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NSA Has No Clue As To Scope of Snowden's Data Trove

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the known-unknowns dept.

Government 383

krakman writes "According to a NY Times article, a 6-month internal investigation has not been able to define the actual files that Edward Snowden had copied. There is a suspicion that not all the documents have been leaked to newspapers, and a senior NSA official (Rick Ledgett), who is heading the security agency's task force examining Mr. Snowden's leak, has said on the record that he would consider recommending amnesty for Mr. Snowden in exchange for those unleaked documents. 'They've spent hundreds and hundreds of man-hours trying to reconstruct everything he has gotten, and they still don't know all of what he took,' a senior administration official said. 'I know that seems crazy, but everything with this is crazy.' That Mr. Snowden was so expertly able to exploit blind spots in the systems of America's most secretive spy agency illustrates how far computer security still lagged years after President Obama ordered standards tightened after the WikiLeaks revelations of 2010."

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383 comments

Yeah, sure... (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 months ago | (#45693151)

There is a suspicion that not all the documents have been leaked to newspapers, and a senior NSA official (Rick Ledgett), who is heading the security agency's task force examining Mr. Snowden's leak, has said on the record that he would consider recommending amnesty for Mr. Snowden in exchange for those unleaked documents.

What Snowden has leaked is stuff that many people suspected but could not prove. A lot of it are things we know that the technology existed for, and an unscrupulous Spy Agency (like the NSA) might be likely to attempt.

But what this new disclosure says to me is that there might be things that go WAY beyond what we have learned or more accurately, confirmed, so far. Things that really do stretch way into the clearly unacceptable in ways that the disclosures thus far pale in comparison.

Why else go public and suggest "amnesty"? Which, I don't think Snowdon would consider at this point, he would certainly risk ending up in a "accident" in a few years, something he is quite at risk from now.

If as "they" say they think he has't given up everything he had to the News Media, we will never see it because it's in Russian hands. Snowden isn't that stupid.

And by the way, I'll bet Julian Assage is feeling pretty jealous right now, what with the spot-light off of Him... Assage is a lime light whore, an ego the size of a blimp, he's got to be pacing back and forth in that small room of his, plotting a "come-back".

Re:Yeah, sure... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693239)

I'm willing to bet Julian Assange feels pretty damned justified right now. To hell with his limelight stealing and ego thumping, he got the ball rolling and got to see Snowden take things even further.

If it wasn't for Julian Assange, Snowden probably would have taken his concerns up internally with his boss and then had an "accident".

Re:Yeah, sure... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693257)

It was never about public disclosure for Julian Assange, it was always about Julian Assange. He spun up a cult, and fucked his way through the women (and a few boys), and when the shit hit the fan, he ran and cried like a baby.

Re:Yeah, sure... (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45693591)

Oh, FFS - you sound like a jealous little boy who wanted to be diddled by Assange. To bad for you, he likes women.

While you're throwing around baseless accusations, I'd like to remind you that the bimbos in questions seduced Assange, not the other way around. When women are throwing themselves at men, the men can't be accused of fucking their way through women.

Re:Yeah, sure... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 months ago | (#45693279)

I'm willing to bet Julian Assange feels pretty damned justified right now.

That's nice, but what has Wikileaks released recently? We were told the Manning Papers where far and wide, yet apparently either they are not, or Assange is holding back for some reason? What could that reason be?

Re:Yeah, sure... (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 months ago | (#45693463)

Most of what Wikileaks has released is about Scientology. Yup SCIENTOLOGY. Really? Papers about some Nut House?

Wil=kileaks == FAIL

Re:Yeah, sure... (4, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45693253)

" this new disclosure says to me is that there might be things that go WAY beyond what we have learned"

I thought that was a given. It is well known that Snowden claims to have reserved some mind blowing information, deposited in various places, with a dead man's switch. If he dies or goes missing, the stuff is released.

The deadman's switch can be neutralized. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 months ago | (#45693447)

When you're working with an entity at the size and capability of the United States, that will likely not happen.

Re:Yeah, sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693307)

has't given up everything he had

"You know the Vorlons used telepaths as weapons during the Shadow War, but what no one stopped to consider was that, in a war, you have a certain number of small weapons, a certain number of medium size weapons, and one or two big ones. The kind of weapons you drop when you're out of small weapons, and the medium weapons, and you've got nothing left to use. Someone like that would be the telepathic equivalent of a thermonuclear device. A doomsday weapon."

-- Lyta Alexander & Michael Garibaldi, Babylon5

Re:Yeah, sure... (4, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | about 7 months ago | (#45693343)

I know this was fiction but I disagree with the sentiments of the Lyta and Garibaldi characters here:

Sometimes you use the big weapons when you believe, rightly or wrongly, that using the big weapon now is better than using the not-so-bit weapons now.

Take Truman's decision to drop the two nukes on Japan in 1945: Assuming what was reported to the public is somewhere near accurate, the United States and its allies could have defeated Japan without nukes, but it would have costs far more in American lives, possibly far more Japanese lives, and because the Russians would've become more involved it would've decreased American's say-so in post-war Japan and raised Russia's influence.

So Truman went with the big weapons rather than continuing a non-nuclear war.

Re:Yeah, sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693407)

Even if the victims would disagree, that was not a doomsday weapon, it was shock-and-awe.

A doomsday weapon you only use when you have lost the war, and have nothing to loose, so you blow up anything left on both, on all sides... In snowden terms, he would use his "doomsday-powerpoint" when he knows for sure he's going to get killed, or someone will use it for him, after he had an "accident".

Re:Yeah, sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693455)

Assuming what was reported to the public is somewhere near accurate,

Assuming merely creates a nebulous bridge between solid facts and complete bullshit.

  the United States and its allies could have defeated Japan without nukes, but it would have costs far more in American lives,

And then there is the brain-deadness of your second statement. The nukes did not have to be dropped on a populated area in order to
compel Japan to capitulate. Only someone with a very limited intellect accepts such an obviously flawed claim.

Dropping nukes on Japan was about two things :

1) revenge

and

2) Showing the rest of the world what they could expect if they messed with the US.

.

Re:Yeah, sure... (3, Informative)

blue trane (110704) | about 7 months ago | (#45693507)

US officials discussed doing three things: 1) demonstrate the nuclear bomb before an international team of scientists 2) warn the Japanese before using it and 3) use it only on a military target. But Truman ultimately chose to go for the maximum psychological impact.

Re:Yeah, sure... (2)

kanweg (771128) | about 7 months ago | (#45693593)

If you read about the role of general Groves, Oppie's boss, his personal need to be more than a bureaucrat .

Googled quotes:
While Groves credited President Truman with the decision to use the atomic bomb, he qualified this by saying, "As far as I was concerned, his decision was one of noninterference - basically, a decision not to upset the existing plans".

Groves was a prime mover in getting the atomic bomb built, on where it would be used, and on when it would be used.

Bert

We may need to patch ourselves... (5, Insightful)

Pav (4298) | about 7 months ago | (#45693337)

Part of the value of ubiquitous surveilance is character assassination, and a key part of that vulnerability is in our own oversimplified thinking. Yes, Assange is a limelight whore, but perhaps he's making the best use of that failing. Nelson Mandela was at one time a terrorist expousing violence, could have a quick temper and had a "colourful" personal life. Reagan and Thatcher painted him as a terrorist for years before the saint image became dominant - but BOTH these images are oversimplifications. We MUST work on this "oversimplification" vulnerability in ourselves and those around us even if it seems an impossible task.

Re:Yeah, sure... (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 months ago | (#45693423)

Snowden never took anything to China or Russia. He'd unloaded everything on his lawyer by then. I suspect this is why he was greeted so lukewarmly by both countries.

Re:Yeah, sure... (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 7 months ago | (#45693457)

He was greeted by Russia with open arms. As it turned out, they were just pretending the "lukewarm" bit as a cover while they moved him elsewhere.

They were ecstatic to get a chance to show up Obama. (Hell, I would have been too if I were them.)

The chance to play the "justified political asylum" card on the U.S. Government? They loved every minute of it!

practically in jail (3, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#45693501)

Ok look, I'm with you on the fact that Snowden didn't release any new info, at best it confirmed and gave operational details to stuff that was known publicly since 2006... [usatoday.com]

Snowden isn't a free man. Whoever has been pulling his strings has got him on a tight leash.

Why doesn't he have a blog? Why haven't we seen or heard of him around town in Russia? Why is he always wearing the same light grey shirt?

He's in trouble...he got himself in it, either by doing something to get blackmailed (downloading kiddie pr0n from a scammer) or deluded himself into thinking he was some kind of 'Deep Throat' figure.

Other questions:

Why didn't Snowden use Wikileaks?

Why didn't Glenn Greenwald release Snowden's name?

Re:practically in jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693589)

A fine Gish Gallop [rationalwiki.org] if I ever saw one.

by whom? (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#45693603)

what part of my comment is a half-truth?

is it the article from **2006** that says "NSA has massive database of American's phone calls" & makes public much of what Snowden released (minus the operational details like the name 'Prism')

I posed questions...are you saying those questions are half-truths somehow?

I think YOUR comment is the fucking 'Gish Gallop'...all you did was link to some wiki...you didn't **engage with the topic** and point out why...because you can't, because you're 'Gish Galloping' this topic

Assange had his own TV show (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#45693605)

for the record, Julian Assange was able to have **his own television show** in Russia

Snowden can't even change his fucking shirt...

Amnesty? *snarf* (4, Insightful)

weilawei (897823) | about 7 months ago | (#45693161)

Those unleaked documents may be all that's keeping him alive. No sane being would ever give up that insurance policy in his situation.

Re:Amnesty? *snarf* (-1, Flamebait)

Shakrai (717556) | about 7 months ago | (#45693213)

Please, if the United States wanted him dead he'd already be dead. All it would take is some old-fashioned realpolitik. A phone call from BHO to Mr. Putin, with an offer to give up a few high-valued Russian agents presently rotting in American prisons, and Mr. Snowden would die in a horrible automobile accident shortly thereafter. It could be arranged behind the scenes with no loss of face for either side. A public transfer to the United States for trial would be a tougher sell, but likely achievable if BHO put enough on the table.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Whatever obligation he felt to leak NSA's domestic activities, he crossed the line when he leaked information about their overseas intelligence operations. He has compromised methods and sources, and the damage he has done to the American intelligence community is incalculable. NSA's activities outside of the United States raise no Constitutional questions. They aren't engaged in any actions that other nation-states (including those hostile to the United States) aren't doing. His activities are arguably "aid and comfort" to the enemies of the United States, and I would be sorely disappointed if my Government opts to forgive him these offenses in the misguided belief that he can be trusted to cooperate in containing the damage he has done and continues to do.

That's one powerful add-on (4, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about 7 months ago | (#45693273)

A phone call from BHO to Mr. Putin

I've heard of browser helper objects phoning home, but never phoning heads of state.

I wonder if this BHO can make my experience at healthcare.gov any more pleasant?

Re:That's one powerful add-on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693299)

I thought they were gonna get stoned... (butane hash oil)

Re:Amnesty? *snarf* (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693287)

His activities are arguably "aid and comfort" to the enemies of the United States

Snowden revealed the activities of the US in countries like France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, and Britain.

Are you suggesting that those countries are enemies of the United States? Gimme a fucking break here.

Re:Amnesty? *snarf* (4, Insightful)

runeghost (2509522) | about 7 months ago | (#45693377)

From the viewpoint of the government, the American public appear to be enemies of the United States.

Re: Amnesty? *snarf* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693469)

Of course the public is the enemy, look who they keep voting into office.

Re:Amnesty? *snarf* (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 7 months ago | (#45693527)

Are you suggesting that those countries are enemies of the United States?

There are tons of stateless actors (and not an insignificant number of nation-states) whom are clearly enemies of the United States that benefit from his disclosures of our SIGINT sources and methods. You obviously cherry picked the list to whitewash them away (and made some of it up, since the US doesn't spy on Britain [wikipedia.org] ) as though his disclosures of NSA's activities in friendly countries (that spy on us, FYI) are excusable.

Re:Amnesty? *snarf* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693471)

... and the damage he has done to the American intelligence community is incalculable.

Boo hoo ... cry me a river, you disgusting little fascist lap dog piece of shit.

we do w/e we want (-1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#45693515)

When the US wants something done we just do it...that's how it's always been...for good or ill that's just our style

if the United States wanted him dead he'd already be dead.

that's it...that's all...

thing is, Snowden is just a dupe...he's being manipulated and the US intel services know this

and we wouldn't ask Putin's permission either

Re:Amnesty? *snarf* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693525)

Fuck you and your government masters.

Re:Amnesty? *snarf* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693619)

NSA's activities outside of the United States raise no Constitutional questions.

But they do raise moral questions. As a US citizen, I want to know what my government--which is supposed to be working for us--is doing.

and the damage he has done to the American intelligence community is incalculable.

It's incalculable because you have no idea what it is, if the damage even exists. I'd be surprised if other governments didn't know this sort of things was happening.

They aren't engaged in any actions that other nation-states (including those hostile to the United States) aren't doing.

Bandwagon fallacy.

His activities are arguably "aid and comfort" to the enemies of the United States

I'd say my government is the enemy, and by acting against the constitution and performing immoral actions, they are aiding our other enemies by destroying our principles.

Re:Amnesty? *snarf* (5, Interesting)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 7 months ago | (#45693223)

And if he's smart, which he clearly seems to be, he has already given copies of the documents to a few people he trusts, with the threat of mass releases ensuring his safety. Surely the NSA has thought of this possibility. And any amnesty deal would have to be contingent upon him keeping a low profile, likely outside of the US, and be subject to revocation should anyone else release related documents that are believed to have been stolen by Snowden.

If it were me, I'd have divided copies up among multiple recipients, with multiple recipients for each document but without all documents to anyone. Of course this assumes that there are people he thinks he can trust, which may not be the case. Or maybe he doesn't have much more that is interesting? Either way, I would not be quick to trust his word enough to offer amnesty, nor should he be trusting enough to accept a deal from a government he clearly does not (and probably should not) trust.

No amnesty for the guilty. (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 months ago | (#45693417)

Find him, grab him, put him through the most excruciating interrogation, then go from there. He'll talk, given that he's not likely to have had formal training in resisting interrogations, much less from the US.

Mass releases won't help if they're matched with an entity (the United States) that can make it perilous for all of them to try.

Re:No amnesty for the guilty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693537)

The easy way out of that is to give the would-be kidnappers no choice but to kill him. Snowden is a patriot who loves his country. Someone who is that passionate and dedicated would not have a problem sacrificing himself for the greater good.

They have *worse* to hide? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693163)

So we're to understand the NSA still more secrets that they don't want anyone to know, so much so they would consider forgiving someone they consider has committed treason?

That was about the only thing that could have made me feel even more concerned than the last year of news stories about how the NSA is basically Santa Claus.

Re:They have *worse* to hide? (5, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45693173)

it's only treason if it doesn't expose treason ;)

aanyhow... maybe they don't know what he took because they wanted to keep the system in such a way that there wouldn't be accountability about who did what and looked at what on the executive level in nsa...(he used some higher ups credentials).

Re:They have *worse* to hide? (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 months ago | (#45693187)

...(he used some higher ups credentials)

It has never been disclosed that he used "higher-ups" logins, only that he (supposedly) user "other people's" logins.

Re:They have *worse* to hide? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45693435)

well, supposedly almost everyone was higher up anyways than him so?

they had more access than his creds anyways and the creds he used lacked notification systems too. it's likely the credentials lacked access histories since he doesn't know what he took too.

now why would you run a db like that worse than criminal records database? in my country at least there's access records from that AND it has been used to penalize some officers.

Re:They have *worse* to hide? (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 7 months ago | (#45693617)

now why would you run a db like that [...]? [...] it has been used to penalize some officers.

Asked and answered.

Re:They have *worse* to hide? (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45693521)

There is a reason the application is named Sharepoint.

Re:They have *worse* to hide? (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 7 months ago | (#45693281)

The problem is his data may also info about legitimate foreign spying operations and info on the people involved. While there probably is still more evidence of wrongdoing in what he has, it's also likely he has his hands on something that could very well put a good deal of people's lives in danger. That data was stolen once, right out from under the NSA's noses. If the NSA couldn't stop it from being stolen, how can a single man ensure it won't be stolen from him as well? Remember, this data is very important, and he's as vulnerable as anyone to the $5 wrench decryption attack if he has it encrypted himself.

So the USA really should try to offer him this, and also offer official protection from other nations who may also be interested in some of the things he's learned. This, of course, all hinges on how many copies of the data he has, and if he's given copies to more than he's told us.

In any case, I see this deal falling through, and him possibly being forced to hand over a copy of the data to one or more third parties that are not the US, which can only end very, very badly if not handled correctly. Also, the more people handling it, the more likely it will fall into the wrong hands...

Re:They have *worse* to hide? (1)

blue trane (110704) | about 7 months ago | (#45693579)

Put spies lives in danger? Isn't that what they agreed to when they became spies?

Re:They have *worse* to hide? (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45693355)

Re consider forgiving someone
From the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee [wikipedia.org] to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Contra_affair [wikipedia.org] to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_United_States_foreign_regime_change_actions [wikipedia.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse [wikipedia.org] to rendition and the junk global telco encryption -
So much is now in history books and can be found by any academic or person -
Think of how the Soviet Union got into any country - the press, academics, students, peace groups, trade unions, banking, trade, mil.... politics
i.e. internal 'news' about trusted names/brands within the USA that where turned by the Soviet Union/Russia or "worked" for the US gov in the private sector.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird [wikipedia.org] gives a hint.
Generations of bulk insider trading within very trusted sectors of the private sector via privileged files and tips/front groups.

That's how it feels (4, Insightful)

kamaaina (1071006) | about 7 months ago | (#45693177)

I know its hopeful thinking, but if the NSA was a person, they would know how it feels when you don't know what someone knows about you.

And so, it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693189)

They've finally realized who *really* brought down the towers during 9/11, and they're freaking out because they think Snowden knows, too.

Re:And so, it begins (4, Funny)

cranky_chemist (1592441) | about 7 months ago | (#45693225)

It's worse than that.

They're afraid that the world will soon learn some inconvenient truths: (a) that Oswald in fact acted alone in assassinating Kennedy, (b) that the crashed object at Roswell was in fact a high-altitude weather balloon, (c) that the Rosenberg's were in fact Soviet spies, (d) that the moon landings in fact happened and were not staged in a Houston hangar, and (e) that every ounce of the gold in Ft. Knox is in fact sitting exactly where it should be.

And then the American public might start asking questions related to ACTUAL government conspiracies.

The horror...

Re:And so, it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693267)

And then the American public might start asking questions related to ACTUAL government conspiracies.

Eh, I kinda doubt that. [imgur.com] Crazies gonna craze.

Re:And so, it begins (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693303)

You can be dismissive of everything else, but the collapse of building 7 was way too shady in my opinion. Add to that the fact that the news of its collapse were reported 20 minutes prior to it actually happening.

Re:And so, it begins (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 7 months ago | (#45693345)

Got a cite on that?

Re:And so, it begins (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693397)

Nope, because he's completely ignorant of the logistics behind what he's proposing. I mean c'mon, all it took was one man to blow the top off the NSA, yet teams of trained demolitionists can rig an occupied building (or three) for collapse without raising a single eyebrow? And working in conjunction with all manner of news organizations to suss out a story they can pitch? Yet nobody, out of the thousands that would be involved, managed to find their spine and come forward?

Get these people some stronger meds before they hurt someone.

Re:And so, it begins (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 months ago | (#45693437)

That's because it was all accomplished by Seal Team Seven, the deep deep super secret dudes.

Re:And so, it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693445)

Its too good to fact check

Re:And so, it begins (4, Informative)

StrongGlad (687909) | about 7 months ago | (#45693551)

I don't mean to suggest that any of the conspiracy theories are accurate, but the BBC did, in fact, report WTC 7's collapse before it happened. They've basically admitted as much:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/03/part_of_the_conspiracy_2.html [bbc.co.uk]

See also: https://archive.org/details/bbc200109111654-1736 [archive.org]

The BBC erroneously reported the collapse at 4:53 p.m., as acknowledged in the above-linked article. The actual collapse occurred at 5:20 p.m., as confirmed by FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf [fema.gov]

At the time of the BBC's report, however, WTC 7 had been on fire for some time, and was already in danger of imminent collapse, so I don't find it too hard to believe that they simply made an honest mistake in the midst of all the confusion.

Re:And so, it begins (1)

G-forze (1169271) | about 7 months ago | (#45693569)

Here you go [youtube.com]

NSA should release all their documents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693191)

That way they can stop worrying. Tax funded documents should be public domain anyway.

In due time, according to classification rules. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693409)

N/T

As immigrant in the US (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693203)

I immigrated to US in 1998 and to honest, and until recently, I was under impression that US was the best county on the entire globe. Period.
Guns, jobs, "Freedom", country had real drive. That is how I saw it for last 30 years.

It me a while to sink in that it shit is going down a drain.
Iraq and Afghanistan wars didn't make me change my opinion.
Economic Meltdown in 2008, and the fact that no one went to jail and CEO's got big ass bonuses, didn't make me change my opinion.
Fucked-up Health Insurance didn't......

Guess what changed my opinion ? NSA.

Re:As immigrant in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693229)

You should've read James Bamford's The Puzzle Palace back in the early 80s. Over the years, I've found two *original* 1st edition copies, one handed down and one purchased in a used book store. They have an ISBN number different from the one listed as a "1st edition" now, and much more (previously) classified content. The NSA didn't do a perfect job suppressing it, but as I was told by the person I received it from, they went around rounding up those early copies which had a limited print run.

Re:As immigrant in the US (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693305)

Re:As immigrant in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693339)

You missed my point. That book on Amazon has a different ISBN than the actual 1st edition and far less content.

Going to jail (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 7 months ago | (#45693309)

Economic Meltdown in 2008, and the fact that no one went to jail and CEO's got big ass bonuses

Bernie Madoff made off with billions and as a reward the American taxpayers gave him 150 years of free room and board, should he live that long.

All of the documents (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 months ago | (#45693209)

Last month, [reuters.com] the NSA said maybe 50,000 to 200,000 documents.
Last night, [twitter.com] 60 Minutes said it was 1.7 million documents
Today it's "we may never know"

Re:All of the documents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693235)

I hear they're building a facility in Utah to store everything they think Snowden may have r-u-n-n-o-f-t with.

Re:All of the documents (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 7 months ago | (#45693293)

I like your title. Let's just assume that Snowden has everything. He only left behind some inconsequential bullshit. He downloaded everything, just as most of us would.

Well, at least there is an upper bound to it :) (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 7 months ago | (#45693247)

He can't possibly have revealed more data from the NSA than what the NSA actually had.

Okay, that's probably a huge upper bound, but it is an upper bound.

Databases (5, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45693249)

The US mil has had a long history with computer databases going back to the 1960's with the Community On-line Intelligence System effort.
The CIA, FBI and MI5,6 all knew what a motivated cleared individual could do with a "photocopier", "camera" and more trusted clearance level to a paper file system.
Would digital files be that just left to be that easy?
East Germany showed what a levels where needed to protect aspects of running spies or handling covert materials - a split of data making any one "walk out" very limited in what was lost.
We are now to believe 'the' US agency at the centre of US data integrity, protection and world wide data penetration could not rewind its own networks logs?
Snowden was CIA, was passed onto a contractor with his CIA work 'cleaned' at some point by someone and then onto the NSA.
Snowden would have had direct id/code/physical location contact with how many people who could have been allowed to look into files from "that" "site" in the USA?
What are the options? The NSA structure is now (~past 10 years) so 'sharing', 'out sourced', 'cloud based' and privatised that any staff "member" can look down over many projects without 'question' or any useful 'logging'?
That an admin can be so 'skilled' to cover/find/alter all digital tracking logs, using digital methods that none in the NSA, FBI, CIA, MI6/5, GCHQ ever thought about?
With all the Soviet/Russia spy hunts wrt staff, past whistleblowers over ~30 years, the digital file structures where 'outsourced' to such an extent that all security protections are now lost?

Re:Databases (4, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 7 months ago | (#45693489)

I wish I could mod you up. This is a great insight into the dysfunctional nature of the current out of control intelligence apparatus.

The outsourcing model was also a big part of the failed Iraqi invasion. (Blackwater [wikipedia.org] ring a bell?) That also wasted vast resources and had a terrible political outcome. I guess that both started right after 9/11, but we are only seeing the incompetence and bad results from the NSA types now.

The next logical question is why outsource core mission operations?. I think there are two reasons. First is ideological. Outsourcing is supposed to be more efficient. It also is a big part of right wing political theory, where efficient private companies replace wasteful government bureaucracies. Remember the expansion of intelligence and the creation of Homeland Security happened under Bush, so that's when outsourcing happened big time.

The second big reason is plausible deniability. Have contractors to do dirty work makes it much easier to avoid oversight and implement policies that are illegal/immoral/stupid/wasteful.

A very current example is the rogue operation in Iraq of CIA contractor Robert Levinson [go.com] . The White House is quoted in the article as saying "was not a U.S. government employee", which they can do because he was a contractor as opposed to an employee.

This operation was screwed up that those directly responsible were forced to leave the CIA, and procedures were changed to keep this kind of event from happening again.

Re:Databases (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693505)

What you seem to have overlooked is that they may be able to gather all the data
relative to Snowden's logins, but if Snowden used IDs and passwords which
were not his then it could be impossible to establish which logins were in fact
performed by SNoden himself.

Oh, and the clever boy with the screen name of "jafac" ( below ) also hasn't
considered this amazingly obvious possibility.

I weep when I consider that you people may actually be breeding.

';

Re:Databases (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45693563)

re " used IDs and passwords which were not his then it could be impossible to establish which logins were in fact performed by SNoden himself."
All that would have been logged too. How many cleared gov staff could one admin have 'seen'/'used' from his site/location with his clearance as a new contractor?
All staff are watched, all staff have geographic locations, hours, levels of files and projects they can work on/with....
Unless the system is flat and anyone can look at anything, at anytime for any reason, over any project .... with no logging ... a subset of geographic ID's and times will stand out.

say what? (1)

jafac (1449) | about 7 months ago | (#45693259)

I find it very difficult to believe that they don't have audit logs that show exactly when and where he logged on, and what data he accessed. On the other hand, I find it easy to believe that while they HAVE the audit logs, the mandated Microsoft tools make it impractical to search for the pertinent data.

Re:say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693369)

I agree totally. No logs? C'mon. NSA doesn't run a good SIEM tool or file and DB audit tools like Varonis or Imperva? Weird.

Re:say what? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45693547)

It really does not make sense. They have logs of where you and I took our cellphones, who we called, who and what we texted. But not what was happening on their own secure network with an unvetted Dell subcontractor admin. Yeah right.

Management involvement (4, Interesting)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 7 months ago | (#45693295)

The problem the NSA's having is likely the same one most large businesses have when it comes to IT: the management involved has absolutely no clue about what's going on with their computer systems, and they won't believe what the technical people who do know what's going on are telling them because it disagrees with what that management thinks should be going on. End result, the steps that are taken don't fix any of the security problems and the steps that would fix the problems are vetoed. And it'll be "lather, rinse, repeat" until management starts being fired (not allowed to resign, fired for incompetence) and losing their cushy termination benefits packages because they failed to listen.

"NSA Has No Clue" (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 months ago | (#45693311)

Could have left the headline at that.

So we as good little citizens are supposed to help the NSA "find a better way" to "connect all the dots," but they have no idea what to do even when all the "dots" are in their physical possession?

Maybe if they spent more time monitoring and logging their own systems everyone would be better off.

Non-issue (5, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#45693367)

NSA has nothing to worry about if it has done nothing wrong.

Snowden would be an idiot to accept "amnesty". (4, Insightful)

runeghost (2509522) | about 7 months ago | (#45693371)

The U.S. government has demonstrated itself to be completely untrustworthy. The best he could hope for would be to have his lawyers arguing the validity of his amnesty in front of secret courts while he's tortured in a black site somewhere.

No surprise the China and Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693373)

Both China and Russia know exactly what was on the four hard drives Snowden carried, since they no doubt copied them.

Re:No surprise the China and Russia (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45693429)

China and Russia would not touch the files as the person was CIA, then a contractor and then NSA with no background to Russia/China.
Russia would have been tempted if the plan was to stay in US gov for years and all docs could be considered over time.
Any of the bulk actionable documents could be a set trap, internal US intel junk for US political budget consumption, or lost internal bait for KGB/FSB spies...
Russia is not the Soviet Union and won't fall for such an 'easy' document trick again and again.....
Better to charm the press with optics of travel, a job, sit back and sees what plays out.
China knows everything crypto from the US is a trap and is working its way around all the US telco tech as fast as it can in its own way.
No need for unknown 'document' help, just time, skills and manufacturing prowess.

Hmm... (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 7 months ago | (#45693393)

If only the NSA had the resources and some sort of process by which they could have kept track of Snowden, like his phone, email, computer and internet usage. Oh wait...

Then start by rounding up the journalists with it. (-1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 months ago | (#45693399)

The information may appear favorable but the problem is that he acts against all citizens given his cowardice and allegiance to the enemies of the United States. Those enemies are Russia, China and their allies that oppose the US, not the citizens of the US. He acts only against the US - with no secrets released that are damaging to Russia or China.

The best course of action is to quietly offer pardons and other favorable offers for anyone in the US that acts towards ending the Snowden problem on US soil. Encourage allies of the US to do the same in their own countries as well as to US-based actors. If that means making the whole "angle-grinding" affair look nice, then fine. The message to the unauthorized holders of classified information (that is, information that the public at large has no need to know) is that siding with Snowden puts them at great peril - with an equal amount of surprise.

Of course, this won't please people who have modbombed me with the various forms of (-1, Disagree and Disappear this opinion) instead of deciding to reply.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693449)

You'll make a fantastic leader of a fascist dystopia some day.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (5, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 7 months ago | (#45693473)

He acts only against the US

Strange how revealing the government's criminal activities to the very people it's supposed to be working for is acting against the US. The US is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, and was founded on a distrust of government. How is revealing the fact that the government violated the constitution and the principles the US was founded on acting against the US? I feel that I, as a citizen of the US, have a right to know.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 months ago | (#45693601)

Then I'm sure that you'd prefer to deal with Russia and China, where crime and corruption is so deep that the US can't match. Freedom is measured in connections and money to a much higher degree than you could ascribe to the US.

In the US, the average citizen enjoys more freedom than could ever be had by citizens of countries run by Snowden's new (and fair-weather) friends.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 7 months ago | (#45693625)

If "Well, we're not as bad as the other guys!" is all you have, I'd say something is very, very wrong. Being punched in the face may not be as bad as having your arm chopped off, but that doesn't mean being punched in the face is a good thing. More generally, X being better than Y does not mean X is good.

Your comment didn't even address anything I said.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693475)

Ah, the good old lynch mob. truth justice and the american way always was a huge lie, now you dont even bother to deny it.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693541)

The information may appear favorable but the problem is that he acts against all citizens

No, the problem is that you are a fool who doesn't understand who the real criminals are.

When the government is spying on its own citizens in a manner which runs counter to the highest
law in that country, then the government IS the enemy of the people.

Just get your sorry right wing fascist ass the fuck off this forum, you dickeating loser fuck.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 months ago | (#45693613)

Then why is it that the unauthorized disclosures now start to include targets that are legitimate for the NSA to pursue? Last time I checked, the NSA is allowed to pursue foreign targets without any need to disclose to the public.

Once he switched his allegiances from the US to Russia, he's done more harm to the US in general than any good that could have been realized. Never mind that he has foregone any opportunity to redeem himself by releasing anything damaging to Russia or China in the process.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#45693557)

Why do you hate America? You should be sent to gitmo and waterboarded.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 months ago | (#45693615)

Unfortunately for you, I like America. The only thing that Snowden should be doing in Russia or China is collecting intelligence on their governments, not trashing our own.

Re:Then start by rounding up the journalists with (2)

jcr (53032) | about 7 months ago | (#45693585)

Cowardice? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Snowden is a hero. You are a brain-dead bootlicking jackass.

-jcr

Amnesty won't work (3, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | about 7 months ago | (#45693401)

The article says: Mr. Snowden has said he would return to the United States if he was offered amnesty, but it is unclear whether Mr. Obama â" who would most likely have to make such a decision â" would make such an offer.

Even if the offer is ever made, Snowden would have to be a complete fool to accept it. He may never be prosecuted for the data leak; however the government will be free to legally fry him for any other crime that he may be framed for. Or, if that is not desirable, he may become another victim of criminals, who would never be found.

How did he do that ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693405)

Someone has uploaded a video on how Snwoden did that :
What the US need to know [youtube.com]

Only 2% published so far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693419)

from cryptome:

  13 December 2013. Add 26 pages to Trojkan (SVT). Tally now 797 pages (~1.4%) of reported 58,000. NSA head claims 200,000 (~.40% of that released). Australia press reports "up to 20,000 Aussie files."

Rate of release over 6 months, 132.8 pages per month, equals 436 months to release 58,000, or 36.3 years. Thus the period of release has decreased in the past month from 42 years.

http://cryptome.org/2013/11/snowden-tally.htm

No clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693427)

Tell you what, that's not the only thing this multi-billion dollar government masturbation agency has not one single clue about.

Don't worry NSA (5, Funny)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 7 months ago | (#45693481)

If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide!

I can tell you right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45693491)

I don't have time to read this whole article right now but I can tell you right now what you've got is a privacy concern and it's the republicans and the democrats in the white house.

Sigh (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 7 months ago | (#45693517)

We have no idea what a random person working for a contractor with access to our top-secret systems managed to steal before he went on the run...

but we have to know your shoe-size, what toilet-paper you use, and what kind of porn turns you on.

A well-prioritised spying agency, there.

Close enough for government work... (1)

jcr (53032) | about 7 months ago | (#45693577)

Incompetence at a government agency that routinely classifies their fuck-ups to avoid repercussions? I'm shocked!

-jcr

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