Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Edward Snowden is NOT a Traitor!

German Television does first Edward Snowden Interview (ENGLISH)
German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden.
Uploaded on LiveLeak cause German Television thinks the rest of the world isn't intereseted in Edward Snowden.
Ex-NSA Chief Details Snowden's Hiring at Agency, Booz Allen
Mike McConnell Says Booz Allen Hired Snowden Because Government Had Vetted Him
By Rachael King
Feb. 4, 2014

Former Director of NSA and Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell explains how Edward Snowden stole classified information from the NSA. He speaks at WSJ's CIO Network in San Diego, Calif.
DEL MAR, Calif.— Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information about the agency's surveillance program, targeted Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. BAH +3.17% for employment because of its access to national security contracts, a company vice chairman said Tuesday.
In an interview at The Wall Street Journal's CIO Network here, Mike McConnell, a Booz Allen vice chairman and former NSA director, recounted in detail how Mr. Snowden washed out at his NSA job but then got a position with Booz Allen, were he was able to access millions of documents and then release them to the world. Booz Allen, a consulting firm, is a top U.S. defense contractor and relies on government clients for virtually all its revenue.
"Snowden has compromised more capability than any spy in U.S. history. And this will have impact on our ability to do our mission for the next 20 to 30 years," said Mr. McConnell. He served as U.S. director of national intelligence from 2007 to 2009 and was NSA director from 1992 to 1996.
Mr. McConnell's speech echoed comments made last week by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who lashed out at the Snowden disclosures during much of his opening testimony in a Senate hearing. The leaks, he said, are the "most damaging theft of intelligence information in our history."
The broad details for how Mr. Snowden was hired have been made public, but Mr. McConnell talked candidly about how the former employee came to work for the NSA and for Booz Allen, including where both the agency and the company made their mistakes in the vetting process. Since unveiling the top-secret information in the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper last June, Mr. Snowden has been heralded as a free-speech hero by some and decried by others as a high-risk traitor.
Mr. Snowden was a security guard with the NSA, moved into its information-technology department and was sent overseas, Mr. McConnell said. He then left the agency, joined another company and moved to Japan. But Mr. Snowden wanted back in with the NSA. He then broke into the agency's system and stole the admittance test with the answers, Mr. McConnell said. Mr. Snowden took the test and aced it, Mr. McConnell said. "He walked in and said you should hire me because I scored high on the test."
The NSA then offered Mr. Snowden a position but he said didn't think the level—called GS-13—was high enough and asked for a higher-ranking job. The NSA refused. In early 2013, Booz Allen hired Mr. Snowden.
"He targeted my company because we enjoy more access than other companies," Mr. McConnell said. "Because of the nature of the work we do…he targeted us for that purpose."
Mr. McConnell said Booz Allen hired Mr. Snowden because the government had vetted him. Booz Allen also vetted him but things were missing in his record that became known in hindsight.
Mr. McConnell said that Mr. Snowden had access to about 1.7 million to 1.8 million documents. Of those, he said, about a million were "no kidding insights to understanding U.S. intelligence services."
Inside the NSA are four levels of information. Level 1 is of basic administrative. The next level consists of reports, written in a way that give information without revealing sources. Levels 3 and 4 "gets into how we do what we do," Mr. McConnell said. He said that Mr. Snowden had very limited access to the third tier and almost no access to the fourth.
Shortly after Mr. Snowden's leak was revealed, Booz Allen said in a statement last June that it had fired Mr. Snowden "for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy."
—Clint Boulton contributed to this article.
Edward Snowden - NWO actor  
Tide shifts on Snowden revelations
Larry Cornies, QMI Agency

First posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014
Last May, when low-level U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden fled his home with four laptops containing a treasure trove of highly classified data, public opinion in America surged toward utter condemnation.
He had slipped out of the country with sensitive documents about U.S. intelligence operations and was prepared to share them with the world. He was therefore a coward and a traitor.
His acts of theft and betrayal were tantamount to treason. He deserved to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. So went the narrative — up to and including the White House.
All along, however, Snowden maintained his actions were far less nefarious. He insisted that his main purpose was to reveal to Americans — and citizens of other countries — the extent to which their governments routinely engage in surveillance that, at best, is highly questionable and, at worst, is illegal and unconstitutional.
Snowden remains in Russia, still seeking permanent asylum in some other country, given that his visa to remain there expires this summer. In the U.S., he faces two charges under the Espionage Act and one charge of theft of government property. Each of the three charges carries a maximum penalty of a decade in prison.
The revelations that have flowed from Snowden’s selective document releases, mostly through American journalist Glenn Greenwald, have had direct implications for Canada, too.
Canadians learned that their blind faith in U.S. Internet behemoths — Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. — mean their e-mails and other data can be easily read and stored by security agencies, due to their ability to hack into those systems.
 We learned that Canada has been a willing partner of the U.S. National Security Agency, helping it set up covert spying operations around the world, including inside Canada.
We learned that industrial espionage inside the computer and security systems of our competitors — Brazil’s mining industry, for example — is commonplace.
And if the NSA can hack German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, how much easier would it be to monitor the communications of Canadians, including those within our military, law enforcement, industrial and commercial sectors, to say nothing of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Despite all those revelations, the federal government’s line has been fairly consistent.
The ground, however, has begun to shift under the Obama White House.
Despite the illegality of Snowden’s actions, Americans have begun to grasp the prevalence and deep reach of the NSA’s activities. At least two federal court judgments have declared some of the NSA’s activities to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The American Civil Liberties Union called Snowden “a great American and a true patriot” for his whistleblowing activity and the extent to which he was raised issues of liberty and the limits of government.
And the day after new year’s, the liberal-minded New York Times called for either an amnesty that would end Snowden’s exile or a plea bargain that would “end Mr. Snowden’s vilification and give him an incentive to return home.”
Concerned citizens from both the ends of the political spectrum are beginning to see that they may have some rare common ground in the Snowden affair: The blatant and nearly limitless intrusion of governments into the lives of their own people, quite apart from the national security imperatives that might drive espionage operations offshore.
Our attention-challenged, hyperactive society loves to follow the spotlight to the shiny baubles of current affairs and pop culture: Rob Ford, disgraced senators, Miley Cyrus and the like.
But it’s very likely the biggest story of 2013 wasn’t really any of those things. And although Snowden’s fate is still unresolved, what he did — and the awareness he provoked — will, over the long term, probably turn out to be 2013’s most significant story. Maybe even 2014’s, too.
— Larry Cornies is a London-based journalist and educator.
Edward Snowden did us all a favour, it's time to curb the snooping
Will Obama put new restrictions on the NSA? What will Canada do?
By Brian Stewart, CBC News
Jan 03, 2014
A Washington Metro bus is shown here in December with an Edward Snowden sign on its side. Meanwhile, a White House-appointed panel proposed curbs on some key NSA surveillance operations, putting the ball in Barack Obama's court. (Reuters)
For some of us, the great shock of the past year was the revelation that whistleblowers like Edward Snowden were not, after all, wildly exaggerating the dangers of intelligence agencies run amok.
Even those who encouraged Snowden's revelations seem stunned by how far the state's assault on privacy has gone.
And the great challenge for Western democracies this year — assuming they are up for it — will be to wrestle back oversight control over a too-secretive world that most of us barely comprehend.
Getting the spy genie back into so many bottles, however, won't be easy.
Jacob Appelbaum, an independent security expert and Snowden confidante, told technology experts in Hamburg last week that the U.S. National Security Agency's high-tech spying gear is "even worse than your worst nightmares."
He says new exposes will show the NSA can turn iPhones into eavesdropping "bugs" and has unlimited ability to break into our computers.
True or not, that deep pessimism is echoed by British security analyst and former MI5 whistleblower Annie Machon. She sees a nightmare reality in which all governments have let secret agencies spy on virtually anyone they want and on each other without limits.
"Indeed, not only have we learned that we are all under constant electronic surveillance, but these politicians are targeted, too," she wrote in a recent column for RT publication. "We are all now targets."
Lack of oversight
Sound paranoid? Well it certainly did once when it came from the so-called alarmist factions.
But now it is the tech giants themselves, important corporate citizens like Microsoft and Apple denouncing government snooping as an "advanced persistent threat" alongside other baddies
like malware and cyber-espionage.
They demanded that President Barack Obama act to end the wholesale vacuuming of information that threatens "to seriously undermine confidence in the security and privacy of online communications."
It is no longer radical to be alarmed that trillions of records of phone calls and emails have been maintained for years now in massive government "haystacks" — just in case.
Also, no one can take comfort in thinking that such Orwellian excesses are unique to the U.S., given all the secret intel networks operating around the world.
Similar fears have flared in Europe. They have led to security scandals in Britain, and heated debates over the lack of oversight in France, where the legislature has actually voted to expand the already extensive electronic surveillance of French businesses and residents for national security reasons.
The portion the French legislature has chosen to regulate, Le Monde reporter Laurent Borredon writes, is only "the tip of an iceberg."
Somnolent Canada
Meanwhile, here in Canada, parliamentarians appear remarkably somnolent when it comes to keeping tabs on our own main intelligence services, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the even more secretive electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC).
For years, MPs in all parties have shown astonishingly little interest in ensuring effective oversight of those who spy in Canada's name. They are least curious about CSEC, which runs a massive spy operation and is one of the world's leading eavesdroppers when it comes to global communications.
However, few who know anything about our intel world have much confidence in the routine assurances that our system always operates to the letter of the law.
"The notion [of oversight of CSEC ] is more like a prayer than any kind of constructive statement of fact," Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, one of the few legislators to take security matters seriously, said recently.
In Canada's case, oversight amounts to only one commissioner with a staff of no more than six investigators confronting a profoundly secretive 2,000-strong CSEC that handles millions of communications a day.
This ensures that effective oversight is an illusion, albeit one our government seems happy to live with.
German demonstrators lobby for asylum for Edward Snowden in front of the Reichstag. The whole world was watching. (Tobias Schwarz / Reuters)
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff demanded answers from the U.S. and Canadian governments after leaked documents from Edward Snowden said the NSA and Canada's CSEC targeted Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobras. (Associated Press)
Wake-up call
But today we live in an "age of exposure" in which the secret world itself is being caught out by damaging revelations.
Both CSEC and CSIS are now tangled in separate allegations of possible rogue operations and abuse of powers.
First, we learned in the fall that CSEC was spying electronically on the mining operations of a friendly power, Brazil. Then, further Snowden revelations showed that our eavesdroppers have been doing NSA bidding by targeting the communications of at least 20 countries, including close friends.
A former head of CSEC, John Adams, recently admitted to the CBC's Greg Weston that we're not immune from the practices causing a furor in the U.S. and Britain, including the gathering of huge amounts of telephone and email metadata.
While denying any of these acts are illegal, Adams agreed that Canadians need more oversight of our intelligence system and currently don't know much about CSEC.
"There's no question that CSEC is very, very biased towards the less the public knows the better," he conceded.
The same can be said of its partner in stealth, CSIS, which has just been rebuked by a federal court judge for enlisting foreign intelligence allies in 2009 to spy on Canadians abroad, which CSIS itself cannot legally do.
There may have been legitimate security reasons for CSIS to do this kind of spying — it often has to lean on the services of foreign intelligence agencies.
But such is the growing distrust surrounding these groups now that cases like this are only seen as the hint of worse to come.
The key issue here is control of the spy genie. In the U.S., Obama is expected to put new restrictions on the NSA's collection of personal metadata, and may well install more demanding judicial oversight of domestic surveillance.
It's not at all clear, however, whether espionage on friendly nations will be curtailed given the U.S. belief that "everyone does it."
Our own parliament surely needs to rouse itself enough to expose the current myth of effective government oversight of our intelligence services.
That would be a significant test of its political relevance for it would require discovering, perhaps for the first time, the true face of Canadian espionage at home and abroad.
Also See:
Whistleblower Edward Snowden - Is He For Real?
13 June 2013
German Television does first Edward Snowden Interview (ENGLISH)
German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden.
Uploaded on LiveLeak cause German Television thinks the rest of the world isn't intereseted in Edward Snowden.

German Television does first Edward Snowden Interview (ENGLISH)
German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden.
Uploaded on LiveLeak cause German Television thinks the rest of the world isn't intereseted in Edward Snowden.

German Television does first Edward Snowden Interview (ENGLISH)
German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden.
Uploaded on LiveLeak cause German Television thinks the rest of the world isn't intereseted in Edward Snowden.