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Edward Snowden  (Source:
Snowden is releasing more details about the NSA's tactics

The National Security Agency (NSA) was called out by its former contractor -- Edward Snowden -- for its various efforts to spy on American citizens and abroad. Now, Snowden has leaked new details about the NSA's ability to tap into communications and even bypass almost any encryption.

According to an article by The New York Times, Snowden revealed that the NSA will go to far lengths to subvert most types of encryption, including court orders, supercomputers, technical stunts and even by working with tech companies to gain back-door access to security methods. 

For instance, both American and British spy agencies pushed to gain back-door access to tech giants like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft. This went on for at least three years, and by 2012, Government Communications Headquarters had created new access opportunities with Google.

An international standards group had a fatal security flaw pushed into it by the NSA.
Microsoft engineers found the flaw in 2007. 

Snowden went on to say that there is even a small group of intelligence officials around the globe that have full access to decoding technologies. This is a group of analysts from the Five Eyes, which consists of the NSA and its equivalents in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

However, Snowden did say that "strong crypto systems" couldn’t be decoded by the NSA. 

To top it off, Snowden said that the NSA spends about $250 million USD to diminish international encryption standards (as well as products) so that it can decode what it wants. The NSA has also said, according to Snowden, that decrypting messages from Syria and al-Qaeda leaders are critical for national security. 

Edward Snowden uncovered the spying methods used by U.S. intelligence agencies earlier this year, which included collecting data from phones. This was used to fight terrorist attacks, but the public feared for their privacy after such revelations.

Last month, reports said that the NSA admitted to touching 1.6 percent of total globe Web traffic. Its technique was to filter data after harvesting it, which led to over-collection on a major scale. 

Days later, an internal audit showed that the NSA broke the law nearly 3,000 times from 2011 to 2012. More specifically, the May 2012 audit revealed that the NSA had abused its power to either accidentally or intentionally spy on Americans and green card holders 2,997 times in that time period. 

Source: The New York Times

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RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 9/6/2013 4:19:57 PM , Rating: 0
I view him as a traitor because he created some insane story, like the Government using the "yakuza" to try to kill him, to justify him running to China. Not exactly an ally of ours.

Once he was there, he handed over a stolen USB drive full of state secrets. Along with who-knows whatever information he divulged to Chinese officials in exchange for "sanctuary".

Please tell me how giving the Chinese that information was helping to protect me as a citizen from my Government? Answer that, and I'll shut up.

Snowden should have come home and fought for the American people. Testify before Congress, held a press conference, do something - anything, I don't care.

By running to obvious anti-American nations and handing over secrets, he's a traitor by any definition. And I can say this with all confidence, while STILL being absolutely against everything the NSA and the Obama Administration has done to trample our privacy rights. It's not an either/or debate.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By half_duplex on 9/6/2013 4:49:21 PM , Rating: 1
He puts me in a tough spot...

I'm glad he confirmed what I already knew, and may have at least slowed down the NSA, but on the other hand, giving information to China makes him a traitor.

China is as guilty as the NSa when it comes to these things, if it's about what's right and wrong, he wouldn't want anything to do with the Chi-Comms.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 9/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By PaFromFL on 9/7/2013 8:40:34 AM , Rating: 5
Your comments probably captured Snowden's motivation, if you replace "person" with "government".

"The average person <government> seems to think the ends justify the means....

You <The government> can't betray America, and be an American hero at the same time...

Whatever he <the government> gave China and Russia <and all the other countries we "aid">, you can bet it won't be used for the betterment of the American citizen. That's for damn sure."

The old system of checks and balances is broken. Now that the press has been cowed and co-opted by the government, and the government has been hijacked by the wealthy and powerful, the only way to expose governmental wrongdoing is through people like Snowden and Manning. They are perhaps more noble than the spies we use against other nations. Whether spies are noble or not is questionable, but they are often useful.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By superstition on 9/8/2013 6:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
The law has always been a tool that serves elite privilege.

Always has been. Always will be.

The differences lie in how fooled the public is at a given time.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By superstition on 9/8/2013 6:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
... and also how well the public is being placated by the siphoning of resources from other peoples.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Fritzr on 9/8/2013 11:45:44 PM , Rating: 4
He had 2 choices ... leave the country and seek asylum or disappear into the Federal intelligence system "in the interest of National Security"

First choice ... the mainstream news keeps covering the ongoing adventures of the fugitive along with side remarks about why he is a fugitive

Second choice ... With all question being answered "no comment, sorry", the national news quickly returns to stories of worldwide importance such as celebrity divorce, the Queen's great-grandchildren and the newscaster's new puppy.

These stories have a much greater audience than do the reports of government wrongdoing where the President makes an impassioned speech about "How awful it is...we will definitely think a bit about making an investigation...someday" and then sits back declaring we are still looking into it, until the reporters drop the story and move onto the next big thing.

This tactic has successfully shut down public opposition to these programs in the past. No reason to suspect the general public has gotten any smarter over the past 120 years.

Reclaimer, you should realize that what the NSA didn't want him to give to US citizens is unlikely to be intended to benefit US citizens

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By danjw1 on 9/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 9/6/2013 7:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
There's actually nothing in the Patriot act that grants them the power to do this. Certainly nothing that says they can collect everyone's cell phone activity.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Falacer on 9/6/2013 6:23:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm on this same boat he put the info out there to make the people of this country aware they were being spied on by the NSA.

However handing over info to China made him a traitor of that very same country.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Piiman on 9/7/2013 11:31:19 AM , Rating: 5
Can you point me to some facts that prove he handed China or Russia anything? I know you assume he did but do you really know?

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Master Kenobi on 9/7/13, Rating: -1
RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By ritualm on 9/8/2013 3:50:43 PM , Rating: 3
Disclosure of any information to the world can be treated as providing data to China or Russia. Or to put this more bluntly, in the eyes of your government, you are actively "aiding the enemy" even when you're not doing anything wrong.

What's your point again, private? Honor and duty... you have neither, let alone independent, free thinking. All you can lay claim about is being an obedient slave to your masters.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Piiman on 9/14/2013 3:20:34 PM , Rating: 1
The OP said he "handed over" your claim that telling the world the NSA was spying on US citizens is hardly the same as actually handing over Top Secret Documents.

So what is it you think China and Russia changed now that they know the NSA gathered Meta Data on us? I'm guessing nothing.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By rvertrees on 9/6/2013 7:53:43 PM , Rating: 3
I dont like that fact that he is handing over information to Russia and China but what other options does he really have. To continue releasing information to the American people he has to stay in possession of the material and he has to stay alive.

Turning himself in would remove the material from the equation and I wouldnt put it past our government to just off the guy.

Going to an country that is friendly with the US Government poses the same issues. Either the USG would collect him or simply eliminate him.

His only option is to go to a non-america friendly country that is powerful enough to keep a retrieval team from coming in and that list is pretty short. His only currency that would get him into one of these countries is the information he possess. Its not an ideal situation but I beleive he followed the only course open to him.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 9/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By rvertrees on 9/6/2013 8:12:16 PM , Rating: 3
He spent all the information he gathered all at once and it was pretty inconsequential in the first place. The information Snowden is releasing is far more damaging to the reputation of the Government as this is uncovering decisions made by high level official.

As for killing him I would respond that citizens oversees have already be hit with drone strikes for terrorist activity. Whats keeping them from saying Snowden is a traitor and a terrorist for damaging the reputation of the USG and compromising the programs that gather information on terrorist activity. Its not a huge stretch.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By ebakke on 9/6/2013 8:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? Manning did, effectively, the same thing. He didn't release the information the in the "responsible" way you're suggesting Snowden should've. So how could he have been muted as the posted above was describing?

If you think the information either man released would've become public had either man come forward with the information while within the grasp of the US government, you're smoking something fierce. The second he went public with "hey, I have proof that some really nasty stuff is happening" they would've absolutely confiscated the information he had and imprisoned him. Game over.

I'm not saying Snowden or Manning would've fallen into this category, but I absolutely believe the US government captures or kills individuals it deems to be threats to our country. We know they do this to people they label terrorists, including US citizens. But considering the vastness of "state secrets" and classified information, I would be truly shocked if there aren't more/other individuals we never hear about. Who they are, and what they've done (or been accused of doing) is deemed classified as well. You seem to be arguing that we're delusional and wearing tin foil hats. Do you not agree that the above scenario is possible, and/or likely?

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 9/7/2013 10:09:35 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm you would think people like Rush Limbaugh would have had a fatal "car accident" by now or something. If our Government really did just go around and eliminate everyone who's a threat.

Hell I can come up with 20+ people who are a bigger threat than Snowden, who are walking and talking just fine.

And who are these people that got 'disappeared'? Can you name some for me?

The idea that Snowden had to flee to China and Russia because they're keeping him safe from CIA hit squads, or the Yakuza being contracted to eliminate him, is straight out of some Hollywood writers dream.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By ebakke on 9/7/2013 5:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
Killing a (relatively) unknown person is completely different from killing a nationally recognized figure like Rush, and you know it.

Of course I can't list people the US government may or may not have secretly killed, or imprisoned without trials. I can only list the people they've publicly admitted to killing or capturing.

I'm not claiming the US government would've killed Snowden immediately. What I am claiming, is that they have the power to silence those within its grasp. Frankly, I'm shocked that you disagree with that assertion.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By superstition on 9/8/2013 6:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
What happened to Bush's IT guy, the one whose friends warned him not to fly his plane because of sabotage?

What happened to the DC Madam (David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, and more)?

"Accidents", "suicides", and other assorted things...

(Also, note that one of Vitter's political opponents had her car bombed.)

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By ebakke on 9/6/2013 8:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
Please tell me how giving the Chinese that information was helping to protect me as a citizen from my Government? Answer that, and I'll shut up.
You're arguing his actions were indefensible because he may or may not have given the Chinese government other information beyond what has been publicly released, and that may or may not have been damaging to you. You're claiming, without any evidence to support it, that he did give the Chinese info and that it was bad. I can't tell you how giving the Chinese government information I don't know exists (or the contents of it, if it does exist), is good or bad for you.

What I do know, is that the US government trampling on the liberty of individuals worldwide is something I want shared with everyone, because only the severe and punishing backlash of an angry citizenry will stop it.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Master Kenobi on 9/7/13, Rating: 0
RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By ebakke on 9/8/2013 12:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
No liberties are guaranteed anywhere. They're merely codified in law. But that law means nothing if the citizenry collectively shrugs when its broken.

To the point you were making, I wasn't specifically referring to laws. I was more viewing liberty in the abstract. I think humans, regardless of their country of residence, have the right not to be tracked. The right not to have their every movement recorded for future analysis. I think humans have the right to peacefully exist without the world's largest, and most powerful government keeping a list of who's naughty and who's nice.

RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By chripuck on 9/9/2013 1:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
Where's your source for him providing state secrets to anyone? You keep spouting this off but I have yet to see anything showing it as such.

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