Cyber Round Up: NSA Round Up; GCHQ’s Webcam Controversy; Alleged UK Hacker to Fight Extradition

  • According to the Associated Press, Lauri Love, the 28-year-old British man accused of hacking into certain United States government networks, is fighting attempts to extradite him to the United States in order to face trial.  The charges against Love, which include computer hacking, aggravating identity theft, and attacking the Federal Reserve, carry a sentence of up to twelve years.


  • GCHQ, the British surveillance agency, reportedly collected images intercepted from the web communications of millions of net users–none of which were suspected of wrongdoing, reports The Guardian.  “Optic Nerve,” as the program was codenamed, dates back to 2008-2010.  According to The Guardian, “In one six-month period in 2008, the agency collected webcam imagery–including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications–from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.”


  • A report by The Washington Post details outgoing Cyber Command and National Security Agency (NSA) director, General Keith Alexander’s parting remarks last week.  Specifically, General Alexander called for “a stronger strategy to deter cyber attacks, saying the line that would prompt a U.S. response against an adversary ‘did not yet exist.'”  Moreover, he “said his greatest concern was a terrorist attack against the United States or Europe[,]” and addressed the NSA surveillance debate by noting he was “open to some proposed reforms,” the Washington Post reports.


  • Speaking of NSA reform, the AP and the Washington Post report that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has gone to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to seek permission to retain collected phone records beyond five years, which is the current practice.  The argument, according to the article, is that the government must retain evidence for future lawsuits.


  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama Administration is currently considering four proposals devised by White House attorneys regarding reforms to NSA surveillance programs: (1) have phone companies retain data and perform NSA-requested searches; (2) have a separate government organization retain the data, such as the FBI; (3) have a non-government entity other than phone companies retain the data; or, (4) ditch the phone metadata collection program.


  • Lastly, Reuters reports that, according to the German paper Bild am Sonntag, since Obama ordered the NSA to halt its spying on Chancellor Merkel, the agency has begun conducting surveillance of other senior German officials, such as Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maiziere.


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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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