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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 4:55:47 PM , Rating: -1
I feel the same way.

The average person seems to think the ends justify the means. That because Snowden is ratting out all the bad stuff the NSA and Obama is doing, he gets a free pass.

I wish I could feel that way, I really do. But the way he's gone about this puts him at odds with my sensibilities. You can't betray America, and be an American hero at the same time.

Whatever he gave China and Russia, you can bet it won't be used for the betterment of the American citizen. That's for damn sure.

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

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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