Apparently the US NSA believes that users of Linux in general, and readers of online ezine Linux Journal in particluar are extremists. According to this article on the NDR.de Panorama blog, internet users whose searches contained terms related to the TAILs (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) software program or Linux Journal had their internet traffic flagged for further scrutiny.
The investigation discloses the following:
Two servers in Germany – in Berlin and Nuremberg – are under surveillance by the NSA.
Merely searching the web for the privacy-enhancing software tools outlined in the XKeyscore rules causes the NSA to mark and track the IP address of the person doing the search. Not only are German privacy software users tracked, but the source code shows that privacy software users worldwide are tracked by the NSA.
Among the NSA’s targets is the Tor network funded primarily by the US government to aid democracy advocates in authoritarian states.
The XKeyscore rules reveal that the NSA tracks all connections to a server that hosts part of an anonymous email service at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It also records details about visits to a popular internet journal for Linux operating system users called “the Linux Journal – the Original Magazine of the Linux Community”, and calls it an “extremist forum”.
The source code portion containing the XKeyscore rules can be downloaded from NDR.de.
[Happy Independence Day to our readers celebrating what little is left of liberty, freedom and justice in the USA.]