Edward Snowden

Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 02:12 pm


27 Edward Snowden Quotes About U.S. Government Spying That Should Send A Chill Up Your Spine

By The Economic Collapse Blog
Global Research, June 12, 2013

Would you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up? He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world. He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn’t any privacy. He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded.

Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine. Up until now, the general public has known very little about the U.S. government spy grid that knows almost everything about us. But making this information public is going to cost Edward Snowden everything.

Essentially, his previous life is now totally over. And if the U.S. government gets their hands on him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere. There is a reason why government whistleblowers are so rare. And most Americans are so apathetic that they wouldn’t even give up watching their favorite television show for a single evening to do something good for society. Most Americans never even try to make a difference because they do not believe that it will benefit them personally. Meanwhile, our society continues to fall apart all around us. Hopefully the great sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made will not be in vain. Hopefully people will carefully consider what he has tried to share with the world. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government spying that should send a chill up your spine…

#1 “The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate.”

#2 “…I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.”

#3 “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”

#4 “…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

#5 “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything.”

#6 “With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”

#7 “Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…”

#8 “To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so.”

#9 “I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”

#10 “…they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.”

#11 “Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.”

#12 “Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”

#13 “Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.”

#14 “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

#15 “I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

#16 “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.”

#17 “I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act.”

#18 “There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich.”

#19 “The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.”

#20 “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

#21 “You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk.”

#22 “I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me.”

#23 “We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.”

#24 “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end.”

#25 “There’s no saving me.”

#26 “The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night.”

#27 “I do not expect to see home again.”

Would you make the same choice that Edward Snowden made? Most Americans would not. One CNN reporter says that he really admires Snowden because he has tried to get insiders to come forward with details about government spying for years, but none of them were ever willing to…

As a digital technology writer, I have had more than one former student and colleague tell me about digital switchers they have serviced through which calls and data are diverted to government servers or the big data algorithms they’ve written to be used on our e-mails by intelligence agencies. I always begged them to write about it or to let me do so while protecting their identities. They refused to come forward and believed my efforts to shield them would be futile. “I don’t want to lose my security clearance. Or my freedom,” one told me.

And if the U.S. government has anything to say about it, Snowden is most definitely going to pay for what he has done. In fact, according to the Daily Beast, a directorate known as “the Q Group” is already hunting Snowden down…

The people who began chasing Snowden work for the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence, according to former U.S. intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The directorate, sometimes known as “the Q Group,” is continuing to track Snowden now that he’s outed himself as The Guardian’s source, according to the intelligence officers.

If Snowden is not already under the protection of some foreign government (such as China), it will just be a matter of time before U.S. government agents get him.

And how will they treat him once they find him? Well, one reporter overheard a group of U.S. intelligence officials talking about how Edward Snowden should be “disappeared”. The following is from a Daily Mail article that was posted on Monday…

A group of intelligence officials were overheard yesterday discussing how the National Security Agency worker who leaked sensitive documents to a reporter last week should be ‘disappeared.’

Foreign policy analyst and editor at large of The Atlantic, Steve Clemons, tweeted about the ‘disturbing’ conversation after listening in to four men who were sitting near him as he waited for a flight at Washington’s Dulles airport.

‘In Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker & reporter on #NSA stuff should be disappeared recorded a bit,’ he tweeted at 8:42 a.m. on Saturday.

According to Clemons, the men had been attending an event hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

As an American, I am deeply disturbed that the U.S. government is embarrassing itself in front of the rest of the world like this.

The fact that we are collecting trillions of pieces of information on people all over the planet is a massive embarrassment and the fact that our politicians are defending this practice now that it has been exposed is a massive embarrassment.

If the U.S. government continues to act like a Big Brother police state, then the rest of the world will eventually conclude that is exactly what we are. At that point we become the “bad guy” and we lose all credibility with the rest of the planet.
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Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 03:58 pm
JTT wrote:
If the U.S. government continues to act like a Big Brother police state, then the rest of the world will eventually conclude that is exactly what we are. At that point we become the “bad guy” and we lose all credibility with the rest of the planet.

"Will eventually?" "lose all credibility?" Get real. As someone in the "rest of the world", let me tell you that "that point" is way, way in the past.

Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 04:30 pm
I think that you are being overly generous as to what the vast majority of the world knows, C. US propaganda has been exceedingly effective, not just with Americans.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 10:44 pm
How Edward Snowden’s encrypted insurance file might work

By Zachary M. Seward @zseward 4 hours ago

Now we have a bit more clarity on what Edward Snowden meant last week when he said, “The US government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”

It turns out Snowden has given copies of the files he purloined from the US National Security Agency, his former employer, to “many different people around the world,” according to Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who first published some of the materials provided by Snowden. But the files are encrypted, so the people who have the documents can’t read them. “If anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives,” Greenwald told the Daily Beast.

How might that work? Snowden could be using any of a number of complicated cryptographic gambits.

Cryptography is a gatekeeper. It allows us to check our bank accounts, sign into email, and browse Facebook without worrying that any of that data can be intercepted by others (the NSA surveillance revealed by Snowden notwithstanding).

The simplest form of cryptography that Snowden and his allies could be employing would involve one person keeping an encrypted copy of the files and someone else holding the key necessary to decrypt it. But that method is vulnerable, relying on the trustworthiness of the person who has the key, and it doesn’t sound like what Snowden has done.

More complex, more secure, and more interesting would be a form of “secret sharing.” Essentially, the files can only be unlocked if each member of a group shares his portion of the encrypted information; or, alternatively, if several people are given encrypted portions and a combination of, say, any three of them is sufficient to unlock the files. For instance, this illustration represents the data shared by three people as intersecting planes; the point where they intersect represents the secret that is unlocked when they’re shared:

It’s obviously more complicated than that, and there are other methods Snowden could be using. How well he knows advanced cryptography also isn’t clear, but he’s receiving assistance from Wikileaks, which is skilled in it. Wikileaks has also used its own form of “insurance files” in the past.

Snowden remains in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. As to what his insurance file contains, beyond what has already been revealed by the Guardian, Washington Post, and South China Morning Post, we have yet to find out; Greenwald told the Daily Beast that just the non-encrypted material Snowden gave him consists of “thousands of documents.”

Reply Tue 25 Jun, 2013 11:55 pm


Do not extradite Edward Snowden, protesters urge Hong Kong
Demonstrators call on government to protect NSA whistleblower and attack US over internet spying programmes

Tania Branigan and Jonathan Kaiman in Hong Kong
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 15 June 2013 13.12 BST

Hundreds of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Hong Kong despite heavy rain to support the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and press the US to change its surveillance policies.

The gathering on Saturday came hours before Hong Kong's chief executive, CY Leung, broke days of silence on the case. He promised to "follow up on any incidents related to the privacy or other rights of the institutions or people in Hong Kong being violated".

His spokesman declined to elaborate on what that follow-up may entail, the South China Morning Post said.

Snowden has alleged that the US hacked hundreds of targets in Hong Kong and on mainland China.

Leung's statement said the government would handle Snowden's case "in accordance with the laws and established procedures of Hong Kong".

Human rights groups and other organisations arranged the rally after Snowden, a US citizen, told the South China Morning Post that he planned to stay in the territory and "ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate". Three days earlier he revealed his identity and his presence in Hong Kong in a video interview with the Guardian.

Protesters waved placards and chanted "protect free speech – protect Snowden" as they rallied in the centre of the city before marching past the US consulate and gathering outside government offices.

Hong Kong has a well-used surrender treaty with the US. Supporters say they are concerned that Beijing may intervene in the decision and are worried about his treatment if he is sent back to the US.

Legislator Charles Mok told the crowd of more than 500 that they were there to protect not just Snowden but "all of us", given the allegations about US surveillance.

Albert Ho Chun-yan, a high-profile Democratic politician, said: "It's unlawful, unjustified and unscrupulous … We demand the whole truth be disclosed by the US administration, an unconditional apology from [President Barack] Obama and an assurance this interference will stop."

Allen Kuo, 43, who works in finance, said that as an American the behaviour of the US was "an embarrassment". Holding a sign reading "We stand with Snowden", he said: "People say he is a traitor and what he has done is illegal. I think spying on American people is unconstitutional and we need to address that first."

Protestors came from a range of ages and nationalities. Teacher Mary Stickley, who has lived in Hong Kong for 17 years, said: "This is my first ever march; I just felt pretty strongly about it."
0 Replies
Reply Wed 26 Jun, 2013 12:06 am
Does it come as a shock to anyone that the USs contractors are as dirty as the US itself(qm)



Investigate Booz Allen Hamilton, not Edward Snowden
The firm that formerly employed both the director of national intelligence and the NSA whistleblower merits closer scrutiny

Pratap Chatterjee
guardian.co.uk, Friday 14 June 2013 14.00 BST

Military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, Virginia, has shot into the news recently over two of its former employees: Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has just revealed the extent of US global spying on electronic data of ordinary citizens around the world, and James Clapper, US director of national intelligence.

Clapper has come out vocally to condemn Snowden as a traitor to the public interest and the country, yet a review of Booz Allen's own history suggests that the government should be investigating his former employer, rather than the whistleblower.

Clapper worked as vice-president at Booz Allen from 1997 to 1998, while Snowden did a three-month stint at their offices in Hawaii in spring 2013 as a low-level contract employee. Both worked on intelligence contracts, which are estimated to make up almost a quarter of the company's $5.86bn in annual income. This past weekend, Clapper condemned Snowden's leak about US government surveillance, telling NBC News's Andrea Mitchell:

"For me, it is literally – not figuratively – literally gut-wrenching to see this happen because of the huge, grave damage it does to our intelligence capabilities. This is someone who, for whatever reason, has chosen to violate a sacred trust for this country. I think we all feel profoundly offended by that."

The following day Snowden replied from a hotel in Hong Kong, in an interview with Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian:

"The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good."

Booz Allen reacted with anger in a press statement released hours later:

"News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm."

Core values? Let's examine Booz Allen Hamilton's track record.

In February 2012, the US air force suspended Booz Allen from seeking government contracts after it discovered that Joselito Meneses, a former deputy chief of information technology for the air force, had given Booz Allen a hard drive with confidential information about a competitor's contracting on the first day that he went to work for the company in San Antonio, Texas. US air force legal counsel concluded (pdf):

"Booz Allen did not uncover indications and signals of broader systemic ethical issues within the firm. These events caused the air force to have serious concerns regarding the responsibility of Booz Allen, specifically, its San Antonio office, including its business integrity and honesty, compliance with government contracting requirements, and the adequacy of its ethics program."

It should be noted that Booz Allen reacted swiftly to the government investigation of the conflict of interest. In April that year, the air force lifted the suspension – but only after Booz Allen had accepted responsibility for the incident and fired Meneses, as well as agreeing to pay the air force $65,000 and reinforce the firm's ethics policy.

Not everybody was convinced about the new regime. "Unethical behavior brought on by the revolving door created problems for Booz Allen, but now the revolving door may have come to the rescue," wrote Scott Amey of the Project on Government Oversight, noting that Meneses was not the only former air force officer who had subsequently become an executive in Booz Allen's San Antonio office.

"It couldn't hurt having [former AF people]. Booz is likely exhaling a sigh of relief as it has received billions of dollars in air force contracts over the years."

Booz Allen has also admitted to overbilling the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) "employees at higher job categories than would have been justified by their experience, inflating their monthly hours and submitting excessive billing at their off-site rate." The company repaid the government $325,000 in May 2009 to settle the charges (pdf). Incidentally, both the Nasa and the air force incidents were brought to light by a company whistleblower who informed the government.

Nor was this the first time Booz Allen had been caught overbilling. In 2006, the company was one of four consulting firms that settled with the Justice Department for fiddling expenses on an industrial scale. Booz Allen's share of the $15m settlement of a lawsuit under the False Claims Act was more than $3.3m.

The incidents described above could be dismissed as aberrations. What is worthy of note, however, is that Ralph Shrader, the chairman, CEO and president of Booz Allen, came to the company in 1974 after working at two telecommunications companies – Western Union, where he was national director of advanced systems planning, and RCA, where he served in the company's government communications system division.

Today, those names may not ring a bell, but these two companies took part in a secret surveillance program known as Minaret in the 1970s when they agreed to hand over to the National Security Agency (NSA) all incoming and outgoing US telephone calls and telegrams. In an interview with the Financial Times in 1998, Shrader noted that the most relevant background for his new position of chief executive at Booz Allen was his experience working for telecommunications clients and doing classified military work for the US government.

Minaret and other such snooping programs led to an explosive series of congressional hearings in 1970s named the Senate select committee to study governmental operations with respect to intelligence activities, chaired by Frank Church of Idaho in 1975.

Should the latest revelations of massive government surveillance come before Congress again, it might be worth probing Shrader and his company – rather than shooting the messenger, Edward Snowden.

Finally, Congress would also do well to investigate Clapper, Booz Allen's other famous former employee, for possible perjury when he replied: "No, sir" to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon in March, when asked:

"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
0 Replies
Reply Mon 19 Aug, 2013 06:15 pm
Whatever you say, Ed.
You will certainly miss your country. Your inflated ego is blurring your mind. You had it all in the USA. You will be a frustrsted man for the rest ofyour life.
Reply Mon 19 Aug, 2013 08:39 pm
It is hard to reach Americans regarding America. It’s not a place so much as a mindset. For myself, I got out of that mindset quite by accident, but it also took some effort. When confronted by contradictions that made me uncomfortable, I did not stuff them away and ignore them.

-- Mark Tokarski
0 Replies
Reply Wed 18 Sep, 2013 11:34 am
You Americans tend to have a rather short memory. If there ever was a need for the American people to be vigilant, and conscious of the fact that the United States is now considered the world´s bully, and to some, the
No. 1 enemy of civilization, it is now.

We all agree that the U.S. Government must avoid, at all costs, a new embarrasing 9/11. For the enemies of the U.S. are not about missing a chance to strike again, perhaps this time, with a deadly nuclear attack.

Edward Snowden had access to the most secret machinery for detecting and monitoring the world´s worst possible threats to the national security of the United States, particularly those that are known, or suspected of being targeting the national security of the United States. Now it is crystal clear that Mr. Snowden took his time to pack all of his goodies and punish his government and his own country and citizens, for the sin of having become able to detect and monitor threats against the U.S. around the world, perhaps on time to avoid another catastrophe.

I find it hard to understand why Americans reject whatever effort their government undertakes to improve its capacity to detect and destroy such threats. The NSA offers a capability to timely detect threats, and thus give a chance to their military to neutralize such threats before they hit their targets.
Mr. Snowden is considered a hero by those who are not willing to accept some discomfort from a secret effort whose purpose is to protect themselves from threats that already have become real in a most horrifying way. Rejecting the NSA is no less than unsane.

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Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 06:17 pm
Americans in general have reacted to the NSA/Snowden issue exactly as Edward Snowden expected: A generalised cry against established defence infrastructure, which is based on the NSA's known ability "to detect threats to U.S. security, and be able to react on time to impede such an attack". It is of great concern that very few people seem to consider the possibility of more attacks in the future, and loudly protest the measures that have been taken to confront them. It seems that no possible spectacular attacks, particularly to the heart of the U.S.A. are reason for Americans to be concerned.

Snowden might enjoy considerable support, even admiration, in the U.S.A. and the world today, for his crusade to expose his country's alleged "violations of the sovereign human right to privacy." Thanks to his revelations the entire world now knows , better than ever, where exactly the weak points of the U.S. global defense strategy are, COURTESY OF EDWARD SNOWDEN'S revelations, first, no doubt to his host Russia's Vladimir Putin, and then to the rest of the world. That, in itself constitutes treason.

And U.S. law has an extremely clear sentence to such act.

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