Anonymous Hacked into Official Congressional Email, Threatens to Compromise Accounts if Congress Doesn’t Act to End Surveillance State

Photo Credit: GettyHacker posts email addresses, passwords of House and Senate staffers online

By Alex Pappas. A hacktivist associated with Anonymous claims to have posted online thousands of email addresses and passwords for Capitol Hill staffers.

According to a Twitter account that posted a link to the hacked information, House and Senate staffers were targeted in protest of the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program.

“Dear #Congress: We are paying very, very close attention to how you handle #NSA #FISA & #PRISM Don’t.. F**k.. Up….,” Twitter user OpLastResort wrote before posting a link to the email addresses and passwords.

PRISM is the government’s secret data mining program recently revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. FISA refers to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which deals with electronic surveillance. Read more from this story HERE.


Photo Credit: AFPWhite House stays silent on renewal of NSA data collection order

By Spencer Ackerman. The Obama administration is refusing to say whether it will seek to renew a court order that permits the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records on millions of Verizon customers when it expires at the end of this week.

Officials declined to discuss what action they intend to take about the order at the center of the current surveillance scandal, which formally expires at 5pm Friday.

The looming expiration of the order, issued by the secretive Fisa court, provides an early test of Barack Obama’s claim to welcome debate over “how to strike this balance” between liberty and security. Beyond the question of the phone records collection, the court order authorizing it is a state secret.

On Thursday, the administration would not answer a question first posed by the Guardian six days ago about its intentions to continue, modify or discontinue the Verizon bulk-collection order. The White House referred queries to the Justice Department. “We have no announcement at this time,” said Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon. The NSA and office of the Director of National Intelligence did not respond to questions.

A spokesman for the Fisa court, Sheldon Snook, said the court “respectfully declines to comment”. Read more from this story HERE.


NSA chief says leak damage ‘irresponsible and irreversible’

By Catherine Herridge. National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander said Thursday the damage from recently leaked information is “irresponsible and irreversible” because it has given terrorist groups the intelligence community’s “playbook.”

He also described the leaks as “crazy.”

Addressing the Aspen Security Forum, Alexander said the NSA was secretive about its programs out of necessity because the “operatives are among us.”

He added that, based on damage assessments, there is “concrete proof” terrorists now have changed their tactics. Read more from this story HERE.


Photo Credit: gaelxCongress: Anonymous Hack Got Only Old Emails and Passwords

By Ginger Gibson. The hacking group Anonymous published the login information for a constituent contact system used by thousands of congressional staffers, posting addresses and passwords on an online message board, according to a memo sent to Hill staffers.

Anonymous presented the information — when it on Thursday posted more than 2,100 email addresses and passwords, as login data for official congressional email accounts. But in a memo to staff from the Office of the Chief Administrator of the House, officials said the information was actually old login data for iConstituent, which is an online system used to contact voters.

“While this incident did not compromise the House email system, out of an abundance of caution, iConstituent Gateway eNewsletter account holders will be required to change their House network login,” said the memo, which was obtained by POLITICO.

The passwords, some of which belonged to individuals who no longer work for Congress, were expired, according to the memo.

“Earlier today, hackers disclosed expired login information (email addresses and passwords) of numerous iConstituent Gateway eNewsletter accounts outside of the House network,” the memo stated. “These passwords have expired and can no longer be used to access the external iConstituent service.” Read more from this story HERE.