You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture."
I am very interested to hear some of his anti-intelligence efforts. I assume he's either talking about the Defense Intelligence Agency , or that this is a typo for CIA?
Also, everytime I hear from Snowden, I can't help but "fist pump" and cheer for the guy.
Either way, if he really wants the focus back on the documents, he should probably write fewer letters about his beliefs, his security, and his personal situation.
This is my take too. If he had had more knowledge about the historical background of the other countries he has visited, and especially if he had STRONG knowledge of another language, he might view the position of the United States in these matters a bit differently, and might resolve the trade-offs about what to disclose and what to keep secret quite a bit differently. On my part, as I have said in another HN comment, I would take Snowden's claims more seriously in general if he were on United States soil preparing to face trial for his alleged wrongdoing, ready to bring forward any defenses he thinks he has to possible criminal charges. Right now, part of what Snowden is saying with ghostwriting help from Wikileaks is not making sense.
Snowden directly addresses your point in his live chat:
"More detail on how direct NSA's accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on - it's all the same. The restrictions against this are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time. Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications. For at least GCHQ, the number of audited queries is only 5% of those performed."
You seem like the sort of fellow who ought to own a bridge.
But journalists can and do make mistakes interpreting the documents. Here's one example of a report trying to set the record straight:
I'm not convinced we would be hearing anything from him at all - claims or otherwise - were he currently on US soil.
I note that the same standard never seems to apply to the other side of the argument. You don't hear people say, "Well, naturally I'll dismiss everything that Obama says on the NSA scandal because he used cocaine and didn't even stand trial, much less go to prison, for it."
I do not myself care that Obama used drugs. I think those drugs should have been legal. I think it was courageous of Obama to admit to drug use even if he did so in a way that did not lead to legal repercussions.
But I also do not care that Snowden violated the law in his whistleblowing. I think his whistleblowing should have been legal. And I think it was courageous of Snowden to blow the whistle, even if he did so in a way that did not lead to the most severe legal repercussions possible.
But no, I do not think that I made an analogy, nor that my observation was flawed. People who say, "I won't listen to Snowden unless he turns himself in" are not making an argument about Snowden's facts, they're making an argument about his character. They're saying, "I won't listen to Snowden because he isn't willing to suffer every possible negative consequence of his actions." It doesn't matter if his actions were related to the spying or not.
Those same people never demand the same of Obama (or any of the other government representatives). Those representatives can, and do, in fact, grant themselves and their allies full immunity from negative repercussions, and are still treated respectfully. This is hypocrisy on the part of those who demand that Snowden turn himself in.
And finally, if you want an example of Obama's less-than-perfect moral character that directly relates to the matter under discussion, there is his claim that he was against warrantless wiretaps, and campaigning as someone who was against them.
How would that modification to the analogy change the outcome? You can't dismiss every insightful statement or independently verifiable piece of factual information someone says about drug policy just because that person is a crackhead. That's just the ad hominem fallacy.
What bearing does which country he's in have on the content of the disclosures? Do you think he fabricated the PRISM slides since he happens to be in Russia right now?
So in order for you to take Snowden's claims seriously, he has to either claim that what he did is legal or willingly go to prison for the rest of his life? That seems pretty irrational.
Do you not see how completely bonkers it is to look at somebody who has already given you valuable information at great personal cost and demand that he suffer more for your benefit? Why on earth would you feel he owes that to anybody?
Personally, I tend to agree with Snowden — there are too many powerful people who want to destroy him for him to get a fair shake here. You are right that we could be wrong — but I don't see how that matters.
Anyone saying that Snowden should be in the US "awaiting trial" is a naive utter moron.
What difference would that make? I am a naturalized American citizen who speaks three languages (English, German and Hebrew. Four if you count broken Spanish). Would that lead you to put a lot of stock in my position?
There is a long list of former gov't employees who went through those channels and found them sorely lacking. In other words, people who are in a position to know better, who disagree with you. Radack, Drake, and Binney, to name a few.
>Right now, part of what Snowden is saying with ghostwriting help from Wikileaks is not making sense.
You sound a lot like Walter Pincus, whose employer had to print a retraction over the baseless accusations he made in this column: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/questi...
I suggest you have a look at that story from a critical perspective: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nsa-spying-scandal...
A previous version of this Fine Print column incorrectly said that an article by journalist Glenn Greenwald was written for the WikiLeaks Press blog.The article, about filmmaker Laura Poitras and WikiLeaks being targeted by U.S. officials, was written for the online publication Salon and first appeared April 8, 2012. Its appearance on the WikiLeaks Press blog two days later was a reposting. This version has been corrected.
A previous version of the column also asserted that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, during a May 29 interview with Democracy Now, “previewed” the story that Greenwald wrote for the Guardian newspaper about the Obama administration’s involvement in the collection of Americans’ phone records. There is no evidence that Assange had advance knowledge of the story; the assertion was based on a previously published interview in which Assange discussed an earlier surveillance project involving the collection of phone records.The assertion has been taken out of this version.
The column also does not mention Snowden’s past work in the intelligence community. The lack of this context may have created the impression that Snowden’s work for Booz Allen Hamilton gave him his first access to classified surveillance programs.
You're attacking Snowden's character just like he said people (and most of the mainstream media) would.
think about the federalist papers for a second. Someone needed to wrote them to convince a nation about our beloved constitution. Since all eyes are on Snowden, he has the best ability to sway many minds about what he believes and what I believe to be right.
Anyone should be able to interpret the constitution as no person or group of people are infallible. It's obvious that SCOTUS opinions change over time, due to composition and prevailing attitudes.
The point is if Congress passes an unjust law, a legitimate recourse is to force the issue by breaking it intentionally and asking a judge to decide.
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution...
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights... That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
And here's the important part, pay attention:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it
I suggested he write fewer letters about his beliefs, his security, and his personal situation.
Read his Caesar letters, or his constitutional convention speech, or other writings, as these views aren't really apparent in the Federalist papers.
Madison is interesting, but he didn't hold to a single consistent political philosophy through his life.
> I mean, the Constitution explicitly grants the Court those powers.
The Constitution defines the judicial power of the United States to include deciding certain classes of legal controversies, including those arising under the Constitution, and provides that the Supreme Court is the organ which executes that role in both an explicitly defined set of cases, and in certain other cases as Congress directs. But that is pretty far from explicitly granting the Supreme Court the sole and exclusive power to interpret the Constitution.
Interpreting the Constitution is no less essential to the Supreme Court's role of deciding certain legal controversies than it is to, e.g., the President's role of seeing that the laws -- including the Constitution -- are faithfully executed, or the Congress's role in carrying out the powers and responsibilities it has defined in the Constitution, or the public's role in evaluating the performance of all three branches and electing members to the two political branches.
The Supreme Court (or the judiciary, or even "government officials" more generally) isn't a special priestly caste to whom the contemplation of certain mysteries is restricted. That would be contrary to the entire concept of government of, by, and for the people.
"The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court."
"The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."
Further, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is defined in Art. III, Sec. 2: "In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make."
The Exceptions Clause is significant.
We are allowed to disagree with the court, we are allowed to voice our disapproval, and we are allowed to try to rally others to our cause. The Supreme Court is not some kind of heavenly authority, they are just as capable as making the wrong decision as any other branch of government.
Look at the situation Snowden faced. You have a system that widely violates basic privacy rights, based on a secret interpretation of the law, approved by a secret court that only hears the executive branch's arguments and which almost never refuses to grant a warrant (i.e. it is a rubber stamp), with oversight by people who are chosen by the executive branch and who work in secret. These programs, conducted in secret, are widely approved of by the government and widely disapproved of by the general public. Had Snowden accepted the rules and the law, these programs would remain secret and would have continued unopposed indefinitely.
The rule of law does not work when laws are kept secret from everyone. Healthy societies need everyone to follow the law, yes, but they also need for people who recognize failures of the system to stand up despite laws that forbid them from doing so.
Sure, that's far from unanimous, but "widely disapproved of by the general public" doesn't seem like a terrible stretch.
On the subject of polls, this article also shows the meta trends that this discussion is a part of: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/10/public-o...
FTA: All three pollsters asked their respondents how closely they had followed the NSA issue, and all three found just over a quarter of Americans following the issue “very closely,” while they found from about a third to half not paying close attention at all.
So, how could they report 90% or more of the public with a meaningful opinion about the NSA tracking program? The answer: They all used a “forced-choice” question format, which pressures respondents to make an on-the-spot decision, regardless of how committed they might be to that view. Thus, many people with no real views on the matter had to come up with one, and were thus highly influenced by the priming they had undergone during the interview itself.
I think what you're saying is that you cannot expect to break laws without there being consequences. Of course we agree about that. The point of civil disobedience is that you believe so strongly you are willing to pay the price.
Perhaps you believe it is morally wrong to break laws as a means of getting the courts to interpret the Constitution?
also, the supreme court has no say in this. Its the fisa court....
FDR threatened to pack the court with lackeys if they didn't vote in favor of his programs.
Which raises the obvious question of, since that event, has the Supreme Court really even served as a check on executive power?
I suppose, at least, FDR would have had to answer to public opinion if he had actually carried out that threat. Unlike, say, if the secret FISA court were so threatened.
No, its actually set by law, not convention.
> FDR threatened to pack the court with lackeys if they didn't vote in favor of his programs.
FDR proposed legislation to Congress which would have expanded the number of Justices on the Supreme Court.  It was not a threat of unilateral action. The President can't appoint people to the Court without an open seat, created by Congress, to appoint them to.
> I suppose, at least, FDR would have had to answer to public opinion if he had actually carried out that threat. Unlike, say, if the secret FISA court were so threatened.
There are two different courts created under FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review), and the members of both are selected by the Chief Justice of the United States from among current members of the federal judiciary.
The Supreme Court has the power to issue an order called a “writ of mandamus” to deal with lower courts that overstep their legal authority.
In short I agree: the Supreme Court is NOT The Voice of God.
I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture.
That is a huge claim. I do not imagine that his training involved being tortured to make sure. If he's wrong, there could be dire consequences for the US.
You might even say his ego is writing checks his body can't cash.
(copy pasted from my reply on another comment below)
>I cannot be coerced...
vs. "won't", "would never", et. al.
But then, in the worst case scenario - how could Snowden access it himself if he needs the documents?
I posit there's nothing earth shaking on his own notebooks anymore.
Some article somewhere mentioned that he carries 4 notebooks, and then the press started fear mongering and compromiting him by insinuating that the notebooks are full of secrets and government property. Can anybody quote an official claim that the notebooks aren't his own?
Spread the password and access details to two people without keeping it yourself. Those two people split their in half without keeping it themselves. The four people who now have the password are the 'kill switch' required to monitor Snowden's location. Snowden has no idea who they are.
Should he be tortured, all he can do is reveal his first two contacts. The torturer will now have to abduct those two people to get the key.
All these second level people know is the two people THEY spoke to. So you need BOTH of the second level to get all four of the third level people.
And then you'll have to abduct another FOUR people to get the key. All before these four people realize Snoden has disappeared.
He knows he can't resist torture. But he doesn't have to. He LITERALLY cannot be coerced.
If I had my documents encrypted with keys that I'd distributed to multiple parties, I'd be shouting it from the rooftops: "No point torturing me, the key is in three pieces and if I don't sign in every week the data will be destroyed so realistically you can't possibly seize all the pieces in the time-frame you'd require! Of course, if you can get all the pieces, just stick us all together in the same room and I promise to give you my piece, so no point torturing me then either."
Seems like there'd be a really strong incentive to have people know you had a mechanism that ensured it.
I already mentioned SERE training in a higher level post. It's pretty intense, but still, the most valuable lesson you learn is that everyone will end up talking.
I was simply commenting on the possibility of a person resisting torture. If that person has some sort of safety mechanism in place, the torturer might not be able to get the information he wants, but that's not because the victim has resisted, because he won't.
Obviously a group less concerned about the long-term health of their interrogatees have a lot more flexibility in methods, and training is largely understood to be a delaying tactic to spoil time-sentitive tactical data, rather than resist interrogation indefinitely.
Hypothetically, there could be a mechanism by which he has to check in with some associates periodically, who by means of some N of M secret sharing are able to destroy/release the data otherwise. Then you need to resist for only 1-2 checkin periods. Or have a duress codeword that causes the same result. Any destruction scheme requires that the data be held somewhere secure enough not to be cloned though.
(And any heartbeat type scheme requires periodic communication with some/all associates, possibly leading your adversary to them, although broadcast media is probably good enough while he's mainstream news)
> You'll break. Instantly. So spare yourself the agony. Just spill the beans.
1) Write some software that destroys your data if you don't login every x hours.
2) Under duress, stall for x hours.
A) Alternate password that destroys the data.
B) Cyanide capsule in tooth.
I have several close friends and family members who have been to SERE(Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape) School. One of the first things you learn, is that EVERYBODY talks when they are being tortured. Forget all of the nonsense you see in movies and television shows. If Putin wants to know what Edward Snowden knows, he will.
Even if they don't choose to go the direct physical route by inflicting pain, there are other ways. Sleep deprivation and near-starvation cause your mental state to degrade rapidly. Eventually, no matter how strong willed you may think you are, you are going to start talking.
I'm disturbed by Snowden's grandiosity in those statements. He fits the personality type interrogators would call a "grand egoist." He exaggerates his individual importance and skills to the point of self-delusion.
Ironically, this package of traits is often found in people of extraordinary skill. He has managed to abscond from the country with thousands of our deepest secrets, and prevent his own capture amidst the biggest manhunt in the history of the world.
But at the same time, he seems to be losing his grip under the pressure. There simply is no way that an individual can guarantee he or she won't give away information under threat of torture or under the manipulation of interrogation. The secrets live in his head, and the operating system that runs on our grey matter is eminently hackable.
Deeply, deeply disturbing rhetoric.
Odd choice of words. Maybe he doesn't consider himself stateless after all.
In other words, just because he doesn't have the key to the box doesn't mean he has forgotten everything about the contents, especially considering that he packed it.
It makes me wonder though who got the best deal - Chinese or Russians - i suppose each party was thinking that they are playing off the other.
P.S. Remember, I was one of the rather few HN members to go out in public to protest the NSA on Restore the Fourth evening here in the United States. I can be appalled by some of what I read about the NSA without agreeing that Snowden is taking the best approach to doing something about that.
If Snowden lied or exaggerated, the USG would ensure that every media outlet shouted about if from the mountain tops until no one couldn't know. Snowden would be destroyed as a liar. If the USG lie or exaggerates, Snowden cannot ensure the same. Additionally, government is based on lies, lying is what government does. The ratio of power and information control is not exactly on Snowden's side. The consequences for Snowden if he were caught lying or massively exaggerating are dire. The consequences for the USG lying really minor, they lie all the time, we expect it. The for Snowden is massively less likely to be lying, since doing so would absolutely kill him off.
Additionally, we are not at the point where we have seen all the dirt the USG can dig up on him. Turns out, they cant find much at all. There for its reasonable to assume Snowden is clean. DIrt on the USG is so numerous, its so overwhelming that its essentially back ground noise.
That is why people prepared to give him the benefit of if the doubt. That is also why people are less likely to do the same with the USG, or any other government.
That would not necessarily be good opsec. The government might consider that it's better to have the general public believe it's omniscient while being more realistic with diplomats; or it might simply decide that correcting specific inaccuracies would give too much information away.
Additionally, government is based on lies, lying is what government does.
Well, no bias there then.
However, you don't seem interested in my relativist/quantitative approach, based on your fondness for sweeping generalizations and requests for negative proof.
Could you please qualify that statement with an example?
The high degree of cooperation many countries appear to be giving the United States so far in efforts to have Snowden return to the United States for legal proceedings suggests that quite a few experienced national leaders with very different constituencies to represent agree that there is more harm in Snowden being on the loose than in his standing trial to weigh his claims against United States law.
Your theory assumes both rational and benevolent politicians.
Respectfully, I think you are wrong; the US (our country) is an excellent bully and likes to threaten trade. Further, I look at the behaviors of those countries that have acted to halt transit (i.e. the recent Bolivian fiasco) as evidence of complicity with US espionage activities.
This in particular seems highly unlikely.
You appear to assume here that politicians take decisions purely or even mostly based on what is best for their constituencies? There could be many reasons for European leaders to be so supine, mostly I imagine it's pressure from the US and not wishing to be made a pariah, but also they are engaged in their own spying which is just as pervasive as the NSA, and to a great or lesser extent are reliant on the NSA for intelligence - most of the governments of Europe are partnered with the NSA on some level since Echelon and integration is probably tighter now, many have US bases on their soil. They have absolutely no interest in seeing any more revelations about the global surveillance network they have helped to create.
Also, they don't want their own Snowden copy cat to rise from their own intelligence programs. From that light, I'm a bit surprised Russia is housing him. If anyone wants to keep down descent more than USA, it's Russia...
It's not difficult - if you haven't seen all the data. You encrypt the data with a large, randomly generated password, and give pieces of the password (without looking at it) to several people in different countries. You also tell them that they need to be 100% certain you're not being tortured to get the passwords from them.
If you're tortured, then you actually cannot reveal the data. You can reveal who has the password pieces, but if they're all in different countries it will be nearly impossible to get them. It would be easier to get the data directly from the U.S. government.
Anyway, while that split-the-key scheme works, I wouldn't use it over one of the real secret sharing schemes cryptographers have developed, e.g. Shamir's secret sharing scheme . If you just split a key and give pieces to different people, the more pieces of the key an enemy can collect, the easier time they will have when brute-forcing it.
On the other hand, Shamir's secret sharing scheme is an information-theoretically secure threshold scheme. That is, a key is broken up into n pieces and t of those pieces are required to reconstruct the secret. In Shamir's scheme, the enemy can collect t-1 pieces of the secret and still have no chance in reconstructing the password; it simply is impossible.
The scheme works off of the idea that an m-degree polynomial is uniquely defined by m+1 points. For example, here's a point from a 1-degree polynomial (line), which would model a t=2 scheme: (1,4). Can you figure out the y-intercept? (Actually, Shamir's scheme uses finite fields, but I think asking this question drives the point home.)
So, generate a key, split it up into a bunch of pieces, and require a threshold of those pieces to be present. Coercion-free and even if an intelligence agency can compromise many pieces, they still can't do anything until they've hit the threshold. Also, if you want to require all pieces present, just set t=n.
Though I guess having a live video stream of you being tortured wouldn't be in the best interests of the person doing the deed. Maybe that's the catch that makes it work?
Listening to him speak, he obviously has very well-reasoned and logical positions which contrasts sharply with official response. And I don't place much weight on the opinions of foreign leaders whose hands are tied by political concerns.
That's actually not an extraordinary claim. It is standard operating procedure to teach people in the military how to do this, and the techniques are widely known. Here is how my brother (who received this training before serving in Vietnam explained it).
The first thing to realize is that you will break. When you break, you will say whatever you think will make the torturer happy. Once you have broken, you will no longer know what reality is.
So be a wimp. Pretend to break early. Feed the torturer enough interesting false information (with some truth mixed in) to get them interested. When you break for real they will continue to ask about the false leads, and you'll tell them whatever you imagine they want to hear. Nobody - including you - will have any way to sort out truth from lies.
This is, of course, just theory for me. However I'm assured that it works. And our standard training procedures include practice being tortured to drill in the point.
This. Most of the people I have discussed this issue with have failed to separate the data that was revealed with the manner in which it was. Thank you for doing so.
I think you're enormously overestimating the capacity for planning that any single individual could be capable of. Jason Bourne exists in the movies, not in real life.
Most of what Mr. Snowden has revealed has been pretty damn extraordinary. Upon first hearing many of his claims, I'll admit that I (more often than not) thought "no, surely not" and, shortly thereafter, government officials quickly came forward to deny many of his claims.
Then, almost without fail, Mr. Greenwald would publicize documents backing Mr. Snowden's claims and showing the government as the liars.
What it comes down to is, simply, trust and credibility. To me, at this point, Mr. Snowden has eons more credibility -- and I trust him much more -- than the United States government.
In the absence of evidence, I am certainly more willing to take him at his word than I am the various government officials who have proven themselves liars time and again over the last six weeks or so.
Or, more plausibly, these leaders also have something to hide from their ostensibly democratic constituencies and would find it beneficial for any more potential Snowdens of their own to think twice.
The recent articles about UK, France, etc. surveillance and data gathering bear this out.
Manwhile, leaders in more authoritarian governments or in weak sham/corrupt democracies are less concerned with Snowdens (people already corrupt or cowed), and more interested in taking US's tiresome high handedness down a peg.
Well, assuming that torture is an effective interrogation technique, the amount he can reveal is nonetheless limited by his own memory. It is quite possible that any datum critical enough to present a risk to national security if it were revealed is simultaneously too much for an ordinary person to remember -- e.g. a private key, an organizational plan, etc.
However, I fail to see a distinction between the potential capture and torture of Edward Snowden and the potential capture and torture of any other intelligence operative or official, particularly anyone in the CIA/NCS. Snowden is probably at greater risk of capture due to his notoriety, but this is really all the more reason for him to obtain asylum in a neutral country as soon as possible. If a country such as Germany were truly concerned about this, they could certainly enter him into a national witness-protection program with a new identity, making his involuntary debriefing all the more unlikely.
This is actually a serious mistake from a USA national security perspective, in that it ensures that whatever info Snowden has and fails to secure will be given directly to rival nations. If those in charge were worried primarily about national security, they would have let him run to a normal country like Finland or Chile or New Zealand, where Snowden could have been observed reliably. If he ever progressed from criticism of domestic surveillance to active assistance of rogue states, the host nation could have brought its own charges.
That those in charge didn't allow this tells us one of two things: A) they're really not very good at their jobs or B) their primary concern is not Snowden revealing secrets which will harm the USA, but rather secrets that will harm their own careers. It were ever thus.
1. Been on 7/4 instead of 7/6
2. Not held at (confined to) Westlake Park, which has ultra-liberal activist hippies and homeless protesting every day.
People on this site are thinking about this stuff. Working on it. Some for evil, some for good. I'm curious what this'll all look like in a few years.
I did turn off requestpolicy, ghostery and noscript to check if there was additional crapola I was missing and it didn't seem all that different but I did notice 30+ cross-site requests, none of which added to the usefulness of the page.
For example, Glenn Greenwald may hold a private key which must be used IN CONJUNCTION with Snowden's key to decrypt the information Snowden has. It's possible/probable that Snowden does not have access to the secrets he protects without Greenwald's key, as well as possibly many other keys. He may have a network of people he's made part of the group such that any two of them plus Snowden can decrypt the information, but Snowden himself can't without two keys plus his own, and he could make it such that his key is required in the group of three to decrypt. Hopefully someone else here can provide the name for this kind of encryption (something like n-key encryption, it's escaping me currently) and a link to how it works, but this is all very sound and entirely doable from a math standpoint.
So no, Snowden himself isn't torture proof, but his security is, if he's doing something like what I outlined above. They'd have to go after Glenn Greenwald too, or whoever else is involved, before gaining access to the intel.
This link might explain it slightly better, but I once read a great primer on the topic, filled with examples and was pretty simple to understand (the layman could grasp at least the concept). I'll add more links as I find more info.
(thanks ##crypto for the help!)
The guy is risking his life, and no one even wonder who is the branch/person in government that should be responsible for what he says is going on.
Who should be taken accountable for this? why people is not on the streets? ...well people are on the streets, but for the wrong reasons. media is transforming a, sadly, commonplace killing in hate/race crime. Any conspiracy theorist already linked the time they scheduled the trial with the snowden thing? didn't another army whistle blower was on trial on the very same day as the zimmerman one?
Anyone and everyone with knowledge of it who didn't do what he did, IMO.
I realize that's a wide net.
This, here, is the crux of the matter. Drag into the light the parasites that consume the living flesh of this society.
Could this be a website/forum? Wherein we compile the evidence on the people in abstentia because the regular system aint doing it.
I'm not saying mob rule. I'm just kind of saying let's identify the really bad apples and kind of do what Groklaw did for IBM v. SCO - except this would be global citizen's privacy expectations versus spooks.
Edit: or this: http://www.securityweek.com/19-groups-sue-nsa-over-data-coll...
(But it needs to be global - as in, massive and mass surveillance by any state or non-state actor though now feasibly possibly must be well outside international norms and laws)
Also, he must execute the law faithfully, if the Congress gives him the power to use secret courts to wire-tap people he is expected to use it to it's fullest extent, to do otherwise would be illegal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Two_of_the_United_State...
PRISM is the president faithfully executing the laws set by congress, between the 8 billion dollar NSA budget and the Patriot Act, they are responsible.
In reality, the executive has a tremendous amount of discretion. Just look at the Obama admin unilaterally extending an Obamacare deadline that was set by Congress -- and which did not give the executive branch the ability to alter. Didn't matter.
It's true that Congress is also responsible for NSA domestic surveillance. But every branch of government has a duty to ensure their conduct is constitutional.
Second, the ACA (AKA Obamacare) does not specify specific deadlines except when reports to congress must be made. I googled for the deadline extension you were referring too, there were many, so please be more specific. Here is the text of the bill to read it for yourself (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/hr3590/text). In general it says the the secretary of HHS shall set deadlines as reasonable, and hence giving the Administration the power to change their own deadline.
Third, I generally base my opinion off of personal anecdote since I have a family member serving as an elected politician in an executive office. Their job requires them to execute laws very specifically, often requiring them to consult lawyers regularly (even though they are a lawyer!). Laws can be tricky, and while I am not knowledgeable of government law I would be willing to bet the President is basically required to use section 702 of FISA whenever he can in regards to terrorism. But then again, my personal anecdote is from a county position.
Finally, it isn't a question of constitutionality. Congress said it was legal, therefore it's legal until the supreme court (or a lesser court that doesn't get appealed) says it is unconstitutional. I agree that the law is unconstitutional, but the executive branch does not get the luxury to exercise their opinions on laws like that.
As for torture and extraordinary rendition those things were ACTUALLY ILLEGAL. So yes, President Bush and/or his administration should be held responsible for them.
Lots of respect for Senator Gordon Humphrey for speaking out with what will be a very unpopular opinion in Washington. I'd like to hear the same from UK politicians past or present on Tempora, but have heard nothing of consequence from any of them.
SPIEGEL has decided not to publish details it has seen about secret operations that could endanger the lives of NSA workers. Nor is it publishing the related internal code words. However, this does not apply to information about the general surveillance of communications. They don’t endanger any human lives — they simply describe a system whose dimensions go beyond the imaginable.
The Guardian and Washington Post also decided to not publish the majority of the Prism slides for similar national security reasons, even though Snowden's initial push was to have them all published (and almost immediately after receipt by the Guardian and WaPo).
If Der Spiegel (or the Guardian, or the Washington Post) was less rigorous, then information could have been published that harmed "our people" or intelligence agents.
He is positioning himself as having carefully reviewed everything he has given out, but if he has given info to some media sources who themselves have been "rigorous" enough and realized the danger of publishing some of it, then the statement in this letter cannot also be true.
At great risk to himself.
I currently suspect this to be false or a straight up lie:
"Snowden, a former systems administrator for the National Security Agency in Hawaii, took thousands of documents from the agency’s networks before fleeing to Hong Kong in late May, where he passed them to Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. The journalists have handled them with great caution. A story in the German publication Der Spiegal, co-bylined by Poitras, claims the documents include information “that could endanger the lives of NSA workers,” and an Associated Press interview with Greenwald this last weekend asserts that they include blueprints for the NSA’s surveillance systems that “would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.”
But Snowden also reportedly passed encrypted copies of his cache to a number of third parties who have a non-journalistic mission: If Snowden should suffer a mysterious, fatal accident, these parties will find themselves in possession of the decryption key, and they can publish the documents to the world."
From the sound of it, you can compromise him by expedient of killing him.
Interesting. Is it from a technical/IT standpoint or more of a "social engineering" one? Or a bit of both? That's a genuine question because I really don't know how feasible this type of work could be when done from within the US.
The more logical interpretation is that he doesn't have the decryption keys and has given partial keys to multiple people, thus making his secrets safe from torturing just him.
>... an extraordinary claim, so it requires extraordinary evidence,
"Normally ciphertexts decrypt to a single plaintext and hence once decrypted, the encryption user cannot claim that he encrypted a different message. Deniable encryption allows its users to decrypt the ciphertext to produce a different (innocuous but plausible) plaintext(s) and insist that it is what they encrypted. The holder of the ciphertext will not have the means to differentiate between the true plaintext, and the bogus-claim plaintext(s)."
"Secret sharing (also called secret splitting) refers to methods for distributing a secret amongst a group of participants, each of whom is allocated a share of the secret. The secret can be reconstructed only when a sufficient number, of possibly different types, of shares are combined together; individual shares are of no use on their own."
Let the shared secret be deniable-crypto plaintexts. Threshold T sharers may release plaintext_1 while ignorant of a different sharer subset intersection may release a different plaintext_n, benign or otherwise, for example.
At another level of deniability, Snowden may also not even know the current identities or nos of secret sharers participating.
Further, no intelligence service - not even our own - has the capacity to compromise the secrets I continue to protect. While it has not been reported in the media, one of my specializations was to teach our people at DIA how to keep such information from being compromised even in the highest threat counter-intelligence environments (i.e. China).
You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture.
While he may be overconfident (it's easy to say you can resist torture, at least until you're tortured), this shoots down the unverified claims that the Chinese or Russians could easily already have copies of his data. Not unless he's willingly handed it over or he's much less competent than his data theft would suggest.
I interpret this as it's protected in such a way that any information he can give is not sufficient to access the documents.
Not impossible requirements, but they seem unlikely.
The question is: Can you automate it to remove the human element?
Assuming Tor is perfect, could you create N co-conspirator hidden services that need checked in with periodically to not work together to decrypt it? Assuming the check in would be able to detect duress, that might be a viable system.
Well apparently Senator Humphrey is on board with his ideology :)
I really don't think it'd be a problem for him to distribute keys to a few like-minded individuals before he left, or even when he was in hong kong, particularly if he has some shared key system set up so that any n keys can open the secrets. It sounds like he has certainly distributed an encrypted file of the docs to several people, so I wouldn't be surprised if he has likewise distributed the keys to open them.
However while the mechanics of his protecting this data are interesting on a technical level, they're also not the most important story here, and we don't really know enough (or at least I don't) to speculate without more facts...
In that case, the threat is just widening the filter. As in: "I've exercised my personal discretion in choosing what documents to release. Kill me, and the only check on this process is Mr. Greenwald's discretion."
Are there specific incidents that have been avoided (that wouldn't have otherwise)? Is it just that we are generally "safer"?
In the UK GCHQ provides intel to the Ministry of Defence. MoD then uses that intel. The intel is secret, and thus we don't know if it has helped or not. The intel is also misused (see, for example, the "sexing up" of documents) or ignored.
But in general you don't know what the spies are doing. It's the nature of spies. You could ask your representative politician to ask some of the oversight politicians, but the answer you'll get back is going to be on the same lines. "The provide valuable intel, and we use it, and we are safer because of it".
Mr. Snowden has come a long way from "just a sysadmin". It appears people were trying to downplay the role he had in his line of duty.
I think Wesley Snipes plays the good guy! :-)
Jokes aside I salute Snowden, he's doing a very very brave thing.
We should come up with a hacker salute for his cause.
> remove from office and bring to justice those officials who have abused power, seriously and repeatedly violating the Constitution of the United States and the rights of millions of unsuspecting citizens.
This is what we should be focusing on and now Snowdens character, his this and that, I and many with me are tired of celebrity-culture and gossip around him.
Lets talk about the US officials, NSA higher-ups who must be removed from office, put on trail or investigation and lets get those companies Google, Facebook accountable.
Anyone know who the NSA high-ups are, names? We know companies CEOs, lets put them under the spotlight instead of Snowden, what did they know? When, how come they did not know, where they coerced or fooled into it? Do they deserve to continue being CEO when such grave mistakes happen under their watch?