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No Question: Snowden Was 2013's Most Influential Tech Figure

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the you-said-it dept.

Government 108

Nerval's Lobster writes "Lots of CEOs, entrepreneurs, and developers made headlines in 2013—but in hindsight, Edward Snowden will likely stand as this year's most influential figure in technology. In June, Snowden began feeding top-secret documents detailing the National Security Agency's surveillance programs to The Guardian and other newspapers. Much of that information, downloaded by Snowden while he served as a system administrator at an NSA outpost in Hawaii, suggested that the U.S. government swept up massive amounts of information on ordinary Americans as part of its broader operations. Whatever one's feelings on the debate over privacy and security, it's undeniable that Snowden's documents have increased general awareness of online vulnerability; but whether that's sparked an increased use of countermeasures—including encryption tools—is another matter entirely. On the developer side of things, when you consider the sheer amount of money, time, and code that'll be invested over the next few years in encryption and encryption-breaking, it's clear that Snowden's influence will be felt for quite some time to come—even if the man himself is trapped in Russian exile."

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I Think I Was ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830559)

I think it was the guy mentioned in this article [slashdot.org] .

Feel free to continue the recursion... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830599)

I think it was the guy mentioned in this article [slashdot.org] .

I think it was the guy mentioned in this article [slashdot.org] .

Re:Feel free to continue the recursion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831251)

Next up on Slashdot: Is there even a shred of doubt who the most important person of 2013 was?

I mean you'd have to be some sort of creepy, no-life troll to think it could be anyone other than Edward Snowden.

Amen to that? (Amen)

Re:Feel free to continue the recursion... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831997)

Sure snowden demonstrated how disastrous it is to trust some idealistic idiot with anything of value

The net result is that there will be fewer IT jobs available for upstart professionals and old hands will spend their remaining days automating all admin tasks

Thanks for turning the next generation of IT workers into burger flippers

Re:Feel free to continue the recursion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45832149)

Sure snowden demonstrated how disastrous it is to trust some idealistic idiot with anything of value

Snowden demonstrated how disastrous it is to trust the government and/or NSA with anything of value.

Re:Feel free to continue the recursion... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45832193)

The NSA has been trusted with the discrete use of sigint since ww2

This has not resulted in any widespread misuse of data or emergence of a fascist state

Snowden's actions on the other hand have made each of us a little less safe

way to go dumbass

Re:Feel free to continue the recursion... (0)

fido_dogstoyevsky (905893) | about 9 months ago | (#45832481)

The NSA has been trusted with the discrete use of sigint since ww2

This has not resulted in any widespread misuse of data or emergence of a fascist state

Snowden's actions on the other hand have made each of us a little less safe

way to go dumbass

Only for a nonstandard definition of "misuse", and perhaps you should look at some [anesi.com] properties [urbandictionary.com] of fascism [wikipedia.org] .

You can smell the fear... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830635)

...that the federal government has. And it's not the muslim jihadists they're worried about. It's us.

Re:You can smell the fear... (4, Interesting)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 9 months ago | (#45830949)

...that the federal government has. And it's not the muslim jihadists they're worried about. It's us.

Indeed, and since it seems so apropos to link to and quote slashdot today-

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4606965&cid=45806859 [slashdot.org]
"
The insecurity is on the side of the NSA.
They wouldn't go through such hoops if we didn't have the most powerful freedom tool ever, namely the Internet.

Use it properly and they shall vanish.
"

Re:You can smell the fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831045)

They're right to be afraid.

They should be executed for crimes against humanity.

Re:You can smell the fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831429)

They're right to be afraid.

They should be executed for crimes against humanity.

Thanks for your input, Madame Defarge.

Re:You can smell the fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831191)

If they are fearful of anything it is loosing a few golden eggs. They will never loose their goose, short of the complete abolishment of coercive authority and complete adoption of the voluntary society. That hasn't yet happened in tens of thousands of years of human evolution, and probably won't for thousands more (if ever).

Re:You can smell the fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831585)

"Loose" means "to set free." Is that what you were really trying to say?

Re:You can smell the fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831413)

...that the federal government has. And it's not the muslim jihadists they're worried about. It's us.

yeah right, they are afraid of a bunch of slashdot posters who will make a lot of noise on blogs but will never go outside there house and do anything about it.

Re:You can smell the fear... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831593)

"us" != slashdot posters.
"us" == the entire American citizenry.

In other words, the government now considers its own citizens to be its biggest enemy.

Re:You can smell the fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45832329)

you really think a lot of yourself

fortunately reality is not close to what you think it is

the emotion and vitriol behind idea that every American citizen is upset by the NSA is both naive and childish

Re:You can smell the fear... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#45833269)

Just because someone isn't upset, doesn't mean that they can't be considered a threat.

Re:You can smell the fear... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 9 months ago | (#45832319)

Then I'd say we're doing our job as citizens. Now on to the next problem to solve, "Who's the asshole that started this?"

Re:You can smell the fear... (1)

alexo (9335) | about 9 months ago | (#45832977)

...that the federal government has. And it's not the muslim jihadists they're worried about. It's us.

-1 delusional.

The federal government does not fear "you".
"You" have neither the will nor the means to effectively oppose them.
Hell, "you" can't even inconvenience them.
"You" are not even a blip on their radar.
"You" are nothing but a resource to be exploited.

The only thing Showden accomplished is reassuring the powers that be that they can get away with anything and don't even have to hide their misdeeds anymore.

re No Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45832999)

Corollary of Betteridge's Law:

When a headline begins with "No Question:", then there most definitely is one.

Stupid Muthafucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45834601)

You are one stupid muthafucker.

I'll be you feel safer from the government with that AR-15 under your bed don't you?

Here's a hint, even with the NSA bullshit, nothing's going to fucking happen.

But with those freedom loving banks and oligarchic corporations, your freedom loving ass is going to live out the rest of his life as nothing more than a gun-toting serf.

Slashdot linking to Slashdot (4, Insightful)

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) | about 9 months ago | (#45830659)

Why the hell is this here? There have already been like 50 other stories about how important Snowden was/is and now /. feels it's important to post a ridiculously redundant [slashdot.org] story of their own that is JUST A BUNCH OF OTHER LINKS to other news sites? WTF /.?

Seriously...

wtf???

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830757)

Yes, it is getting ridiculous. All of this info has been suspected, and the paranoids were already taking steps to protect themselves. Most average people don't care and have much bigger issues to deal with that really will affect their lives.

It isn't like he invented something cool, advanced society through developing new technologies, or accomplished anything. He went in with an agenda and was able to hack the system from the inside, now he has some power and fame.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (4, Insightful)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 9 months ago | (#45830923)

Yes, it is getting ridiculous. All of this info has been suspected, and the paranoids were already taking steps to protect themselves. Most average people don't care and have much bigger issues to deal with that really will affect their lives.

Thing is, "most average people" aren't the ones who shape human society for the next generation. Edward Snowden did that.

It isn't like he invented something cool, advanced society through developing new technologies, or accomplished anything. He went in with an agenda and was able to hack the system from the inside, now he has some power and fame.

I like to also think his Agenda was to "invent" a cool new world, where instead of NSA spook-community running completely rampant and rough-shod toward a dystopian neo-Stasi future, we now get to know and mitigate the threat to the 4th ammendment that they represent. That's is a freaking cool invention if you ask me. I'll take it over the crap that "most average people" like yourself churn out.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831097)

where instead of NSA spook-community running completely rampant and rough-shod toward a dystopian neo-Stasi future,

What about what systematic and invasive collection of data by Google, FB, Amazon, Microsoft, and hundreds of other Internet companies, banks and telcos? Why are Google Glass and Street View not considered a threat to privacy here, especially when reconciled with all the other data Google has on people, e.g. through Gmail? Because they went to Stanford and dress in black?

And no, use of Gmail is not always optional. You need a Gmail account to use Google Docs, for instance, and some companies have standardized on that for their office software.

I realize there is *occasionally* a critical article about Google or FB on the privacy front, but for every one of those there are at least 40 or 50 anti-NSA/pro-Snowden pieces featured here. The discrepancy is ridiculous.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831481)

Why are Google Glass and Street View not considered a threat to privacy here

I do consider them a threat.

The discrepancy is ridiculous.

It's a problem that needs to be fixed, but no one has the power to directly ruin your life like the government can. History shows that the government will do that.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831981)

Nobody forces you to use those services; they're not going to affect you if you don't use them. Yeah, Gmail for Google docs, but there is no need to use Google docs. Using those services is your choice, and when you agreed to their ToSes you agreed to be spyed on and stalked. You made no agreement with the government agreeing that it was OK to spy on you like with Google.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45832077)

there is no need to use Google docs. Using those services is your choice

I have as much choice about that as people who work in a Windows shop have about using MS Excel and Word.

None, unless I want to find a new job.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (1)

fido_dogstoyevsky (905893) | about 9 months ago | (#45832535)

there is no need to use Google docs. Using those services is your choice

I have as much choice about that as people who work in a Windows shop have about using MS Excel and Word.

None, unless I want to find a new job.

I worked in a "Windows shop" and had no problem keeping my job while using OpenOffice.org (from the time it was still Star Office).

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45833273)

trust me, if the gopers could figure out how to smear Obama with google or fb revelations, then it would be a headline on slashdot...

who exactly bought slashdot?

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831245)

Nice play on "most average people." I think you know that's not how the phrase was used. Since you went there, though, yeah, the average grade-school science experiment outshines Snowden's actual deed: lie one's way into a sensitive situation, then steal everything in sight.

You want to call him the most influential person in politics, fine... but tech? I think we can do better.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (1)

celle (906675) | about 9 months ago | (#45831591)

"yeah, the average grade-school science experiment outshines Snowden's actual deed:"

      Except the average grade-school "" isn't life ending. And understand if Snowden had been caught it's most likely he'd be locked away by now for nailing the 'adults' playing their childish games.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (4, Insightful)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 9 months ago | (#45831765)

I know I shouldn't feed trolls, but...

"You want to call him the most influential person in politics, fine... but tech? I think we can do better."

Are you KIDDING me? He may not personally design the devices and write the code that we are using for the next 10 years, but *you can sure bet* that he seriously impacted those designs and that code by revealing the proof and scope, if not the existence of the insecurities that were rampant in the prior devices and code.

We will be buying fundamentally more secure devices with fundamentally more secure programming in the coming years, due *primarily* to Snowden's revelations. Dinging him for being more like the tech-CEO who merely gets to decide the direction of development instead of writing the actual code seems just plain silly. Compared to the influence all the other tech-CEOs had in 2013 on the future of computing technology, I'd say Snowden wins hands down. No question. It's a different tech _landscape_ today because of him. What other tech person had a greater change on the nature of the technology we will use in the coming decade?

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45833039)

Pick any one of a number of IP lawsuits or tech mergers, and you can call out a dozen names that have been more influential in the past year, contrasted against what you say Snowden will influence. What did he influence in 2013 that justifies "most influential tech figure" for the year? What he may be responsible for is highly subjective speculation, at best.

Do you really think that the average consumer, which makes up a not-insignificant percentage of the tech market's target audience, is even remotely qualified to manage his/her own security, or even properly interpret the sheer volume of data being released? They'll be outraged about what they're told to be outraged about, and that's about it. It's possible that these revelations may have an impact on high-level corporate decisions, but honestly, most of those players were in bed with the NSA the entire time... so, yeah, not really.

Kudos on trying to manipulate the topic of conversation twice in a row, though. Strawman followed by ad hominem... and I'm the troll? Good one.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#45833283)

Pick any one of a number of IP lawsuits or tech mergers, and you can call out a dozen names that have been more influential in the past year, contrasted against what you say Snowden will influence.

Please, carry out this exercise. And we'll explain why you're wrong.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45835207)

Waste time researching and explaining why the sky is blue so that you can make asinine counter-claims out of the crack of your ass? Sure, that sounds like loads of fun. How about you just fuck off, since you and yours have already made it clear what you think, and what you think of differing opinions. Go back to your Snowden-fellating rabid hipster bullshit, and revel in the meaningless pop-culture nonsense of media outlets like USA Today... it leaves the field open for the rest of us to have serious conversations on the topics about which you so blithely trumpet your staggering ignorance. Just, please, stay out of the damned gene pool, for the sake of future generations.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830941)

Well, other sites might have run with it but this is only about the six hundredth story on Slashdot about NSA and how dastardly they are/Snowden how saintly he is.

The editors are afraid that someone out there may have only read 100 or 200 of them.

Re:Slashdot linking to Slashdot (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 9 months ago | (#45831653)

When your house is burning down around you, the topic may come up a bit more frequently than you'd like. But some situations are so dire, so tragic, that when they occur they eclipse all that surround them.

The was dumb the first time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830661)

Edward Snowden had zero influence on technology.

Re:The was dumb the first time (1, Troll)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#45831707)

As stated by a 14-year-old whose concept of "technology" obviously ends at the edge of his computer desk.

Re:The was dumb the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45832031)

As stated by a 14-year-old whose concept of "technology" obviously ends at the edge of his computer desk.

I'm ready to learn. Tell us what he did to earn this distinction, because I don't see it.

Ripped off a bunch of documents? Nothing new.
Made public that the NSA is spying? Nothing new.
Ran to Russia after committing espionage? Nothing new.

Re:The was dumb the first time (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#45832281)

His actions have:

* Influenced an ever-increasing number of governments', organizations', and companies' technology implementation decisions (hardware purchasing, location, routing).
* Re-ignited interest in the long neglected field of user-end encryption and security
* Revealed the widespread "false sense of security" in widespread encryption, in the form of an intentionally-flawed encryption standard, which affects everything from E-Commerce to Electronic Medical Records

"Influencing" technology by creating new technology is possibly the *least* wide-spreading way of doing it. Even disruptive tech's influence is more based on how well it's marketed.

NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (4, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45830663)

Der Spiegel reported on the NSA’s access to smartphones and, in particular, the iPhone back in September [spiegel.de] . Today, these reports expand to the NSA’s apparent ability to access just about all your iPhone data [forbes.com] through a program called DROPOUTJEEP, according to security researcher Jacob Appelbaum.

The NSA claims a 100% success rate in installing the malware on iPhones. Functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.

It is unknown whether the backdoor was developed in cooperation with Apple, but Appelbaum doubts it. Video of Appelbaum's full speech is included in the article.

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830699)

We had broadband installed at a secondary work location. The default password for the admin account was 'DROPOUTJEEP'. Small world?

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about 9 months ago | (#45830773)

And yet you *still* can't do a selective backup/restore.

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830785)

It is unknown whether the backdoor was developed in cooperation with Apple, but Appelbaum doubts it. Video of Appelbaum's full speech is included in the article.

At this point: When in doubt, assume the worst.

The NSA, and corporations that keep releasing public statements on the issue, keeps tripping over themselves when it comes to whether or not they "completely" or "accurately" or proceeded with "that" plan.

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (2)

Chaz12 (2749825) | about 9 months ago | (#45830805)

The NSA and any national intelligence forces have ZERO access to messages that are encrypted 256 at source and only decrypted using long (eg 25 character non-dictionary) passwords that have been exchanged manually. Even a SuperComputer would take hundreds of thousands of years or more to crack these, and paper messages exchanged manually bypass ANY security altogether! So either stone-age bits of paper or very high tech encryption will suffice. If there is an additional random insert of characters based on a further password, decryption is totally impossible!

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830935)

You don't understand coercive authority, son. The solution to uncrackable encryption is violence, not technology.

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about 9 months ago | (#45831467)

Were you looking for this [xkcd.com] ?

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831023)

You mean like the Enigma and the Geheimschreiber were considered secure back in the day? Or why not the Vigenère before that. Afaik the only provable secure cipher is the OTP (if you have a good key that you handle correctly), everything else is up for grabs. Not to mention that if you control either of the end nodes (like the targets iphone) you can just steal the plain-text, before or after encryption/decryption.

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831313)

Only if you're typing in the cyphertext and doing the encryption/decryption off-device.
If they've got root on your phone, no amount of encryption will prevent access to the data (hint, your phone has to decrypt it at some point so you can use it).

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 9 months ago | (#45831333)

mod parent up

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831539)

The NSA doesn't NEED to guess your password. The keylogger they installed on your device hands the password over to them as you type it. The cord plugged into your monitor or your usb port is logging everything you type. They intercepted your device in the mail and flashed a bios that gives them remote access to low level hardware events such as keystrokes. They got a sneak and peek warrant to mount a camera in your room pointed directly at your keyboard. They got Microsoft to load monitoring software (keylogger, etc) in the last windows update you did. They paid Megasoftware inc to put a back door in that allows them to monitor what you type. They pay your internet service provider to keep a database of all your online activities and don't need to ask a judge to query the database. If they ever needed a judge's permission, they have a dozen in every district to rubber stamp, in secret, whatever they are planning.

Counter that...

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 9 months ago | (#45830907)

"The initial release of DROPOUTJEEP will focus on installing the implant via close access methods. A remote installation ability will be pursued for a future release."

This is exactly why I don't let my NSA friends borrow my iPhone.

Seriously, though, the private sector has been doing this for years. [acisni.com] Do you really think the NSA can't pwn a phone, or any other type of computer, given physical access or a remote root exploit?

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 9 months ago | (#45831873)

That's been obvious for years since there must be a very good reason why Obama isn't allowed to have an iPhone.

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#45832197)

Apple actually responded to the issue today after it was reported again yesterday:

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements. Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.

Also worth pointing out: in addition to Apple, Appelbaum also leaked the fact that Android and Blackberry have been similarly compromised, and that the NSA is even going so far as to intercept new smartphones en route to their destination and then install this software, before sending them on their way.

Re:NSA Has Full Access to the iPhone (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about 9 months ago | (#45832531)

Apple is, as of right now, denying any cooperation but that's status-qua.

USA Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830667)

Are we just a mouthpiece for them, now? Two front-pagers on this non-story is a bit much for casual interest, don't you think?

Non-tech newspaper says something demonstrably non-tech about tech, and everyone here jumps on it because blah blah blah hipsters? What the hell? There was a time we would decry such a story... why are we promoting it like it's the best thing since I was on the cover of Time Magazine?

What about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830685)

William Binney & James Bamford? They just aren't the media personality Snowden is?

Re:What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45833441)

Apparently so. btw, I've seen Binney talk; I can see why he wouldn't be a media darling outside Democracy Now!

Influence is very rarely, if ever, purely a matter of merit. Snowden's story appealed to people in many ways; he was young, a relative outsider, and dropped docs on, seemingly, everything the NSA was doing, before traveling the world in pseudo-exile. Thrilling!

Binney is old, a lifer spook (not much sympathy or projection potential there), helped build these systems in the first place, and mostly just knows about his corner of Agency. Hell, half the people who came to see Binney probably wouldn't have come were it not for Appelbaum.

Most influential in Technology? (4, Interesting)

dfn5 (524972) | about 9 months ago | (#45830879)

Most influential maybe in terms of politics, but technology? What was the technology he pioneered or employed? Copy? Not very influential in my opinion.

Re:Most influential in Technology? (4, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about 9 months ago | (#45831119)

Most influential maybe in terms of politics, but technology? What was the technology he pioneered or employed?

Nothing. But his actions will have a huge influence on the future development and use of technology, thus it is reasonable to call him influential ;-)

Re:Most influential in Technology? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#45831121)

Exactly. The guys at Nest created the internet of things, or made it viable. That will be remembered for centuries, even after Vint Cerf and von Neumann are forgotten. They created a thermostat.

Re:Most influential in Technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831859)

You're confusing "Caused most progress in" with "Most influential". Who has halted some progress in the cloud space? Snowden. Who has made people rethink a lot of encryption or even what to encrypt? Snowden. Who has personally made people question a lot of the other tech "pioneers" in whether they can be trusted? Snowden. Who is responsible for said "pioneers" banding together to rallying Congress for at least PR reasons over privacy concerns? Snowden.

It's why Hitler was "Man of the Year". I don't think Snowden will live with nearly as much infamy, but then for the spy game I imagine way too many take their job seriously when in fact its entirely meaningless. That's the big take away from the whole mess, actually. Even if you didn't give the slightest fuck about the privacy invasions or the technical intrusions, you can see just how much of a financial waste it's all been. But, then, that's predictable since the point of the 4th Amendment was to address the pointless, arbitrary abuses precisely because little if nothing is gained by granting the sort of unilateral surveillance powers to anyone. It's just a shame too many people in power are on the gravy train.

But, you heard it hear first. Snowden is leading a holocaust against the NSA's ridiculously bloated budget. He's such a little Hitler.

Re:Most influential in Technology? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#45832389)

You're conflating "influential" and "innovative". You don't have to make something to be able to have a significant influence on it, and there's little doubt that Snowden's actions have influenced how the general population looks at and thinks about technology in a major way. They're asking the sorts of questions about—and demanding the sorts of things from—technology that many of us here wished they had been asking and demanding a long time ago, and most of that is thanks to his revelations.

So sad .... (-1, Troll)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 9 months ago | (#45830883)

So sad that a criminal is listed as an influential person. Especially one so cowardly and spineless as to flee instead of actually staying and working towards what he believed in. I hope he lives to a ripe old age and has to spend his life constantly hiding in the shadows in fear. In countries with worse personal liberties and freedoms than the one he fled from.

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830955)

Oh, so he'll have to live at sea?

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830975)

Remember half the people you'll meet are below average intelligence.

So sad that a criminal is listed as an influential person. Especially one so cowardly and spineless...

How's life on your side? Trollish?

Re:So sad .... (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 9 months ago | (#45831035)

So sad that a criminal is listed as an influential person. Especially one so cowardly and spineless as to flee instead of actually staying and working towards what he believed in. I hope he lives to a ripe old age and has to spend his life constantly hiding in the shadows in fear. In countries with worse personal liberties and freedoms than the one he fled from.

I'm sorry you feel this way. Very few people here feel that way, in fact, the only people here that feel that way you do usually work for the NSA.

Re:So sad .... (4, Insightful)

jeff13 (255285) | about 9 months ago | (#45831271)

Well, you say 'the only people who feel this way usually work for the NSA'? I disagree.

Everyone at the NSA is aware of their "First Commandment"; “Thou Shalt Not Eavesdrop on Americans Without a Court Warrant.” Something that went out the window during the Bush Administration under Gen. Hayden (former NSA directors have stated publically he broke the (FISA) law. One even flat out said he should have been court-marshialed). Snowden isn't the first to blow the whistle over at the NSA in the last few years, Thomas Drake being one I can think of off the top of my head and he was a senior official at the NSA! So I think the people at the NSA rtake their jobs seriously, their directors not so much. I'd lay blame where it's due I think.

Oh and what happened to Thomas Drake? Jailed! as were others (there were, what, like, 5 people from the NSA who have spoken out since around 2006? That's a lot!) I have to ask myself, if I were Snowden and watched senior officials being jailed for revealing the NSA is spying on everyone, would I skip town? You bet yer fat arse I would! I'd skip town, get all the docs to the newspapers, and make those rat bastards answer to the People!

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831315)

You cannot name a single person here who works for the NSA -- not one. You are a liar & a fraud, and you should be ashamed of yourself for distributing such demonstrably false information.

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831401)

So sad that a criminal is listed as an influential person. Especially one so cowardly and spineless as to flee instead of actually staying and working towards what he believed in. I hope he lives to a ripe old age and has to spend his life constantly hiding in the shadows in fear. In countries with worse personal liberties and freedoms than the one he fled from.

I'm sorry you feel this way. Very few people here feel that way,

and those who do feel that way must have their opinions censored so they cannot pollute the minds of the majority who come to this site to be informed.

This is how this would be handled in China, as well.

in fact, the only people here that feel that way you do usually work for the NSA.

That's just incredibly stupid.

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831545)

and those who do feel that way must have their opinions censored so they cannot pollute the minds of the majority who come to this site to be informed.

It's probably just that they've been debunked so many times that it's become boring.

This is how this would be handled in China, as well.

China mods down Slashdot comments, but otherwise leaves them intact for anyone browsing at -1 to see? Interesting.

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45832355)

We're not anything like China, they suppress dissent but here on Slashdot we only hide the POVs that have been debunked many times. Many, many times, they are so obviously trolls that nobody should read them. Hahaha what a total waste of time.

Instead, you should read why Snowden was USA Today's Man of the year in the opinion of a columnist!

Don't forget "Persona Management Software" (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 9 months ago | (#45831425)

So sad that a criminal is listed as an influential person. Especially one so cowardly and spineless as to flee instead of actually staying and working towards what he believed in. I hope he lives to a ripe old age and has to spend his life constantly hiding in the shadows in fear. In countries with worse personal liberties and freedoms than the one he fled from.

I'm sorry you feel this way. Very few people here feel that way, in fact, the only people here that feel that way you do usually work for the NSA.

The NSA and their numerous sockpuppets enabled through Palantir technology [1] - that could be millions of "people" who "support" the NSA. They exist everywhere, even heavily moderated forums like /. and dailykos.

Let's see if the sockpuppets mod this comment down - it's happened before when I brought it up.

[1] http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All [dailykos.com]

Re:So sad .... (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 9 months ago | (#45831657)

So sad that a criminal is listed as an influential person. Especially one so cowardly and spineless as to flee instead of actually staying and working towards what he believed in. I hope he lives to a ripe old age and has to spend his life constantly hiding in the shadows in fear. In countries with worse personal liberties and freedoms than the one he fled from.

I'm sorry you feel this way. Very few people here feel that way, in fact, the only people here that feel that way you do usually work for the NSA.

Right even one who has a different opinion than yourself is obviously in the employ of the Satan.

It seems all one has to do here to get their post moderated as "insightful" is ejaculate some pro-Snowden commentary even as dumb, trollish, dismissive and broad brushed as the one above.

Vocal minorities always think they're in the major (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 9 months ago | (#45831725)

In fact it's likely the trolls and their bait that agree with you.

Re:So sad .... (1)

Milosch1 (969372) | about 9 months ago | (#45831841)

Snowden is a poor excuse for a sysadmin, and he is a criminal. By saying that I don't condone the actions of the NSA. However, only the truly naive did not expect what was going on was actually going on.

Re:So sad .... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#45832083)

I'm sorry you feel this way. Very few people here feel that way, in fact, the only people here that feel that way you do usually work for the NSA.

That is intellectually dishonest demagoguery.

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45832909)

Feel free to open yourself up to abuse for what YOU believe in then...

Re:So sad .... (1)

!-!appy_!!arnian (666023) | about 10 months ago | (#45835053)

I think he signed an agreement not to divulge classified information. Heroic as his actions may look, there is a lot of real security provided to us by the NSA. Does the date 9/11/2001 ring a bell? There are actually people out there who hate Americans, and they don't care if you lean left, right, or sideways. We are still at war. Now Putin has Snowden. Good luck ever getting out of Russia Ed.

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831379)

So sad that a criminal is listed as an influential person.

But you're a criminal just as well, and you are even allowed to post on slashdot!

Re:So sad .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831479)

^I think we know who works at the NSA.

Re:So sad .... (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 9 months ago | (#45833051)

Do they really have worse personal liberties than the US, though? If he came back, he'd be jailed, most likely without a fair trial, and maybe even "disappear" mysteriously, all because he told the truth. Calling him a criminal is like calling the Founding Fathers criminals because they rebelled against Great Britain.

It was Iron Man 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45830897)

I think Iron Man 3 is a pretty cool guy. Eh kills aleins and doesnt afraid of anything.

Applied crypto is back... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 9 months ago | (#45831135)

One of the few good things I can say about this mess is that applied cryptography is back... something that hasn't been really fundamentally worked on since the mid-1990s when SSL/TLS and SSH were hammered out. People seem to be interested in PGP again, and cryptocurrencies are the rage with preeve saying one Bitcoin is worth $760 at this time.

Of course, one has fears about yet another Internet-related bubble... but this is a place where people coming in to build new stuff is a very good thing. In fact, re-evaluating virtually everything isn't such a bad idea, provided it doesn't mean a blind wheel reinvention.

Some inventions (such as perhaps having SSL use multiple root certificates and a threshold of trust) will have immediate payback. Others (like using FPGA cores to flip to a Harvard architecture to execute security sensitive code) are less real-world, but can eventually become useful at mitigating various types of attacks.

With CPU-level hypervisors, deduplication and copy on write, giving each application not just its own individual memory space, but its own filesystem and system libraries becomes doable. This can further keep things separated.

Of course, this can go one of two ways. We can get actual crypto that works, or a new generation of hucksters selling us black boxes with "trust us, this is secure. No, really, it is secure." as the only proof, similar to how a lot of cloud providers have SLAs of "don't worry, we are secure. We have passwords and firewalls".

Off-topic question (1)

barlevg (2111272) | about 9 months ago | (#45831137)

Snowden began feeding top-secret documents detailing the National Security Agency's surveillance programs to The Guardian and other newspapers.

Does anyone know how Snowden decides which paper to leak which document to? For instance, The Washington Post seems to get more than its fair share. IIRC a plurality go to The Guardian. Is there some strategy behind where he leaks what? A cynical person would assume there's a bidding war going on, but most (legit) newspapers view it as unethical to pay for stories. [PDF] [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Off-topic question (1)

HBI (604924) | about 9 months ago | (#45831295)

Snowden was interested in leaking to somewhere that wouldn't turn him over to the FBI instantly, and was out of the subpoena/no knock warrant power of the United States government. That's why the Guardian. It would be idiotic to give anything harmful to US interests to a US newspaper. Even if they wanted to play ball, the feds would be all over them with "National Security" letters.

Snowden played this excessively smart, and that's the only reason he's sort of free now.

Re:Off-topic question (2)

Strudelkugel (594414) | about 9 months ago | (#45831605)

Snowden played this excessively smart, and that's the only reason he's sort of free now.

I don't think Snowden is that smart or free. Today he does what the Russian government allows him to do. But consider the Russians have protesters in Moscow, protesters in Kiev, and suicide bombers in their midst. How long will the Russian government tolerate an icon for freedom from surveillance, especially given their history? I believe Snowden is in considerable danger. [wsj.com]

Another reference: Sergei Guriev [csmonitor.com]

Also Mikhail Khodorkovsky [freedomhouse.org]

As for Snowden, I still think we know 10% or less of the story. There is a lot that does not make sense.

Re:Off-topic question (2)

HBI (604924) | about 9 months ago | (#45831857)

I don't think there is that much more to the Snowden story. The guy seems to be an idealist. Snowden is at risk in Russia, but he's at risk anywhere in the world. The US would like nothing better but to take him into custody. That's the sum total of his protection - his freedom amounts to thumbing a nose at the US government and pointing out its powerlessness. Same as the Soviet defectors back in the Cold War era.

Re:Off-topic question (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 10 months ago | (#45833939)

I think most (all) of the documents got handed over to Greenwald. At first, Greenwald pushed most stuff through his employer, The Guardian, with a few other outlets to increase exposure outside the UK. Now it seems they will be used to help bootstrap a new venture that Greenwald is starting.

Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831299)

So TFS (summary? its not actually summarizing anything) only links to one website... Slashdot. Specifically a submission from earlier today.
Why is this a submission and not a comment on the other thread?

Re:Confused (2)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 9 months ago | (#45831599)

Because Slashdot has become a temple of the first Church of Snowden

Hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831359)

Edward should be listed as a hero in 2013. Too bad that Corp US will try and make him out to be some sort of terrorist when he should be a national hero.

Snowden & Satoshi Nakamoto are Tied (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831367)

I think 2013 was the year when both Snowden and Satoshi Nakamoto became influential anti-establishment figures. Both of them threw down the gauntlet to the powers that be (Snowden the security/serveillance establishment and Nakamoto the central bank/finance establishment) and helped to level the playing field, empowering individuals. Of course, Nakamoto went public with Bitcoin in 2008, but 2013 was the year it took off. It will be a decade before we understand whether either Snowden or Nakamoto succeeded in derailing the totalitarian dystopias that are looming. Interestingly, Snowden illuminates the dangers of technology for freedom, whereas Nakamoto shows us how tech can be a liberating force.

Every year it's the same thing (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 9 months ago | (#45831411)

People are touted as being "the most influential" who are nothing more than drama fodder for the 24x7 news organizations. Snowden will soon be a memory, heck he's almost a memory now, and bitcoin and its ilk will fare no better over time. It used to be that people expected 15 minutes of fame, now with the pace of information flow they should expect 15 ms of fame at best.

CHANGE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45831415)

Remember when Candidate Obama was railing against President Bush and the abuses of the PATRIOT Act?

Who could have guessed that CHANGE would really mean an increase in the size and the scope of the Surveillance State in every way imaginable.

Narrow scope. (1)

h4x0t (1245872) | about 9 months ago | (#45831697)

The guy's only rival is the pope for most influential person of the year, period.

That may be but. (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 9 months ago | (#45832881)

It is not for his technical prowess.

To influence is to induce change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45833493)

Nothing has really changed, stop deluding yourselves.

 

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