Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of hand-picked stories from the Switch team.
U.S. spy agency reports improper surveillance of Americans. The National Security Agency on Christmas Eve released reports showing improper surveillance on Americans in response to an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information suit, David Lerman at Bloomberg reports. "The heavily-redacted reports include examples of data on Americans being e-mailed to unauthorized recipients, stored in unsecured computers and retained after it was supposed to be destroyed, according to the documents."
Data Broker is charged with selling consumers’ financial details to ‘fraudsters.’ "Federal regulators are cracking down on information resellers who hawk personal details about consumers to companies that might illegitimately exploit that information," reports Natasha Singer at the New York Times. Earlier this week the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit claiming that Nevada-based
LeapLab sold information, including Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, about several hundred thousand people to companies without a legitimate need for the data.
Sony releases “The Interview” on Google Play, YouTube, Xbox Video. Sony Pictures released "The Interview," a comedy film apparently at the center of a recent hack on the studio, online on Christmas Day, Hayley Tsukayama reports. "Just one day after hundreds of independent movie theaters said they will show the controversial film on Christmas Day, Sony confirmed that it will distribute the film over Google's Play service and YouTube Movies, as well as on Microsoft's Xbox Video and a dedicated Web site — seetheinterview.com — run by Sony itself."
Uber CEO indicted in South Korea as car service Is challenged in Asian rollout. "Prosecutors in South Korea charged Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick and the head of its domestic business partner MK Korea Co. with violating a transportation law," reports Sam Kim at Bloomberg. "San Francisco-based Uber is facing growing legal challenges as it expands in Asia amid mounting protest from taxi operators."
Privacy analyst: ‘Santa is the ultimate role model for the NSA.’ The Switch's own Brian Fung explains how old Saint Nick's surveillance state parallels government spying efforts.