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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 M'n'M on 9/9/2013 2:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
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).
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?

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