The Prism programme came to light when former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed details of the NSA’s collection of telephone and Internet data to The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers in June 2013. Snowden, who fled his job in Hawaii, went into hiding in Hong Kong.

Facebook, Yahoo want to disclose orders data

Revelations about PRISM by former NSA contractor Ed Snowden have prompted a broader debate about government monitoring and the privacy of Americans’ communications. Photo: AP

Facebook and Yahoo asked a secret court Monday to allow them to disclose data on national security orders the companies have received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Tuesday, 10 September, 2013, 12:23pm

US cybersurveillance plans will spark legal challenges: Wikipedia pioneer

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Photo: SCMP

While the White House gears up to reform US surveillance programmes, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales expects legal challenges targeting the United States intelligence agencies and the way they monitor online traffic.

12 Aug 2013 - 11:21am

NSA chief talks at hackers’ conference in Vegas

Hackers listen as NSA chief Keith Alexander sticks up for the government’s controversial surveillance programme. Photo: Reuters

The head of the US National Security Agency defended the government’s much-criticised surveillance program against hecklers among a crowd of computer systems analysts Wednesday, but also had a challenge for them: If you don’t like it, lend your talent to build a better one.

13 Aug 2013 - 3:56pm

NSA revelations reframe digital life for some

Revelations last month by former government contractor Edward Snowden of massive surveillance by the National Security Agency have sparked protest around the world. Photo: Reuters

In Louisiana, the wife of a former soldier is scaling back on Facebook posts and considering unfriending old acquaintances, worried an innocuous joke or long-lost associate might one day land her in a government probe. In California, a college student encrypts chats and emails, saying he’s not planning anything sinister but shouldn’t have to sweat snoopers.

23 Jul 2013 - 2:01pm

Brazil to probe local telecom operators over alleged US spying

US Ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, leaves Planalto palace after meeting with the Chief of the Institutional Security Cabinet of Brazil, Jose Elito, in Brasilia. Photo: AFP

Brazil’s telecommunications agency said on Monday that it would investigate whether local operators had violated customer privacy rules in alleged surveillance of Brazilian telecommunications data by US spy agencies.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Chief executive denies US accusation of feigning confusion over Snowden's name

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Photo: David Wong

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Thursday rejected the US government accusation that the city's officials had feigned confusion over Edward Snowden’s name as a pretext for not detaining the intelligence leaker before he departed to Russia.

28 Jun 2013 - 8:40am 3 comments

Hong Kong minister rejects US accusations of deliberately delaying Snowden's arrest

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung. Photo: David Wong

Hong Kong’s justice secretary said on Tuesday the United States had failed to provide crucial information necessary to support its request for the arrest of whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he had left the city.

26 Jun 2013 - 5:29am 46 comments

EXCLUSIVE: US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden

Former NSA contractor claims American agents stole millions of text messages sent by Chinese phone users, who rely heavily on SMS. Photo: AFP

The US government is hacking Chinese mobile phone companies to steal millions of text messages, Edward Snowden has told the South China Morning Post. And the former National Security Agency contractor claims he has the evidence to prove it.

23 Jun 2013 - 7:20pm 11 comments

Google goes to court over US surveillance requests

A German protester wears a mask with the portrait of US President Barack Obama sporting Google Glass during a protest in Berlin on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Google challenges US surveillance court on First Amendment grounds Reuters in Seattle Google asked the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to allow it to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests it receives separately from criminal requests, on First Amendment grounds.

20 Jun 2013 - 3:24pm

European cloud computing firms see silver lining in PRISM scandal

National Security Agency Deputy Director John Chris Inglis defended Prism during a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

France has its “Sovereign Cloud” project while across the Rhine data firms have created the label “Cloud Services: Made in Germany”, all trying to reassure big companies that their information is stored away from the prying eyes of US spies.

19 Jun 2013 - 11:19am

We received 4,000 to 5,000 data requests from US authorities, says Apple

Apple has revealed it received between 4,000 and 5,000 data requests in six months from US authorities. Photo: AP

US tech giant Apple has revealed it received between 4,000 and 5,000 data requests in six months from US authorities, days after Facebook and Microsoft released similar information.

18 Jun 2013 - 9:00am

Cybersnooping revelations raise key issues

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland. Photo: AFP

Big Brother is watching you - this was the warning in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949. Sixty-four years later, the world is shocked to learn that Big Brother is getting bigger. It is widely known that the United States stepped up its spying activities following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

15 Jun 2013 - 1:53am

American exceptionalism, seen through the prism of American blunders

An undated handout photo by the National Security Agency shows the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. Photo: EPA

The past weeks’ revelations about PRISM, the National Security Agency’s broad electronic surveillance program, follow a grand American tradition of major disclosures that undermine the high standards to which the United States holds itself, and the world.

14 Jun 2013 - 8:47am 2 comments

Europe's outrage over hacking tempered by necessity

European Commisssioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, has sent a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder saying the answers he gives when they meet in Dublin today could affect the transatlantic relationship. Photo: EPA

Indignation was sharp and predictable across Europe - a continent where privacy is revered. Yet anger over revelations of US electronic surveillance has been tempered by an indisputable fact: Europe wants the information that America intelligence provides.

14 Jun 2013 - 3:56am

A brave new world of hi-tech tyranny

Picture of Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), is seen on a computer screen displaying a page of a Chinese news website. Photo: Reuters

US officials and tech company executives have rhapsodised for years about how the internet - and more recently social media - will free the world of tyranny and promote democracy. The exposure by Edward Snowden of America's massive surveillance programme rather says the opposite.

14 Jun 2013 - 2:49am 8 comments