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Edward Snowden: A Call for Research

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posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 01:37 AM
I've raised this subject in other threads, but I think it's time to dedicate a proper thread to it.

Before I begin, I realize that Snowden, at least the idea of Snowden, is a breadth of fresh air. Far too long we have been held under the thumb of secrecy that it isn't outrageous that so many see the man telling us what we believe to be the truth at the sacrifice of his own liberty is a real hero. This is not an indictment on whistle-blowers. It is a rationale and hopefully coherent topic that must be well thought through; and it requires more than 120 characters to get to the thick of it of so bring your full attention.

Too many times in the recent decades we have been lied to by those who serve us. Many times we have been deliberately fooled into passion and oversaw the real nature of what was happening. It is not out of the question for those deceivers to try and own, and label, both sides of the dice.

What if Edward Snowden's mission, the mission he was trained by the alphabet soups to do, was to defect? What if he's an active agent not a defecting agent?

What if the government doesn't have the capability to track and monitor every bit of traffic? What if Snowden is a gambit to make us believe our government is omnipotent?

Consider this scenario ten years from now:

A man in Columbus, Ohio is arrested for distributing a pdf how to on overthrowing the government over a peer to peer seed connection. The document contains instructions on how to make improvised explosives. It outlines and details the tactics that can be used. It lists buildings and infrastructure all over the US that need to be bombed and advocates that these installations be destroyed during times of high occupancy as to cause the most damage to the agency running it. It lists politicians and their home addresses and labels them in the degree they need to be killed.

To prove motive the prosecution argues that they have emails, chat transcriptions, and comment posts on various websites showing the defendant's disdain for the government's unwillingness to publicly fund abortion, to add taxes on churches who do not allow homosexual marriages, and to lower the income level necessary to receive full medical insurance subsidies along with a myriad of other topics.

The prosecution also argues that the defendant not only conspired in the creation of the document, but that he actively researched some of the buildings listed and was intent on fulfilling some of the objectives the call to arms manifesto laid out in his local city of Columbus, Ohio.

The building he specifically focused on and was his "main objective" the prosecution argues was a Catholic hospital that refused to accept allowing the marriage to be performed by it's chaplain, who was publicly licensed to issue marriage certificates, of a woman who was driven to the emergency room by her girlfriend after she had been stabbed in a mugging. When the doctors told her that she was hours away from dying, that there was nothing they could do to stop the internal bleeding, she asked the hospital to marry her and the hospital chaplain and administration refused.

The prosecution argues that they have evidence of conversation between the defendant and another man currently standing trial for actively manufacturing pipe bombs and distributing them out to a network of domestic terrorists. In their evidence they show text messages, emails, peer to peer iirc discussions, and even phone conversations of the defendant with this domestic bomb maker describing the type of ordinance he would need to accomplish the attack. The prosecution describes how the defendant encrypted his network and used "anonymization" technologies like TOR to hide behind; but they were ultimately able to track down the originating IP addresses.

Technical witnesses and industry certified government networking employees tell the jury the technical mumbo jumbo they need to hear to trust them. The individuals in the jury are anyways already aware that the government knows how to monitor everything anyways.

The defense argues that while the defendant does in fact speak his mind in various online communities; he is in no way affiliated with any domestic terrorists and most definitely never conspired to destroy a hospital. They argue that wait is claimed by the prosecution to be phone conversations between him and the man that was arrested for making pipe bombs was a heavily edited recording of him while he was answering and asking questions during his initial interrogations with the FBI investigators. The defense for instance says that the recordings the investigators and prosecution have presented are highly edited recordings taken from his first few interrogations that the FBI hasn't released. They argue that the IP logs and chat messages are either doctored or simply made up. The defendant did use basic techniques anyone does to prevent privacy intrusions, but never used iirc as the prosecution claims.

If you are on a jury, who do you believe? People already believe the government is capable of logging everything. In ten years we will just assume it to be true; we will not even question their geeks about network tracing evidence just as we haven't questioned the reliability of DNA tests. If an educated and certified man tells us this is the defendant's DNA on the back of a blade on a knife it becomes fact and we don't care about the authenticity of the science. In ten years, if not already, when an educated and certified man tells us that this data was typed by this man and here's the log it becomes fact and we don't care about the details; it's too complicated to expect a jury to understand and read through any BS, the expert says it's genuine so it is so.

Moral of the story: The government doesn't need to track every phone call, chat session, and web click as long as the people BELIEVE the government can track everything. Once the people take their belief for granted; you can make up any evidence you want. With the ability to edit audio like a PhotoShop picture you can even put words into people's mouths.

With examples like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist China, and even Cuba, history tells us a again and again that governments will place into the minds of people that they are ever aware. "Step out of the line we draw and we will know it" is common to every oppressive government since 100BC. Did Brezhnev's government really know everything happening in the country? No. Did the majority of Soviet citizens believe they could? Yes. Did this belief help to kill and gulag people the corrupt politburos deemed "resistors", "non-conformists", or "party threats"? Yes. People of oppressive regimes will fall in line and even support the regime if they feel the regime knows the real truth.

This only works the people BELIEVE the government is constantly watching them. In NAZI Germany you feared your neighbors and folks at the pub. You never told them anything because you believed NAZI sympathizers were in every pub and alley. Some of the defectors of the Soviet Union would defect and publicly say that the KGB hand its hand on every detail of the society; that people had no privacy and no spoken thought went unreported. Other Soviet defectors said that while the KGB TRIED to be all knowing they were no where near all knowing but merely wanted to present themselves to be.


posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 01:38 AM
So here's my first item of this doesn't make sense about the Edward Snowden affair:

He's leaking his stash of information over time. If he truly is doing this because he is concerned people are not aware of the full extent of the NSA's snooping shouldn't we be immediately made aware of the full extent of his evidence?

Why is it that he's leaking information so slowly? Is he trying to milk headlines? Lord knows he's probably the most famous defector in human history to date by all of the articles about him, but I really don't get the feeling this is ego driven.

If he releases everything now is he afraid of assassination? That wouldn't make sense in my mind, releasing the information over time only would increase the priority of assassinating him NOW and let the chips fall where they may.

Is he releasing it slowly because much of what he has must be decrypted and he doesn't have the keys so it takes time? If this is the reality why has he not stated that? To me if he is an honest defector (oxymoron-you gotta lie to someone to be a defector) he'd be honest about his evidence and come clean about it's full nature.

Is he releasing it slowly because his stash doesn't actually exist in the form he's described? Perhaps his leaks are coming from sources he still has in the NSA; other whistle blowers still in the NSA chain of command leaking information to a preplanned location that he monitors. He's just the front man of a whistle blower cell with in our government agencies? There would be great logic for orchestrating it this way.

Is he releasing it slowly because he is still under NSA direction and he can't leak anything until the NSA decides what they want him to leak next or is following a preplanned schedule of the leaks? As far as a psyops program it would be more effective if the issue stayed in the public discourse and consciences for a prolonged duration.

The next area I am still wondering about:

For a computer whiz he sure lacks a lot of pertinent technical information. He claims to have accessed to a wide range of information. How did he go about accessing it? The software working environment would tell us a lot about how to protect ourselves from the intrusions. The simplest items of how an NSA desk agent retrieves data for a report could shine the light on what other types systems they use. For instance, in his time in the NSA did he use Sybase queries to search the database? Did he use a proprietary client? Does he have a copy of the client he used? The information gleaned from the API interaction in the client(s) he used could tell us how the NSA is able to access carrier and ISP end points. For instance it may inject packets that bypass or opens a backdoor in third party (RSA) encrypted communications; like those of Angela Merkel he reportedly has. Basically I'm asking thequestion of why he hasn't exposed the HOW of NSA snooping. So far he has only released reports that tell the American people that the government is able to track anyone any where. That's great, but with out exposing the how the leaks only create paranoia. For a self described "computer wizard" his leaks are awfully lacking in technical detail. He has offered no explanation on how to thwart government intrusion; or how HE specifically was able to hack secure systems and more importantly; any evidence of the software tools he used.

Where's the code? Are you telling me that a computer geek saved off documents and other items he was able to personally attain sometimes using proprietary tools developed by the NSA, some of which he claims to have personally authored, but never saved off the code? All programming geeks love code; and it's the first thing, at least in my mind and every other geek I know, that a geek would save to a USB stick exposing the inner workings of a rogue company or government agency. Again, even the compiled code would be beneficial to securing the people's privacy. Details like what type of databases were used with the NSA, the types of encyptions they had trouble with would be useful, details of the programming languages used or encouraged, the operating systems installed, the specific networking techniques used right down to his favorite options on something like nmap or netstat. These are the items of detail I would expect out of a "computer whiz"; so far what he's released is what I would expect out of a secretary of a department head.
edit on 23-12-2013 by GenerationGap because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 01:39 AM
So what research needs to be done?

Can we find the raw data of what he has released? It's great how I can read about how he has evidence the NSA is able to listen to the cell phone conversations of Netanyahu; but is there any evidence that I can hear for myself? Are there any publicly available details of HOW, specifically HOW right down to the bit size of the malformed packets used to trip up an industrial strength router with in the Israeli cell phone carrier used by Netanyahu?

For those who might say that releasing this information would only increase snooping; I disagree. As soon as he released the technical details governments, and even people like you and me, could find ways to protect ourselves from the snooping techniques used and keep safe our own privacy.

But this is all assuming that the NSA is accumulating MASSIVE amounts of data. The size of the data collection being claimed is MONSTROUS. It's hard to fathom all of the GPS signals, internet packets, cell phone streams, data and cellphone connections, iirc chats, peer to peer connections, and ISP traffic streams. The size of the data is quite literally INFINITE. As I type this it is only growing; and until the idea of electricity powering communication it will be forever growing. The amount of data could be analogous to the issues with the website multiplied the amount of our debt and unfunded liabilities (which is $70,000,000,000,000) and even that is low balling the complexity of storing the data that has so many paranoid. Every deleted tweet, text message, email, chat session, team speak conversation, phone call, or phone GPS location in the nation, even world, is such an astronomically large undertaking. To think it can be done is to be in a state of schizophrenic delusion or complete technological ignorance.

Mao, couldn't read every letter sent to a family member in China; but he had agents that propagated the idea he could. Hitler didn't have an agency that was aware of every back alley conversation, but he had an agency that claimed they did. Stalin didn't know the political leanings of every person in Moscow, but the red coats were determined to make the people believe he could.

It doesn't matter if a government doesn't know the origination and destination of every item of communication. The only important thing is that the people, even allies and enemies, believe that you can. And I fear that Snowden's mission is to get the people accustomed into believing that very concept, to create so much of a belief in the people that the government tracks all things digital that the people will voluntarily place others, their own neighbor's and fellow citizens, into prisons over the claims; regardless if they be true. An easy avenue to place dissenters where the power elite want them, behind bars and in chains. The Soviet's called them gulags, the Nazi's called them concentration camps, and the Maoists' called them labor details.

I'm an atheist, and I don't believe in things I don't fully understand. If you stick me on a jury and some technical expert tells me these IP routes and packets belong to this person because it can be proved with a technical government log I will find the person NOT guilty. I want proof like multiple witnesses identifying the person. In other words, I find reasonable doubt in evidence I can't see, touch, or hear; and sometimes that isn't even enough in today's world. It must be evidence I can understand; if it's so complicated that it requires government certification it is flawed evidence. In my mind, we can assume this philosophy logically because we can have reasonable doubt in the motivations of our corrupt and deceitful people of power.

People are claiming our government has digital omnipotence just as Christians claim God is omnipotent of every action and thought. Believing in either is incredibly dangerous for society if you have self centered narcissists in your clergy or government.

Speak your mind freely; do not be intimidated. If a person's life is every put in your hands, consider the fact the government may want them out of their way for entirely undisclosed reasons due to their non-conforming beliefs. They may just be there because they believe the rich should be taxed at a 70% rate; or they may be there because they feel no man's wage should be taxed more than 30%. Thought and expression is an individual's right; and every group people in power that have ever claimed omnipotence have used lies to place innocent families into the confines of death and encampment.

Trust but verify. In my mind Edward Snowden has yet to prove to me by my logic he's on the right side of the people. I pray to nothingness that suspicion is unfounded.

Trust but verify, sometimes the wolf does unimaginable and unpredictable things to dress like a sheep.
edit on 23-12-2013 by GenerationGap because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 02:52 AM
reply to post by GenerationGap

Moral of the story: The government doesn't need to track every phone call, chat session, and web click as long as the people BELIEVE the government can track everything. Once the people take their belief for granted; you can make up any evidence you want. With the ability to edit audio like a PhotoShop picture you can even put words into people's mouths.

This is a possible scenario. The question is how much does Snowden know? Is he an active participant or a unknowing fall guy?

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 03:41 AM
Couldn't be bothered to read it all admittedly, however, I like your 'outside the box' thinking.

Stars all round.

Snowden was definitely a control valve.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:03 AM
reply to post by GenerationGap

I have been racking my brain for months about this. It makes no sense to me at all that Snowden is releasing this info so slowly and regularly, gradually becoming more and more damaging (and not being stopped). This seems to be reducing the shock effect, resulting in the public accepting the idea more easily. That is why I am inclined to think that this is the purpose of his mission: getting the public accustomed to their loss of privacy. I'm not convinced of this yet and hope I'm wrong.

So my angle is a little different from yours, in that I do believe that they are capable of all that is being claimed by Snowden.

BUT: There is a problem with both of our angles. Why would Russia give him assylum and allow him to operate? I find it hard to believe that they would do this without being absolutely convinced that he is a legitimate whisleblower. Unless of course Russia and the US are working together behind the scenes. That these states (and others) are like chess pieces being manipulated by the men behind the curtain working towards a New World Order. This is also a very real possibility, in my mind. It would also be the worst case scenario. Any ideas on that, OP or anyone else?


posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:46 PM
reply to post by GenerationGap

Snowden isn't leaking it slowly. The info has been given to journalist's who are leaking it as they go through it.

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