Snowden’s Oliver Stone and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Pokemon Go and Surveillance

Three-time Oscar winner Oliver Stone and the cast of his upcoming film Snowden discussed the privacy issues that affect everyone with a smartphone—especially those playing Pokemon Go—during a panel for the film at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday. The film follows the story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who after initial hesitations cooperated with Stone…

via Snowden’s Oliver Stone and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Pokemon Go and Surveillance — TIME

Snowden says It’s a ‘Dark Day for Russia’ after Putin Signs Anti-Terror Law


Whistleblower and ex-NSA employee Edward Snowden has criticized a new anti-terror law introduced on Thursday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, referring it as “repressive” and noting that it is a “dark day for Russia.”

The new legislation signed by Putin would compel the country’s telephone carriers and Internet providers to record and store the private communications of each and every one of their customers for six months – and turn them over to the government if requested.

The data collected on customers would include phone calls, text messages, photographs, and Internet activities that would be stored for six months, and “metadata” would be stored up to 3 years.

Moreover, Instant messaging services that make use of encryption, including WhatsApp, Telegram, and Viber, could face heavy fines of thousands of pounds if these services continue to operate in Russia without handing over their encryption keys to the government.

“Putin has signed a repressive new law that violates not only human rights but common sense. A dark day for Russia,” Snowden wrote on Twitter.

Snowden is responsible for revealing global mass surveillance programs by leaking NSA classified documents back in June 2013 before finding asylum in Russia.

The activist explained that the new Russian law, in addition to “political and constitutional consequences,” would cost telecommunications providers over $30 Billion to implement the new law, which is more than they can afford.

The CEO of Russia’s second-largest telecom company Megafon told a local newspaper Thursday that he would rather pay the government higher taxes than spend over $3 Billion yearly on infrastructure upgrades.

“Well be unable to fulfill the requirements of law in the way that it exists at present,” said Megafon CEO Sergey Soldatenkov, adding that his company only generates an annual profit of $780 Million.

“When we saw the provisions of the bill, we really hoped that it will not be accepted. I believe we have done everything possible to inform deputies, Federation Council [and] the government that the bill in this form is impossible,” Soldatenkov added.

A spokesperson for Tele2, another Russian telecom company, said it might have to raise prices threefold or more in order to accommodate the new law, The WSJ reported.

The Russian government will establish the precise requirements of the new legislation, according to the Kremlin website.

This frightening new legislation comes into force on July 20th.

Ladar Levison finally confirms Snowden was target of Lavabit investigation — TechCrunch

Ladar Levison’s three-year fight for freedom to speak about the government order that shuttered Lavabit, his secure email service, is finally over. Levison was finally able to confirm today that Lavabit was targeted by the government during its investigation into the Edward Snowden leaks. Although Apple’s legal battle to keep its users’ data encrypted is more widely……

via Ladar Levison finally confirms Snowden was target of Lavabit investigation — TechCrunch