One year ago, the Guardian published its first bombshell story based on leaked top-secret documents showing that the National Security Agency was spying on American citizens.
At the time, journalist Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian never mentioned that they had a treasure trove of other NSA documents, nor that they came from one person. Then three days later, the source surprisingly unmasked himself: His name was Edward Snowden.
For over two decades I have been writing about the rise of Asia and the dynamic driving it. There is an extraordinary consensus among east Asian leaders that Asia needs to use this window of opportunity to focus on economic development and growth. War is the biggest obstacle to development. If Asians were truly stupid, they would engage in such wars and derail their enormous development promise. Most Asian leaders, barring North Korea, understand well the dangers of war. Hence, while there will be tensions and rivalries in the region, there will be no wars in the region, in 2014 or in 2015. As 2015 unfolds, I would like to encourage all western pundits to understand the underlying Asian dynamic on its own terms, and not on the basis of western preconceptions.
1. Secret court orders allow NSA to sweep up Americans' phone records
The very first story revealed that Verizon had been providing the NSA with virtually all of its customers' phone records. It soon was revealed that it wasn't just Verizon, but 注册制后的新三板 LED企业你hold得住么？ in America.
This revelation is still one of the most controversial ones. Privacy advocates have challenged the legality of the program in court, and one Judge deemed the program unconstitutional and "almost Orwellian," while another one ruled it legal.
The existence of PRISM was the second NSA bombshell, coming less than 24 hours after the first one. Initially, reports described PRISM as the NSA's program to directly access the servers of U.S tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, among others.
PRISM, we soon learned, was less less evil than first thought. In reality, the NSA doesn't have direct access to the servers, but can request user data from the companies, which are compelled by law to comply.
PRISM was perhaps as controversial as the first NSA scoop, prompting technology companies to first deny any knowledge of it, then later fight for the right to be more transparent about government data requests. The companies ended up partially winning that fight, getting the government to ease some restrictions and allow for more transparency.
3. Britain's version of the NSA taps fiber optic cables around the world
Tempora is one of the key NSA/GCHQ programs, allowing the spy agencies to collect vasts troves of data, but for some reason, it has sometimes been overlooked. After a couple of months from the Tempora revelation, a German newspaper revealed the names of the companies that collaborate with the GCHQ in the Tempora program: Verizon Business, British Telecommunications, Vodafone Cable, Global Crossing, Level 3, Viatel and Interoute.
4. NSA spies on foreign countries and world leaders
The Cnzz.com report states that almost two-thirds of China's 338 million Web users are now online game players. The online game industry, which currently accounts for more than half of the total Internet economy, will see strong annual growth at a rate of 20% in future years, the report says.
The German newsweekly Der Spiegel revealed that the NSA targets at least 122 world leaders.
Other stories over the past years have named specific targets like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazil's President Dilma Roussef, and Mexico's former President Felipe Calderon, the French Foreign Ministry, as well as leaders at the 2010 G8 and G20 summits in Toronto.
5. XKeyscore, the program that sees everything
XKeyscore is a tool the NSA uses to search "nearly everything a user does on the Internet" through data it intercepts across the world. In leaked documents, the NSA describes it as the "widest-reaching" system to search through Internet data.
6. NSA efforts to crack encryption and undermine Internet security
Encryption makes data flowing through the Internet unreadable to hackers and spies, making the NSA's surveillance programs less useful. What's the point of tapping fiber optic cables if the data flowing through them is unreadable? That's why the NSA has a developed a 地产股收盘 | A股低开低走收跌1.17% 中润资源、迪马股份等小幅收涨 to circumvent widely used web encryption technologies.
Wang studied computer programming while growing up in China. After college, she hoped to move to the U.S. to start her career. The next year, the Chinese Students Protection Act was passed and Wang got her master's in computer science at University of Houston. She worked at several Silicon Valley startups (and launched her own, iBizWomen.com) until September 11, 2001. The attack inspired her to create Binary Group, a technology consulting company that works with the Federal Government. Over the past 16 years, Binary has helped its clients save piles of money -- like the Army 20th Support Command, which cut $60 million over five years for its satellite communication bandwidth requirements.
This was the biggest monthly drop in imports since last September and also means shipments have contracted year-on-year for the past 15 months straight.
For years, slow emissions declines in the West have been swamped by rising emissions in the East, and the trend continued in 2013. China's emissions grew 4.2 percent and India's 5.1 percent. Both countries have been constructing coal-burning power plants at a breakneck pace.
In the three years after the death of Steve Jobs, Mr Cook, 54, has held his nerve through attacks from activist investors and a loss of faith among some that Apple could succeed without its late founder. This year has seen Apple’s chief step out of the shadows of his predecessor and imprint the company with his own set of values and priorities: bringing in fresh blood, changing how it manages its cash pile, opening Apple up to greater collaboration and focusing more on social issues.
宾夕法尼亚州立大学的气候科学家迈克尔·E·曼恩(Michael E. Mann)在电子邮件中说，“如果不是由于燃烧化石燃料所产生的、导致地球变暖的气体排放越来越多的原因，在上千年史无前例的几十年较暖期间、创纪录地变暖的十年中，看到变暖的又一个记录年度，是非常不可能的。”
7. NSA elite hacking team techniques revealed
The NSA has at its disposal an elite hacker team codenamed "Tailored Access Operations" (TAO) that hacks into computers worldwide, infects them with malware and does the dirty job when other surveillance tactics fail.
Der Spiegel, which detailed TAO's secrets, labelled it as "a squad of plumbers that can be called in when normal access to a target is blocked." But they can probably be best described as the NSA's black bag operations team.
8. NSA cracks Google and Yahoo data center links
When bulk collection or PRISM fails, the NSA had other tricks up its sleeve: It could infiltrate links connecting Yahoo and Google data centers, behind the companies' backs.
This story truly enraged the tech companies, which reacted with much more fury than before. Google and Yahoo announced plans to strengthen and encrypt those links to avoid this kind of surveillance, and a Google security employee even said on his Google+ account what many others must have thought privately: "Fuck these guys."
9. NSA collects text messages
5.Britons love bleak humour: that's why all the hire bikes are branded with the name of a bank currently being investigated for fixing interest rates. It's supposed to be funny.
— James Ball (@jamesrbuk) January 16, 2014
Other documents also revealed that the NSA can "easily" crack cellphone encryption, allowing the agency to more easily decode and access the content of intercepted calls and text messages.
10. NSA intercepts all phone calls in two countries
The NSA intercepts and stores all phone calls made in the Bahamas and Afghanistan through a program called MYSTIC, which has its own snazzy logo.
Well, at least Hilary has won something this year. I'm sure she's thrilled.