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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 Ammohunt on 9/7/2013 8:18:20 PM , Rating: 1
Name one American citizen that was prosecuted based on evidence collected by this NSA program that wasn't involved with international terrorism.


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By M'n'M on 9/7/2013 11:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have to. Does that mean what's been done by the NSA is perfectly fine and well ? That it meets some Constitutional muster ? Again how does searching everyone not violate the concept clearly espoused that searches must have a specific person in mind with the intent that they have, perhaps, broken some law or are about to ? An arrest is not mentioned in the 4'th Amendment.

As for the harm that's done ... do you really believe that this power, left unchecked, won't be abused by some future administration ? If you were involved in litigation vs the govt, would you mind that they had access to every communication you had with your lawyers ?


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Ammohunt on 9/9/2013 10:55:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Does that mean what's been done by the NSA is perfectly fine and well ? That it meets some Constitutional muster ?


The supreme court would determine if it is unconstitutional; ultimately try petitioning your government. What i have said is that what they are doing is legal according to the laws on the book now.

quote:
As for the harm that's done ... do you really believe that this power, left unchecked, won't be abused by some future administration?


We have possessed nukes for almost 70 years why haven't they been abused? You have a knife in your kitchen left unchecked how can we trust you won't stab someone? Sorry that's a nonsense argument and again lacks an understanding of where US Government power is derived.


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By chripuck on 9/9/2013 1:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
Really? The best you have is nuclear weapons. Two words: mutual destruction. We don't use nukes because we value our own lives. And plenty of people use knives to kill people sherlock.

Here's a doozie that you can't seem to get: in 1776 we were under rule of law by a civilized country. We deemed the laws enforced on us were unfair, denying us the rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Did we sit still and do nothing, after all, it was "the law." No, we revolted and created a better place. It was through these "traitors" that this great nation was founded. So I say this: screw our laws that strip us of our liberties, I will not let the terrorists win, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Piiman on 9/14/2013 3:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
SO what are you doing about it? Oh I see ranting on DT


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By ebakke on 9/9/2013 2:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We have possessed nukes for almost 70 years why haven't they been abused? You have a knife in your kitchen left unchecked how can we trust you won't stab someone
Those are two terrible arguments. Using a nuclear weapon to decimate hundreds of thousands of people is nothing close to persecuting a single (in all likelihood, relatively unknown) person.

Individuals having weapons, again is not comparable. For one, we've granted the government extraordinary (and enormous) power over other individuals. We have given the government a monopoly on force. We give them the power to create the laws, arrest, detain, and even kill citizens in the name of the public good. Individuals don't have those powers. I can't declare an action of yours illegal, then attempt to arrest you, and lawfully kill you if you forcefully resist. As the saying goes, "with great power comes great responsibility." Government has exceptional power granted to it, and thus has an exceptional burden to use it responsibly. And let's not forget, governments throughout all of human history, have an absolutely horrendous track record of abusing their power, and harming (if not outright killing) millions of people.

quote:
Sorry that's a nonsense argument and again lacks an understanding of where US Government power is derived.
If you're going to give us the whole "if you don't like it, change it! vote for someone else!" argument, spare me. I used to live in that fantasy land too. Problem is, I'm one voice. You're one voice. When you're in the minority, it doesn't matter what your beliefs are; the majority wins. The US government is immense, and has enormous power. Those who currently have power (judges, legislators, bureaucrats) want to keep it. Those who currently are employed by an ever growing bureaucracy want to keep their jobs. Those who are indirectly employed by the government (eg, military contractors) want to keep their jobs. The whole system is setup to keep this machine running, exactly as it is.


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By M'n'M on 9/9/2013 2:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We have possessed nukes for almost 70 years why haven't they been abused? You have a knife in your kitchen left unchecked how can we trust you won't stab someone? Sorry that's a nonsense argument and again lacks an understanding of where US Government power is derived.

Nukes are a bit of an extreme don't you think ? How about we scale that back a bit and look at presidential abuse of authority, as in declaring war or committing acts, that if done to us, would be considered acts of war. Clearly the President is not granted that authority and yet almost every president in the last 20 years has abused his authority as commander in chief to commit acts of war (GWB, interestingly, is the exception).

How about the FBIs use of secret NSLs. No warrants granted by a judge there, and the gag order was ruled unconstitutional in 2004. Yet their use was continued until again found unconstitutional this year in a higher court. Does that imbue you with trust that the agencies under the President will comply with laws, let alone the intent of the laws ?

If the abuses of the FBI under Hoover or Nixon's administration are too long ago for you to recall how about the recent revelation that the DEA has been misusing it's power and then instructing co-operating PDs on how to hide the facts via "parallel discovery".

Do you recall the abuses of civil asset forfeiture during the drug wars of the 80's ? Initially only the bad guys were affected but over time the practice suffered from "mission creep" and soon innocent people people were losing their cars and cash.

Your analogy of "me" and a knife is imprecise. The better analog would have been if I had been found guilty of knife attacks and were now out after serving my sentence. I might well expect some restrictions given my past history (change knife to gun and it's a given). Various agencies over time have proven that powers granted to them will be abused. Sometimes at an agency-wide level, sometimes just at an individual level. Our whole system of Govt, it's separation of powers, checks and balances, acknowledges that Govt is not to be trusted. Granting the NSA to do what it does now (that we know of) will eventually lead to an abuse of that power. That's just a lesson history will teach you if you bother to listen.


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By M'n'M on 9/10/2013 11:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
Just another reason why the NSA shouldn't be trusted (and why I should be trusted with a knife).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-10/nsa-phone...
The U.S. National Security Agency violated rules on surveillance of telephone records for almost three years and misled a secret court , raising fresh concerns that spy programs lack adequate controls to protect Americans’ privacy.

The latest revelations show NSA spying was broader, violated restrictions on domestic surveillance more often, and may have targeted innocent Americans to a greater degree than previously known. They are contained in documents released today by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in response to privacy groups’ lawsuits.

The agency ran a select list of phone numbers against databases of millions of call records between May 2006 and January 2009 without having reason to suspect some of the numbers’ owners of terrorist ties , according to the records.


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By Piiman on 9/14/2013 3:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
"Clearly the President is not granted that authority and yet almost every president in the last 20 years has abused his authority as commander in chief to commit acts of war (GWB, interestingly, is the exception )."

WHAT?! That's a joke right?


RE: Correct me if i am wrong
By ritualm on 9/8/2013 3:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
You can't even name one, and you're asking the rest of us to do that work for your lazy butt.

Translation: you are wrong.


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