Stop the Secrecy

The Mega-spies on Megaupload

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 13:59 -- Eva Prkachin

Photo by Obert Madondo via Flickr

Have you ever used Megaupload or Rapidshare to store or share files online? Because if you have used those services, or any of over 100 other popular file hosting services, there’s a very good chance that agents at Canada’s spy agency CSEC have been rifling through your private, personal uploads.

A report from The Intercept revealed that Canadian spies conducted surveillance on files that people upload using services like Rapidshare and Megaupload. Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher report that CSEC analyzed between 10 and 15 million downloads per day from the popular file-sharing services.

Despite the huge volume of data vacuumed up in the effort, the spy agency only deemed 350 download events “interesting” - only 0.00001% of the total files swept up for examination.

Even more disturbing, it seems that CSEC deliberately targeted Canadian IP addresses in violation of Canadian law and contrary to repeated assurances from the Canadian government. They then cross-referenced the IP addresses of file-hosting users with other databases to learn the identity of these users. So basically, ending up as a target for in-depth surveillance could be as easy as clicking on a link.

And, thanks to international agreements with the Five Eyes surveillance partners, much of this information has been shared with other spy agencies, their huge databases and who knows where else. Because of course.

OpenMedia is running a huge, rapid-response campaign to fight back against this assault on privacy. Check out our action and share this blog to spread the word.