Reality Winner sentenced to more than 5 years for leaking info about Russia hacking attempts

Winner, 26, who was a contractor with the National Security Agency, pleaded guilty in June to copying a classified report that detailed the Russian government’s efforts to penetrate a Florida-based voting software supplier.

U.S. intelligence agencies later confirmed Russia had meddled in the election. Authorities have never confirmed what exactly the report said, or identified the news organization that received it.

But a leaked document that was published by the online news outlet The Intercept in June 2017 bore the same May 5 date as the NSA report that Winner had leaked. The Justice Department announced it had arrested Winner on the same day as the Intercept report came out.

…Winner has been held with no bail since she was arrested last June and charged under the Espionage Act. A former Air Force linguist who speaks Arabic and languages used in Afghanistan, including Farsi and Pashto, Winner had a top-secret security clearance while working for national security contractor Pluribus International at Fort Gordon in Georgia when she was charged.

Reality Winner sentenced to more than 5 years for leaking info about Russia hacking attempts



Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s private meetings with conservative pundits – POLITICO

The conversations center around “free expression, unfair treatment of conservatives, the appeals process for real or perceived unfair treatment, fact checking, partnerships, and privacy,” the source familiar with the meetings said.

…Allegations that Facebook censors conservatives, however, have gone largely unsubstantiated—conservative publications including Fox, Breitbart, and Shapiro’s Daily Wire were among the top publishers on Facebook as of this past May, according to data from the social media tracking firm Newswhip.

…News of the outreach is likely to further fuel suspicions on the left that Zuckerberg is trying to appease the White House and stay out of Trump’s crosshairs. The president threatened to sue Facebook and Google in June and has in the past pressured the Justice Department to take action against his perceived foes.

…The ongoing talks between Zuckerberg and prominent conservatives have attracted the attention of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which conducts oversight on issues related to telecommunications and consumer protection and is “aware” of allegations that conservatives “are trying to work the refs” ahead of 2020, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

…Facebook has been criticized in recent days, including by Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, for its ad policy, which exempts politicians from third-party fact-checking and arguably facilitates the spread of disinformation.

Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s private meetings with conservative pundits – POLITICO



Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Christopher Wylie: Company Fueled ‘Insurgency’

Wylie’s new book, Mindf*ck, explains how Cambridge Analytica harvested the information of tens of millions of Facebook users, then used the data to target people susceptible to disinformation, racist thinking and conspiracy theories. 

…[Bannon] followed this notion of the Breitbart doctrine, which is that politics exists downstream from culture. So don’t just focus on the day-to-day politics. Try to actually make an impact on an enduring change in culture, because politics will just flow from that.

…If you can understand how a person thinks and feels and engages in the world, and what kinds of biases they have, you can then figure out what’s going to be most effective at engaging them in a particular objective

…What we were looking at is how to use data online to identify people who would be likely targets of different extremist groups. And from that, try to understand and unpack: How would a fairly extreme ideological message spread through different kinds of social networks? 

……”They targeted people who were more prone to conspiratorial thinking,” Wylie says. “They used that data, and they used social media more broadly, to first identify those people, and then engage those people, and really begin to craft what, in my view, was an insurgency in the United States.”

Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Christopher Wylie: Company Fueled ‘Insurgency’ : NPR


US, UK sign agreement to access data from tech companies like Facebook

In a press release late Thursday, the Justice Department said the historic agreement will “dramatically speed up investigations by removing legal barriers to timely and effective collection of electronic evidence.” The pact will allow U.K. authorities to go directly to tech companies like Facebook, Google or Twitter for evidence in cases related to terrorism, child sexual abuse and other serious crimes. U.S. officials will also be able to receive access to British communication service providers.

Currently, authorities must go through government agencies to access such evidence from companies, which the officials said can take “years.” Under the new agreement, the process will be reduced to “a matter of weeks or even days,” according to the U.K. Home Office.

…The new agreement will not, however, prevent tech companies from encrypting data on their platforms. End-to-end encryption, which already exists in some apps like WhatsApp and Signal, means that only users sending and receiving messages can see them.

US, UK sign agreement to access data from tech companies like Facebook