The Switchboard: Snowden denies taking documents to Russia

October 18, 2013

(The Guardian)

Edward Snowden says he took no secret files to Russia. The NSA leaker tells the New York Times he gave all the materials he had to journalists in Hong Kong and that there is "a zero percent chance" that government officials in Russia or China have acquired the documents. "He also asserted that he was able to protect the documents from China’s spies because he was familiar with that nation’s intelligence abilities, saying that as an N.S.A. contractor he had targeted Chinese operations and had taught a course on Chinese cybercounterintelligence."

Google still makes lots of money. Google's latest earnings call revealed that the company pulled in nearly $15 billion in revenue in the last quarter, Engadget reports. "Motorola, however, continues its downward decline, as it posted another $250 million dollar loss in spite of the Moto X launch — evidently those personalized phones haven't been selling swiftly enough to stem the tide."

Apple CFO Oppenheimer says new carbon-balanced ‘Campus 2′ will foster collaboration. The tech giant has received approval to construct a massive new headquarters not far from its existing campus in Cupertino, Calif. Watch the full press conference here. "Currently, Apple HQ is overcrowded," writes Techcrunch, "with many workers sharing cubicles inside engineering groups. This has been the case since at least 2009, and is only more so now as Apple has grown its employees worldwide to over 72,000."

Filesharing site isoHunt to close. The movie industry announced yesterday that isoHunt, a search-engine for BitTorrent files, is shutting down. My colleague Timothy Lee argues that's a well-deserved win for Hollywood. "The inducement test gives the courts an easy way to distinguish legitimate entrepreneurs who happen to have their products used for piracy from those who intend from the outset to profit from copyright infringement."

Russian e-mail service fined for not coughing up data to the government. It's not just Lavabit that's refusing to comply with requests for e-mail communications. A company known as the Mail.ru Group is being hit with a $15,000 penalty after "the Federal Service for Financial Markets of Russia requested that the Mail.ru Group provide information regarding Mail.ru users’ correspondence, specifically demanding to know with whom users were in contact over a set period," according to VentureBeat.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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Timothy B. Lee | October 17, 2013