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NSA Hacked Email Account of Mexican President

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the because-why-not dept.

United States 242

rtoz writes "The National Security Agency (NSA ) of United States hacked into the Mexican president's public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking and the political system. The news is likely to hurt ties between the US and Mexico. This operation, dubbed 'Flatliquid,' is described in a document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Meanwhile U.S. President Barack Obama's administration is urging the Supreme Court not to take up the first case it has received on controversial National Security Agency cybersnooping."

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242 comments

Happy Sunday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181135)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Mexicans aren't that stupid. (-1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#45181143)

He wouldn't have done any real dirt via email.

Rest assured, there are no orders going out to the drug gangs on this email. He sent those via lieutenants.

First leaked email from Mexican president (-1, Troll)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 6 months ago | (#45181153)

"Yo quiero taco bell", written to his chief of staff.

Re:First leaked email from Mexican president (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181193)

"Shut the fuck up, two-million ID boy", thought by everyone who remembers when Slashdot was still relevant and not swarming with fuckwits.

Re:First leaked email from Mexican president (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181513)

Fuck you, nigger.

Re:First leaked email from Mexican president (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181583)

Slashdot was never relevant.

Re:First leaked email from Mexican president (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181195)

We dont have "Taco" Bell in Mexico, we have real tacos.

Everybody knows... Taco Bell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181229)

Was just what they renamed 'America Bell' when they expanded the chain from Mexico to the US :)

It was originally meant to be a tongue in cheek jab at American liberty, but like so many other things was lost in the march of corporatisation.

Re:First leaked email from Mexican president (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181237)

I've been to a Taco Ball in Tijuana.

Re:First leaked email from Mexican president (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about 6 months ago | (#45181823)

Next you're going to tell us you don't have Sears ponchos, you have Mexican ponchos.

Well that's new (5, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 6 months ago | (#45181163)

US government attorneys argue that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to take the case, filed in July by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

First time I've seen the government argue that the Court doesn't have jurisdiction.
All the other cases that have been quashed were either from claiming the plaintiff had no standing to sue, or that it involved State Secrets.

It's especially ballsy to try and argue that the Supreme Court doesn't have jurisdiction.

A US Supreme Court decision to take the case would be "a drastic and extraordinary remedy that is reserved for really extraordinary causes," argued Donald Verrilli, an administration lawyer, in a statement released late Tuesday.

"drastic and extraordinary remedy"
No shit. It certainly seems like we need one of those.

Re:Well that's new (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181269)

First time I've seen the government argue that the Court doesn't have jurisdiction.
All the other cases that have been quashed were either from claiming the plaintiff had no standing to sue, or that it involved State Secrets.

The problem is that EPIC is trying to jump the line. There aren't many circumstances in which a direct filing to the US Supreme Court is appropriate without going through the process in the lower courts. What EPIC did really isn't appropriate.

Administration looks to dodge Supreme Court challenge to NSA program [thehill.com]

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a petition directly to the Supreme Court in July, claiming that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court overstepped its authority when it granted the NSA permission to collect the phone records in bulk.

The program — the most controversial revelation from the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — collects phone numbers, call times and call durations, but not the contents of conversations, according to the NSA.

Other civil liberties groups have sued to end the NSA program, but those cases were filed in federal district court . EPIC is the only group to go directly to the Supreme Court.

Re:Well that's new (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181283)

If it involves the US Government breaking the constitutional rights of every US citizen, then attempting to silence anyone who questions them, it might be one of those circumstances.

Re:Well that's new (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181321)

No. The lower courts would handle that. The lower courts could also hear the complaints about any gag orders.

Re:Well that's new (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45182095)

Since we seem to have a group of moderators running around today that are ignorant of the functioning of the US court system, I'll restate.

Lower courts have the authority to rule acts of the Federal government unconstitutional and stop them. This case has little chance of being accepted by the US Supreme Court. It isn't proper procedure for it to start there, and it isn't the type of case that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over. This is a matter for the lower courts to start with. Any citizen or corporation that received a gag order from a court could challenge it in the same court, or appeal it.

A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court [supremecourt.gov]

“In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

Hopefully this is clear, and modding me down doesn't change the law even if you don't like it.

Re:Well that's new (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181425)

The NSA not only has the capability to violate client attorney privilege at every point in the course, and to threaten judges, lawyers and everyone up and down the line, they have demonstrated the will to ignore the courts already by ignoring the FISA courts rulings.

Not only should the supreme court rule on this before any lower court can, it should invalidate the entire domestic spying apparatus.

And that's likely just what will happen given the circumstances. Judges do not like their power being questioned.

Re:Well that's new (-1, Redundant)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181601)

The NSA not only has the capability to violate client attorney privilege at every point in the course, and to threaten judges, lawyers and everyone up and down the line, they have demonstrated the will to ignore the courts already by ignoring the FISA courts rulings.

Not only should the supreme court rule on this before any lower court can, it should invalidate the entire domestic spying apparatus.

And that's likely just what will happen given the circumstances. Judges do not like their power being questioned.

Anti-NSA Activists are like Anti-Gun Control Activists. In principle I don't disagree with them that much, but their paranoia and self-righteous BS just piss the fuck out of me.

In this case I have to point that the police have guns. This gives them the practical ability to kill your ass with no warning. However unless you are a black male, or suffer untreated mental illness, they do not do that shit; so it's highly illogical to demand all cops be disarmed because lest they start shooting random perfectly sane white people.

By the same token the NSA is not likely to start blackmailing people anytime soon. If they tried to use somebody's weed habit against them all they'd have to do is take a road trip to Canada, upload a tearful video to Youtube, and roll in the dough as the first sane, white, non-Muslim oppressed by the evil NSA.

Re:Well that's new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181763)

However unless you are a black male, or suffer untreated mental illness, they do not do that shit; so it's highly illogical to demand all cops be disarmed because lest they start shooting random perfectly sane white people.

Shooting innocent white people? Like this?
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/call7-investigators/town-upholds-castle-rock-officers-use-of-force-that-endangered-an-innocent-retired-cop-his-wife [thedenverchannel.com]

Re:Well that's new (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 6 months ago | (#45181783)

We've crossed a threshold in human history. We are going from an existence where it was simply not financially or physically feasible to monitor every person 24/7. In less than two decades, the practical limits on surveillance have basically died. This is a massive and fundamental change in the structure of society and how we deal with this now, is going to shape the future of world society and culture.

Really, it's already past time to start addressing these issues, and more complacency is just going to ensure the most sociopathic systems possible will be cemented into our future. The 4th Amendment needs its own unyielding ideologically pure NRA type organization because if there are no limits on government power, eventually it will start brutalizing people.

Re:Well that's new (1, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181953)

I agree with your first paragraph.

As to the second paragraph, surveillance just by itself is obnoxious, and potentially very dangerous for a free society, but limited in various respects since there isn't necessarily a "do" tied to the "see". The truly awful point was the Rubicon crossed when the Supreme Court decided that Obamacare was constitutional, that the US Federal Government had the power to order individual citizens to do whatever it pleased. (Of course I'm not thrilled by the asset forfeiture programs, nor by prosecutors freezing all the funds of defendants leaving them unable to defend themselves either.)

But I agree with the overall point, there needs to be more discussion and thought put into Constitutional protections and how they apply with the changing conditions that result from changes in technology that makes things possible that were formerly impossible. But as part of that discussion there also needs to be consideration of how the protections play out in peace versus war, and the strange war we are in now. I'm not thrilled by the "uneven" way the courts have been approaching some of that.

Re:Well that's new (4, Informative)

n1ywb (555767) | about 6 months ago | (#45182039)

The 4th Amendment needs its own unyielding ideologically pure NRA type organization because if there are no limits on government power, eventually it will start brutalizing people.

Hello, this is the ACLU [aclu.org] calling, how can we help you?
*BEEP*
Howdy, this is the EFF [eff.org] , how can we help you?

Re:Well that's new (4, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | about 6 months ago | (#45181705)

What I'm hoping for is reform of the Third Party Doctrine -- Justice Sotomayer has already expressed sympathy with such reform. See her concurrence, specifically, the paragraph starting at PDF page 19: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/pdf/10-1259.pdf [cornell.edu]

The 3PD is the rule that if you share info w/ a third party, even if that party promises you confidentiality, and even if they never actually breach your confidence, then the Feds can just have the data because the 4th Amendment doesn't apply at all (you have no reasonable expectation of privacy). The 3PD conflates "perfect secrecy" with "reasonable expectation of privacy" and not even the NSA can do perfect secrecy under that standard -- Booz Allen Hamilton is a third party after all.

The Supreme Court has applied this to info people consider quite private, like banking, telephone, accounting records. There is a split on jurisdictions with respect to cell tower location, and some jurisdictions even apply the 3PD to medical records because your doctor is after all, a third party.

If the 3PD disappeared, all of this stuff the NSA, CIA, DEA, FBI, etc. do, would have to go through a 4th amendment analysis and a third grader could demonstrate they fail to comply. The only reason Section 215 of PATRIOT Act can even exist without being an instant 4th Amendment violation, is the 3PD. Take away 3PD, and it's all unconstitutional. Fail to address the 3PD, and any proposed reform is just toilet paper.

I'd encourage people to ask their reps/senators what they intend to do about the third party doctrine.

Re:Well that's new (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181773)

That would be the appropriate way to address it. I doubt that much will happen since much of the area covered by it of interest to the government is ordinary business records (which is basically what the phone records are) that the government has to deal with on a regular basis. I think a case could be made for a heightened level of scrutiny for records of communications as a desirable aspect of privacy. We'll see what happens.

Re:Well that's new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181879)

Judges are powerless against an entity with high probability and capability of finding any dirt on you, however irrelevant to the case, or just frame you with enacted events probable enough to be impossible to prove your innocence from.

Welcome to fascism paid and bought by your lives.

Captcha: gowned

Re:Well that's new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181289)

Perhaps the administration would like to see this heard in the International Court of Justice? US does not have a very successful track record there. See Nicaragua v US.

Re:Well that's new (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181343)

The US withdrew from its compulsory jurisdiction decades ago. There isn't much of an avenue for that.

Re:Well that's new (1)

kartaron (763480) | about 6 months ago | (#45181319)

According to an article in PC World they are saying EPIC doesnt have standing to request, so the Supreme Court has no petitioner authorizing the court to appeal. Of Course no one has the standing to go to a Court over this by design (Verizon has to appeal to the NSA or the secret court, not to a public institution) So the supremes might overrule that loophole. Hopefully. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2054900/supreme-court-shouldnt-review-nsa-spying-case-us-govt-says.html [pcworld.com]

Re:Well that's new (3, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181395)

It isn't just a question of standing before any court, but a bigger problem before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court only has original jurisdiction for a limited scope of issues.

A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court [supremecourt.gov]

“In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

Original Jurisdiction [heritage.org]

The Court has been assiduous in protecting the Constitution's core grant of original jurisdiction from congressional expansion. The Court explicitly declared in Marbury v. Madison (1803) that Congress cannot add to the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction.

Re:Well that's new (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 months ago | (#45181355)

It's especially ballsy to try and argue that the Supreme Court doesn't have jurisdiction.

Emphasis mine:

In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction only where Congress allows it. If Congress excepted the FISA court from Supreme Court jurisdiction, that's the end of it.

Re:Well that's new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181419)

Cool, secret courts who answer to no one! I AM THE LAW!

Re:Well that's new (0)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181631)

Cool, secret courts who answer to no one! I AM THE LAW!

Re-read the post.

They answer to a specific Appellate Court, which answers to the Supremes. EPIC is trying to appeal straight to the Supremes, which the Supremes are not supposed to allow.

If they think there's a massive Constitutional issue at stake, and that an immediate Supreme Court ruling is the only thing that can solve the problem, they can ignore that. But they don't do that often. For example they didn't do it during the battle over ObamaCare. The last time they did it was probably Bush vs. Gore, which had to be decided by early January so we could have a President.

I doubt EPIC will convince the Supremes to make then the second case like that, because the world really won;t end if the NSA has 2 years of your email or 2.5, but it's worth a shot.

Re:Well that's new (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181459)

It's not the first time, but it's endemic of the entire Obama administration. They really do believe they are the only real power in the federal government, ruling by fiat. And since Congress long ago abdicated their Constitutional duties, that only leaves the SCOTUS to be whittled down to nothing.

Re:Well that's new (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181537)

You don't pay much attention to the Courts. "Standing" is something that gets argued all the time, and it is solely about jurisdiction.

In this case the issue is that the Supremes almost never take cases without them being adjudicated at a lower level. Generally exceptions are extremely exceptionable -- think Bush vs. Gore, which actually includes a clause that it should not be referenced in future court rulings -- and involve cases where a definitive ruling is needed Right This Very Minute or Bad Things Happen.

If the Supremes think NSA data collection is really bad they might rule today, which is what EPIC wants. If they think it's less important then preventing the election of Al Gore they'll side with the administration.

Re:Well that's new (1)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#45182187)

Although in that case they gave a ruling, and Bad Things Happened as a result of it . . .

Re:Well that's new (5, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#45181581)

"It's especially ballsy to try and argue that the Supreme Court doesn't have jurisdiction."

It's worse than you think.

They are simultaneously arguing in lower courts that the lower courts have no jurisdiction because it's a matter for the SC, AND in the SC that the SC does not have jurisdiction, because it's a question for the lower courts.

Well Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181167)

If we can't play nice with our neighbors how can we be expected to play nice with anyone?

It's clear that no one can trust the NSA. Period.

Re:Well Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181701)

If we can't play nice with our neighbors how can we be expected to play nice with anyone?

It's clear that no one can trust the NSA. Period.

Who knows what that creeper does while sitting in his Star Trek chair watching our children online.

Re:Well Well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181757)

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Spying is an important act of government. And spying on allies is also important. Look at the developments with Israel in the last two years. Does anybody reasonably believe that Obama didn't have spies in the Israeli government that leaked their plans to bomb Iran? And with that information, he was able to stop Israel from drawing us into another war.

I'm not saying that we have to accept spying to prolong the War on Drugs or for economic purposes. But we have to be practical here. Spying on our allies can often result in significant gains to our national security and to world peace.

Re:Well Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181869)

wrong TLA - we don't trust the USA. PERIOD /Restoftheworld

With a friends like Americans, who needs friends.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181171)

Right,

And to first moron claiming, that's what spy agencies does and every nation does this, should know that's exactly how thieves justify what they do -- everyone does it, thus me too.

Think, really think first, then reply if you feel like it.

Re:With a friends like Americans, who needs friend (2, Interesting)

cavreader (1903280) | about 6 months ago | (#45181885)

No moron it's called putting the situation in it's appropriate context. The NSA or the government for that matter does not operate in a vacuum. As long as there are other countries practicing espionage against US interests it would be foolish in the extreme to de-fang their own intelligence services. Just like if every country destroyed their nuclear arsenals the US could get rid of theirs.

As a Mexican... (3, Informative)

Niterios (2700835) | about 6 months ago | (#45181173)

I can say nobody is surprised this happened. President Calderón would have been silly not to assume something like this.

Re:As a Mexican... (3, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181681)

I can say nobody is surprised this happened. President Calderón would have been silly not to assume something like this.

Mexicans understand the world beyond Latin America a lot better then the rest of Latin America does. The US spies on everybody, everybody spies on the US, when anybody gets caught there's a lot of pretentious bitching because a the electorate doesn't understand this, but nobody takes it very seriously. Thus France's initial response to the NSA allegations was an extremely self-righteous defense of the Right to Privacy, and it was immediately followed by everyone who has ever met France going "WTF? You're a million times worse the NSA could ever hope to be." There's actually probably more spying between friends then enemies. Latvia got burned really badly back when Hitler (the supposed anti-Communist Crusader) sold them out to Stalin, so they'd be fools if they don't have plenty of ways to verify their current anti-Russian protector (aka: Barrack Hussein Obama) isn't doing it to them.

OTOH everyone else in Latin Amer4ica is acting like the entire world lied to them by stealing their email. Which is technically true, but it's also technically true that part of being a grown-up real nation is knowing that they will always steal your secrets.

Seriously? (4, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#45181177)

The National Security Agency (NSA ) of United States hacked into the Mexican president's public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking

OK, seriously? From his public email? Even Obama has a "public email" you can send shit to. Little old ladies and bent out of shape whack jobs pounding away at their keyboard send stuff to El Presidente's "public email".

Next...

Re:Seriously? (3, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181749)

The National Security Agency (NSA ) of United States hacked into the Mexican president's public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking

OK, seriously? From his public email? Even Obama has a "public email" you can send shit to. Little old ladies and bent out of shape whack jobs pounding away at their keyboard send stuff to El Presidente's "public email".

Next...

Of course the Russian Foreign Service Security guy who hacks Obama's public email would write that he "gained deep insight" into Obama's secret thoughts this way. Otherwise he'd be deemed useless and have his budget cut.

From a non-American point-of-view you could probably gain a lot of little insights from the Obama admin's responses to their public email. You would know what Obama's dealing with at a grassroots level, for example. A very common way for countries to not make a concession is for them to politely say that if they do that their publics will freak out. Reading Obama's email would let Putin know when Obama was lying about that shit. You would not know much more about Obama's actual positions then he tells you himself because he's got to know it's trivial for a foreign agent to register john.smith@yahoo.com and shoot Obama an email, but you'd get real insights into the political constraints Obama had to deal with.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181827)

You write this as if you condone the action because it wasn't a "real" account.

Do you mind if we start posting under your handle? It's only your public account. I am sure no one will confuse my comments under your ID with the ones you posit to have created without my guidance. I wouldn't limit to just this account, though, it's the only one I'll go public about. For now, anyway.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 6 months ago | (#45181849)

Intentionally stupid or normal stupid?

"this email domain was also used by cabinet members, and contained âoediplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexicoâ(TM)s political system and internal stability.â

This article was barely longer than that so it wasn't hard to find.

So what is this about? (-1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181183)

I thought Snowden was just crusading for the Constitutional rights of Americans? But his actions keep disclosing intelligence gathering of foreign sources, and the actions of America's foreign allies, which their governments consider highly damaging. [www.dw.de] At the same time he claims to know all about China's and Russia's intelligence, but where are the disclosures there? Surely if he is an expert on it, as he claims, it must be based on documentation? Where is that documentation? Where are the reports on China and Russia? It's almost as if more than is claimed is going on. I wonder if we'll hear from his spokesman in Russia? [businessinsider.com]

Re:So what is this about? (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | about 6 months ago | (#45181225)

Could I get a citation on Snowden claiming to know all about China's and Russia's intelligence?

Re:So what is this about? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181285)

Here is one for China. I'll leave the rest to you.

Snowden: 'There's A 0% Chance' The Russians Or Chinese Received Any Classified NSA Documents [businessinsider.com]

Snowden also insisted he was able to protect the documents from China’s spy services because he was familiar with that country's intelligence capabilities through his work as an NSA contractor.

In his job, he had targeted Chinese operations and taught a course on Chinese cyber-counterintelligence.

Re:So what is this about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181323)

I believe he's crusading for all people. For instance, the children. It's well know that the NSA enjoys watching everyones children online and that they are sick bastards.
NSA -> Watching your children - reading their email - looking at their photos
They're disgusting.

Re:So what is this about? (3, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#45181465)

That's not the same as claiming that "he claims to know all about China's and Russia's intelligence". He was saying that they didn't get the documents from him since he didn't have them after turning them over.

Re:So what is this about? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181541)

You need to read that again, and then I think you have a choice to make. On one hand his job was described as a system administrator and he used his elevated privs to steal the documents. On the other hand, he is claiming that he was involved in actual intelligence work himself. Which is it? I doubt that he really was dual hatted - maintaining internal systems with elevated privs to see and move documents, and teaching classes while conducting intelligence courses himself. All that in the 90 days or so he was employed as an NSA contractor.

... he was familiar with that country's intelligence capabilities through his work ...

... he had targeted Chinese operations and taught a course on Chinese cyber-counterintelligence...

Where are the documents he used to teach the course on Chinese intelligence, among others?

Re:So what is this about? (3, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#45181623)

You need to read that again, and then I think you have a choice to make.

I don't need to read anything again. What you claimed he said is not what he said. You're just spreading more baseless FUD like in the last article.

Re:So what is this about? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181727)

I'm basing my statement on what he claimed. If you don't like that then you should ask yourself why he made those claims. You are spreading FUD to benefit him and his actions, probably because you approve of them despite (or because of?) the damage they did to the US and allied intelligence community.

Re:So what is this about? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181787)

That's not the same as claiming that "he claims to know all about China's and Russia's intelligence". He was saying that they didn't get the documents from him since he didn't have them after turning them over.

Re-read the quote. It said nothing about Russia.

What it said was that he knew the Chinese could not have gotten his document cache while he had it in Hong Kong because he knew exactly what they could do. Which means that even if he doesn't have an electronic copy of the document that told him how to beat the People's Republic's security, he has that info in his head somewhere.

I suspect he actually wants to to talk about that, but can't because the Russians probably made not talking about anybody's secrets condition #1. And Putin doesn't have a lot of checks on his power.

Re:So what is this about? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181825)

If you reread it again you see that he claims to have taught classes related to Chinese intelligence. Where are the documents for that? Why do we see nothing about Chinese intelligence activity, but plenty about the UK, and US, not to mention Germany, France, Canada, Australia, and probably others? I would think he would have the most immediate control over documents for a class that he taught. Where are they? Where are any documents about Chinese or Russian intelligence activities?

I'm quite certain that revealing Russian intelligence secrets would not sit well with the rulers of his future home, especially since Putin was a Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB.

Re:So what is this about? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45182057)

As I said, I suspect one of Putin's conditions is that he stop saying anything. Putin's got a weird little love-hate relationship with Obama going on. It involves lots of posturing, but very few actually hostile actions. For example he could have really screwed Obama simply by secretly shipping Russian air defense units to the Russian military base in Syria, and blowing a few fighters out of the sky. Instead he negotiated a compromise that solved the Syria question. And if Ed Snowden is on Russian soil tweeting about how evil Obama is at the wrong minute Putin's careful choreography just won't work. The deal Putin offered him was probably one of those offers that are too good to refuse, and it probably involved a lot of Ed Snowden being very very quiet.

I suspect Greenwald won't print any stuff that implicates any government not in the Anglosphere. Partly that's because he doesn't think of it as news to say the Chinese are unfree, partly that's because he doesn't want to endanger Snowden so he doesn't want to piss off un-free Russia, but mostly I suspect it's that he has no reason to. If he's anti-British and anti-American he's gonna assume anything that implicated non-British and non-American countries is BS propaganda. If he's not he probably doesn't want to cripple our operations against those countries by revealing exactly which hacks we use to break the Great Firewall.

Re:So what is this about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181315)

From the NYT: " He also asserted that he was able to protect the documents from China’s spies because he was familiar with that nation’s intelligence abilities, saying that as an N.S.A. contractor he had targeted Chinese operations and had taught a course on Chinese cybercounterintelligence.

“There’s a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents,” he said. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/world/snowden-says-he-took-no-secret-files-to-russia.html?_r=1&

Re:So what is this about? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#45181643)

Being familiar with them is not the same as "to know all about China's and Russia's intelligence". He does not claim what you claim he does. Also, posting as AC is pretty lame cold fjord. It's not like we don't know it's you.

Re:So what is this about? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45181843)

I have little need to post anonymously, and it is lame for you to think that there aren't other people that have a factually based opinion similar to mine.

So, I'll ask again: Snowden claimed to have taught classes related to Chinese intelligence work. He should have had complete control over documents for his own class, so where are they? Hmmm? Where are the documents relating to Chinese intelligence operations?

Re:So what is this about? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 6 months ago | (#45181299)

Looks like Snowden has become something of a disgruntled ex-employee now. I guess that's why he's keen on embarrassing the US rather than say Russia or China.

Re:So what is this about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181463)

Snowden says he gave all his documents to Greenwald. I assume he decided to to take any of the Chinese or Russian ones with him when he left the US. Most of these new stories are from those documents that Greenwald is picking through.

Re:So what is this about? (5, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#45181407)

Snowden turned all of his documents over to journalists whom he trusts to perform responsible disclosure.
He says he doesn't even have the documents any more.
Snowden hasn't disclosed anything publicly... Greenwald et. al are doing the disclosing.
Greenwald has disclosed lots of different things including spying on Brazil, the European Union, Mexico, etc. No doubt, he may get around to China and Russia some day (if the documents are in the pile).

Re:So what is this about? (0)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181813)

By his story he doesn't need the documents to out the Chinese. He trained people in the NSA on defeating the Chinese. He could write "Ed's guide to fucking with the Great Firewall" without any documentation at all.

I suspect the Russians would not like that, so he can;t really do it.

I suspect even if that's on Greenwald's pile Greenwald won't mention it. In the Anglophone Left-Wing tradition there's a long history of ignoring the great crimes of foreign leaders if your current leaders do anything wrong. That's why there was a US Communist party after Stalin. There's a reason Wikileaks has not had any leaks out China or Russia, despite the fact that both countries are hundreds of times worse then the US.

Re:So what is this about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181621)

Hey look. cold fjord is back to spread some more FUD on behalf of the government. Don't you ever feel embarrassed about how much of a bootlicker you are?

The Palin Thing Says... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181231)

"How's that 'most transparent administration' in history thing workin' out fer ya?"

:: winks ::

:: snaps gum ::

careful what you wish for (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 6 months ago | (#45181335)

US government attorneys argue that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to take the case, filed in July by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

i would love to see their response when mexico demands extradition. yes, mexico can extradite people from the US. [umich.edu]

i'm pretty sure espionage is a capital crime.

Re:careful what you wish for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181515)

Whom would they extradite? Is there a specific suspect?

Re:careful what you wish for (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181829)

US government attorneys argue that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to take the case, filed in July by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

i would love to see their response when mexico demands extradition. yes, mexico can extradite people from the US. [umich.edu]

i'm pretty sure espionage is a capital crime.

Extradition only works for things that are crimes in both countries, and the extraditing country generally gets a veto on the death sentence.

Since spying on foreign countries is a core function of the US Government several Constitutional provisions make arresting a US Government employee for spying he did in the course of his job illegal. Which means all Mexican charges will do is stop some NSA spooks from vacationing on Mexican beaches, or in Latin American countries likely to extradite them to Mexico.

Computer trespass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45182007)

You know, like McKinnon was being done over like a kipper for and Aaron Schwartz was hounded for.

It's illegal in Mexico AND the USA.

Extra-illegal in the USA, indeed.

NSA doing its job (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | about 6 months ago | (#45181393)

Spying on foreign governments is pretty much the job description of the NSA. Spying on domestic communications is something they get away with, spying on foreign communications is what they were created to do.

I imagine the Mexican government will be publicly shocked to learn these details, but their counterintelligence teams have likely privately detected and thwarted other US hacking attempts.

Re:NSA doing its job (1)

MrRobahtsu (8620) | about 6 months ago | (#45181453)

Exactly. We're not enemies with Mexico, but it's not a perfectly safe and stable relationship given the amount of violence on both sides of the border. If the US wants to check for drug cartel influence at the highest levels of the Mexican gov't, I don't care. NSA can spy outside our borders all it wants - go for it.

Re:NSA doing its job (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 6 months ago | (#45181991)

Exactly. We're not enemies with Mexico, but it's not a perfectly safe and stable relationship given the amount of violence on both sides of the border. If the US wants to check for drug cartel influence at the highest levels of the Mexican gov't, I don't care. NSA can spy outside our borders all it wants - go for it.

I am trying to undertand something.

Is it ok for US agencies to do illegal/criminal acts (that are dovered by domestic and foreign laws), on a daily basis and never be held responsible for it?

Would you like me to explain you where that leads?

Re:NSA doing its job (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45181461)

it's still illegal and technically usa has contracts in place that say that they would help catch such persons and would send them to mexico for trial.

Re:NSA doing its job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181637)

it's still illegal

Really? What law is being violated? Who could make or enforce such a law?

Re:NSA doing its job (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181855)

it's still illegal and technically usa has contracts in place that say that they would help catch such persons and would send them to mexico for trial.

What US law prevents us from spying on Mexico? I am genuinely curious about this. Note that a treaty is irrelevant. It is a law in the sense that it is legal, but crimes are based on statutes passed by Congress, so you'll need to cite the statute. Moreover legally speaking our relationship with Mexico is less close then our relationship to Argentina or Pakistan, both of which are Major Non-NATO Allies.

Not quite (5, Informative)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#45181549)

Actually they are supposed to be spying on *enemy governments*.

Problem is we dont have any more of those left, but bureaucracy doesnt know how to shut down when it is not needed. Instead they keep trying to make new enemies. And unfortunately succeeding...

Re:Not quite (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 6 months ago | (#45181675)

No, their supposed to be spying on every other government and country. They are all spying on us as well. It's the dirty little secret of diplomacy, everyone is spying on everyone else.

The problem has become that the lines of separation between foreign intelligence and domestic intelligence gathering is getting extremely blurred. Foreign figure A has an account on Facebook with friends in the US. NSA et. al. collects the data on Foreign figure, but now that includes data on US citizens as well...

I mean it's clear the domestic dragnet far outreaches the example above, but again the lines are getting rather fuzzy...

Re:Not quite (1)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#45181859)

Spying on friendly governments *might* be technically legal, though I doubt it. Nonetheless it is certainly not what anyone tasked with national security *should* be doing, because it is completely contrary to the supposed goal.

Re:Not quite (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#45181941)

Countries don't have 'friends' they have 'allies'. Allied countries have always spied on each other.

Re:Not quite (2)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#45182023)

"We have always been at war with Eastasia."

I know you probably are not old enough to remember it, but there was a time before this BS. Then came the cold war, and it made sense to build stuff like this to stop them. Then they keeled over dead from bad economics and we... started making new enemies. And by that time generations had gone by so constant wartime footing seems 'normal' to a lot of people.

But it's bad economics and if we keep it up we're going the way of the Soviet Union.

Re:Not quite (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 6 months ago | (#45181955)

Actually they are supposed to be spying on *enemy governments*.

Problem is we dont have any more of those left, ...

The way the USA is going, it's that is all it's going to have left...

Re:NSA doing its job (3, Interesting)

X.25 (255792) | about 6 months ago | (#45181963)

Spying on foreign governments is pretty much the job description of the NSA. Spying on domestic communications is something they get away with, spying on foreign communications is what they were created to do.

I imagine the Mexican government will be publicly shocked to learn these details, but their counterintelligence teams have likely privately detected and thwarted other US hacking attempts.

US officials said how attacks on US networks are considered to be 'acts of war'.

NSA goes and attacks pretty much every corporate and/or government network known to man.

It's just NSA "doing their job", right? Not acts of war, by any chance?

Are they that naive or arrogant or stupid .. (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 6 months ago | (#45181489)

to believe that this sort of thing will forever remain a secret ? Sooner or later this sort of thing will become public knowledge; I suppose that the best that they can hope for is that, by then, no one will care.

Regardless of the legality or morality of this, or that ''it is just the NSA's job'', they should have forseen that it WILL become known, at that it is likely to cause a public storm or damage USA reputation or international relationships. Instead they seem to act surprised and then try to blame the messenger (Mr Sowden). I ask again: Are they that naive or arrogant or stupid to believe that this sort of thing could forever remain a secret ?

Re:Are they that naive or arrogant or stupid .. (1)

joh (27088) | about 6 months ago | (#45181559)

I'm pretty sure they think that caring for that just isn't part of their job. Maybe they're even right with that, it's the job of others to reign them in.

Re:Are they that naive or arrogant or stupid .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181723)

to believe that this sort of thing will forever remain a secret ? Sooner or later this sort of thing will become public knowledge;

Everyone knows that every government spies on every other government. Most of the specifics never becomes public knowledge. If your argument were sensible, perhaps you would not feel the need to have a name-calling hissy-fit.

Re:Are they that naive or arrogant or stupid .. (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45181965)

What's going to happen is what always happens when these programs come to light: everyone will bitch, somebody may try something really dramatic like expelling Ambassadors; and then six months from now nobody will care. Everyone the NSA has spied on so far has acted this way. Brazil's response is actually strongest. They are starting a program encrypting their internal government emails, which begs the question: why the fuck they weren't doing that already. In other words it's you're being arrogant and naive. Everybody who thought about this for 10 seconds, including the entire population of Mexico, probably assumed both the US and the Chinese have hacked Mexican government computers extensively. Brazil is slightly more isolated from the rest of the world, so they were probably arrogant and naive enough to assume that they weren't being hacked.

As for the arrogance and naivety of other NSA programs, keep in mind that from the NSA's point of view they have a warrant for everything they get. You may not like the warrants, but it is both arrogant and naive to assume that simply because you think a warrant is over-broad everyone else in the entire world will agree with you and the warrant will be destroyed just as soon as you issue a press release saying so.

Gentlemen do not read each other's mail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181527)

Nor enquire about their country's spy agencies' practice of doing the same.

Everyone's Doing It... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181579)

Why is this news? Every country does this. If your country's intelligence service doesn't try things like this, then you should be seriously worried and perhaps fire them all.

How does revealing this help American citizens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181651)

Snowden has done more damage than good. F him!

No hard feelings (3, Insightful)

mapuche (41699) | about 6 months ago | (#45181703)

"The news is likely to hurt ties between the US and Mexico."

Hardly. When you have huge difference of powers the weaker nation, Mexico in this case, can only act as offended but forget the issue very soon and go on.

Need more honeypots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45181753)

Need to set up some honeypots to feed NSA the info they want to believe in.

McKinnon. Aaron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45182105)

Both hounded for doing that.

The former receiving a demand to extradite to face charges despite there being no proof of the damages asserted oddly enough to a level that meets the requirements for extradition.

In this case, if Mexico ask for someone to face charges, I doubt that there will be any push from the Merkin government to combat international cyberterroristm.

'cos it's not cyberterrorism if the USA does it.

so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45182177)

it's only a Third-World beaner email account

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