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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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What I don't understand about this guy...
By japlha on 9/6/2013 6:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand about this guy is why didn't he just stay anonymous? He could have leaked the information anonymously and still be fighting the system from within.

Or he could have leaked the information and quit if working for the NSA bothered his conscience that much.

But maybe he wanted to be a hero?

By LBID on 9/6/2013 6:17:47 PM , Rating: 5
Once the information became public, it would only be a (short) matter of time before the data could be cross-referenced to determine which employees had access to all the data leaked. Then all you had to do was start the process of elimination...and knowing the way the US government is acting these days, that elimination might have been quite permanent.

RE: What I don't understand about this guy...
By TSS on 9/6/2013 6:58:10 PM , Rating: 5
I'm going to show the people of Gotham that the city doesn't belong to the criminals and the corrupt. People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy. I can't do this as Bruce Wayne. A man is just flesh and blood and can be ignored or destroyed. But as a symbol... as a symbol, I can be incorruptible, everlasting.

In reality though it's the other way around. If he'd release everything anonymously it could've been discredited. Afterall no lives would be on the line, nobody would know who it was coming from, it could all be just make believe again. But since he's put a face to the information, and we can check and see his existance for ourselves... what he's revealing has credibility. That credibility has then allowed him to become a symbol, rather then just a man of flesh and blood.

The government cannot deny his existance, or his record, merely discredit what he's saying. And with the smart, timed releases of information he's proven them to be the liars time and time again.

Wether he wanted to be a hero or not, he is one. And i'm guessing he didn't because he gave up a high paying job, girlfriend, home etc. for a life on the run. There will be no medals for Edward Snowden, all he has is the knowledge he did the right thing.

Want a perfect example of somebody who wanted to be a hero, but just isn't? Bradley Manning. Releasing tons of unimportant information unchecked out of spite, anonymously. Doesn't quite sound like a hero now does it?

But yknow what, let's not discuss wether Snowden is a hero or not. Because that is yet another distraction from the real issue. Let's discuss who the Villains are.

Have you see any arrests or prosecution of people who have lied to congress? Yknow, the people who continuously said "no this isn't happening", of whom Snowden then proved to be lieing time and again?

I think that's a far more productive discussion to have...

RE: What I don't understand about this guy...
By FITCamaro on 9/9/13, Rating: -1
By sorry dog on 9/12/2013 12:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
Revealing intelligence to our enemies that will only make it harder for us to know what they're doing though is stupid, dangerous, and wrong.

Sure, Snowden made some serious errors in the way he made his disclosures, but there ain't exactly a manual on how to bust the government for lying. If there is any security loss, you can blame the NSA just as much as any one person. Their thinly veiled tactics and bold faced lies under oath sort of made something like this happening inevitable.

RE: What I don't understand about this guy...
By EricMartello on 9/8/2013 3:53:24 PM , Rating: 1
What I don't understand about this guy is why didn't he just stay anonymous? He could have leaked the information anonymously and still be fighting the system from within.

Or he could have leaked the information and quit if working for the NSA bothered his conscience that much.

But maybe he wanted to be a hero?

So far from what I've seen, "Snowden" was in the right for what he did. While the government should be able to 'spy' on non-US entities, the NSA has been regularly abusing its power under the tired old banner of "national security".

Snowden may just be a media avatar. Did anyone here actually meet him? Does anyone really buy into the story about him gaining access to all of this, feeling so emotionally burdened that he fled the country and started incrementally releasing documents at "just the right time"?

I'd say more than likely this is a ploy by the Obama administration to provide some much-needed distraction from whatever is going on at the moment. Whenever Obama's back is against the wall, like with this whole Syria thing, he drops another manufactured "NSA is evil" bomb to distract the media and citizens' attention away from more important things.

By the way, this NSA stuff is all happening under Obama. Despite him opposing these transgressions when he was running for prez in 2007, he not only continued these programs but expanded their scope and power news articles should be tying Obama to these NSA travesties in the headlines using sensationalized titles like this one:

"Obama's NSA continues its assault on the Constitution while he Continues to Seek Support for Yet Another War"

RE: What I don't understand about this guy...
By superstition on 9/8/2013 6:12:08 PM , Rating: 5
Most are viewing Syria as a distraction from the NSA scandal.

By EricMartello on 9/15/2013 9:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
We already knew the US Government was spying on its citizens for decades. Did Snowden's revelations show you anything you didn't already suspect?

By conq on 9/9/2013 9:18:53 AM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand about this guy is why didn't he just stay anonymous? He could have leaked the information anonymously and still be fighting the system from within.

That was one of my biggest questions initially, it seemed like an idiotic idea. His first leaks were kind of "eh, I kind of figured it was happening" but the information in these leaks are seemingly getting worse. He obviously knew that from the start. So it's becoming clearer that such a threat to national security would have likely been eliminated if it could have been done quietly. It would be a matter of time before he was found. Now that his name and face is out there, maybe he can keep breathing but he will never have any privacy or sense of safety again. Not sure which option is better, a metaphorical execution or a life sentence?

Funny thing now is, even if he died by some accidental chance today it would immediately become an international scandal and the US government would be accused first, truth or not.

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