Social Media Newsfeed: NSA Whistleblower | Google to Buy Waze for $1.3B?

By Tim Sohn 

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Edward Snowden NSA surveillance whistleblowerThe Guardian’s NSA Whistleblower Reveals Himself: Edward Snowden (Mashable)
The source for British newspaper The Guardian‘s recent groundbreaking reports on the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices unexpectedly revealed himself Sunday as Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton employee who’s been working at the NSA for four years. According to The Guardian, Snowden copied the last set of documents he intended to leak three weeks ago at his Hawaii office. He then requested a two-week leave of absence, told his girlfriend he had to leave and flew to Hong Kong, “because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the U.S. government.” The Guardian The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said. The New York Times The Guardian last week reported the existence of a secret government program that collects data from phone calls made on the Verizon network. That newspaper and The Washington Post later reported that a separate program known as Prism was being used to collect Internet data of foreigners from Internet companies like Facebook and Skype. The source of the leaks had remained a mystery, however, generating fervid speculation. Daily Mail Snowden was living “a very comfortable life” with his live-in girlfriend in Hawaii, where he earned $200,000 with Booz Allen. But he said: “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” The Washington Post Snowden also expressed the hope that the NSA surveillance programs would now be open to legal challenge for the first time. Earlier this year, in Amnesty International v. Clapper, the Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit against the mass collection of phone records because the plaintiffs could not prove exactly what the program did or that they were personally subject to surveillance. AllFacebook Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg responded Friday to claims that the site had granted the U.S. government access to its servers. He called the reports “outrageous,” and noted that if Facebook were to ever receive such a request, the company would fight it.

Google is Close to Ending the Speculation and Buying Waze for $1.3 Billion, According to Israeli Media (The Next Web)
Google is close to completing a $1.3 billion deal to acquire social mapping firm Waze — finally ending months of speculation about the startup — according to media reports out of its native Israel. You can imagine Waze’s “socialified” maps fitting well with Google Maps and Google+, while it would also be a defensive move to prevent the technology being acquired by Apple or other rivals. Forbes In May, Forbes wrote that Facebook was poised to pay $1 billion to buy Waze. But that deal fell apart a few weeks ago because Waze insisted on locating itself in Israel. In January, Apple was considering a $500 million bid for Waze, but on May 28 Apple CEO Tim Cook denied that Apple had made a bid for Waze. TechCrunch According to a number of other Hebrew sources, the deal will be in all cash. Noam Bardin will reportedly remain as CEO, and Waze will also continue as its own brand. Waze’s R&D facility, as well as their offices in Israel will remain in place for at least three years.

Twitter and Advertising Giant WPP Announce Global Strategic Partnership (AllTwitter)
Twitter Advertising is not messing around. Last week, Twitter announced a partnership with WPP, one of the “big four” global advertising holding companies.

Want to Text Internationally Without an App? Ultra Mobile’s Got Your Number (GigaOM)
If you ever want to feel ripped off, try sending an SMS to a foreign phone number. MVNO Ultra Mobile, however, is killing one of the industry’s most sacred cows by making all international messaging free.

5 Things Brands Should Know About Pinterest (SocialTimes)
Although Pinterest doesn’t have advertising just yet, Piqora has learned by tracking its clients’ pins that the site can drive long-tail traffic for brands, even beyond 30 days, as users can search for items on the site at their leisure rather than following a particular feed in real-time like they would on Facebook or Twitter. Here are five things that brands should know about Pinterest.

Handicapping Apple’s WWDC Keynote (AllThingsD)
Today’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address from Apple CEO Tim Cook will be regarded with great interest not only for annual updates to the company’s desktop and mobile operating systems — OS X and iOS, but also as a harbinger of devices to come. The centerpiece news of the day will be the unveiling of iOS 7.

Disruptions: Celebrities’ Product Plugs on Social Media Draw Scrutiny (The New York Times/Bits Blog)
Today, when celebrities and people with large followings on social networks promote a product or service, it’s often impossible to know if it’s an authentic plug or if they were paid to say nice things about it. According to talent agency employees, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to divulge private dealings with clients, some A-list celebrities can be paid as much as $20,000 for a Twitter post or Facebook update.

What’s Dana Perino Tweeting? (FishbowlDC)
We’ve documented the Twitter habits of Dana Perino, part of the quirky quintet that hosts “The Five” on Fox News several times before. Her tweets almost always fall into the category of self-congratulatory pronouncements or pictures of her hound, Jasper.

More Car Buyers Use Social Media to Find Hot Deals (USA Today)
More car buyers are using social media when it comes to picking out their new model and figuring out which dealer will offer be best, a new study finds. About one out of four of the 2,000 car buyers surveyed say they consider online car review sites to be helpful in picking a place to buy a new vehicle, according to the Automotive Social Media and Reputation Trend Study released by a company called Digital Air Strike, which specializes in such research.