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LA Times: Snowden Had 3 Helpers Inside NSA

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the join-the-gang dept.

Privacy 148

retroworks writes "Three people at the National Security Agency have been implicated in Edward Snowden's efforts to copy classified material, including a civilian employee who resigned last month after acknowledging he allowed Snowden to use his computer ID, according to an NSA memo sent to Congress. The other two were an active-duty member of the military and a civilian contractor. The memo does not describe their conduct, but says they were barred from the NSA and its systems in August."

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So, the NSA had good people too? (5, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 7 months ago | (#46259423)

Nice to know... there are still humans around!

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 7 months ago | (#46259505)

Nice to know... there are still humans around!

Nice to know, but is this new?
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46259533)

So, the NSA had good people too?

Has. The ratio marginally improved after Snowden left.

according to cold fjord (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46259593)

which is worth the electrons it's printed on my screen with.

Re:according to cold fjord (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46259627)

There don't seem to be many people replicating Kim Philby's actions as Snowden did. That would seem to be suggestive.

Re:according to cold fjord (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46260137)

You don't seriously believe the two cases have anything substantial in common, yet you invite us to do so.

Re:according to cold fjord (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260819)

Snowden being another Philby, with the add-on of enhanced Soviet style political warfare, would explain matters quite well. Soviet tradecraft, of the sort taught to Russia's current leaders, was among the best. There are former Soviet bloc intelligence officers that believe that it is practically certain that Snowden was a Russian asset, if not at least a willing stooge. Not many years ago this would have resulted in probably more than one Hero of the Soviet Union, Orders of Lenin, and Red Banners being awarded. The damage to US intelligence is devastating, to allied agencies hardly less so, and the political repercussions will echo for years to come. It is a masterpiece of work. The Chekists must be rightfully bursting with pride.

And perhaps this [freebeacon.com] was just a ruse, or maybe it did happen but it was cloaked by the more seasoned guidance Snowden received from his Russian lawyer - a man on the public council of the FSB and a crony of former KGB officer Putin.

Re:according to cold fjord (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46261029)

Right, got it. Those Ruskies manipulated Obama into revoking Snowden's passport and grounding international flights in order to create the extended layover in the USSR necessary for Snowden to come home from the cold as planned. Why don't you also tell us about how BP is repressing free energy devices or how NASA is hiding who really built the face on Mars? Those make equal sense.

Re:according to cold fjord (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46261083)

Snowden's passport was revoked before he left Hong Kong, and that didn't seem to stop him, did it? Snowden didn't actually enter into Russian territory until he was given asylum. It was mentioned at the time that it wouldn't necessarily stop him from continuing his journey.

Which flights out of Russia were grounded? I don't recall any. (And it was Russia, not the USSR.)

If you want to pursue fringe theories about BP and NASA, feel free, but I'm not interested.

It doesn't look like you "got it."

Re:according to cold fjord (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46261383)

Shit, they way you were talking spy-skills, I thought the USSR was alive and well considering how vastly awesome their spy apparatus is -- I mean, that they could manipulate so many random world events just to make it LOOK like Snowden got grounded in the USSR .... and you and I both know the USSR didn't go away -- it still exists and only PRETENDS to be Russia. It's all just like the face on mars, perpetual energy, and now "Snowden -- Soviet Spy" -- those fuckers are really good and behind it all. Probably even behind Beta.

Long stretch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46261367)

... to allied agencies hardly less so ...

In what way has the USA suffered more than CAN/AUS/UK/NZ? Having a constitution which disallows the very acts they're committing hasn't changed their behaviour. The USA still dictates the international treaties on extradition, banking, illicit and legal drugs, copyright and counterfeiting. That's why many people knew the USA was spying on everybody long before Snowden proved it.

Re:according to cold fjord (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 7 months ago | (#46260175)

There don't seem to be many people replicating Kim Philby's actions as Snowden did. That would seem to be suggestive.

Strawman much? Perhaps it suggests that the evil fucks far outweigh those with a conscience and have greater ability to mete-out sanctions which apply on a world-wide scale? Just guessing though.

Re:according to cold fjord (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260597)

That isn't a strawman, it is a parallel. (You will notice I am not attacking that idea.)

Snowden's actions are aiding the foreign adversaries of both America and the West.

Re:according to cold fjord (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46261319)

And the actions of his peers are aiding criminal activity by the NSA itself, an agency whose "information gathering" has been fraught with political motivation overriding actual data. These people couldn't be trusted to find the men's room without a native guide, who would overcharge them and leave them to a Taliban ladies room just to watch them get slaughtered for laughs. And these are the idiots we're going to entrust to protect civil rights for domestic monitoring under the excuse that "we're 50% certain there's a foreigner somehwere in the conversation, so we'll just collect *EVERYTHING* without any actual suspicioin and sort it out later"

I call that reporting verifiable domestic crime: these clowns give such bad intel that it's *better* to have them dethroned and exposed rather than rely on the corrupt, pre-coooked data they're notorious for presenting from foreign sources. They're leapt wholehog into industrial and political, and are not a demonstrably competent military espionage group.

Re:according to cold fjord (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 7 months ago | (#46261427)

Snowden's actions are aiding the American people and the people of foreign nations; this is why he's being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The cry of "traitor" is and always will be a mere manipulation; an incitement to "do as you are told or face the consequences"; it's "think of the children" on a national scale; a means by which to manipulate anyone who does not wish to be seen to announce themselves as being different; a means by which to trigger the punishment of someone by their brainwashed peers. To be seen to demonstrate one's apart-ness is to single oneself out for special attention.

This simple pattern is used by manipulators unable to defend their position using reason or morality. It's up for question whether it's detestable more because of the low opinion held of the intended targets by those employing the tactic or because it has shown itself to be so effective, time and again throughout history.

Re:according to cold fjord (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 7 months ago | (#46260815)

Kim Philby was dedicated to the International Communist cause. You can read all about his intentions in his own book, "My Secret War". Although he tried to confuse the West with some intentional disinformation about specific intelligence operations, he was very honest and open about why he did what he did. He supported the Soviet Union because he believed in Communism . . . until he fled to Russia and saw what is actually was like in practice.

Ironically, Philby, who provided the Soviet Union with enormous amounts of strategic and tactical intelligence, was not trusted by the Soviets. The KGB wanted nothing to do with him. They figured, once a traitor, always a traitor, and didn't want him in their rank and file. Only very later in his life he received a token position at the KGB.

Snowden, on the other hand, has been very open and fervent in stating that his actions were NOT to harm the West or help the current Russian oligarchy. Snowden, is fighting for awareness of an American intelligence system that has clearly run off its rails, and is committing acts that are totally contrary to the beliefs upon which the nation was founded. Snowden is not a Communist.

If England's King George III would have had the NSA, the American Revolution would have never succeeded.

. . . and now the Queen of England has named the future King of England "George". Coincidence . . . I think not! Soon the Queen's proxy government in the US will be coming to confiscate your Long Kentucky Rifles, as well as your assault rifles. Don't trust anyone named "George!"

. . . on the other hand, the American Revolution had "George" Washington, so I don't think the "George" enigma has been settled yet, and requires further investigation . . .

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260019)

So, the NSA had good people too?

Has. The ratio marginally improved after Snowden left.

Fuck you, you dickeating lowlife stooge piece of shit.

Looks at schedule, "yep, time to feed the trolls". (1)

rts008 (812749) | about 7 months ago | (#46261049)

"Good doggy, here's a dog biscuit." said the NSA to 'cold fjord'.

BTW, which category of troll [slashdot.org] would you classify yourself? I'm just curious, mind you.

Re:Looks at schedule, "yep, time to feed the troll (-1, Flamebait)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46261135)

I'm here speaking truth to power.

Re:Looks at schedule, "yep, time to feed the troll (2)

rts008 (812749) | about 7 months ago | (#46261207)

What?
Just what are you even talking about.
You haven't been speaking any truth here in this thread.
And just what 'power' are you speaking to?

You still haven't answered my question, BTW.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 7 months ago | (#46259687)

Because it is great when employees of the federal government take matters into their own hands and over ride the elected government? What could possible go wring with that?

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46259739)

Thank you comrade. It is good to know that there are real patriots out there that do what they are told and worship the government as they are supposed to.
we did notice you have not paid your tribute to the great leader lately, you do know this is punishable. I suggest posting at least 15 comments praising the glorious leader on your facebook to make sure you do not have to be re-educated again.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46259875)

When right turns to wrong, resistance becomes an obligation.

Dictatorships all over the world have to rely on people who "only do their job". Without them, no dictatorship in history would have been possible. Whenever you study the makeup of a dictatorship, you'll notice that the die-hard proponents are only a tiny minority. Most people follow either out of opportunistic motivations, because they fear the repercussions if they don't, because they were brainwashed long enough to believe the bull they've been fed or because they simply don't care and just want to be left alone.

As for "elected government". The Soviet Union had an elected government. That's no hallmark of a government that is beneficial for its country. If you complain that they only had one party, I can only tell you that I fail to see the difference between having one party or two parties that are essentially insignificantly different in those matters that actually matter. Being allowed to choose which bully should beat you up is no choice, it's a false dilemma at best.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260101)

When right turns to wrong, resistance becomes an obligation.

The problem is that nobody has demonstrated that in this case. All we really get are hyperbole, distortions, or false claims that the government is engaged in oppression.

Your example of the Soviet Union is specious. Being forced to vote for the Communist party is simply window dressing on a dictatorship.

As to the US, you have more than two choices as to party. Although there is broad general agreement on various questions such as "should the government passively allow Americans to be killed," there are many meaningful differences between the main two parties. If you think that is not the case, then please, illuminate us as to what you think is important? What is it that "actually matters" that isn't different between the Democrats and Republicans that you think should be different?

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46260177)

Your example of the Soviet Union is specious.

Mkay. Whyzat?

Being forced to vote for the Communist party is simply window dressing on a dictatorship.

Which was precisely Opportunist's point. So, no, not specious at all.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46260727)

He will not see it until they hook up electrodes to his nuts. And even then I doubt it.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46261129)

He's either a total backbirth who somehow manages to type, or being paid by the NSA to troll. I'm guessing the latter, in which case, CF will be hooking up electrodes to other people's nuts without probable cause while exhorting them on the virtues of American values.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 7 months ago | (#46260205)

As to the US, you have more than two choices as to party.

One can only imagine the countrywide-outcry, nay riotous scenario which would develop if there were x, { x : 2 <= x <= 3 } options when choosing beer, football, tv shows - all important choices with longstanding ramifications affecting every aspect of life.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260791)

x, { x : 2 = x = 3 }

Are we restricting x to integers? I vote to include real irrationals, such as -1*(1/2)*2*piii-(0.80085).

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260937)

-1*(1/2)*2*piii-(0.80085)

But that simplifies to pi-(0.80085)! I find Pi without 0.80085 to be unacceptable.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 7 months ago | (#46260705)

there are many meaningful differences between the main two parties. If you think that is not the case, then please, illuminate us as to what you think is important? What is it that "actually matters" that isn't different between the Democrats and Republicans that you think should be different?

Let's take the policy issue I know most about, health care. As most people on Slashdot realize, we spend twice as much on health care as most other developed countries because we pass all our health care payments through an unnecessary, inefficient, parasitical private insurance system. According to the polls, most Americans wanted a Medicare-type system. Yet the Democrats gave us a health care system based on a model created by the Heritage Foundation. So we now have an even more inefficient, expensive system that reduces choice.

Of course the basic problem is the politicians for both parties are dependent on campaign contributions from corporations and other groups with a vested interest in the same legislation that the politicians are voting on. In most other developed countries this would be considered bribery, and the politicians would be disgraced and prosecuted.

So both the Democrats and the Republicans are more responsive to the wealthiest 1% than to the rest of us put together.

That's what matters.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46261155)

That Heritage Foundation stuff comes directly from the plan Nixon offered -- yeah, Tricky Dick. Obama's plan is essentially the same thing with the liberal parts stripped out.

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.or... [kaiserhealthnews.org]

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 7 months ago | (#46261329)

That's right.

That's because Nixon's Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Moynihan came up with a lot of (relatively) liberal programs, which Nixon supported.

Another one was the guaranteed annual income.

Ralph Nader said that except for foreign policy, the Democrats have moved to the right of Nixon.

Re: So, the NSA had good people too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260737)

Would you kindly DIAF already, little Eichmann?

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46261113)

We can take the word of people like you that all is well in the Government, like we've been doing for decades ... or the word of a conservative federal judge who called the programs Orwellian and almost certainly unconstitutional.

We would not be having this discussion without Snowden. Snowden was the only person who took his oat to the Constitution seriously.

As for the GOP and DNC, we basically have two neocon parties, one largely pro-abortion and gay-marriage, the other largely anti-abortion and gay-marriage. If they agreed on those issues, they'd be identical. Interestingly, those two issues don't matter if you get due process free murdered or gulaged.

Re: So, the NSA had good people too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260717)

Oh I don't know, maybe the formation of our great country via the American Revoltion.

Re: So, the NSA had good people too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260129)

Nope 3 peole he sucked in to helping him.
Social Enginnering an Colaterial Damage.

Re:So, the NSA had good people too? (3, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | about 7 months ago | (#46260155)

Nice to know... there are still humans around!

Were humans around:

The memo does not describe their conduct, but says they were barred from the NSA and its systems in August.

Once identified as non-[evil|corrupt|power-mongering|privacy-invading] humans, they were jettisoned lest they bring the tone of the organization up.

Barred from NSA (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#46259469)

In related news, Saw VIII will use some new "hidden footage" that will add a lot of realism to the horror series.

Re:Barred from NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46259519)

From inside the prisons in your country?

The Saddest Part of the Snowden Revelations (5, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46259513)

It remains to be seen if there will be any real change in the way governments are allowed to use surveillance with impunity.

I watched a President pay lip service to reform and restriction, and I recall some initial outrage in the populace and the media...

but if that's all there is, and this fades away as folks get back to their busy little lives, I am afraid the watchers will go back to work with a confidence reeking of our tacit permission.

Exactly (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46259611)

People have taken their freedom for granted for so long, they don't see any of the NSA spying as a threat. As far as I can see, most folks in the general public are quite confident that this only applies to the terrorists. I was hoping that because this happened under Obama's watch, Fox News and the Talk Radio guys would keep beating it home, but no,, they're still going after Obamacare and Benghazi.

This is where the Republicans can shine and be the party of Freedom but instead they're wasting time on BS issues.

In 2016, we will see a normal election. The issues will be "entitlement" programs (without ever naming the real money sucker: Medicare because it's for all those old people - even the Tea Partiers wont touch it.), abortion, taxes, gay marriage.

We'll have people who like to fool themselves into thinking they're informed and they will listen intently on the platforms of the candidates.

I don't know why because when they get into office, they never keep their promises and they almost always toe the party line (Jimmy Carter the exception.).

It's all a popularity contest based on who can sound the best, who's taller, and other superficial things. That's why I wish our founding fathers made political service required for all citizens - no career politicians. Or at the very least, bring in term limits for the legislatures.

Re:Exactly (4, Insightful)

Imrik (148191) | about 7 months ago | (#46260399)

Nobody in government wants to reduce government powers.

Re:The Saddest Part of the Snowden Revelations (3, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46259895)

Why should there be any change? If the Snowden revelations showed us anything, then that nobody gives a fuck. And not just in the US, there've been revelations that the US spied, with the blessing of the local governments, in countries in Europe. Right before elections happened there. Which promptly led to landslide victories of those parties that were essentially guilty of high treason.

Nobody gives a fuck. That's the saddest part.

Re:The Saddest Part of the Snowden Revelations (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 7 months ago | (#46260383)

With the NSA going hard after anyone duped by Snowden, and the President mouthing a bunch of words of concern -- I can guarantee you that they at the very least don't give two fucks.

Re:The Saddest Part of the Snowden Revelations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260073)

It remains to be seen if there will be any real change in the way governments are allowed to use surveillance with impunity.

I watched a President pay lip service to reform and restriction, and I recall some initial outrage in the populace and the media...

President Barak H. Obama only said the Government will no longer store the data; he favours private corporation(s) to store the data until such time as the Government wants access thereto. Obama is Satan except without the charismatic personality. Every religion in the world warned us of the coming of the Anti-Christ. He is arrived and sits in the Oval Office. I would rather have a philandering president (William Jefferson Clinton) in the Oval Office than a charlatan president (Barak Hussein Obama) nor a war-monger president (George Walker Bush).

Re:The Saddest Part of the Snowden Revelations (4, Insightful)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 7 months ago | (#46260479)

President Barak H. Obama only said the Government will no longer store the data; he favours private corporation(s) to store the data until such time as the Government wants access thereto.

Yeah, that's the exact same "end run around the Constitution" arrangement they were already using.

A private corporation that is motivated by profits is WORSE than the government, which "on a good day with the wind blowing the right way" might have motivations or at least a whimsy to do something for the common good.

Snowden was able to carry off a boatload of their snooping secrets BECAUSE they outsourced a lot of this. The economic model will always, always, always, put profits above all else unless you put a gun to their head. "Security" was just lip service. They will get the lowest wage workers and the lowest cost equipment that will fill the specs. If you don't pay top dollar, you can't get the loyalty of the corrupt people you want.

They'll have to recruit from religious colleges to get people who will be naive enough to NOT KNOW this is wrong, and dutiful enough to do it without decent wages. Fascists tend to love theocrats because they are so damn useful. But if you've got fascism you need three things; Corruption, Loyalty, Intelligence. You can only have two of the three in any one person. This is why corrupt oligarchies and empires kill themselves off -- it's really the only reason Humanity has not quite yet extinguished itself.

In WW II they fought both the East and the West -- because they took orders from idiots. And so their dedicated, loyal and religious people and their intelligent and loyal scientists, and their corrupt and evil Generals could not win with the best military in the world.

The NSA, no matter how many brilliant people they bring in, will still have Rat Bastards, Egomaniacs, and Greedy Morons because those are the only ones you can trust to do the wrong thing on a consistent basis.

It sounds like I've run all over the map here, going from the NSA to WW II and Religious Colleges, but I'm making short work of a larger dynamic that has been going on since the 80's in this country. There is a push towards supporting fundamentalist churches -- because certain power groups find them useful. It's the best way to get people to not fight for their own self interest -- to use the Heaven "lay away" plan. And they aren't looking for a hot war like WW II - -but it's the exact same type of elitists and manipulators at the top of America as were at the bottom of Nazi Germany. Anyone spending any time listening to the biographies of Rumsfeld and Cheney need only change the accent to understand the mindset.

These people are rotten, and they are lapdogs for the super wealthy and connected and if you think the NSA is just about security, you probably were shocked by the Snowden revelations. The NSA is about preserving the status quo, and our military is the muscle for multinational organizations, and they support religious fundamentalism here and elsewhere because they create the justifications and make the best useful idiots.

Re:The Saddest Part of the Snowden Revelations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260997)

Translation: The problem isn't with the people in charge, you've decided to squarely put the balme on people who go to church.

You are an idiot and a bigot. THIS is why this country is so bad off, people with opinions like the above just try and spin anything wrong off the people in charge and put it on people they don't like because they are bigots.

Please stop voting.

Re:The Saddest Part of the Snowden Revelations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260549)

I've watched over the last 5 years where every complete failure of the Federal Government that was done by the DNC has been blamed on the GOP and everyone applauds it. Healthcare.gov? The GOP prevented it from working. Spying? That was the GOP that started it and refuses to stop it. Deficits? Thats the GOP's fault. No balanced budget? The GOP wrote a bad budget. Drone strikes? The GOP forced them to do it. Guns in Mexico killing hundreds? The GOP made them do it. Holder lying to Congress? The GOP pointed it out and no one would have known without them.

They have completely trashed the country and blamed it all on their political opponents and you all cheered every time they did. The real problem here is the citizens that cheer failure because they think they can blame the "other guys".

This last week the GOP had a moment where they could have finally stepped up and did the right thing with the debt ceiling, but they decided not to. So you have beaten down the only opposition to a dictatorship where they won't do the obvious right thing anymore for fear of being blamed. Your biased media and support has caused this and now I don't think there is a way to ever correct it.

You ruined this country by supporting an idiot through thick and thin and just now realized how dumb you were for it.

Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (4, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 7 months ago | (#46259577)

It is not all clear. If someone ''helped'' then they, in some way, knew what Snowden was about and so sharing-passwords/what-ever was a kind of tacit approval. If they simply acted to a job related request from a co-worker and did not know what Snowden was doing - can that be called helping ?

Whatever: this story still has the wrong focus, it is about Snowden. Snowden should not be the story. The story should be about the illegal activities of the NSA.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46259619)

The story should be about the illegal activities of the NSA.

That would be a very short and boring story indeed as it doesn't really seem to exist in any meaningful way. The big story is NSA activities that some people find disagreeable.

seig heil komrade (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about 7 months ago | (#46260009)

Disagreeable? Ha hahaha. Some don't find gestapo-manned gas chambers dis-agreeable ... or  you drooling fyuck HomeLand Security thought-crime incinerators. You would think people of a certain meme had learned ...  Feinstein & Shumer etc, but with money comes power, and with power arrogance.  See ya in hell next time .....

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260209)

One judge strongly disagrees. If SCOTUS rules against the NSA, will you change your stance?

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260287)

One trial court judge and made a preliminary ruling, the final decision hasn't been reached yet. If he continues to rule that way his decision will almost certainly be overturned on appeal.

If SCOTUS rules that some NSA activity is unconstitutional it would be against prior precedent, but possible. In that event I would acknowledge that the law has changed.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260439)

In that event I would acknowledge that the law has changed.

Wow. You really are a mindless drone, aren't you? Authority figures can influence your opinions so easily. Not that any of this is a surprise.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260471)

You seem to miss the point that the Supreme Court gets to say what the law is, it isn't just an opinion when they say it, unlike for you. If you don't acknowledge that the Supreme Court decides what the law is, then you don't really either understand or have a useful opinion on the matter. You are then left as a fringe nutcase.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260503)

The Supreme Court has a bit of power, but that's all that separates them from normal people. If the Supreme Court were right 100% of the time, they wouldn't even be able to contradict precedent, as that would be paradoxical.

If you don't acknowledge that the Supreme Court decides what the law is

I acknowledge that the Supreme Court has certain powers, but its decisions can be criticized, and it can be wrong. If need be, constitutional amendments can be passed (not the same as debunking their previous interpretations) or judges can eventually be replaced (hopefully to ones that correct past wrongs when given the opportunity). As for usefulness, well, your opinion is completely useless to me, too.

Maybe you should just get a mind of your own and stop worshiping authority figures; it's quite unamerican. Sadly, you have lots of company, but popularity means little on the topic of correctness.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260923)

So you give up defending your statement and turn to personal attacks. You lose.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 7 months ago | (#46260999)

You're illogical. Attacking someone does not mean you "lose," and there is really no way to "lose" an argument to begin with, as they are not games with well-defined objectives. About the only way you, as an individual in an argument, can "lose" is if you are convinced by your opponent, but that's it.

I'm not sure what the point of your post was, but it surely wasn't logical. Personal attacks are perfectly valid, though they do nothing to discredit your opponents' arguments.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46261239)

Are you talking about Smith v. Maryland?

Here are some distinguishing characteristics:

In Smith, the police targeted a specific individual for telephone metadata, they most certainly could have gotten a warrant based on the information they had about that person (too lazy I guess), the pen register on Smith's phone was for a short period of time, the pen register was removed right away.

It would be extremely easy for the SCOTUS to limit Smith to its facts and find that a program which was not targeted, for which there was no probable cause, and was unlimited in duration, violates the Constitution.

Let's hope, then bootlickers such as yourself can suck it.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (3, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46260281)

I fail to see why my rights as a US citizen are disregarded by US intelligence agencies operating overseas. And then there's my family in the US, whose rights are violated every time they communicate with me, or I with them.

And before you start giving me any fast talk about borders and jurisdiction, please bear in mind that I remain liable for US taxes no matter where I live. So, in effect, I'm supposed to pay for these violations of my rights, and those of my family. Nice, huh.

Re:Helped or taken in by Snowden ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260127)

Whatever: this story still has the wrong focus, it is about Snowden. Snowden should not be the story. The story should be about the illegal activities of the NSA.

Are you willing to put the first bullet into the heads of the NSA? Short of assassination of government officials involved in the illegal activities there is no chance the situation will improve. Strap the Director of the NSA to a cruise missile and launch it at the NSA data centre hidden in a mountain. Shave Obama bald and tar and feather the bastard. Paint every complicit US Congressperson with an indelible red dye and every complicit US Senator with an indelible orange dye.

How many others? (4, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#46259587)

In an organization as large as the NSA, how many

  • - sysadmins have left with saleable information in their pockets
  • - actual spies have shipped data to <enemy of the week>
  • - ordinary staff have oopsed and let data leak

Mr Snowdon is the tip of the iceberg!

Re:How many others? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260231)

According to my calculator, Snowden was an ice cube floating in a hot tub.

NSA was previously reported to be downsizing their system administration staff by 90%, and implementing the two man rule, on top of completing the rollout of new security systems to catch this sort of thing.

Besides, out of about 40,000 NSA employees:

About one person per year loses control and spies on a love interest, for which they are disciplined and lose their job.
A couple of people per decade, more or less, engage in "whistle blowing," sometimes for what they believe is waste, or fraud, sometimes over what they think is illegal behavior.
A couple of people per decade are arrested for spying - essentially none of which have had Snowden's access.
Once in a generation or two you see a crime rising to above the pack, but hardly anything has yet really approached Snowden's level of betrayal.

Re:How many others? (1)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#46260349)

Thanks for the background!

In your opinion, are these kinds of numbers consistent with what we've seen with other security services? Canada seems to suffer about one full-fledged security fiasco a decade, ranging for burning barns to a naval sub-leftenant spying for Putin's Russia last year. The STASI was reported to be substantially worse.

My suspicions came from civilian experience admistering Trusted Solaris, where the standard sysadmin kludge was to assign both the root and security-administrator roles to the same person, so they could unscrew disfeatures of the security policy in use. The latter tended to be overcomplex, and regularly had my brain bleeding out of my ears (:-)) As in other nominally secure contexts, the sysadmins and DBAs were the weak link, as they were tasked with making the system work, as oppose to keeping it secure.

Re:How many others? (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 7 months ago | (#46260419)

Just keep in mind, those are just the ones that get caught.

Re:How many others? (1)

joss (1346) | about 7 months ago | (#46260527)

So, you believe the NSA hardly ever fucks up. Fascinating, and who told you this exactly ?

Re:How many others? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260561)

So, you believe the NSA hardly ever fucks up.

Where do you think I wrote that, exactly?

Re:How many others? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 7 months ago | (#46260637)

About one person per year loses control and spies on a love interest, and later admits to it.

FTFY.

Furthermore, given that the NSA has a history of lying and misdirection, why believe any numbers that the NSA produces?

Re:How many others? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260699)

The NSA has a history of not wanting to say anything, or be in the papers. That is different than lying or misdirection.

If you don't want to believe, then why ask?

Wanna play silly word games? Okay.... (1)

rts008 (812749) | about 7 months ago | (#46261167)

"If you don't want to believe John Clapper, then why ask?"
Fixed that for you.

Hmmm...most people quit shoveling when they find they are in the bottom of a deep hole, but not you!

Keep digging, the spectacle is hilarious from up here at ground level!

You may even end up a 'Wile E. Coyote, Supergenius: Dedicated to the Mission' Award nominee at this rate!

Now, I'm off to set up my popcorn maker....

Re:Wanna play silly word games? Okay.... (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46261245)

Cut him some slack, it's his job to grovel in and shovel shit. Don't blame him for following orders. /sarcasm.

?nobeta=1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46259617)

I guess they didn't like beta either.

climate of fear in NSA will drive out normals (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46259703)

The NSA is running a witch-hunt for anyone who thought they were innocently bending the rules for a friendly coworker. This kind of policy is how you destroy a cordial work environment. Only a certain kind of person will be left at the NSA.

Re:climate of fear in NSA will drive out normals (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46259819)

Clearly you haven't been exposed to the freak show that is the NSA.

A man who walks around the OPS 2 cafeteria picking out uneaten food from the trash to save money and reduce food waste. A woman who keeps score of her bowel movements on the bathroom wall using smears of her poop (which admittedly I never saw for myself but female coworkers constantly complained about). A man who carries a thermometer who refuses to sit in a chair if it is above 98.6F so that he doesn't have to feel someone's body heat on his rear.

To think they gave me such a hard time during my poly and background investigation.

I can post many more examples. Working there (as a contractor) was an experience in the surreal. I couldn't handle it and left after a year and a half for NASA which is just a few miles down the BW Parkway. Much better (assuming my funding doesn't dry up... a different issue).

And don't even get me started about the code quality of which I can't really comment on. One example being that a guy argued vehemently about framing every single line individually in a try-block.

The only redeeming factor is that they really are motivated with the citizens bests interests in mind, and that is no shit (assuming you are American)... but somewhere things went horribly wrong and they diverged from that ideal. But that is the view from the bottom. I have no clue what the higher ups had in mind - but that said neither do you.

Re:climate of fear in NSA will drive out normals (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46259909)

In other words, a collection of the most anal retentive control freaks you could find. Pretty much what I was expecting.

Re:climate of fear in NSA will drive out normals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260169)

In other words, a collection of the most anal retentive control freaks you could find. Pretty much what I was expecting.

Yeah I was not expecting to hear any revelations about Ellie Bishop (http://ncis.wikia.com/wiki/Eleanor_Bishop) types working at the NSA. ;-)

Re:climate of fear in NSA will drive out normals (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46260239)

You seem to think that about the entire US government anyway.

Re:climate of fear in NSA will drive out normals (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46261303)

Anal retentive? Not really, that takes a special kind of person. Corrupt, yes. Inefficient, yes. For hire and sale, yes. But not anal retentive.

Re:climate of fear in NSA will drive out normals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260653)

This is the author of the post you replied to.... who said anything about control? Anal - ok, most definately - but controlling... how little you know. If anything those I saw were far far far more willing to yield control to someone else than your average person... even if that someone else was unknown to them. If they ever questioned anything (which was very rare indeed), the answer was that they were not cleared for that information - an answer they willingly accepted with very little qualms.

Remember, this is a place where the slightest hint of extroversion is considered a fault - more so, it identifies you as a risk. The simply act of having a tendency to so much as talk to others - about anything at all - is a red flag to them. I shit you not.

Now, those that did the controlling... well maybe you are right. But I seriously doubt it because they come from the same batch as the weirds I outlined above. So easily manipulated... because that is what they look for in a candidate.

Re:climate of fear in NSA will drive out normals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260747)

the NSA looks for Asburgers nutjobs because they are very easy to control.

I guess this should have been expected (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 7 months ago | (#46259753)

I mean when I read his bio on Wikipedia nothing came out to me that said he was some sort of uber hacker so it seemed weird just how much stuff he managed to get. Oh well, hopefully since there's at least 3 other people at the NSA that have some sort of moral compass there are more in there as well. (But knowing how these things go they'll probably just fire everybody that hasn't drunk the kool-ade.)

Re:I guess this should have been expected (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46261275)

He may or may not be an uber-hacker, I have no idea. That said, if you are handed root, you don't need to be a hacker at all.

It's not about Snowden! (5, Insightful)

j-turkey (187775) | about 7 months ago | (#46259757)

This feels like a big fat smoke screen to me. This isn't about Snowden, it's about the federal governments wholesale wiretapping and warehousing of our personal data, an unprecedented overstep of policing and surveillance power. It's about secret FISA courts and undisclosed secret warrants that are rubber-stamped by appointed-for-life (unaccountable) federal judges in the name of national security. It's about a lack of oversight.

Every time we make this about Snowden and how the data was collected, "they" win a little bit more.

Re:It's not about Snowden! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260885)

Yes it is about Snowden. And who is helping him both in the country and out of the country. And what his agenda is, because it wasn't brought up in any election debate outside of Ron Paul's camp. And it was a fringe position there at the time.

This story has been played out and the vast majority of the people care a lot more about the weather, Olympics, jobs, their financial outlook or a bunch of other things that are more important than this. Foreigners care and are more than happy to see our power get taken down by our own traitor.

insidious zeus weapon renders crowd fun dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46259769)

we pay for that too http://www.globalresearch.ca/weather-warfare-beware-the-us-military-s-experiments-with-climatic-warfare/7561

& most of the 'comments' http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bank+pr+firm+paid+internet+trolls&sm=3

Sadly the rest of the NSA didn't help him (2)

Subm (79417) | about 7 months ago | (#46259781)

TFA Headline: "Three former NSA workers accused of aiding Snowden"

A more responsible headline: "The rest of the NSA accused of violating the Fourth Amendment rights of the entire nation, undermining the interests of the nation and its people, and destabilizing the checks and balances keeping the nation strong for over two centuries."

"Let he who is without blame cast the first stone" (1)

redelm (54142) | about 7 months ago | (#46259917)

'fess up -- who amongst us has NEVER EVER used someone else's login credentials to do some task? Perhaps the inexperienced, yet to understand security hypocrisy.

The entire yelpdesk industry lives by taking Remote Control" of users' machines.

Re:"Let he who is without blame cast the first sto (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#46260607)

Re:"Let he who is without blame cast the first stone"

From out of the crowd a rock was thrown and hit him upside the face.
Mom! I told you to stay home.

ah, couldn't help it...

Re:"Let he who is without blame cast the first sto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46261359)

does sudo - u count?

Careful DICE (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 7 months ago | (#46260053)

I realize your new business model depends on sensationalist clickbait headlines, but you're getting pretty close to libel here.

The original article makes it clear that the NSA employee question did allow Snowden to get access to his logon credentials, it was not part of a deliberate attempt to assist him in stealing classified information. Describing him as a "helper" implies active collaboration. You're basically accusing him of a serious felony with absolutely no evidence to suggest that you're correct.

Scapegoats must be found! (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | about 7 months ago | (#46260145)

Unable to put Snowden on trial, the NSA has decided to sacrifice three other employees.

I look forward to the circus of their trial, I hear they'll be serving bread.

It is not about scapegoats (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 7 months ago | (#46261161)

They don't care about anything except the public finding out the truth.

A big part of that is terrorism against their staff and the press to make sure they never dare oppose them. They will make strong "examples" out of deviants and just like in history, the more desperate they get to prevent it, the more extreme the "examples".

The benefit of knowing some history is why they are not dumping acid on the faces of these people opposing them; something the Taliban has yet to learn (poor education; history repeats.)

Justice (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 7 months ago | (#46260149)

String 'em all up!

Re:Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46260447)

String 'em all up!

You first, you treasonous bootlicking pussy boy.

Meh. Old news. (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46260455)

Practically everyone in the private security and private investigations businesses has a few buddies in law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Access to restricted data for their benefit has been going on for years. Swapping login credentials to gain access to different silos of information as a part of this practice is pretty common. The only thing Snowden did that was different was to dump this data wholesale (more or less) in the lap of the press.

Heck, even the press and some well known authors have intelligence agency connections that they use to get their stories (either news or fiction) on the right track.

They were barred from the NSA and its systems (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#46260595)

Well that will teach them. They were most likely asked to leave or get a ruler across their knuckles.

There is one group worse than the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46261147)

and that is their apologists who troll the likes of Slashdot saying variants of 'nothing to see here, move along'.

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