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Edward Snowden  (Source: wired.com)
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 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.)


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