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Snowden Used Software Scraper, Say NSA Officials

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the what-would-christopher-boyce-do? dept.

Government 227

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the New York Times: "Intelligence officials investigating how Edward J. Snowden gained access to a huge trove of the country's most highly classified documents say they have determined that he used inexpensive and widely available software to 'scrape' the National Security Agency's networks, and kept at it even after he was briefly challenged by agency officials. Using 'web crawler' software designed to search, index and back up a website, Mr. Snowden 'scraped data out of our systems' while he went about his day job, according to a senior intelligence official. 'We do not believe this was an individual sitting at a machine and downloading this much material in sequence,' the official said. The process, he added, was 'quite automated.'"

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Stunning. (5, Insightful)

quenda (644621) | about 6 months ago | (#46202069)

Who'd have thought? Experienced IT guy didn't manually download each file!?

"Inexpensive and widely available" - I hope they don't mean some evil subversive communist open-source tool.

Re:Stunning. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202183)

Oh my god .... could it be .... wget ?

Re:Stunning. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202411)

TFA mentions that wget was "less powerful than the tool Mr. Snowden used"

Re:Stunning. (4, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 6 months ago | (#46202497)

The very first program (after "Hello World") I wrote in Java was a website scraper. I used it to download all of Sun's API and tutorial pages for Java and rewrite links to be relative. Younger and dumber. This created two copies of each set of docs: The scraped version and the compressed version, which I only discovered existed after having scraped the downloadable offline version of said docs.

Point being: My scraper was written in a few hours and far less powerful than wget.

Re: Stunning. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202755)

Wow, that's more effort than Beta took.
FB. SLASHCOTT FEB 10-17

Re:Stunning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202735)

So... what was it? HTTrack?

Re:Stunning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202471)

But experts say they may well have been downloaded not by him but by the program acting on his behalf.

Evidence presented during Private Manning’s court-martial ... revealed that he had used a program called “wget” ... but it is considered less powerful than the tool Mr. Snowden used.

Re:Stunning. (5, Funny)

jsh1972 (1095519) | about 6 months ago | (#46202251)

I'd have thought he went in each day with wheelbarrow full of 1.44" floppies and just copied until he got it all... That's some mighty fine detective work, Lou.

Re:Stunning. (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 6 months ago | (#46202413)

I read TFA and I still can' figure out... who's "Lou"?

Re:Stunning. (2)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | about 6 months ago | (#46202627)

Here's what the internet has to say ( http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming... [reddit.com] )

Yep. 100% sure. I've even researched how so many people can believe this is an actual quote when it isn't (which is a strange phenomenon). I'm also a huge Simpsons geek.

The actual quote is: Wiggum: Well that's some good work, Lou. You'll make sergeant for this.

But almost universally people say and believe it to be "That's some (mighty) fine detective work, Lou"

Re:Stunning. (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 6 months ago | (#46202691)

Thank you.

Re:Stunning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46203047)

Thanks for reminding me of why I can't stand reddit. Fork slashdot!

Re:Stunning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202649)

The Simpsons.

Re:Stunning. (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 6 months ago | (#46203463)

It's a Clancy Wiggum quote. [wikipedia.org]
I don't recall the episode.

Re:Stunning. (3, Funny)

fatphil (181876) | about 6 months ago | (#46202277)

But you don't understand. Terrorists use wget for drug dealing with paedophiles who use slashdot beta. Wget must be banned!

Re:Stunning. (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about 6 months ago | (#46202379)

But why would someone with admin level access want to scrape the website rather than just take a backup of the database?

Re:Stunning. (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 6 months ago | (#46202521)

Well if you knew a SIEM system had rules which might trigger alters if a database backup is started off hours or if the backup files are accessed for one. As apposed to normalish get query logs with 2XX results, its likely been trained to ignore.

Questioning if who you might eventually leak the data to will have the technical chops and resources put the information together from the database file, as opposed to just reading through a bunch of handy precomputed html pages and office documents for another.

Re:Stunning. (4, Funny)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#46202469)

the malicious and now banned weapons grade tool is called "wget" by underground unix hackers.

Re:Stunning. (5, Insightful)

Arrogant-Bastard (141720) | about 6 months ago | (#46202473)

There's zero reason to believe the NSA's version of this and every reason to believe Snowden's

Why?

Because, so far, every single thing that Snowden has said has turned out to be true when cross-checked. And, so far, every NSA official spokesperson has been caught repeatedly lying.

Re:Stunning. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 6 months ago | (#46202485)

Because, so far, every single thing that Snowden has said has turned out to be true when cross-checked. And, so far, every NSA official spokesperson has been caught repeatedly lying.

What? You're using logic and critical thinking? You must be a terrorist and/or traitor.

Re:Stunning. (1)

horza (87255) | about 6 months ago | (#46202815)

According to the BBC [bbc.co.uk] the new Director of the NSA says:
"There's no place where it's an analyst and a database and you can search for whatever you like and there's no record and no after the fact," Mr DeLong says.

So it should be pretty easy for them to figure out which information Snowdon got and when. Unless nowhere means unless outside of Fort Meade...

Phillip.

Re:Stunning. (4, Interesting)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 6 months ago | (#46202987)

Now that we have documented proof of a rogue government agency that ignores the law and then lies about it, I'm waiting for some enterprising criminal defense attorney to realize they've got the perfect patsy. Regardless of what crime their client is alleged to commit, just deny involvement in the crime and claim that it was committed by the NSA.

I'm not a lawyer, I just play one on Slashdot. But it seems to me that should be sufficient to raise reasonable doubt.

Re:Stunning. (2)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 6 months ago | (#46203439)

There's zero reason to believe the NSA's version of this and every reason to believe Snowden's

Why?

Because, so far, every single thing that Snowden has said has turned out to be true when cross-checked. And, so far, every NSA official spokesperson has been caught repeatedly lying.

Once you start using absolutes, we're past the point where every single thing you want to believe is true, and every single thing you don't is a lie.

Consider that.

Re: Stunning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202813)

It's true, the NSA lies. After all, it's manned by spies, sneaky, underhanded people who have somehow been granted immunity to do things you or I would be thrown in jail for life if we did, people who essentially have more rights than we, the second class citizens have.

But if you criticize this, isn't this an indictment of the government and thus an indictment of our entire system?

Well I don't know about you, but I don't have to sit here and listen to you badmouth, The United States of America!

Wow... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46202075)

You mean to tell me that an NSA tech contractor used wget or something, rather than loading up IE6 and clicking until his fingers fell off?

Knock me over with a feather, spooks. You fucking hired people to build what is probably the largest collection of signals intelligence scraping systems on the planet, targeted at a wide variety of differently structured systems. Why would you even consider, except as a last resort, the notion that you are dealing with a bunch of noobs?

(Oh, incidentally, maybe you should spend a bit less time reading everybody's email and work on that 'hilarious leaked diplomatic calls' problem, I'm told that sort of thing used to be your job at some point in the past...)

Re:Wow... (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 6 months ago | (#46202199)

Please consider the bureaucracy, of the NSA. They obviously have both technical talent with which to operate and that other thing.

Also, don't forget about weekends. People wants weekends, and their downtime.

Peoples' downtime is like a cancer in any 24/7 bureaucracy as well.

Re:Wow... (4, Insightful)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 6 months ago | (#46202879)

From TFA:

Agency officials insist that if Mr. Snowden had been working from N.S.A. headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., which was equipped with monitors designed to detect when a huge volume of data was being accessed and downloaded, he almost certainly would have been caught. But because he worked at an agency outpost that had not yet been upgraded with modern security measures, his copying of what the agency's newly appointed No. 2 officer, Rick Ledgett, recently called "the keys to the kingdom" raised few alarms. "Some place had to be last" in getting the security upgrade, said one official familiar with Mr. Snowden's activities. But he added that Mr. Snowden's actions had been "challenged a few times".

So they knew he was doing it, even questioned him, and he still got away with the data. To the people who maintain the NSA has the best and brightest security people perhaps they (NSA security) should use that expertise to improve their own security instead of weakening everyone else's.

And yes, this is precisely why they must not be trusted with the data they are gathering due to mass surveillance.

Re:Wow... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202547)

What's surprising to me is that this means they obviously weren't using any type of IDS tool to detect and block such attacks, since the automated downloading of every page on the server should be easy to spot if only in the sheer number of log entries within a period of time.

Re:Wow... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46202637)

I suspect the posturing about 'zOMG, Snowden is clearly working for the commie russians and/or chinese taleban!!!!' to be the purest of bullshit; but if I were a member of the US clandestine services, I'd be shitting myself wondering about the existence of people who are working for somebody and running up against the same... impressive... security measures. If there are any actual moles, it is not looking good for what they were likely able to get their hands on.

Re:Wow... (0)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 6 months ago | (#46203359)

Knock me over with a feather, spooks. You fucking hired people to build what is probably the largest collection of signals intelligence scraping systems on the planet, targeted at a wide variety of differently structured systems. Why would you even consider, except as a last resort, the notion that you are dealing with a bunch of noobs?

Someone made a comment that the collection was automated and you read all THIS from it? To the people in the position to know the volume of data taken, the fact it was automated is obvious.

Do you think it isn't?

Do you feel good attacking that straw man?

Gosh a computer person using Automation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202079)

Maybe he typed it all...

Slashcott! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202083)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here [pastebin.com] so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
  http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415 [slashdot.org]

Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441 [slashdot.org]

Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] (thanks Okian Warrior (537106) [slashdot.org] )

In Soviet Slashdot (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202097)

Beta scrapes you!

...and that makes it better? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202101)

If the network can't identify that something accessing the network sporadically and in repeated succession is a bot and should be stopped maybe the NSA shouldn't have access to this much data to start with....

What if a legitimate foreign hacker was able to get in and do the exact same thing? Obviously, they have very shitty standards when it comes to network security - you'd expect thousands of honey pots, ability to intercept attempted attacks, flat out network filtering of these kinds of requests. But alas, that would make sense!

Re: ...and that makes it better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202233)

NSA's internal logging / reporting is probably minimal - plausable deniability. We really oughta create silkroad for intelligence data, this way we can use their surveillance against themselves. F.ex bitcoin chip-in, 1000 BTC for obamas emails while in office etc

Re: ...and that makes it better? (-1, Troll)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 6 months ago | (#46202605)

Their failure is an open joke now. He should have been fed to the sharks in little pieces five minutes after he bought that ticket to Hong Kong and they reviewed his work access. How are they "watching terrorists" but not their own employees with admin access.

It's time for every manager above Snowden to "fall on their swords". And if they committ suicide right now we won't have to arrest theirs families too. Even if they did catch him, they should be offed for ALLOWING him to gather that much data, ever.

I'm all for whistleblower status, but Snowden should have been DEAD, HORRIBLY within 24 hours of that flight to Hong Kong. They should have "accidented" the whole plane just to get him... They had NO IDEA who he was talking too! Their standards are laughable if THESE PEOPLE are all we got holding the line against terrorists.

Re: ...and that makes it better? (4, Insightful)

dk20 (914954) | about 6 months ago | (#46202701)

Seriously, they should have "accidented" the whole plane? So how many innocent people should have died to protect their poorly guarded secrets?

"I'm all for whistleblower status, but Snowden should have been DEAD, HORRIBLY"
You sure downt sound like you are for whistleblower. I dont many people forget that the NSA violated many US laws.

Re: ...and that makes it better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202827)

You're missing his point. If NSA > incompetent, Snowden = dead. The guy isn't saying Snowden should've been killed, in the sense that he deserved it - he's saying no self-respecting defense agency should be so incompetent.

Re: ...and that makes it better? (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 6 months ago | (#46203077)

There's no such thing as "innocent people". Just "collateral damage within accepted limits".

Re: ...and that makes it better? (1)

dk20 (914954) | about 6 months ago | (#46203363)

Fortunately people such as yourself don't make these decisions. Out of curiosity, does this sort of logic apply uniformly? I mean if the plane to HK was full of US citizens would their deaths be within "accepted limits"?

Seems many terrorist organizations seem to feel the same way as you, what makes you different from them?

Re: ...and that makes it better? (4, Insightful)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 6 months ago | (#46202801)

You know, whether you agree or disagree with what Snowden did, that in no way justifies killing him without a... oh, what was that quaint thing we used to require? That's right, a trial. Rule of law, and all that. I think that's what the country was based on originally.

Of course, it's embarrassing for the NSA that Snowden waltzed out with so much confidential information, and arguably he should have been ARRESTED within 24 hours of "that flight to Hong Kong", but killed? To even think that sort of thing is disturbing.

Having said that, I am glad he managed to get away, since his revelations are shining an absolutely necessary light on the murky behavior of our government and its actions. An educated populace is necessary to ensuring our freedoms and for too long the government has been hiding its wrong-doings from the ones it purports to serve. Whether Snowden acted as a foreign agent, or for his own advantage, or out of idealism, his actions were necessary and should not be so readily scorned.

(oh right, and fuckbeta and all that jazz. It's gonna be hard doing that boycott tomorrow)

Re: ...and that makes it better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46203479)

And if they committ suicide right now we won't have to arrest theirs families too.

Observe the thought process of the national security state.

Re:...and that makes it better? (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 6 months ago | (#46202675)

What if a legitimate foreign hacker was ...

As opposed to a bastard foreign hacker?

Please read before modding down. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202103)

An Honest Question

What company directs 25% of its users to a partially-working, not-ready-for-production website? Please realize that Beta will not have the features that we want, because they interfere with Dice's plans for Slashdot. Dice presents Slashdot to their advertisers as a "Social Media for B2B Technology" [slashdotmedia.com] platform. B2B - that's the reason Beta looks like a generic wordpress-based news site. To be sure, a large precentage of Slashdotters work in IT, but Slashdot is most certainly not a B2B site.

Reduced to Zero

Nevertheless, Dice is desperate to make money off of Slashdot, even at the cost of losing much of its current userbase. Turning Slashdot into a social platform for IT "decision makers" is a Haily Mary attempt to recoup the failed investment Dice made in buying Slashdot. As they have revealed in a press release [diceholdingsinc.com] detailing their performance in 2013, this acquisition has not lived up to their financial expectations:

Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.

Change we Can Depend On

The new Beta interface is not the result of a superficial makeover. Keeping in mind that Dice felt confident enough to present it as the new face of Slashdot to 25% of its visitors, it is safe to say that the new commenting and moderation system is exactly how they intended it to be. It is a new design that deliberately cripples the one thing that makes Slashdot what it is today, viz. thebest commenting and moderation system online today. From the users' perspective, there is nothing wrong with Slashdot that demands gutting its foundations and dumping the one part of Slashdot we exactly like. As others have commented, this is an attempt to monetize /. at any any cost [slashdot.org] , and its users be damned. Dice views its users, the ones who create the site [slashdot.org] , as a passive audience. As such, it is interchangeable with its intended B2B crowd. We, the current users of Slashdot, are an obstacle in Dice's way.

The Dice are Cast

This is why they ignore the detailed feedback we have given them in the months since Beta was first revealed. This is also why they now disregard our grievances and complaints. Their claims of hearing us are a deliberate snow job. It is only pretense, since at the same time they openly admit that Classic will be cancelled soon [slashdot.org] :

"Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready.

Planned Obsolescence

There is a reason [slashdotmedia.com] why "News for Nerds, stuff that matters" no longer appears in the header:

Slashdot Media’s brands include Slashdot and SourceForge. These technology sites provide access to tools, software and forums for enterprise IT professionals working in all industries and companies from the world’s largest to small and medium-sized firms. Slashdot and SourceForge harness the power of social that no other tech site can compete with.

Slashdot Media provides its partners with proven integrated media strategies to effectively influence technology buyers. With over 15 years experience working with the largest and most engaged professional technology communities, Slashdot Media’s expert staff continues to contribute to the success of its partners branding, demand generation, and social media marketing programs.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Dice to fix Beta. Their vision of Slashdot is a crippled shadow of the site as it is today. Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes. Dice doesn't need us.

I, for one, abhor our new corporate overlords.

-- emmagsachs

Re:Please read before modding down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202129)

I read it. Now, may I mod it down?

To avoid the Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202163)

Just modify your bookmark to

http://slashdot.org/?nobeta=1

Its the incantation used in the link at the bottom of the beta page, so its not as if you're using a commie hack. It just means that you're not randomly redirected to that festering midden of rancid shit that is Slashdot Beta.

Hmmmmmmmm.... Do you think my characterisation of the beta was a little extreme????

(Captcha "bellman". Ting Ting!!!)

"The Agency's Internal equivalent of wikipedia" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202117)

This is why open source software is a good idea.

NO backdoors (that we know of)
FREE to download, modify, and redistribute.
FREE to use behind iron curtains even against dictatorships...

And for every open source tool used for evil there is one that can be used for good.

GNU wget and/or GPL httrack.

Go forth little lines of code, be fruitful and multiply.

*wipes tear from eye*

wget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202121)

or httrack ftw. And you don't really need to write this stuff. :-)

The trick (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202125)

"because he worked at an agency outpost that had not yet been upgraded with modern security measures."

"when he was questioned, Mr. Snowden provided what were later described to investigators as legitimate-sounding explanations for his activities"

Speechless.

Middle Initial (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202135)

Anyone else notice that Snowden is increasingly being referred to as "Edward J. Snowden" instead of just "Edward Snowden"?

Re:Middle Initial (2)

SpzToid (869795) | about 6 months ago | (#46202303)

Huh. Just like Homer J. Simpson. Coincidence? I'll bet all my mod points on it!

Maybe this is in reference to Jay Ward?

Could this possibly be a conspiracy, brought to you by the same evil mind that gave us Rocky, Bullwinkle, Natasha, and Boris? Stay tuned for the next adventures of...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Middle Initial (3, Funny)

wirefarm (18470) | about 6 months ago | (#46202575)

Jerry: David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, Richard Speck...
Alice: What about them?
Jerry: Serial killers. Serial killers only have two names. You ever notice that? But lone gunmen assassins, they always have three names. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman...
Alice: John Hinckley. He shot Reagan. He only has two names.
Jerry: Yeah, but he only just shot Reagan. Reagan didn't die. If Reagan had died, I'm pretty sure we probably would all know what John Hinckley's middle name was.

Re:Middle Initial (1)

orgenegro (1847962) | about 6 months ago | (#46202885)

Orge: John Wayne Gacy, Sirhan Sirhan, how do they fit in Jerry?

Re: Middle Initial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202965)

John Wayne Gacy and Henry Lee Lucas, idiot.

When you are a criminal (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#46202137)

You use proper tools.

Re:When you are a criminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202175)

Proper tools for criminals. Yes. I take it you mean:

In this case you use the new york times as your tool to do some criminal unauthorised leaking to try a smear on a whistleblower to deflect attention from your criminality.

I don't suppose the new york times stenographers are remotely worried about being hauled before a judge to reveal their sources. The rule of law, RIP.

Re:When you are a criminal (5, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46202193)

When you are anyone trying to do anything efficiently (such as the legally questionable automated gathering and storage of records of millions of phone calls and text messages?), you use proper tools.

Re:When you are a criminal (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#46202285)

Snowden clearly broke the law. NSA, not so clear.

Re:When you are a criminal (2)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 6 months ago | (#46202645)

In order to bring to public light a horrible truth. Therefore: he is a hero, not a criminal.

Re:When you are a criminal (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#46202741)

He broke the law. He even admits it. This makes him a criminal.

Also, I don't care what think your motive is, you don't turn over classified documents to the enemy. He's a traitor and should hang.

Re:When you are a criminal (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 6 months ago | (#46202821)

Also, I don't care what think your motive is, you don't turn over classified documents to the enemy.

And there it is ... the free press is nurb432's enemy.

Re:When you are a criminal (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46202895)

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Normandy Invasion D-Day set for next week! Generals are concerned!

Re:When you are a criminal (1)

matfud (464184) | about 6 months ago | (#46202899)

Which enemy? The rest of the world?

Re:When you are a criminal (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 months ago | (#46202979)

Congress. They leak _everything_.

Re:When you are a criminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202975)

That's right. If you do any such thing, especially giving any aid to Jews, straight to the concentration camp fo ryou!

Yes, I've invoked a Godwin's Law incident. But in this case, the comparison is actually relevant. Seeing all exposure of abuses by the state as treasonous because it may aid the enemy is exactly where fascist abuses flourish.

You are confused..... (2)

rts008 (812749) | about 6 months ago | (#46203095)

I'm trying to see how your sig. fits with your comment, and can only conclude you have no clue....

Re:You are confused..... (-1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#46203165)

Seems my signature is beyond your comprehension. Not surprised.

Re:When you are a criminal (1)

Spad (470073) | about 6 months ago | (#46202839)

Yeah, it's clear.

Snowden is a patriot; the NSA is treasonous (4, Insightful)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | about 6 months ago | (#46202873)

The idea of military specialists of whatever type being employed against the society they belong to, is treasonous and fucking retarded no matter what legal acrobatics are employed in their defense.

You may have some sort of mystic devotion to the law, but I believe laws are made by (generally corrupt) men for their own interests, and I am familiar enough with the world outside the borders and political influence of the United States to know there is an enormous difference between legality and rightousness. The U.S.A. may not be the kind of country where you are expected to bribe every public official however minor -- we generally reserve that for higher office. It takes a special kind of idiocy to use military forces against their homeland, though.

Government at its core is the body to which we have delegated our inherent right to violence -- a right being defined in this case as something which cannot be taken from you. We delegate this right to others, specialized in its use, with the express understanding that [a] as applied to civilian life, the exercise of violence by police will be applied fairly and equally as men can manage, and [b] that the unrestricted expression of this (as embodied by military force) be only employed against our enemies. War is hell, and we do not bring hell home.

Snowden is a patriot, and the NSA is treasonous -- whether or not the law can be made to serve whichever purpose. Beyond all other argument, potentially felonious violation of the law is so common with the continual proliferation of laws that lawfulness cannot be the only measure of either justice or rightousness. May all those who support the NSA have a fair trial.

Re:When you are a criminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46203185)

"Snowden clearly broke the law."
Yeah, so did all the guys who signed the Declaration of Independence of the states of North America. So did Jesus... Nelson Mandela...so did thousands of true heroes and patriots.

And Fork slashdot!

That evil program, wget (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | about 6 months ago | (#46202151)

Hey, NSA: ~$ rpm -q wget wget-1.15-1.fc21.x86_64

Re:That evil program, wget (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 6 months ago | (#46202517)

no no no no. You fail to understand the intelligence at work here. The proper command would be:
sudo cat /dev/urandom > /dev/sda

Dawww, this cat is ultra random! Crazy like a devil / silly damn animal.

Amused (5, Funny)

Spad (470073) | about 6 months ago | (#46202161)

"This automated and indiscriminate bulk collection of data is unacceptable!"

Re:Amused (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46202499)

Oddly, government is complaining that people will be able to take the various facts that he assembled and figure out what we're really up to. You know, the kind of thing they say they can't do with our metadata.

How Many More NSA Employees? (5, Interesting)

retroworks (652802) | about 6 months ago | (#46202165)

Now the question is, how many other NSA contractors / staff / moles / spies have been doing the same thing, without Snowden's intention to disclose their behavior?

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (5, Insightful)

quenda (644621) | about 6 months ago | (#46202181)

Now the question is, how many other NSA contractors / staff / moles / spies have been doing the same thing, without Snowden's intention to disclose their behavior?

I'm sure the NSA assumes they have moles, and none of the data Snowden released is a surprise to the Russians or Chinese.
The NSA was just not prepared for the truth to leak to their real enemy - the general public.

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46202849)

... to their real enemy - the general public.

That is such a load of crap.

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202909)

... to their real enemy - the general public.

That is such a load of crap.

Why? I'm quite sure that most governments at the very least had a general idea of what the NSA was up to before Snowden's leak, it's only members of the general public that would get painted as conspiracy theorists and ignored whenever the they tried to draw attention to this sort of thing.

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46203087)

That is such a load of crap.

How so? The real enemy of any bureaucracy is those who would dismantle, or at least limit it, in terms of power and growth. No foreign power is going to do that to the NSA. If (and I'm afraid it's a big if) anything limits the power and growth of the NSA it will be the outrage of the American people. Therefore the American people are the true enemy of the bureaucracy.

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (2)

elucido (870205) | about 6 months ago | (#46202297)

The NSA puts too much trust in it's employees obviously.

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202329)

They don't care. Criticism of The State is a far worse crime than stealing confidential information and handing it over to other nations.

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 6 months ago | (#46202527)

All of them. That's why they fired all their IT guys.

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46202917)

Now the question is, how many other NSA contractors / staff / moles / spies have been doing the same thing, without Snowden's intention to disclose their behavior?

As has been previously demonstrated on Slashdot the number will be assumed to be as many as are needed to render Snowden's crimes "meaningless," so "therefore he should be pardoned."

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46203333)

If you work at the NSA and you are not copying their entire blackmail database for your personal use you are an idiot.
Just think about it. If you ever get fired or whatever you will need an insurance policy against those people, and what better way than to use their own data.
Of course Snowden ruined it for everyone by releasing all the data, so all the insurance is worthless now.

Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 6 months ago | (#46203385)

Now the question is, how many other NSA contractors / staff / moles / spies have been doing the same thing, without Snowden's intention to disclose their behavior?

Is this some variation of "If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is around to hear it, and it hits a mime, does anyone care?"

Useless NYT article .. (5, Insightful)

DTentilhao (3484023) | about 6 months ago | (#46202185)

"Agency officials insist that if Mr. Snowden had been working from N.S.A. headquarters at Fort Meade .. he almost certainly would have been caught. But because he worked at an agency outpost that had not yet been upgraded with modern security measures, his copying .. raised few alarms."

This is retrospective ass-covering cyberbullshit. It is precisely at the edge that the security attacks would come from. What they were doing putting such material on Web servers and Wikis beggers credulity. Didn't senior management not realize that as keepers of the nations secrets they would be subject to attacks both internally and externally. Given the state of non-security at the NSA I would suspect that Snowden wasn't the only hostile with access to the “the keys to the kingdom”.

Re:Useless NYT article .. (1)

Spad (470073) | about 6 months ago | (#46202857)

"Sure, we left the windows open, but the door was impenetrable"

Re:Useless NYT article .. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 6 months ago | (#46202923)

Next in: "We couldn't detect this attack because it was performed over the internet. If the attacker had tried to enter the building physically, we surely would have caught him before he could do any damage."

Re:Useless NYT article .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202943)

"If we have people inside our network, we have much bigger problems". I hear this from at least one idiot in IT at every company I've been at for the last decade, and it's usually from the system architect.

In his defense (4, Funny)

lxs (131946) | about 6 months ago | (#46202227)

In his defense mr. Snowden explained that his scraper was only gathering metadata and therefore by their own standards the NSA has nothing to worry about.

When asked for comment NSA director James Clapper replied : "Whoa that's deep bro!"

Re:In his defense (1)

leftbrainstrain (1641105) | about 6 months ago | (#46202333)

As long as he was only using a program to "scrape" and "back up" the data, everything was fine. So it's after he "backs up" the data and takes it with him, when he chooses to "collect" it (you know, when he actually opens a file and views it) without proper "need to know" that there is a problem, right?

Of course the NSA is most definitely not performing mass data collection ... they're choosing to "scrape" and/or "back up" our data.

Re:In his defense (2)

Livius (318358) | about 6 months ago | (#46202399)

And in fact Snowden could not be convicted for anything in relation to a document that he didn't read himself but that he might only have given to journalists to "back up".

There no conclusive proof he looked at anything besides metadata.

Re:In his defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46203137)

In his defense mr. Snowden explained that his scraper was only gathering metadata and therefore by their own standards the NSA has nothing to worry about.

The major newspapers stated that the data is only searched when we have a warrant^H^H^H^H journalist review it. Additionally, the newspapers are looking at ways to allow the data to remain at the NSA until publication.

(Before newspapers like the NYT or The Guardian publish, they let the US government "review" the articles.)

Additional (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202235)

And we were caught!

I even know what program he used (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202307)

But Fuck Beta

A friendly reminder: (4, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | about 6 months ago | (#46202435)

There's absolutely zero reason to believe anything the NSA says about how Snowden got the documents, or indeed, about anything. They believe they are entitled to lie to congress, so the public isn't even a question.

Wget or Curl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46202505)

Do you think he used wget or curl?

Regulate it (1)

jbssm (961115) | about 6 months ago | (#46202601)

wget must be regulated in order to protect the freedom of the American people!

SCRAPE THE BETA (2)

FUCK BETA, FUCK DICE (3529333) | about 6 months ago | (#46202845)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here [pastebin.com] so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415 [slashdot.org]
Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441 [slashdot.org]
Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] (thanks Okian Warrior (537106) [slashdot.org] )

wow, Snowden wasn't stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46203177)

seriously? this is news?

Snowden used computer technology to gather the evidence??

GOOD ON HIM.

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