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.
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For now, occasional high-ticket deals such as the Dah Sing Financial Centre and the purchase of a HK$2.1bn luxury house on the affluent Peak, come amid wider pessimism about the sector. The office sector showed the most activity in the first quarter this year, but this still translated into only eight deals in total, according to CBRE.
Temperatures in 2015 also shattered the previous record set in 2014 by 0.13C, according to Nasa.
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 多方合力推动新型建材研发 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 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 沈阳家具卖场广告仍现“极限用语” to circumvent widely used web encryption technologies.
Better still was Iain Roberts, global managing director of the design company Ideo, who asked a question to which I hope never to hear the answer: “How to activate insights around latent mobility or multimodal needs?”
“Even though I’m an engineer and an analytical person at heart, the most important decisions I’ve ever made had nothing to do with any of that,” he told an interviewer at Duke University, where he studied for an MBA, last year. “They were always based on intuition.”
A colourful and exhaustive biography of Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, is this year’s Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year.
‘The Mindy Project’ It doesn’t matter that Mindy Kaling’s comedy on Fox is in its third season and still not a hit, because it keeps improving with age. It has grown from a one-comedian showcase into a very funny ensemble effort, thanks in part to the addition of Adam Pally in Season 2 and jokes about Ms. Kaling’s alma mater, Dartmouth.
Their positional matchups with both Cleveland and Boston now look much more palatable.
Ranking third on our Top-Grossing list is Steve Carell. Despicable Me 2 was a huge hit this year, bringing in $919 million at the box office. Overall, the franchise has earned $1.4 billion at the box office worldwide and a third movie, Minions, is on the way. Carell also appeared this year in the small indie The Way Way Back and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. The latter failed to earn back its production budget at the box office but we’re only looking at ticket sales here — the film put another $22.5 million in Carell’s column for 2013.
A New Year greeting to cheer you from your daughters.
As we pointed out earlier, we've long been able to restore hearing to the deaf, but restoring sight to the blind is a much more complicated matter. When people lose their sight, their retinas no longer send signals from their photoreceptors to their brains. To make an artificial eye, we'd need to understand how the retina processes those signals, and that's a code scientists just haven't been able to crack.
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.
Overall, 36 percent point to end times and 63 percent to climate change.
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.
Written instructions apparently issued by China’s tourism administration, shown to the FT by one Beijing travel agent, order agencies to cancel group tours to South Korea booked for after March 15 and add that companies not in compliance could be fined or have their licences revoked. The tourism administration was not immediately available for comment.
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
'Chinese clients are not only buying in Asia but in New York and Geneva as well.'
— 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.
We learned about a warehouse that is like a mausoleum for endangered species.