Newly revealed documents show that the NSA has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption that automatically secures the emails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world. The project, referred to internally by the codename Bullrun, also includes efforts to weaken the encryption standards adopted by software developers. More »
The White House has opposed efforts to rein in NSA snooping, but only five years ago, Sen. Obama supported substantial reforms. More »
Officials say National Security Agency intercepts stopped David Coleman Headley's planned attack in Denmark, but sources say a tip from the British led to his capture after the U.S. failed for years to connect multiple reports of terror ties.More »
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Verizon is merging its cellphone tracking supercookie with AOL’s ad tracking network to match users’ online habits with their offline details.
In an age of ubiquitous surveillance, there are still some things you can do to keep your communications private -- and not all of it is high-tech.
The Obama administration has stepped up the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program on U.S. soil to search for signs of hacking.
A federal appeals court recently ruled that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records is illegal.
One Chinese government agency is so proud of how well they censor the Internet that they put their feelings to music.
An online ad company called Turn is using tracking cookies that come back to life after Verizon users have deleted them. Turn's services are used by everyone from Google to Facebook.
Every day since Nov. 17, 2014, ProPublica has been testing whether the homepages of international news organizations are accessible to browsers inside China. Of the 18 in our test, 0 are currently blocked. Below are the results. To test, we use GreatFire.org, a censorship monitoring service in China
Verizon remains committed to its program of inserting a tracking number into its customers' cellphone transmissions.
Twitter is using a newly discovered hidden code that the telecom carriers are adding to every page you visit – and it's very hard to opt out.
Documents describe "contractual relationships" between NSA and U.S. companies, as well as undercover operatives at some U.S. companies.
The U.S. blogging company LiveJournal is showing an error message to users inside Russia who try to read the blog of Alexei Navalny, a prominent politician and critic of the Russian government.
Software created by the controversial U.K. based Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers that appear to be located in the United States.
A new kind of tracking tool, canvas fingerprinting, is being used to follow visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.
If you downloaded the privacy software Tor in 2011, you may have been flagged to be spied on.
Many companies track your behavior and request information about you without explicitly asking for your permission. Here’s how to combat the trackers.
We plotted the NSA programs, showing which ones fall squarely into the agency’s stated mission of foreign surveillance, and which ones are more controversial.
Julia Angwin talks about the challenges of tracking the ever-changing surveillance landscape. Among them: limited information and semantic games.
How we categorized the various NSA revelations from the past year.
Can you match the NSA program name with its reported purpose?
It’s not just the N.S.A. Authorities from the local sheriff to the FBI can obtain vast amounts of data without ever getting a warrant from a judge.
The measure was inserted into a defense appropriations bill and approved on a voice vote.
Facebook is launching an aggressive technique to track people across the Web.
The merger of online and offline data is bringing more intrusive tracking.
Join reporters Jeff Larson and Julia Angwin hosted a Reddit chat on NSA reform, and your online security.
Here are some techniques that anybody can use to protect their privacy online.
Weibo, "China's Twitter," started offering shares on NASDAQ yesterday. Its regulatory disclosures reveal a company's balancing act between censoring too much and too little.
One lesson of the Heartbleed bug is that the U.S. needs to stop running Internet security like a Wikipedia volunteer project.
All the plans purport to end the bulk phone records collection program, but there are big differences.
This hand-drawn graphic, which is undated, was made by the East German secret police and appears to show the social connections the Stasi gleaned about a poet they were spying on.
Files obtained from the archives of the East German secret police show how far technology of spycraft has come.
ProPublica’s Jeff Larson and Steve Engelberg discuss how “leaky apps” – like Google Maps, Facebook and Angry Birds – are allowing the NSA and its British counterpart to access your personal data.
Data brokers don't make it easy to see the data they hold about you. Here's what you can do to opt-out.
We lay out more from our story about how the NSA and its British counterpart have been scouring smartphone apps.
New documents show the NSA and its British counterpart have access to advertiser data on smartphone apps, which can include your gender, income, and even whether you're a "swinger."
The conventional wisdom about how to build strong passwords can be counter-productive. Here are some better ways to build passwords that are hard to crack.
President Obama, who delivered a speech on surveillance policy today, has made a series of misleading statements about the NSA.
It’s not easy to keep your data private while surfing the Internet, but here are a few tools that can help.
A new ruling supporting the NSA's metadata surveillance program points to the 9/11 report as evidence for the necessity of such a program. Except the 9/11 report doesn’t contain the evidence the judge says it does.
A panel of experts appointed by President Obama says the U.S. government should get out of the business of weakening technology used to secure communications.
American and British spies have infiltrated online fantasy games, thinking they are ripe for use by militants. Justin Elliott joins Stephen Engelberg in the Storage Closet Studio this week to talk about avatars, spies, and the punchline-inspiring intersection of the two.
Snowden documents show intelligence agencies conducting surveillance and grabbing data in virtual worlds.
For five months, we’ve been observing 100 accounts on Sina Weibo, “China’s Twitter,” keeping track of images that are deleted by censors. Those deleted images provide a window onto China’s vast system of censorship.
The federal institute that sets national standards for data encryption has announced it is reviewing all of its previous recommendations.
The agency, President Obama, and members of Congress have all said NSA spying programs have thwarted more than 50 terrorist plots. But there’s no evidence the claim is true.
A review of official statements shows the NSA has been inconsistent about how many plots have actually been thwarted by spying programs and what the role they actually played. Despite a lack of evidence, Congress and the media have rushed to repeat the most extreme version of the NSA’s claims.
The decision follows revelations about the NSA’s covert influence on computer security standards.
The university, which works closely with the NSA, apologizes to a professor after he was asked to remove his post.
Newly revealed documents show that the NSA has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption that automatically secures the emails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world.
We explain why publishing this story about U.S. and U.K. government efforts to decode enormous amounts of internet traffic previously thought to have been safe is in the public interest.
The White House has opposed efforts to rein in NSA snooping, but only five years ago, Sen. Obama supported substantial reforms.
A detailed snapshot of what's known about the NSA surveillance programs.
Since Edward Snowden leaked documents detailing the NSA's surveillance programs, the Director of National Intelligence acknowledged that part of his congressional testimony was "erroneous." But that's not the only questionable comment by administration officials.
A measure to end one NSA program was just defeated in the House by a surprisingly narrow margin. Here are other proposals on the table.
In response to a public records request, the super-snooping spy agency says it doesn’t have the technology.
In a secret effort, the National Security Agency appears to be vacuuming up large swathes of the Internet.
The debate about National Security Agency eavesdropping has left European investigators bemused. U.S. technology collects mountains of data that often aids their cases, they say. But there's no substitute for real human spying.
In the face of claims that the National Security Agency’s data collection program had prevented terrorist plots, ProPublica’s Sebastian Rotella took a closer look at one of those: David Coleman Headley’s foiled plan to attack a Danish newspaper.
Officials say National Security Agency intercepts stopped David Coleman Headley's planned attack in Denmark, but sources say a tip from the British led to his capture after the U.S. failed for years to connect multiple reports of terror ties.
The evolution of the National Security Agency’s dragnet under Presidents Bush and Obama.
For background on the National Security Agency’s collection of phone and web records, here’s the best reporting on what else the government has been tracking.
When a D.C. video store revealed the Supreme Court nominee’s list of video rentals, it sparked a privacy backlash and a new law. Similarly, the Petraeus affair has put the government’s vast surveillance powers – even of elites – in a critical context.
The Federal Trade Commission called the penalty for privacy violations "substantial," but it amounts to a mere five hours' worth of revenue for the search colossus.
The trade commission now says it was looking into Google "well before" the company was outed by published reports saying the company secretly tracked Internet users.
Companies and law enforcement can mine your phone’s data for intimate details. ProPublica readers let us know what they think about it.
As the Senate considers a bill to strengthen the nation's cybersecurity, some questionable numbers keep creeping into the discussion.
Your phone tracks where you go and what you do. Are you worried about it?
Cellular systems constantly record the location of phones in their networks, data treasured by police and advertisers alike. The surveillance and privacy implications are simple: If someone knows where you are, they probably know what you are doing.
What We Still Don’t Know About Cellphone Surveillance
Hobbled by government filters, a withering budget and limited legal clout, the Federal Trade Commission struggles to police an army of data miners bent on exploiting our online footprints.
Who does your location information really belong to?
Google announced that it would notify Gmail users if they might be the target of a "state-sponsored attack." Help ProPublica figure out who's being targeted on Gmail and why.
As long suspected, the Stuxnet cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program were a joint U.S.-Israeli project, but the computer worm’s release to the Internet at large was unintended, The New York Times reports.
Years after the world’s scariest computer virus attack, not much has changed.
Privacy advocates say the House-passed cybersecurity bill falls short of safeguards needed to protect personal data collected while surfing the net.
Our rundown on the debate over the latest controversial Internet bill and what CISPA could mean for you.