clearance, handing over the most intimate, compromising details of their lives (the clearance process involves disclosing anything that could be used to blackmail you in the future). This didn’t come to light until 2015.

It’s still not clear how OPM got hacked, but signs point to a failure at one of its contractors, Keypoint Government Solutions, who appear to have lost control of their logins/passwords for sensitive OPM services.

In the wake of the hacks, the job of giving out security clearances has been given to a new government agency, the National Background Investigations Bureau.

NBIB is about to get started, and they’ve announced that they’re contracting out significant operations to Keypoint.

HT BoingBoing, Company suspected of blame in Office of Personnel Management breach will help run new clearance agency.

White House now on Snapchat

snapcode_whitehouse

The White House has launched an “Official Story” on Snapchat to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Administration. The announcement (below) says, significantly, that “Tomorrow, our Official Story will take you behind the scenes of the White House’s State of the Union preparations, with footage and angles you won’t find anywhere else.”

White House finally responds to Snowden petition. People’s voice brushed off

167,954 people who signed the White House petition to immediately give Edward Snowden a “full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs” have just received the following response from the White House. Not only did it take over 2 years for the White House to respond, but they responded with a completely fact-free and inappropriate hard line non-answer. Dan Froomkin at the Intercept sums it up nicely.

A Response to Your Petition on Edward Snowden

Thanks for signing a petition about Edward Snowden. This is an issue that many Americans feel strongly about. Because his actions have had serious consequences for our national security, we took this matter to Lisa Monaco, the President’s Advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Here’s what she had to say:

“Since taking office, President Obama has worked with Congress to secure appropriate reforms that balance the protection of civil liberties with the ability of national security professionals to secure information vital to keep Americans safe.

As the President said in announcing recent intelligence reforms, “We have to make some important decisions about how to protect ourselves and sustain our leadership in the world, while upholding the civil liberties and privacy protections that our ideals and our Constitution require.”

Instead of constructively addressing these issues, Mr. Snowden’s dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it.

If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and — importantly — accept the consequences of his actions. He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he’s running away from the consequences of his actions.

We live in a dangerous world. We continue to face grave security threats like terrorism, cyber-attacks, and nuclear proliferation that our intelligence community must have all the lawful tools it needs to address. The balance between our security and the civil liberties that our ideals and our Constitution require deserves robust debate and those who are willing to engage in it here at home.”

via Pardon Edward Snowden | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government.

@POTUS

potus

Introducing @POTUS: President Obama’s Twitter Account. Alex Wall, The White House Blog (May 18, 2015).

Today, with a tweet from the Oval Office, President Obama launched @POTUS, the official Twitter account of the President of the United States.

Other Twitter accounts you might want to know about:

The White House: @WhiteHouse
Vice President Joe Biden: @VP
First Lady Michelle Obama: @FLOTUS
Dr. Jill Biden: @DrBiden
Live coverage from the White House: @WHLive
Press Secretary Josh Earnest: @PressSec
Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett: @VJ44
Communications Director Jen Psaki: @Psaki44
White House updates in Spanish: @LaCasaBlanca
Chief Official White House Photographer: @PeteSouza

Full list of White House Twitter accounts at twitter.com/WhiteHouse/lists/whitehouseaccounts/members.

Whitehouse.gov includes unique non-cookie tracker, conflicts with privacy policy

ProPublica reported on new research by a team at KU Leuven and Princeton on canvas fingerprinting. [[Canvas fingerprinting]] allows websites to uniquely identify and track visitors without the use of browser cookies or other similar means. One of the most intrusive users of the technology is a company called AddThis, who are employing it in “shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been tracking on this privacy-destroying technology for several years.

While YouPorn quickly removed AddThis after the report was published, the White House website still contains AddThis code.  Some White House pages obviously include the AddThis button, such as the White House Blog, and a link to the AddThis privacy policy.

Other pages, like the White House’s own Privacy Policy, load javascript from AddThis, but do not otherwise indicate that AddThis is present. To pick the most ironic example, if you go to the page for the White House policy for third-party cookies, it loads the “addthis_widget.js.” This script, in turn, references “core143.js,” which has a “canvas” function and the tell-tale “Cwm fjordbank glyphs vext quiz” phrase.

via White House Website Includes Unique Non-Cookie Tracker, Conflicts With Privacy Policy | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

(HT BoingBoing!]

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