Fugitive NSA Leaker Snowden Nominated For Peace Prize

The man who stole classified information from the National Security Agency and then fled the country to avoid prosecution for his actions is now an official nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Two members of the Norwegian government nominated Edward Snowden.

Baard Vegard Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen released publicly their nomination for Snowden.  They claimed that Snowden’s release of the classified NSA actions “has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order.”

The members of the Nobel panel do not confirm nominees but people who make nominations are permitted to release the information to the public.

The nomination comes a few days after Snowden released new documents showing that the NSA and their British counterparts were doing real time spying on use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

NSA Secretly Collects Data Using Angry Birds

If you have played the mobile game Angry Birds on your phone at any time since its release, then you likely have a file at the NSA with your personal information.

A new document released by fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden shows that the NSA has a list of online games that have security leaks which can allow them to obtain information without having to hack into someone’s smartphone.

The program could capture everything from the model of phone and its screen size to someone’s age, gender and GPS location. The apps can also be used to determine sensitive personal information such as a person’s dating preferences or preferred restaurants.

Most smartphone users have no idea of the potential weaknesses in security of smartphone games and the ease with which security groups can obtain their most personal information.

The data skimming from games is part of a $1 billion budget the NSA has used for online spying targeting phones.

Squeaky Dolphin Stalks Online Users

If you have a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Blogger account, then the NSA and their British counterparts have used Operation Squeaky Dolphin to spy on you.

A document released by Edward Snowden to the Guardian newspaper and NBC News shows a program called Squeaky Dolphin that would track in real time users of major social media sites to build a profile of their interests.

The leaked document instructs users of the program how to target specific data sets within the websites to gain the information they wish to obtain.  Everything from Facebook likes and posted links, to Twitter messages with keywords to videos watched on YouTube was collected and sorted by the program.

The released document shows examples of real life Twitter user feeds collected without the user’s knowledge discussing the NSA and security matters.

The document also outlined how to hack into the servers of the major social media sites and obtain information without the knowledge of the website owners. Operators of Squeaky Dolphin then could track individual messages to the computer and location where they were posted.

NSA Used Browser “Cookies” To Track Web Users

Today’s release from fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden says that the NSA was spying on users through the cookies that web browsers save to customize commercial space on sites like Google.

According to an internal presentation slide showed that when companies follow internet consumers to better serve advertising it opens the door for government tracking. The slides suggest the NSA was already using the tracking to follow targets.

Online privacy advocates had been claiming for years the tracking tools called “cookies” left open the possibility for violations of web user privacy.

Cookies can allow the NSA to track a single individual’s communications among all internet transactions. Cookies are not just reserved for browsers on desktop or laptop computers. Smartphone apps that run on iPhones and Android devices, even the Apple and Google operating systems, track the location of each device sometimes without alerting the device’s owner.

The slides did not say how the NSA obtained access to Google’s tracking system.

NSA Spied On Online Gamers

The National Security Agency has been tracking users of online gaming since at least 2007.

A document released by NSA leaker Edward Snowden titled “Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments” says the NSA and their British counterpart would analyze in-game communications for the possibility they were being used by terrorist groups.

“[Certain] games offer realistic weapons training (what weapon to use against what target, what ranges can be achieved, even aiming and firing), military operations and tactics, photorealistic land navigation and terrain familiarization, and leadership skills,” the document reads. “Some of the 9-11 pilots had never flown a real plane, they had only trained using Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.”

The Guardian newspaper reports that agents even entered the virtual words as gamers in an attempt to extract information from members. The newspaper said so many agents in different groups were working on the program that they needed a ‘deconfliction’ group to make sure they weren’t spying on each other.

In addition to games like World of Warcraft and Second Life, the NSA reportedly also spied on the XBOX Live network hosted by Microsoft that has over 48 million users.

NSA Plans To Use Web Searches Against “People With Radical Views”

A report says the National Security Agency has been tracking the website use of anyone they consider having a “radical view” with the intent of releasing the information to discredit them.

A document released by fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden shows the agency tracking two Muslims with “radical beliefs” and marking websites they visited that are not in line with strict Islamic teachings.

Online privacy advocates Privacy International said the revelations from Snowden of the NSA’s activities should cause major concern.

“This is not the first time we’ve seen [United] States use intimate and private information of an individual who holds views the government doesn’t agree with, and exploit this information to undermine an individual’s message,” the group said in a statement to the BBC.

None of the men listed in the report as being tracked by the NSA were accused of being directly involved in terrorism or with a terrorist group.

Americans Personal Information Shared With NSA; CIA

In an attempt to find federal workers who were cheating the government, U.S. agencies ended up examining people who had no direct connection to the U.S. government and had only purchased books on an alert list.

Federal investigators reportedly gathered a list of 4,904 people from the records of two men who were being examined for teaching people how to pass lie detector tests. The officials then gave the list to 30 federal agencies including the IRS, CIA, NSA and Food & Drug Administration. The government hoped to find employees or applicants who tried to use techniques to beat lie detector tests required for security clearances.

McClatchy News Service reports that many of the people investigated by the government agencies after the release of the list had only bought books or DVDs from one of the men being investigated and received no one-on-one training from the suspects.

A source says that federal agencies are under increasing pressure from the White House to find “insider threats” in the wake of the Edward Snowden NSA scandal.