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Snowden Claims That NSA Collaborated With Israel To Write Stuxnet Virus

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the in-today's-leaked-news dept.

United States 491

andrewa writes "In an interview with Der Spiegel Snowden claims that the NSA, amongst other things, collaborated with Israel to write the Stuxnet virus. Not that this is news, as it has been suspected that it was a collaborative effort for some time. When asked about active major programs and how international partners help, Snowden says: 'The partners in the "Five Eyes" (behind which are hidden the secret services of the Americans, the British, the Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians -- ed.) sometimes go even further than the NSA people themselves. Take the Tempora program of the British intelligence GCHQ for instance. Tempora is the first "I save everything" approach ("Full take") in the intelligence world. It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it. This buffered storage allows for subsequent monitoring; not a single bit escapes. Right now, the system is capable of saving three days’ worth of traffic, but that will be optimized. Three days may perhaps not sound like a lot, but it's not just about connection metadata. "Full take" means that the system saves everything. If you send a data packet and if makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it. And if the data about your sick daughter is processed through a London call center, then ... Oh, I think you have understood.'"

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Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214943)

Come on, this is nothing that you can't come up with on your own if you follow the industry, or read "The Puzzle Palace"...

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44215011)

Yeah it's BS and he made it up, that's why they're hunting him.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44215251)

Yeah it's BS and he made it up, that's why they're hunting him.

Maybe they are hunting him down for divulging information about the email surveillance program that he was under contract to interpret the information. This one fact that he revealed doesn't make the other facts any more credible. It is more likely that his 15 minutes of press exposure is almost up and he'll claim to know more than he actually knows to either remain in the spotlight or make himself appear more valuable to potential host countries.

No one is questioning the information he leaked that was directly handled by him. We are questioning all this new insight that he claims to have on old subjects that were already speculated heavily in the news.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215379)

Maybe they are hunting him down for divulging information about the email surveillance program that he was under contract to interpret the information.

You don't call in the military to deal with a 5 year old shoplifter.

The measures taken so far pretty much confirms that everything Snowden has said is true.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215037)

Or have at least four functional brain cells. Seriously, did anyone not already know this?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215119)

Perhaps you can explain a bit (more than four bits) more about Leked and israeli violations of communication/privacy etc.?
Some of us are seemingly stuck between nil and four brain cells.....

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215223)

What the fuck are you asking here?

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

deep44 (891922) | about a year ago | (#44215131)

At this point, I'd say he's proven himself to be a credible source. Confirming something that was already believed to be true doesn't change that, or make it any less true.

For a field that is compartmentalized... (-1, Troll)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44214945)

For a field that is suppose to be highly compartmentalized, Snowden is claiming to know a lot of information. He is so desperate to stay in the news that I think he is resorted to parroting what was speculated in the news almost a year ago.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44214961)

Or maybe it's not as compartmentalized as you theorise.

Or maybe Snowden was working at a higher level than the US government has admitted.

Or maybe Snowden simply used the skills he was taught to use against the Chinese against his own government.

Either way, what he says has enough validity that world leaders are listening and issuing formal statements over it, and the US isn't denying it, so it's obviously got a reasonable degree of validity to it and isn't just about parroting speculation like you claim.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215017)

He is a contract employee of a company based in Hawaii tasked with interpreting data gathered by the agency. You need to stop reading spy novels...

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (4, Interesting)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44215093)

Which limits his access how?

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215277)

All access is limited to a "Need to Know" basis. All of it. even lower classifications aren't available unless there is a Need to Know.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (1)

Archtech (159117) | about a year ago | (#44215319)

All access is limited to a "Need to Know" basis. All of it. even lower classifications aren't available unless there is a Need to Know.

Two words: Gary McKinnon.

"All access is limited" is so ambiguous as to be almost meaningless. Do you mean "Actually no one, no matter how skilful and unscrupulous, can possibly gain access"? Or "Some bunch of military dimbulbs sitting around a table have decreed that access shall be limited"?

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44215307)

You realise that some of the people carrying out extraordinary rendition to black sites, something that's established fact, not spy fiction were also contract employees right?

The US has been using ever greater numbers of contractors since 9/11 for a combination of the fact that many politicians have shares in said companies so it profits them directly and also because it provides a layer of deniability should it come back to bite them - "Oh we had no idea the contractors were doing that!". The third and final reason was simply that private sector could scale faster than existing public sector organisations after the massive influx of security spending post 9/11. None of which means that they have any less access to secretive material, in fact, given the sort of risky operations they're using contractors for it's often the contractors that are engaged in the really dirty stuff the government doesn't want to get directly implicated in.

That and the fact that Snowden wasn't always just an external contractor of course, he did actually work at the NSA for some time.

It's not about me reading spy novels (I've never read a single one, don't interest me), it's about your naivety and lack of understanding of the structure of modern military and security operations by government. Or to cut a long story short, you've obviously just not been paying attention this last 10 years.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215303)

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44215357)

That's probably the most pathetic article I've ever seen. It's 80% hearsay, and the remaining 20% has since been proven false by the government themselves.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215401)

Also keep in mind that when working in government or other institutions in various support roles, there are jobs where you can have access to all kinds of things. Serving in the military I had a job like this, with nearly full access and permission to enter whatever spaces. (Some still required attendance by a person of higher or different clearances though, it wasn't all open-door. But I could pull papers, state reasons, and be backed up by superiors in my department.) However despite all the things I had physical access to, doing stuff like equipment validation while using fairly complete manuals, I wasn't too terribly nosy about things. (Of course being purposely not-nosy helps to stay out of trouble along with not having the greatest long-term memory when it comes to various details. Agreeing to confidentiality works in more than one level that way.)

I'm sure the same would also apply to IT, communications specialists (like Manning), or people like yeomen or secretarial staff. Very easy to have access to more than what your own clearance calls for, but most people stay out of trouble by keeping to one task and tuning out all the other stuff. (Keep in mind how bureaucratic systems work. Like recent news that has gone public in relation to leaks military people aren't allowed to see it for classification reasons. It's typically better to avoid the hassle.)

Of course then you have people like Snowden who take advantage of the situation. There's only so much manpower, and by trusting people to stay on task, they don't really watch everybody and what they may pick up on the side. Whether that's for better or worse, who knows? (But some of the CYA stuff really is in violation of the public trust for those in authority to do the right thing. Doing stupid shit and covering it up only serves to eliminate any moral or ethical higher ground you may have been considered to have stood upon. How about staying clean and not doing it in the first place? That really would have been the easiest way to prevent leaks that harm reputation. But nope, people still get caught doing shady crap, and the first response is to go and shoot the messenger.)

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44215019)

He is so desperate to stay in the news that I think he is resorted to parroting what was speculated in the news almost a year ago.

According to the article, the interview was conducted anonymously through a third party before Snowden publicly revealed himself.

I won't speculate on your motives for making such easily disproven claim about Snowden's character.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44215039)

Read TFA: first few words:

Just before Edward Snowden became a world famous whistleblower he answered an extensive catalog of questions.

That includes the question about stuxnet. Doesn't address how he knows it, but " lying in a desperate attempt to stay in the news" doesn't fit since this came out before he was in the news.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (2, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44215177)

Information about stuxnet was already leaked to the press and allegedly by retired Marine General James Cartwright. I think it is more likely he is just repeating what he heard speculated in the news already and tried to use his former position to give himself credibility. According to the Der Spiegel article they were trying to evaluate if he was truly a NSA whistleblower, so they submitted some questions to him via email and received his prepared answers. He had plenty of time to look for information already in the news.

The paper must not have thought much about the credibility of their informant since they chose not to run the story until after Snowden made himself known to the public in Hong Kong.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215289)

The paper must not have thought much about the credibility of their informant since they chose not to run the story until after Snowden made himself known to the public in Hong Kong.

Or, more likely, the paper looked for another source to corroborate Snowden's claim and, not finding one willing to be quoted given the current administration's war on whistleblowers, decided to hold off publishing the story rather than printing speculative bullshit. Just like a responsible newspaper would do and not like idiots on a tech forum talking out their ass.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44215359)

The paper must not have thought much about the credibility of their informant since they chose not to run the story until after Snowden made himself known to the public in Hong Kong.

Wow, its like your only objectively reality is that Snowden sucks.

First it was Snowden doing whatever he could to keep publicity on himself and when that theory went over like a lead balloon you trot out the exact opposite. Now it isn't Snowden's decision to hold off because he sucks, it's the newspaper's decision to hold off because he sucks.

The important part of coming up with an explanation is that it must include the fact that Snowden sucks, everything else is mutable...

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (2, Insightful)

maroberts (15852) | about a year ago | (#44215051)

Snowden is not really revealing anything that is not widely known. He's just sensationalizing it. Low level access like Snowdens is a general knowledge of whats going on. High level access would be specific knowledge of results and what those results are achieving, which it seems Snowden doesn't have.

I'd personally be a little disappointed if a Western Intelligence agency wasn't making every effort to data farm all communications in and out of the country. However the counterpoint to this is that individuals and companies should be making every effort to ensure their data and communications cannot be trivially breached.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (5, Insightful)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44215103)

Why? Because it stopped 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing...oh wait....

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215345)

Don't be an idiot. You count the incidents a program has successfully prevented, not the few that it didn't. If this program stopped two dozen incidents and two got through, the program is not perfect, but it would still be successful. To stop all possible threats, you need more than just communications snooping, but it's a very good place to start.

There are legitimate questions on whether it violates people's rights, but unless you've got things like that happening every few months or at least every year, those are the exceptions, rather than the rule. Unless you believe that it takes 10 years to plan a new terrorist attack.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44215059)

Maybe he went looking for stuff. NSA security isn't magic, once inside their network with some privileged access it isn't impossible to imagine that he could access other secure briefing files.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44215385)

NSA security was "magic", just like East German spies in the West could be assured that their details would never be lost.
The "magic" both sides used was simple. Every project was cut up into tiny details no one person could walk out with.
Why was this done? East German lost its spy network list after a trip to West Berlin by one person who requested their own exit visa.
After that East Germany got very creative with putting a spy codename, address and ongoing mission into massive near useless paper filesystems.
Only with face to face meetings could parts be collected and connected.
East Germany later went digital and all the spies names where recovered by the CIA in the late 1980's.
The US did the same with its very advanced computer files systems. Until massive cloud like networks where demanded by outsiders about 10-20 years ago it seems.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (-1, Offtopic)

buzzfocus23 (2976439) | about a year ago | (#44215161)

what Marie responded I'm amazed that a person able to earn $5903 in a few weeks on the computer. did you read this web page > ---- WEP6.COM

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#44215215)

I think the US government has switched to an MS Windows type infrastructure for its less classified information. This effectively makes things wide open, in comparison to a well designed secure system. In particular, in Windows, if you have backup operator permissions, you have access to everything - no questions asked.

For highly-secret information, it is necessary to look at the contents of the file and previous queries before determining if an access request will be allowed. For instance, any kind of multiple download request should automatically trigger security checks. This is fundamentally different that the access locks in most commercial operating systems, because the history of previous requests affects your authorizations. Bulk downloads will trigger alarms.

Backups can be performed with secure operating systems. The backups are done with special encryption. A backup operator cannot tell which (or if) data changed by differential analysis of the encrypted backup.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44215219)

Re "suppose to be highly compartmentalized" would be for per person clearance and project access.
Snowden was not just a person on the Russia desk, a cryptologist, translator or other user of the NSA cloud.
Over time he would have come to understand that searches would lock down or trigger investigations.
As an admin tasked to look after networks/cloud and connect or disconnect users to a certain clearance level - he would have come in allowable contact with a lot of projects for a short time.
How or why the NSA would be so trusting with its cloud and outside contractors given its own understanding of past walkouts from other agencies is strange.

Re:For a field that is compartmentalized... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215343)

For a field that is suppose to be highly compartmentalized, Snowden is claiming to know a lot of information. He is so desperate to stay in the news that I think he is resorted to parroting what was speculated in the news almost a year ago.

So rather than examining the evidence, you resort to attacking the messenger. Bill_the_stooge?

I am not really surprsed (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#44214949)

not at all surprised. some of us have been saying this kind of thing has been going on forever while all the while getting laughed at for being paranoid. But what I am really interested in is what now happens to Snowden. Russia said they would help him as long as he stopped leaking information. Will Russia do anything about this? or do you think it was just lip service??

Re:I am not really surprsed (5, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44214973)

No, Russia said they would give him asylum as long as he stopped leaking information. He withdrew his asylum request to Russia in response and so has opted not to take them up their offer in exchange to stop leaking, which is why he's continued leaking.

Russia views him as not their problem whilst he continues to not enter the country officially and if he continues to opt not to officially enter Russia then they seem to let him do whatever he feels the need to do.

Re:I am not really surprsed (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#44215033)

Thank you, I was unaware about the pulling of the request.

Can stuxnet victims ... (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#44214951)

who suffered financial loss because of stuxnet use this evidence to sue the NSA & Mossad for damages ? If not, why not ?

Re:Can stuxnet victims ... (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#44214987)

They can't because the world one learns about in law school, where courts are impartial arbiters of justice and where any tort deserves compensation, doesn't exist. We live in a world where Bush/Cheney's lawyers wrote the flimsiest of legal justifications for torturing prisoners and got away with it not because of their justifications but because of who they are.

Mossad is the sort of organization that will drive up next to you on a motorcycle in traffic and throw a magnetic grenade on your car. What are you going to do, sue them for wrongful death?

Re:Can stuxnet victims ... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44214997)

That, and even at the best of situations it's only possible to sue the government if they consent to be sued.

Which does happen. Just not in this case.

Re:Can stuxnet victims ... (5, Funny)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about a year ago | (#44215369)

Mossad is the sort of organization that will drive up next to you on a motorcycle in traffic and throw a magnetic grenade on your car. What are you going to do, sue them for wrongful death?

If ever there was a time to reverse the polarity on the deflector shield, that would be it.

Re:Can stuxnet victims ... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44215069)

Well, for one thing Snowden didn't provide any hard evidence and lacking a literal smoking gun intelligence agencies basically have carte blanche to do whatever the fuck they want to do.

Pus the general who was in charge of the stuxnet development seems to have leaked this information over a year ago.

http://www.voanews.com/content/retired-general-target-of-stuxnet-leak-investigation/1690953.html [voanews.com]

Re:Can stuxnet victims ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215083)

Perhaps you misunderstood;
If you use a phone from a network which uses AMDOCS-software, "they get your data."
If you are one of Zuckerburger`s facebook users, "they get your data."
If you use the google searchengine (Brin is dual-nazi israeli), "they get your data".
Paypal? same. Amazon? dunno, but probably.

If you live in the UK, and interface with the police (PNC contracted to israeli) for some reason, "they get your data."

The media storm around Assange, John Kirikou, and more recently Snowden is seriously meant to be about public-awareness of misconduct and wrongdoing, not about blind nationalism. The average israeli perception of Mordechai Vanunu is that he is a traitor, but he merely leaked what the government has known since the Kennedy administration. Whistleblowing is good; it alerts people to problems; the people who don`t like whistleblowers are the perpetrators; alternatively, people trying to keep things secret are afraid of "leaks". Well, by any analysis, israeli IT firms,sub-contractors, co-owners, et.al DISROPORTIONATELY "possess" peoples data. If there are privacy whistleblowers, the breeze is blowing towards tel-aviv. Leked, or not leaked, the israelis are in illicit possession of more data than their NSA/GCHQ counterparts.

similar issue to the mineral-mining industry, the data-mining industry; *who own`s this, and what is it worth*

The question really is, "wheres the unbiased critical article on Leked?"

Re:Can stuxnet victims ... (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#44215137)

Sure, they can line right up behind the victims of Iran's and Hezbollah's terror attacks that tend to range from daily to weekly. Would you can to have your case heard after bombings, rocket attacks, hijackings, kidnappings or murders?

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214959)

I think everyone already knew/assumed that.

Re:Old News (5, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44215001)

You would be surprised how many would go to great lengths to deny U.S. and/or Mossad involvement, even on /. Some even went as far as claiming that Iran had done it to *themselves* to elicit sympathy. When you're truly deluded, you can convince yourself of anything, no matter how illogical.

Re:Old News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215125)

You shouldn't be surprised, the same people claiming Iran did it to themselves are the same people that have been saying the Palestinians did it to themselves and that they deserve to be cleansed from their own land to create an ethno-religiously pure state.

Doesn't that violate copyright law, DCMA, etc? (4, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year ago | (#44214963)

If someone downloads some hollywood movie; and your ISP sends a copy of those bytes to the NSA (or other-country's equivalent) for profit --- doesn't that mean the NSA just paid that person's ISP for a stolen copy of that movie?

Same with if an author sends a draft of a book to a publisher.

Seems to me those programs could be charged with piracy, no?

Re:Doesn't that violate copyright law, DCMA, etc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215053)

Sure. Write a poem and mail it to your grandma. Then sue NSA and see what happens.

You will waste your time and money in court, they will waste some taxpayers money in court and it will all amount to nothing.

Re:Doesn't that violate copyright law, DCMA, etc? (5, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | about a year ago | (#44215097)

You're so silly. Rules are for the little people.

Re:Doesn't that violate copyright law, DCMA, etc? (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#44215149)

Laws are for us, not the government.

No shit (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44214965)

I knew that pretty much from the get-go. Only the truly deluded didn't immediately realize that Mossad and/or the CIA were behind that. Of course, there are always those idiots out there who reflexively deny that the U.S. government is behind ANYTHING--who seem to think that the tens of thousands of employees of the CIA and NSA just sit and stare at walls all day, I guess.

Oh yeah, they killed those Iranian scientists too (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44214983)

Just to clue you in on another obvious fact, for those of you who may have somehow missed this too: Mossad has been assassinating [cnn.com] Iranian nuclear scientists (with the CIA's full cooperation).

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215003)

I knew that pretty much from the get-go. Only the truly deluded didn't immediately realize that Mossad and/or the CIA were behind that.

And yet you had no evidence to prove it, and without evidence claims of knowing anything are pretty much irrelevant. Hopefully Snowden actually has something to prove this beyond doubt, because that's when the claims will actually matter.

Re:No shit (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44215027)

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you one of the aforementioned idiots in person.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215107)

No, I think he's saying that the claims we all know to be true cannot honestly be acted upon without evidence, and that if Snowden has and releases such evidence, there may be a real international response to the incident, as opposed to the deafening silence we've heard to date.

That's just the way I read it, though...

Re:No shit (5, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44215147)

The testimony of a former CIA/NSA employee with top-secret clearance and full access to the operations intelligence of said agencies doesn't count as "evidence"? What would you like, a signed and notarized admission from the CIA director?

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215333)

That would probably help. Actual documents beat verbal testimony every day of the week. I wouldn't doubt that Snowden has digitally-signed forms authorizing a variety of sensitive projects... that's sort of what all the hubbub is about.

And it's not evidence that I need; the "we" in "we all know to be true" includes me. Save the aggressive attitude for somebody else.

Re:No shit (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44215355)

Not enough - his word can't be trusted due to "moral turpitude" apparently. I don't know if these agencies were completely out of control before baby Bush spent his time in the White House on vacation and left them alone but they certainly haven't been brought under control since. Even crap like the FBI and CIA infighting led to removal of a Director by the other agency for a bullshit reason.

Re:No shit (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44215049)

There is less proof of god's existence. I don't see him chasing around people who say stuff about him. The US government, on the other hand, seems to be extremely eager to get their hands on him and shut him up. That in itself is an implied admission of guilt, or they'd write him off as a crackpot just like all the other crackpots. When did you see a 9/11 truther get their passport revoked, get stuck in a foreign country's airport, and have presidential planes diverted just because of the possibility he could be on board? Never. Because those are real crackpots. But Snowden is dangerous to the government. That's proof enough.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215167)

It has nothing to do with shutting him up. In a situation like this, you assume that the criminal has already done his damage; that he's released his information to foreign buyers. The point of capturing him is... to capture him. If Snowden has a happy ending, then there's nothing to discourage the next treasonous asshole from farming mismanaged secrets for personal gain. The US has to weigh carefully the PR fallout from hunting this declared traitor abroad versus the impact to its perception of being able to visit retribution on its enemies anywhere in the world.

Re: No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215315)

So basically what you are saying is the government agency needs to fuck something or somebody, because all the waving their dick all around could affect their credibility.

Re:No shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215075)

I thought they stared at goats...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234548/

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215079)

The reason a person would reflexively deny wrongdoing by government is appeal to authority: a conscious or subconscious belief in the fallacy of "might makes right".

Re:No shit (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44215135)

I knew that pretty much from the get-go.

No, you strongly suspected that from the get-go. It was a good hunch which panned out. Many tech geeks understood this was likely, but most common folks didn't even know about it. Most press was happy to not make a big deal about it.

But now everybody knows what's been going on with near certainty (due to the corroborations, including Senators, lack of denials, and willingness to use a NATO air blockade, an act of war, to apprehend Snowden (just "a 29-year-old hacker")).

Everybody now knowing has changed the public debate, causing the Snowden Effect [pressthink.org] .

Buffered storage of everything 3 days old (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44214977)

I've seen that movie. It was really a wormhole!

Re:Buffered storage of everything 3 days old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214995)

7 days was better. But it was a TV series.

Re:Buffered storage of everything 3 days old (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#44215113)

I've seen that movie. It was really a wormhole!

And in the wormhole lived a groundhog. And if it was cloudy when he emerged...

Wait, what? (2)

AndrewX (680681) | about a year ago | (#44215015)

That summary was all over the place. It barely talked about what was in the headline.

I wonder... (5, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#44215023)

... if someone emails someone else a compressed (.zip etc.) file, do the computers automatically decompress it to examine it, or do they store only the compressed version?

I recall people using specially designed .zip archives which decompress to many times their original size (a 10KB file turning into a 100GB file, for instance) as a form of DoS attack. If the spooks have been lazy the same thing might catch their computers out...

Re:I wonder... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44215141)

Zip bombing the NSA - sounds like the title of a song that will get you locked up in prison if you tweet it.

Re:I wonder... (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#44215253)

this sounds like very fun idea i wonder how many people sending .zip bombs it would take to clear their buffer in their data center and delete all other data?

Re:I wonder... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215377)

Your input is appreciated, Comrade! We have patched this vulnerability in our Precog program. The Party thanks you!

Well, duh. (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44215029)

An amazingly well written worm designed to target a particular brand of hardware PLCs that most hackers have never even heard of (and certainly couldn't afford), and not only target them, but target them in a way specifically designed to destroy the attached equipment under a VERY specific set of curcumstances.

That has "nation state" written all over it.

Not only that but it has "very high tech nation state" written all over it.

Basically about the only people with the will, the resources, and the ability are US + Israel. There's basically no one else that was likely to have done it.

But honestly, it was one of the most amazingly awesome high tech attacks ever perpetrated. I mean seriously they managed to successfully target machines that weren't connected to the public internet and physically destroy them.

Re:Well, duh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215239)

Yes the hackers sure couldn't afford a Siemens S7 PLC (one of the most common PLCs in the world) which run about USD1000 new for a low end model (which uses the same parametersystem and OS) or perhaps 100-200 USD for a 5-10 year old used one.

The sophisticated part about the attack was the deliberate targeting. Hacking into an S7 PLC isn't high tech as such, but writing a worm that automatically finds one and attacks it without physical access (to start with) and when it's not connected to the internet is clever and shows determination.

filtering. (4, Funny)

nblender (741424) | about a year ago | (#44215043)

I've always said, since the NSA is reading all of my e-mail anyway, the least they could do is filter out all the spam for me ... If I could subscribe, via RSS from an NSA site, a .procmailrc; that'd be bitchin'...

Now he's just whoring for attention (-1, Troll)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#44215045)

Apparently he's run out of useful stuff.

Next: Snowden reveals that the Sun comes up in the East.

My guess is that American intelligence services, aside from trying to get hold of him, are working overtime to KEEP HIM ALIVE. If he dies for *any* reason (even if it's falling down the stairs or being hit by a meteor), it's going to be blamed by everyone on the US, making that a cheap and easy way to score points.

Re:Now he's just whoring for attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215073)

Apparently he's run out of useful stuff.

Next: Snowden reveals that the Sun comes up in the East.

Um, no. You might wish to RTFA before you touch your keyboard again.

Re:Now he's just whoring for attention (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44215115)

LMOL yeah whoring attention BEFORE he became people knew about him. Nice job troll....

Re:Now he's just whoring for attention (1)

niks42 (768188) | about a year ago | (#44215117)

.. and if he were to disappear, do you think anyone in public office would give a wet slap? We've had a steady stream of nuclear scientists, environmental scientists and people working in the field of genetics to die in mysterious circumstances over the years, and once they disappear it doesn't take long for the memories to fade.

Re:Now he's just whoring for attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215199)

citations please.

CAPTCHA: nonsense

Re:Now he's just whoring for attention (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44215181)

Apparently he's run out of useful stuff.

Eh no. Snowden told everything when they did the interview, the papers who got their questions answered are just sitting on it in order to let the information trickle out over the summer - all in an effort to stay relevant for longer. The people's watchdog my ass.

Re:Now he's just whoring for attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215325)

Is that the new smear? He's an attention whore? He gave this interview BEFORE the story broke. Christ, I never would have imagined the level of infestation of desperate and stupid bootlickers we have here at /. has grown over the last few years.

Open source? (2)

niks42 (768188) | about a year ago | (#44215081)

I wonder how many of the software technologies that these agencies are using, have their roots in open source? Hadoop? Hbase? Hive? Mahout? It would be nice to see them publishing their developments back to the Open Source communities.

Re:Open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215233)

not only do they farm the private data of open-community-members, THEY FARM THE MEMBERS THEMSELVES!
(this is a reference to "Leked", a cross-departmental israeli spygroup, not the same as "mossad", but as is writ, "cross-departmental".

Strange that nobody posts about Leked and their mossad masters/colleagues.
as far as i know, akemai(thereby facebook), AMDOCS, google, etcetera are directly infiltrated by Leked
Can anyone expand on Leked activity???
And please tell me why my phonebill is through-the-roof despite the bugs and the interference!

Re:Open source? (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44215335)

Dream on, bro !

DDOS the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215095)

It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it.

Forget fighting for your privacy based on 4th Amendment legal arguements! Strike back at the NSA with DMCA takedown notices! Now who's the NSA's ISP?

Jews... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215129)

... as I've been telling you all along...
Your country is owned by Jews. You are a slave of the Jews. They print money out of thin air, and make YOU and your children do real work in order to pay it back. They run the entire media, they own the book and magazine publishers, they decide everything you get to see and hear about the world.
Except for on the internet - but they have their 'useful idiots' to 'mod people down' there, if we get too close to 'naming the Jew'.

Tempora isn't new (5, Informative)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#44215159)

My government has been doing what the UK does for many years already, we learnt this weekend. I'm Dutch, BTW.

Re:Tempora isn't new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215273)

It shouldnt be news to you that the israeli-Dutchman who first rolled-out voice-recognition software got lucky in that the state-owned casino implemented the software. Maybe his name was MicJack or something.....

What about those Leked spys? are they operating within Dutch IT companies also?

truth in revelation (5, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44215203)

Its important to clarify what this system is intended to do, as im certain the government will furiously refute this new round of allegations...presuming mainstream media feels like covering this one
This is not, nor has it ever been about terrorism. Its about the maintenance of power, wherein terrorism is a convenient excuse as it directly challenges and undermines a governments authority. All legitimate challenges, be they from disenfranchised middle eastern nationals or occupy protestors, are now taken very seriously. The middle east questions everything from the well established narrative of american freedom in the context of guantanamo bay to the carter doctrine of foreign imperialism and Israeli occupation each time a bombing or attack is successfully affected. People begin to ask why we are being attacked, and the excuse that terrorists "hate our freedom" becomes less effective with each blast that rocks a city as more of its citizens learn about the home state of the bomber, her motives and objectives and most dangerously, the full context under which america became a part of it.

the occupy protests question the narrative of the american dream in the context of class stratification that is so rife with inequality it guarantees forty percent of a worlds wealth is concentrated amongst one percent of its wealthiest inhabitants. Bank foreclosures and unemployment can only be explained by "economic downturn" and "irresponsible homeowners" so many times before the answers do not work anymore, and with each march or sit-in a protest gains momentum to change this class stratification. protests like occupy work to force a ruling class to remain under scrutiny or crush dissent. Crushing dissent is a force multiplier however, like water on a grease fire, and merely galvanizes your opponents. Ruling plutocracies cannot tolerate sustained scrutiny.

the middle of the road is simply surveillance. Find the organizers, topple them first, and the dissent never has an opportunity to interrupt the american "dream." pre-emptive detention of G8 protesters, flypapering articles about how much americans think Snowden is a traitor, and manufacturing crimes against peaceful demonstrators is much more efficient and effective. you contol the outcome of the detentions, and without a rally point protestors are supplanted by media reports of valiantly thwarted attacks by the TSA or FBI. Snowdens security state, as its been exposed, also serves also to galvanize more severe convictions against protestors by providing nearly infinite evidence of any crime the prosecution so wishes. its a slightly larger padlock by which political and social unrest is quelled. it is our form of political prisoner.

to fix it not only requires expunging elected leaders but cutting the feed bag from a society that largely reviles the poor and champions the rich, and consents to warrantless search so long as they have enough room on the DVR to still make it home in time to catch up on Big Bang Theory. We must begin to ask uncomfortable questions: Why are people rich, what is the longstanding history of our foreign policy and its potential future ramifications, why should corporations be given say in politics, and why do we need a deep-rooted surveillance system to combat something that kills orders-of-magnitude fewer people each year than heart disease?

Someone tell me (0, Troll)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#44215217)

Please tell me how this Snowden guy is doing any of this in the interest of protecting American citizens from an overreaching NSA? Remember his original claim was to be protecting American citizens from an overreaching NSA that was collecting data on US citizens. He denied trying to simply cause political damage to the US and it's allies. Every single day that goes by his true colors show themselves more and more.

In the beginning I got modded heavily for not subscribing to Slashdot groupthink about Snowden and forming my own opinion. So far every single prediction about this guy has come true, he has consistently shown that he is interested only in causing political damage to the US and and it's allies. People have also started to see through this guy and his popularity has started to fall as they the real person and see he is not simply a whistle blower.

He doesn't want asylum in a freedom loving country because he would rather be holed up in a country that routinely jails and tortures dissidents that aren't pissing of the United States. Why, so that he keep on stroking his ego about the damage that he can personally cause to as many nations as possible.

Re:Someone tell me (5, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44215287)

Stop fucking focusing on the person and look at the facts instead. If what he has leaked harms the US government or any other government, so be it - you reap what you sow. Snowden would not have any means to harm the US if the US had not conducted itself in a way that left it open to harm. Shut the fuck up with this person pro/con agenda.

Re:Someone tell me (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#44215389)

The messenger always has as much to do with the facts as the facts themselves, as well as how they project the facts. Get a report that global warming has been overstated? Might want to check to the back of the report to see if the words "Koch Brothers" are somewhere in there.

Got a poll saying that Americans think unions cost jobs and can't be trusted, might want to see if the Chamber of Commerce wrote it, got a sensationalistic headline that 1 in 4 Women have been raped, might want to find out how those facts were come up it and who came up with them (NOW, and included things like having sex after having 2 Aspirin or Tylenol).

You can't separate the message from the messenger or the facts from the source. That's why scientific data is considered worthless if it can't be repeated completely independently. You need to know the methodology, you need to know the circumstances, the motive, the chain of custody, you need to see if there is corroboration or not.

Now I realize none of this applies if your trying cause political damage where evidence doesn't mean a damn thing and your simply trying to slander someone. After all when your trying to do political damage the facts don't matter and if they come out later well it's too late. Now, if you actually give a damn about the truth, than you'll care about everything I said.

Re:Someone tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215299)

The US made it political when they suspended his passport, and pressured the countries he's resided in for extradition. The US made it political when they started smearing him, lying, and denying blatantly obvious things. So, at this point, his only hope, outside of living in South America, is to turn the United States allies against them. There's not much of a chance there, but it's likely his only chance.

Re:Someone tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215309)

Uhhh, i can point you to the article`s title, but you might not be able to comprehend;

even if Snowdon damages u.s.a. intelligence, HE IS A WHISTLEBLOWER, when the average american WAKEs UP and realises that u.s.a. government policy (both domestic and foreign) and intelligence agencies EVIDENTLY WORK IN THE INTERESTS OF ISRAEL, not in the interests of 98% of american citizens.

Can I get an account? (1)

0dugo0 (735093) | about a year ago | (#44215313)

..they must have 3 days retention and 100% completeness on alt.binaries.*, no!?

None of it matters...at all. (5, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | about a year ago | (#44215323)

I find it comical that people are still arguing over the validity of Snowden's claims, as he continues to be hunted down by the very government who is attempting to dismiss him as a mere nothing.

Perhaps the governments stance to dismiss this as nothing (at least on the surface) has merit, for the government knows that no matter how alarming, no matter how bad the breaches of privacy are or has been, citizens simply don't give a shit enough to care.

And the government knows this. So do many major companies, which is why they continue to operate the way they do (yes, AT&T I'm speaking to you and your recent surcharges that generated hundreds of millions...yes, I'm speaking to you Facebook, and your gall to start charging to put an email where it belongs).

Why do governments and corporations act in this arrogant way? Because they know that no one gives a shit anymore.

Apathy will be the demise of all privacy and Rights as we know them today. I promise you that.

And regardless of Snowden's claims, proof, facts, or evidence, not a damn thing will change for the better. Not a damn thing.

Now, go ahead. I dare you to prove me wrong.

not that this is news?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215339)

seriously?

we've just got confirmation the suspicions, which were deniable, are true - and no longer deniable.

yeah, lets downplay snowdens contribution to us knowing what the government is up to.

Russian Spy. (-1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | about a year ago | (#44215367)

With the original whistle-blowing, I could understand that his actions may be interpreted as ethical. Now he keeps pushing it, he's gone from "good citizen" to "he's probably a Russian Spy." And I'm not with the U.S. Government making this claim. It's just, a lot of what he's doing no longer looks like run of the mill whistle-blowing. Either he's basking in the glory of attention, or he's a Spy. Eitherway, the buggar needs to be extradited to face the criminal court he deserves. He has broken multiple federal laws, and at this point has razor thin justification in doing so. There are much more appropriate channels to go about doing what he did.

He's really lost a lot of credability. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215403)

Seriously, the Fort doesn't work this way. He was a server admin. He certainly had TS/SCI and probably cleared for "10", but that doesn't mean he'd have intimate knowledge of everything they're doing. And he definitely would NOT have had intimate knowledge of tools dev, foreign partners, etc. That stuff is all SAP and only the server admin for that SAP program would have any chance whatsoever of having access to that sort of knowledge (given the contract he was on, he was not working SAP programs). He downloaded a few PPT presentations from the internal Google (Intelink) and pimped it out like he was some sort of super-leaker. In reality he's your average everyday attention whore who's now spiraling into full blown embellishment to try to extend his 15min of fame.

Nothing to see here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215407)

First everything Snowden says is common knowledge.
Second, everything Snowden says is false.
Third, Snowden has committed treason by endangering national security by revealing information that is both false and common knowledge.

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