Weekend Roundup: The world gets its revenge on the NSA, Google Nexus 5 finally launches, and ITProPortal heads to the continent

The biggest thing to happen this week was Google finally deciding to release its fifth-generation Nexus smartphone after nearly two million years of leaks and rumours. Best leak campaign ever, or worst surprise launch in history? Nobody's quite sure, and it doesn't seem to matter now. The Nexus 5 looks promising, to say the least. At £299, it matches a lot of the specs and features of the cream of this year's Android crop, while tidily undercutting them all. It has a 5in, 1080p screen like the Samsung Galaxy S4, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor like the LG G2, and a pretty sleek body. Provided it works well (and it probably will), it seems like a match for any high-end £550 unlocked smartphone. Was it worth a whole year of rumour-mongering, though?

That wasn't the only thing afoot in America. The United States is used to being on the delivery end of embarrassing electronic infiltrations, but this week the tables have been turned in the direction of the US. This week saw the ragtag hackers of the world coming back to bite the Americans where it hurts – their Twitter accounts. One of Barrack Obama's fundraising Twitter feeds was hacked by the pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). The group also hijacked one of Obama's donations pages, and a Facebook account belonging to his campaign, changing links to direct to SEA websites. "We accessed many Obama campaign emails accounts to assess his terrorism capabilities," the SEA wrote in an accompanying tweet, concluding "They are quite high". Fascinating stuff.

Anonymous has also been getting in on the action. The NSA this week denied that its website had been hacked by the hacking collective, after a multi-hour outage of its website, NSA.gov. And, to be clear, the NSA doesn't just fire out denials left, right and centre multiple times almost every day. The agency claimed an error during scheduled maintenance had taken the site down, rather than a hacking attack. However, multiple Anonymous Twitter accounts took credit for knocking the site out of action using a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

In other news, BitTorrent indexing site isoHunt came back from the dead this Halloween, after only two weeks of downtime after a court ruling. This will have been an unwelcome visitation for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who spent a whopping 7 years trying to shut the site down. The new site is unaffiliated to its old founder Gary Fung, and has a domain registered in the Polynesian island of Tonga, a country that doesn't keep public records of domain registrars. Since it took so long to shut down isoHunt when it was based in North America, we can be pretty sure the new site isn't going anywhere very fast.

To round off our roundup, ITProPortal spent more time on the continent this week than our own green and pleasant land. With Will Dalton hobnobbing with Sebastian Coe at the RSA Europe 2013 conference in Amsterdam, and Alysia Judge heading to Moscow for the Open Innovations Forum 2013 to see Jon Snow, among others, it's felt a little lonely around the office. Our own James Laird also headed to Web Summit 2013, dubbed "Davos for geeks", where Hyperloop and Tesla dreamer Elon Musk was making waves. It would have been a pretty sad week for those of us left behind, if it wasn't for our Halloween party. Which was great.