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Edward Snowden Q&A: NSA whistleblower answers your questions

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posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by uncommitted
 


Just my two cents on this aspect? The celebrity aspect you see Snowden 'playing up to', isn't playing up at all, IMO. The only thing that keeps him breathing and healthy right now...and not a numbered corpse...is this publicity. If it dies? So does he. Probably within days. He went to Hong Kong for the legal protections that odd status gives him there.....but legal only matters in public. To think U.S. Intelligence isn't a strong presence in Hong Kong would be wishful thinking that I'm sure he doesn't engage in.

Also.. What he revealed isn't new for capability. That isn't the point. Echelon was something written about back in the 90's and it had the ability, even then, to detect and record almost every transmission and communication on the planet. No biggy for news. What IS news? They've turned it all inward. The're using is against Americans now.

I know that's not a nice thing to hear for people outside the nation..but it's a BIG BIG deal inside the U.S.. Those intelligence agencies are, by charter and previous law, forbidden from fishing for intelligence and trawling the airwaves INSIDE the U.S. and against those same people who fund and support their existence. They've now broken that ....which means they HAVE no limits they recognize, anywhere, on anything. (If it's all true, as presented, I must add)




posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by bbracken677
reply to post by HumanPLC
 



In my opinion, the man is, unquestionably, a patriot who has pointed out the illegal activities of a rogue and uncontrolled government. One which is no longer a govt "of the people, by the people, for the people". It has not been so for many long years, but it comes clearer as each year passes that we, the people, must do something to overturn the direction of our country.

Personally I would start by cleaning house. Vote out every single encumbent. That, in itself, would make a statement... We should insist on laws that control rogue politicians and assure that outside interests cannot gain a foothold. Every aspect of their finances should be examined. Donations to campaigns should be funneled through an organization that assures the anonymity of said donations in order to prevent special interests from exerting their influence.

Lastly, there should be a total elimination of lobby efforts and organizations.

Not to mention the total elimination of organizations that campaign on behalf of a candidate, whose actions often resemble those of a hit man. The only one who should be able to campaign is the candidate....



edit on 17-6-2013 by bbracken677 because: added last paragraph.


I couldn't agree more mate although i must admit that i find myself doubting that anything like this will ever happen; its majorly disheartening but true!

Im from the UK, but as im sure you already know, its pretty much the same here. No matter what government is in place, its blatantly obvious that their actions are not in favour of the people they are meant to represent.

Be it in the US or the UK i think its pretty obvious that money is power. I know that people used to say information is power but after these revelations it now seems that if you have enough money you can pretty much get your hands on any information you desire.

I suppose that's why the people with the money, and the control are willing to go to any lengths to ensure the system we have in place at the moment, which sees the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, remains.

And you know what, its so flippin frustrating but people just don't care!!! I used to share a lot of my views on Facebook and i cant remember the last time anything i posted got a single 'like' or a share yet someone else is having a KFC and they got 20 frikkin likes. I suppose whatever happens in the end, we, as a predominantly ignorant society (excluding us lot obviously) will only have ourselves to blame.

Soz about the rant at the end mate
edit on 18/6/13 by HumanPLC because: (no reason given)

edit on 18/6/13 by HumanPLC because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 10:44 AM
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Originally posted by uncommitted
I hate to say this seeing as most people on here seem to think this person is a freedom loving hero, but I find it odd that he is embracing the celebrity aspect of this so much


I get your take on it, but have a hard time faulting him for it. Him being in the spotlight right now is part of a survival strategy. At a minimum it keeps him alive or semi-immune from "rendition" aka midnight flight on CIA airlines. At best it has the potential for him to garner enough public support and visibility to ensure that he gets a semi-fair trial if it goes that way. In short he needs "light" on him right now.


Originally posted by uncommitted
What he has said so far is not really that major, and not even necessarily illegal - not when you boil it down to the facts rather than the hype. How is that now getting twisted into him somehow knowing everything about everything?


No one knows everything, not even the NSA. There is just far too much to "know"..too much data. His claim is that there was nothing sincerely holding him back from "diving down' on anything from where he sat....and when he saw other analysts doing exactly that, not going the FISA route, that his supervisors did nothing about it and didn't heed his complaints. Booze Allen wants results...they are not thinking about the "Constitution" or "Democracy" or FISA courts...they are thinking about profits and the sales presentation they will make to the gov next time thier contract is up and they ask for another couple of Billion dollars. Promotions and more money...and no one would ever know...so why not troll a little? follow some hunches? Run some searches and algorithims and deep dive on some folks and see what pans out...you can always get a warrant later if you find gold. Multiply by how many analysts?



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by butcherguy
reply to post by uncommitted
 





How is that now getting twisted into him somehow knowing everything about everything?

I believe it is a case of conspiracy theorists that have been hanging on for so long, waiting for their 'holy grail' proof of their beliefs, that since he has 'Secret info' they are hoping that the proof is in there.
It is possible, but highly unlikely.


Or more likely, they are hoping what he says vindicates their beliefs (even though I'm not sure I see him actually having to shoulder the responsibility of the burden of proof). If he doesn't, and if it's somewhat mundane then he will be seen as a government shill/a whistleblower who has been 'got at', etc etc etc.



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 10:51 AM
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Private Contractors' Key Role At Issue In NSA Leak




NEW YORK (AP) — People like Edward Snowden — nearly 500,000 employees of private firms with access to the government's most sensitive secrets — play a crucial role: They help monitor threats to national security.

...........

Booz Allen, based in McLean, Va., provides consulting services, technology support and analysis to U.S. government agencies and departments. Last year, 98 percent of the company's $5.9 billion in revenue came from U.S. government contracts.

Three-fourths of its 25,000 employees hold government security clearances. Half the employees have top secret clearances.

.......

The reliance on contractors for intelligence work ballooned after the 9/11 attacks. The government scrambled to improve and expand its ability to monitor the communication and movement of people who might threaten another attack.

"After 9/11, intelligence budgets were increased, new people needed to be hired," Augustyn said. "It was a lot easier to go to the private sector and get people off the shelf."

........

Of the 4.9 million people with clearance to access "confidential and secret" government information, 1.1 million, or 21 percent, work for outside contractors, according to a report from Clapper's office.

Of the 1.4 million who have the higher "top secret" access, 483,000, or 34 percent, work for contractors.

......


www.npr.org...



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo5

Originally posted by uncommitted
I hate to say this seeing as most people on here seem to think this person is a freedom loving hero, but I find it odd that he is embracing the celebrity aspect of this so much


I get your take on it, but have a hard time faulting him for it. Him being in the spotlight right now is part of a survival strategy. At a minimum it keeps him alive or semi-immune from "rendition" aka midnight flight on CIA airlines. At best it has the potential for him to garner enough public support and visibility to ensure that he gets a semi-fair trial if it goes that way. In short he needs "light" on him right now.



Maybe, or maybe it's going to make sure that the inevitable book (+ film?) gets all the publicity it needs.



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 10:51 AM
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I'm here to assure you that the NSA has for years been collecting data .... as far back as the 1950's on US citizens, cause I'm living proof of that. But it seems it was done for love and not harm per the non disclosure regarding my family. My mother turned down a marriage proposal in 1954 from John E. Morrison who retired deputy director of the NSA in the late 1980's.

Don't fall victim to the spin doctors ... theses agencies over use and abuse there power.

Try reading some of James Bamford books on the subject.



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by Indigo5
 


You raise what is probably one of the single BEST points of the entire issue here, outside the specific nature of each abuse.

The nation has chosen to 'out-source' and 'privatize' all the wrong things and to absurd extremes.


So we can discuss the checks and balances...congressional intelligence committee over-sight, the FISA court etc...

BUT...effen Booz-Allen is doing the work! It's been outsourced. Who the hell is accountable there??? Thier sales rep?? Is there some secret 1-800 number that the gov calls with customer complaints about the constitution???

Or is it more convenient for the NSA to have this outsourced...another layer of insulation when sh*& hits the fan? Hear and see no evil?



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by uncommitted

Maybe, or maybe it's going to make sure that the inevitable book (+ film?) gets all the publicity it needs.


The gov. would never allow profit in these criminal circumstances, more so at the expense of US Gov. secrets. Accounts siezed etc. etc. That is not going to happen anytime soon. The spotlight actually works against the profit motive IMO.
edit on 18-6-2013 by Indigo5 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 11:01 AM
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When I got on Firefox this morning, there was a message from Google about their recent letter to Washington, objecting to being 'used' by the NSA.

I thought they might have a serious excuse with the government 'forcing' them to provide info, but then I thought about it some more.

Any one of those companies involved could have blown the whistle on the government just like Snowden did, but they rolled over and took it.

They suck.



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by butcherguy

Any one of those companies involved could have blown the whistle on the government just like Snowden did, but they rolled over and took it.

They suck.


Google CEO...in 2009 no less!!!


On December 2009, after privacy concerns were raised, Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, declared:

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines—including Google—do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 


Snowden seems to say as much in the Q&A session.




Their denials went through several revisions as it become more and more clear they were misleading and included identical, specific language across companies. As a result of these disclosures and the clout of these companies, we're finally beginning to see more transparency and better details about these programs for the first time since their inception. They are legally compelled to comply and maintain their silence in regard to specifics of the program, but that does not comply them from ethical obligation. If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?


Personally i found some of his responses a little cryptic however this answer did stand out to me. This is only my interpretation of his answer but it seems that he is saying that the statements issued by these companies denying his allegations are basically flat out lies and that they had to do this because of a legal obligation to maintain their silence.

Also, i think, if i remember correctly, the response from Microsoft didn't really deny the claims with regards to them giving the NSA advance knowledge of security flaws in their operating system before releasing a patch so they could be exploited.

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
edit on 18/6/13 by HumanPLC because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by Indigo5
 


I expected the government would get a warrant if they wanted to read emails.

I expected way too much of the govt. I'll never learn.



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo5

Originally posted by bbracken677

Irrelevant, irrelevant and irrelevant.

How he got the job, who interviewed him etc etc is all irrelevant to the central issue.



I disagree here...BIG TIME!

See ...Ironically the very existence of Snowden proves his concerns and debunks the Government's defense. It's a closed loop of logic.

The Government keeps saying over and over that your information is SAFE, it is not vulnerable to constitutional breeches, everything is secure with safeguards against unconstitutional breeches etc. etc.

And all we have to do is look at this 29 year old employee of a PRIVATE firm, who apparently had access to EVERYTHING...slipped passed all of the gov.'s "safeguards" and "screenings"...was able to walk in with a effen THUMB DRIVE and walk out with the goods on the Gov.s most secretive spying operation.

Tell me again how the secretly gathered private communications of Millions of Americans are safe? That the gov. has it all under control? That it is impossible for the information to be abused?

The very existence of Snowden proves that the Government is failing to implement safeguards against abuses.

Want to be a Billionaire?...Get a job as an analyst for SAIC or Booze-Allen....tap the comms of just a few guys, starting with Warren Buffet, plus the CEO of Goldman Sachs...toss in a few Hedge Fund managers...etc. etc. It can be something you do during your lunch break with a thumb drive.


edit on 18-6-2013 by Indigo5 because: (no reason given)


So...how is it you disagreed with me, other than the first line?
You showed how our information is not secure, (and I agree) but how he got the job is immaterial. Unless you are claiming that his hiring displays a lack of proper security, in which case it still is not how he got hired, but rather the security checks and psych evals to blame...possibly. Unless he had something in his past that suggests he should not have been hired then all the rest is just speculation.



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by HumanPLC
 


Yeah, I do not expect it to happen either, but it is what is needed. Badly.....



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo5

Originally posted by uncommitted

Maybe, or maybe it's going to make sure that the inevitable book (+ film?) gets all the publicity it needs.


The gov. would never allow profit in these criminal circumstances, more so at the expense of US Gov. secrets. Accounts siezed etc. etc. That is not going to happen anytime soon. The spotlight actually works against the profit motive IMO.
edit on 18-6-2013 by Indigo5 because: (no reason given)


Hmmm, I think time will tell. I'm still not sure what specific crime he can confirm has been committed, and also his crime in announcing it. I'm not going to deny that he has broken any NDA he may have signed, but not sure what that would actually lead to. The Bradley Manning case is a lot more clear cut.



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by butcherguy
reply to post by Indigo5
 


I expected the government would get a warrant if they wanted to read emails.

I expected way too much of the govt. I'll never learn.


If they don't get a warrant to actually read the email, I understand it's not admissable in court. To identify the fact email traffic has been exchanged between particular individuals may then lead to a warrant being requested. That isn't in question and I'm still a little confused why people are so up in arms about that.



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 12:14 PM
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Thought i would share this as i found it a pretty interesting read.

Its live blog coverage of NSA director Keith Alexander's testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence related to the NSA surveillance programs. The live coverage has just finished so its now up in its entirety if anyone wants a read.

www.guardian.co.uk...



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by HumanPLC
Thought i would share this as i found it a pretty interesting read.

Its live blog coverage of NSA director Keith Alexander's testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence related to the NSA surveillance programs. The live coverage has just finished so its now up in its entirety if anyone wants a read.

www.guardian.co.uk...



I heard more lies today on CSPAN than all my life



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 04:08 PM
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Originally posted by bbracken677

So...how is it you disagreed with me, other than the first line?
You showed how our information is not secure, (and I agree) but how he got the job is immaterial. Unless you are claiming that his hiring displays a lack of proper security, in which case it still is not how he got hired, but rather the security checks and psych evals to blame...possibly. Unless he had something in his past that suggests he should not have been hired then all the rest is just speculation.


correct -I did not disagree with your sentiment, but with that first line.

Yes...lack of proper security that is indicative a larger lapse in oversight of the thousands of private analysts that have access to the worlds largest data trove of personal information and communications.

Typically to get this type of security clearance and access to Top Secret info requires a minimum of a decade with CIA/NSA through various progressive security postings and repeated screenings.

Snowden hoped through a couple of roles and straight to the private sector...

The post 9-11 demand to staff up the CIA and NSA resulted in corners being cut, the rise of private firms taking over what the CIA/NSA used to do and yes...Lax and speedy security screenings.

And I think that in this case it put a Top Secret program at risk, but it also puts all of our personal communications and privacy at risk as well.

Booz Hamilton is moving fast and loose...with hiring, with security and with the constitution...and it is going to get worse IMO. Booz Hamilton isn't alone...there is SAIC and others.




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