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CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the what-did-he-get? dept.

Privacy 504

An anonymous reader writes "This week CBS New's 60 Minutes program had a broadcast segment devoted to the NSA, and additional online features. It revealed that the first secret Snowden stole was the test and answers for a technical examination to get a job at NSA. When working at home, Snowden covered his head and screen with a hood so that his girlfriend couldn't see what he was doing. NSA considered the possibility that Snowden left malicious software behind and removed every computer and cable that Snowden had access to from its classified network, costing tens of millions of dollars. Snowden took approximately 1.7 million classified documents. Snowden never approached any of multiple Inspectors General, supervisors, or Congressional oversight committee members about his concerns. Snowden's activity caught the notice of other System Administrators. There were also other interesting details, such as the NSA has a highly competitive intern program for High School students that are given a Top Secret clearance and a chance to break codes that have resisted the efforts of NSA's analysts — some succeed. The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans. Targeting the actual communications of Americans, rather than metadata, requires a probable cause finding and a specific court order. NSA analysts working with metadata don't have access to the name, and can't listen to the call. The NSA's work is driven by requests for information by other parts of the government, and there are about 31,000 requests. Snowden apparently managed to steal a copy of that document, the 'crown jewels' of the intelligence world. With that information, foreign nations would know what the US does and doesn't know, and how to exploit it."

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504 comments

Meta-data (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45702921)

We know who your friends are we know where your children go to school, keep quiet and it will all be aright......

Lie-fest from the NSA (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45702999)

Other than lies, lies and more damn lies, what else can NSA come up with ?

No matter how slick or how polished their lies be, NSA's lies are still LIES.

NSA has betrayed America.

NSA has betrayed the Constitution.

NSA is a rogue organization within the government of the United States of America.

Re:Lie-fest from the NSA (5, Funny)

rvw (755107) | about 4 months ago | (#45703085)

Other than lies, lies and more damn lies, what else can NSA come up with ?

Statistics!

Re:Lie-fest from the NSA (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703105)

"NSA is a rogue organization within the government of the United States of America."

LoL.
I don't think you understood, NSA IS the government of the United States.

"The NSA's work is driven by requests for information by other parts of the government"

And Angela Merkel says hi.

Re:Lie-fest from the NSA (5, Interesting)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 4 months ago | (#45703253)

NSA IS the government of the United States.

No, the NSA Surveillance Destroys Diplomacy and Democracy: [huffingtonpost.com]

How do democratically elected officials (the president, congressmen or senators) get control of a stand-alone secret government bureaucracy that was operating long before they arrived and will survive them after they've gone? A bureaucracy that knows everything there is to know about them, too?

They don't. They can't. So the surreptitious, illicit actions of a US spy agency can undermine the diplomatic work of months and years. And the president - the elected official chosen to lead the country - is so hamstrung by the NSA that he cannot stop the interceptions and order an immediate investigation.

Re:Lie-fest from the NSA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703325)

If the president and other elected representatives have no real power, then they are not the real government.

Re:Lie-fest from the NSA (5, Insightful)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 4 months ago | (#45703137)

My thoughts exactly, to that end it seems now the thing to do is to discredit Snowden who I consider a true patriot.

Of all the things said about him by the NSA the one thing that strikes me about the whole case is that nowhere ever is it mentioned he did it for money or anything other than to expose what the NSA was up to to the world.

Re:Lie-fest from the NSA (4, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 4 months ago | (#45703145)

"Snowden never approached any of multiple Inspectors General, supervisors, or Congressional oversight committee members about his concerns."

And how would they expect that to be responded to if he did? "Keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you."

Re:Lie-fest from the NSA (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about 4 months ago | (#45703323)

If he expected to be treated like previous NSA whistleblowers or previous Obama era whistleblowers/leakers, why would he do that?

At best he could talk to someone like Ron Wyden or Mark Udall. Except they already knew what kind of shit the NSA was doing and couldn't say or do anything about it.

Re:Meta-data (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703111)

Metadata is nothing more than data to begin with. This distinction is absolutely absurd. Capturing the actual data wouldn't really be any more difficult for them, so how is that magically more private? It isn't. They're just abusing past irrelevant, ignorant court decisions for their own gain.

Rah! Rah! NSA! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45702923)

So it sounds like it will be pro-NSA spin-doctoring from our crony-corporatist media.

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 4 months ago | (#45702955)

In order for there to be a meaningful public discussion about government surveillance, the surveillance agencies need to be able to state their position. Indeed, it is hardly possible to refute their reasons for surveillance unless they have a chance to state them.

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703069)

They've been "making their case" for years. This is nothing but spin doctoring and character assassination not an honest debate.

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#45703139)

but they have been lying about their position many times.

also, why would NSA consider amnesty for Snowden? it is not NSA's job to consider that nor is it in their jurisdiction, at least it's not supposed to be.

less than 60 americans? so 10 million in equipment per? really? shouldn't the number be zero anyways and surveillance on those sixty americans be done by the FBI?

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (5, Insightful)

H3lldr0p (40304) | about 4 months ago | (#45703155)

And they can do this without resorting to channels that are known first and primarily as propaganda machines.

Because, and let us be honest here, part of the reason why we are in this position is that the media in the US are not there to provide the informational bulwark so that we may function as close to an ideal republic as we can. They currently exist to sell us things and to make us feel better out said purchases. This extends to the government at all levels. Who better to give an interview to than the very apparatus that is there to appease and not investigate?

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (4, Insightful)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about 4 months ago | (#45703159)

In some ways the NSA are their own worst enemy in this situation. Snowden leaked huge quantities of documents directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak, that broadly incriminates the NSA of a host of crimes they were supposedly able to self-regulate against. The problem they have now is one of credibility - they have no channel through which to put out their version of the story that will allow it to carry the same credibility as Snowden's leak.

I work in the media sector and myself and know that no self-respecting spin doctor could get this so badly wrong as it seems on the surface - there was a target demographic of supreme importance that they hit square in the face for some reason. Not that I can go looking for them from the other side of the pond...

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#45703307)

There are probably better media for that than what is ostensibly an investigative-journalism show.

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 months ago | (#45703003)

CBS has never been anything other than sucking at the teat of corporatism. It's not an accident they didn't cover the arab spring, OWS or anything other than pro-us government leaning views until they were widely broadcast everywhere else.

In short - if it's affiliated with any TV network public or private, then you're not the customer. The corporations are.

Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45703035)

I mean, the Fox network sucks at the government teats as much as anybody else.

I am surprised with the fact that CBS was chosen over Fox network.

I always thought that NSA would choose Fox to be their media anchor. I was wrong.

Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (2)

Yew2 (1560829) | about 4 months ago | (#45703109)

They probably figured it would be less 'obvious' if the so-called liberal media supported them instead of the 'obviously' biased Foxnooze.

Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (1)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about 4 months ago | (#45703305)

Out of interest, what political groups is 60-minutes known to gain political traction with when it airs stuff like this?

Re:Wonder why NSA didn't go to Fox network first ? (1)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about 4 months ago | (#45703291)

Forgive if I'm being naive and out of touch, it's a long way to America from here, but I was under the impression that Fox News was the outlet of choice for Tea Party supporters and activists - they already seem to be out protesting against the NSA's surveillance, so maybe they realized it wasn't worth the shot at convincing them otherwise?

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703007)

So it sounds like it will be pro-NSA spin-doctoring from our crony-corporatist media.

I was thinking that 60 Minutes is now broadcasting fiction.

Snowden never approached any of multiple Inspectors General, supervisors, or Congressional oversight committee members about his concerns.

Assuming that's true ...

Like they'd do anything about it and if he did, he could kiss his job good-bye and he would be told to shut up. And even if he ignored them and started blabbing on the Internet and media, who'd believe him? Without documentation, he's just another conspiracy theorist.

Targeting the actual communications of Americans, rather than metadata, requires a probable cause finding and a specific court order.

Yep, it does require it but they don't give a shit. They do it anyway.

NSA analysts working with metadata don't have access to the name, and can't listen to the call.

I do NOT believe this. Anyone who does is a rube.

Re:Rah! Rah! NSA! (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45703021)

Cosnidering that softball puff piece they did on Amazon recently, is anyone surprised? Jesus, that one ended with Charlie Rose all-but asking Bezos "Should I spit or swallow, sir?"

Stole exam answers? (5, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about 4 months ago | (#45702929)

The character assassination of Snowden begins.

Re:Stole exam answers? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45702969)

Hey guys! Look over there!!! *NSA goosesteppers run the other way*

Re:Stole exam answers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703225)

*NSA goosesteppers run the other way*

goosesteppers run

That must look ridiculous.

Re:Stole exam answers? (4, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45703037)

I was thinking the exact same thing when I watched it. Guess they couldn't trump up a rape charge, so that was the best they could do (for now, anyway).

Re:Stole exam answers? (4, Insightful)

garyok (218493) | about 4 months ago | (#45703065)

So he broke into a secure environment, serruptitiously obtained confidential and/or classified information, and used his take to successfully gain a competive advantage over his peers? And somehow this makes him unsuitable for employment at the NSA? If he'd just 'fessed up he'd be the first new guy to start his job with an employee of the month award.

Re:Stole exam answers? (4, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 4 months ago | (#45703199)

So he broke into a secure environment, serruptitiously obtained confidential and/or classified information, and used his take to successfully gain a competive advantage over his peers? And somehow this makes him unsuitable for employment at the NSA? If he'd just 'fessed up he'd be the first new guy to start his job with an employee of the month award.

I know it marks me as a giant nerd, but that still makes me think of the written chuunin exam in Naruto, where the whole point was to cheat on it without getting caught...

Re:Stole exam answers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703235)

Kobayashi Maru

Re:Stole exam answers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703073)

Exactly. What the hell is this, Two Minutes of Hate?

Re:Stole exam answers? (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45703131)

The character assassination of Snowden begins

No, it began when the Scotland Yard and the GCHQ tried to pin Snowden with the Pedophiles.

http://slashdot.org/story/13/11/07/038216/edward-snowden-leaks-could-help-paedophiles-escape-police-says-uk-government [slashdot.org]

Then NSA returned the favor and attacked Julian Assange

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/12/13/012210/was-julian-assange-involved-with-wiretapping-icelands-parliament [slashdot.org]

This is the third round.

There will be a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, and their intention is very simple -

The want to fill the media media with LIES.

They want to fill the world with SO MUCH LIES that nobody can discern truth from lies.

Oh NSA (5, Insightful)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 4 months ago | (#45702931)

>Snowden never approached any of multiple Inspectors General, supervisors, or Congressional oversight committee members about his concerns.

Good idea too. Everyone else who did (that we know of) was fired and investigated. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Andrews_Drake [wikipedia.org]

>The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans. Targeting the actual communications of Americans, rather than metadata, requires a probable cause finding and a specific court order.

We don't believe you, and quit targeting my metadata without a warrant.

Re:Oh NSA (5, Insightful)

Heed00 (1473203) | about 4 months ago | (#45703055)

And, of course, there's a difference between actively "targeting" and collecting "incidentally" or "unwittingly." To deny the former does not exclude the latter. These guys lie for a living and love muddying the waters by using specific terms in specific contexts to sound like blanket denials which, in reality, turn out to be almost meaningless declarations.

And yes, metadata can easily be more intrusive than content.

Re:Oh NSA (5, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 4 months ago | (#45703233)

Exactly. It's weasel words. "We're only targeting 60 Americans" might be true, but it leaves an impression that they're only capturing data on 60 Americans when what it really means is "We're capturing metadata on EVERY American, but most of that data goes into our servers to be accessed/searched on later. Right now, we're only looking at the actual communications for 60 Americans, but that could change at any moment if we deem it to be needed for any reason we think up."

Re:Oh NSA (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703257)

FTA: Snowden never approached any of multiple Inspectors General, supervisors, or Congressional oversight committee members about his concerns.

I was a Federal whisteblower, on two cases. Being a whistleblower will get you followed, framed, and fired — at the least. In my case, additional, externally directed efforts were made to strangle me financially, and to destroy my career.

Don't do it. They will destroy you.

About those "Less than 60 Americans" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45702935)

"The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans." - yeah right...

Re:About those "Less than 60 Americans" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703005)

It's probably true. They only TARGET the data of 60 Americans. The millions of others are just spied on by 'accident'.

Re:About those "Less than 60 Americans" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703303)

It's probably true. They only TARGET the data of 60 Americans. The millions of others are just spied on by 'accident'.

I unwittingly understand.

Re:About those "Less than 60 Americans" (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#45703285)

"The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans." - yeah right...

I believe that was Snowden's point, and the central theme of my standatd complaint in these threads -- that this is just a procedural "you ought to get permission" thing which, of course, a G. Gordon Liddy type agent, who's really working for some political bigwig, could simply ignore the rules and listen in to the conversations of political opponents. Even "just the metadata", connecting politicians to each other, planners, and donors, could be exploited.

NSA Does Damage Control (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45702937)

So how exactly was he supposed to contact his supervisors if the whole operation is corrupt anyway???? This sounds like NSA BS.

Re:NSA Does Damage Control (4, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45703081)

It always cracks me up when whsiteblowers are criticized for not contacting their superiors with the information first--as if it's not THOSE VERY SAME SUPERIORS who aren't the ones PERPETUATING THE WRONGDOING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

"Sir I think this Adolph Hitler may be nuts!"

"Well, then you must report this concern to Herr Hitler immediately!"

The NSA is so Credible (5, Insightful)

twmcneil (942300) | about 4 months ago | (#45702943)

Who in their right mind would believe anything the NSA says? They have lied to everyone about everything.

Re:The NSA is so Credible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703047)

In the balance of power/abuses, I'd still consider the NSA more appropriate than say... the Chinese/Russian equivalent, the French just wrote some legislation recently regarding this, every African country, every south american country.

Consider what some of the countries would do if they had the ability to execute what the NSA does. They would most certainly implement such measures.

Fools.

Re:The NSA is so Credible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703203)

In the balance of power/abuses, I'd still consider the NSA more appropriate than say... the Chinese/Russian equivalent, the French just wrote some legislation recently regarding this, every African country, every south american country.

Consider what some of the countries would do if they had the ability to execute what the NSA does. They would most certainly implement such measures.

Fools.

You do realize that most of the information you have on how bad those organizations are is 'information' you got through NSA right?

Whoa ... an APOLOGIST !! (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45703243)

In the balance of power/abuses, I'd still consider the NSA more appropriate than say... the Chinese/Russian equivalent ...

Just look at the modus operandi of the apologists ...
 
They are actually TRYING VERY HARD to compare an apple to an orange !

RUSSIA and CHINA are NOT democratic countries.

THEIR GOVERNMENTS are RUTHLESS and VERY AUTOCRATIC, and they have the power to PERSECUTE, and even EXECUTE their people WITHOUT REASON.

I am from China. I know what I am talking about !

On the other hand, the United States of America is supposed to be A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY - where *LAWS* are obeyed, and even the government has to OBEY THE LAWS.

NSA is NOT an apparatus of the Russian nor an apparatus of the Chinese government.

NSA is a branch of the government of the United States of America.

Which means, NSA has the OBLIGATION to operate ACCORDING TO WHAT HAS BEEN CLEARLY STATED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Has NSA done that ?

Nope.

NSA has VIOLATED the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA !

Apologist, you are forewarned !

We will hunt you down, no matter where the fuck you are !

Re:The NSA is so Credible (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45703113)

If they're willing to openly lie to Congress, does anyone think for a second they wouldn't openly lie to the press? When NSA reps speak now, I don't even bother listening for how they parse their language. They're not even trying to *technically* tell the truth--they're just flat out lying, period.

Re:The NSA is so Credible (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 months ago | (#45703175)

The people like cold fjord who would continually piss themselves over "Mooslem" boogeymen without Big Brother tucking them in at night. 9/10 chance that this "anonymous" person is cold fjord.

Re:The NSA is so Credible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703211)

Cold Fjord is most likely the submitter of this news story...

Re:The NSA is so Credible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703321)

Who in their right mind would believe anything the NSA says? They have lied to everyone about everything.

Well, the NSA has lied to Congress under oath.

That would be a PMITA criminal offense for regular plebes.

Biased much? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45702951)

Could this be more biased in favour of the NSA? I don't think so. It reads as pure propaganda.

The fact is - the NSA, and the US government, has consistently been lying to the American people. Consistently. The Guardian publishes one thing, the US responds, and then the Guardian publishes another clearly indicating how the US government lied. Time and time again. How many times do we have to go over this?

Re:Biased much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703327)

How many times do we have to go over this?

Until the American people are numb and ignore the facts on purpose rather than just being lied to by the government.

Cables are dangerous (5, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 4 months ago | (#45702963)

NSA considered the possibility that Snowden left malicious software behind and removed every computer and cable that Snowden had access to from its classified network, costing tens of millions of dollars.

Because next time I write a virus, I will use it to infect a UTP cable.

Re:Cables are dangerous (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 4 months ago | (#45703165)

Because next time I write a virus, I will use it to infect a UTP cable.

They're immune to that attack now, they replaced them with CAT6 cables!

When the basic facts are lies, why trust the rest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703187)

Yep talking about removing anything but hard drives is pure trumped up fraud and waste. If your PR is going to be obviously full of shit to even a basic tech nerd, why bother?

(dont anyone try to parade the "what about bios" crap, its not out there yet, unless he ran across a project for it and co-opted it which would be LOL)

BTW have you checked your slashdot SSL certs today? Since we know it gets MITM'ed to install malware on targets...then again smart folks don't let javascript or other web 2.0 bullshit run by default if they can help it.

Re:Cables are dangerous (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#45703341)

It's perhaps more telling that they fear cables -- the NSA probably has cables mabufactured with eavesdropping tech in them. Tapping into same is one of their known methods, so a simple cable replacement will probably go undetected by the targets.

I.e. no black box around the cable with blinking red lights, like a movie. Just a normal-looking cable is there.

Snowball animal farm Snowden from reality (3, Insightful)

Infestedkudzu (2557914) | about 4 months ago | (#45702971)

Does this just seem like the heaviest kind of propaganda on how bad snowden is. the whole thing is just emphasizing how 'horrible' he is and making no mention of how unacceptable Almost all NSA actions are. Its when I post to these articles that I wonder how much slashdot articles get red flagged.

"Land of the Free and the Brave" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45702973)

It would be nice if the U.S.A. stopped assuming that it is entitled to run the largest world-wide organized crime syndicate. Why are they always drilling "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" into their subjects when they are applying the opposite standard to themselves, namely "if you get to hide everything, you have nothing to fear"?

stolen answers/data...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45702981)

well, it kinda sounds like all of your top notch sys admins and analysts were sleeping on the job if Snowden was able to completely p0wn or systems like that. do u really have to wonder y some folks just don't want u to have their data. if Snow den got it so easily, who else has it?

Puff piece (5, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45702991)

Never asked the obvious questions. "If you really aren't storing all our emails and phone calls, then why do you need to build a new $1.5 billion facility [wikipedia.org] to hold exabytes of data storage? Either you're lying or you're guilty of a SERIOUS misappropriation of funds. So which is it?"

Re:Puff piece (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703119)

Have you considered that maybe they need to store data that's not your e-mails and phone calls? I mean, their focus is primarily foreign surveillance.

Re:Puff piece (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45703189)

If they have the capability to sweep up that much foreign data, then they have the capability to sweep up the domestic data too. And if history has taught us anything, it's that, when given power, someone WILL ALWAYS use it.

Think about it, with VPN's so widely available and most providers being international, how would they realistically even be able to make the distinction between foreign and domestic emails? What they're claiming is not only a lie, it's not even POSSIBLE.

snowden is a (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703019)

dead man walking, and is being debriefed by his Soviet masters. i offer a bounty for his head on a plate!

Crocodile Tears (5, Insightful)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about 4 months ago | (#45703033)

Not having access to 60-minutes in the UK, it would seem the main thrust of the NSA's argument is that the system has checks and balances for exactly this sort of situation, and that Snowden should have notified the right people about his findings rather than go public. What it doesn't seem to mention is that these very same people should already have known about this - everyone whose responsibility it was to either refrain from these actions or say "No" when someone else asked if they were allowed had already said "Yes" so I think removing the system's responsibility for self-regulation by public release in that context is exactly the right thing to do.

By trying to paint Snowden's actions as irresponsible by failing to follow the preapproved script for this sort of violation, they are also trying to cover the arses of the self-regulators by claiming ignorance of the matter on their behalf. It's simultaneously a smear-attack on Snowden and an attempt to save the faces of the people he's made like utter f***wits. The logic-fail in this case is that they can't cover up what we already know from their own documents happened, so the ignorance play only makes the self-regulation argument even weaker as, prior to Snowden's releases, it had already comprehensively failed to protect those in it's charge over a long period of time.

Bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703041)

NSA is not only targeting 60 Americans, they are also sharing with FBI and police, as well as "mistakenly" firing of searches that associate individuals with metadata, in violation of their own standards. One could argue that they set the bars very low, even Congressional oversight was upset with the illegality and overreach. Then there are the searches being made by rogue users within the NSA , such as Snowden, whom you may speculate was a Soviet operative from the get go. He seemed to be awfully well informed as how to do maximum damage, likely beyond the ability of a lone wolf.

NSA is creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703049)

Hopefully Snowden doesn't fall into their trap and continues to feed Greenwald with juicy bits of details of our corrupt government.

Big Bad Snowden (1)

Yew2 (1560829) | about 4 months ago | (#45703053)

Test and answers to get hired? They are saying he didnt pass on his own (rather, hacked their systems before he got hired in order to get hired) or went from zero to evil the second he was given access and just went all grabby? Or are they saying he planned to open a "work for the nsa now, ask me how" website?

Up Next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703063)

I suspect that today or tomorrow Snowden will release files that demonstrate that the 60 Minutes NSA story is a massive lie. It will likely prove that this is pure fabrication: "The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans. Targeting the actual communications of Americans, rather than metadata, requires a probable cause finding and a specific court order. NSA analysts working with metadata don't have access to the name, and can't listen to the call."

In fact, I thought he had already proven otherwise, but I'm unable to readily locate such a release.

I have zero issue with the NSA doing what it does against foreign nations, including allies. That is specifically what it is for and every other nation that can does the same thing. It has always been this way. But, the NSA is not supposed to operate on U.S. soil or against U.S. citizens. They have grown out of control and have now bitten the hand that feeds them.

Believability Deficit (5, Insightful)

StormReaver (59959) | about 4 months ago | (#45703075)

So an organization whose existence is predicated on lying, and whose employees, from the top of the food chain to the bottom of the food chain, have done nothing but lie to their country, from the top of the food chain to the bottom of the food chain, goes on a national TV show and says stuff that we are supposed to believe?

Either the NSA is staffed by utter morons, or they think we are the utter morons. There is a huge believability deficit in that agency, and an enormous cognitive disconnect among its leaders. It's yet another federal agency that needs a large funding reduction, and whose leaders need many years of therapy.

So fluffy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703095)

Jesus, reading the transcript it's just a long series of softball questions, "gee-whizz look at us we're so smart" descriptions and fear mongering.

Only thing they probably couldn't show was ol' Keith getting sucked off by the interviewer.

Phone Content (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703097)

"Targeting the actual communications of Americans, rather than metadata, requires a probable cause finding and a specific court order."

Yeah, right.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57589495-38/nsa-spying-flap-extends-to-contents-of-u.s-phone-calls/

A lot more truth than the imagination of outsiders (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703117)

Nothing that has been revealed so far shows any wrongdoing. Hell, half the civil libertarians probably wanted to find something to impeach Obama with, that is there whole interest in this.

Having a computer store metadata that you don't try to hide from private companiees just isn't that big of a deal. And it sure doesn't warrant one story a day from Slashdot...

Re:A lot more truth than the imagination of outsid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703179)

Having a computer store metadata that you don't try to hide from private companiees just isn't that big of a deal.

Giving it to specific private companies or individuals != giving it to the government. The fact that you even try to say that this isn't a big deal shows that you're profoundly ignorant of history and disgustingly naive. Vanish. You don't belong here, scum.

Re:A lot more truth than the imagination of outsid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703273)

Having a computer store metadata that you don't try to hide from private companiees just isn't that big of a deal.

Actually many people do try to hide them from private companies. But even if this statement was entirely true, there is a big difference between what a corporation can do with the metadata vs what the government can do. Last time I checked, Google isn't able to send out a drone to extrajudicially kill a US citizen.

The problem for the NSA... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 4 months ago | (#45703143)

Is that the NSA is now an arm of law enforcement. The new FISA statute requires them to turn over actionable law enforcement intelligence they acquire during lawful FISA spying. That means literally any crime, not just serious violations of national security. If the NSA's spying still was only legally usable against you where your behavior intersects with federal war powers (meaning you're a terrorist, spy or foreign mole) I doubt most people would care.

What the NSA should be doing is lobbying to have that part of FISA not only removed, but replaced with black letter of the law statutory language that unequivocally makes their intelligence inadmissable in a court of law under penalty of tainting every charge prosecutors bring including ones wholly unrelated to what the NSA gathered. This would make the NSA useless to law enforcement and allow them to get back to focusing on supporting the military which was their main reason for being in the first place.

Unsurprising outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703153)

Looks like CBS got their orders about how to spin the story.

We can portray him to be as evil as we like, it doesn't change the fact that our spying is immoral and unethical, and has greatly expanded in the last few years.

Yeah right... (1)

unique_parrot (1964434) | about 4 months ago | (#45703157)

..." steal a copy of that document, the 'crown jewels' of the intelligence world.".
Like the nsa would be a noble org. that has 'crown jewels'. He just copied a part of an evil masterplan, which belong so some people you won't want to mess with.

Distracting Lies and Obfuscations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703167)

I simply don't believe what they are saying.

Snowden stole the test in order to get hired? So the NSA's documents can be pilfered by a young individual acting alone? Unbelievable.

As to the number of Americans who have their 'content' targeted, or whether Snowden approached the officials higher up:

Those officials already signed off the core issue at hand: the total collection of everyone's data. Until they stop, or until we as a society move to encryption as a standard for our communications (https, slashdot, https), then we all have to watch what we say. Because if the warden's light is ever pointed at us, they'll know everything we said and everything we did.

They may only be 'targeted' 60 'Americans', whatever they mean by that, but they are spying on all Americans, and everyone else too.

xp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703169)

Did you notice that ninety percent of the desktops filmed inside the NSA were using Windows XP?

Re:xp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703245)

Yep, that's their standard workstation. It's heavily locked-down though.

WFH at the NSA? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 4 months ago | (#45703171)

>> When working at home, Snowden covered his head and screen with a hood so that his girlfriend couldn't see what he was doing.

Did I read correctly that the NSA allows WFH? Maybe I can suggest a solution...

burn the witch! (1)

mad_psych0 (991712) | about 4 months ago | (#45703185)

Nothing like a good old-fashioned witch hunt spurred on by the likes of 60 Minutes to start off a Monday morning. Next thing we know, Snowden will be some kind of closeted pervert who likes to kick puppies.

I hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703195)

I hope he has a radiation detector for all his food.
  Its amazing how many people the U.S. doesn't like get fast acting cancer.

Cryptoanalysis? (3, Insightful)

rmsilva123 (1417079) | about 4 months ago | (#45703201)

"Joslyn: So the idea here is we’re looking at a sequence of numbers, and we want to determine whether they’re random or not random.
John Miller: How are you approaching that? Can you show me?
Joe: We are looking at this data here and it is a bunch of random numbers on the screen.
John Miller: That looks a tad overwhelming.
Joe: It is."

They are trying to determine if the numbers are random by looking at them on the screen? If this was how they were doing cryptoanalysis at the NSA, we could all sleep better. Of course, as noted above, there's no reason to believe any information provided in an obvious propaganda piece like this one.

Don't you just love omissions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703237)

We all know what the analysts don't have access to, but the NSA is omitting what is on tap to its strong AI.

I would call them compulsive liars, but what would you expect???

but where are the Golden Tablets? (2, Funny)

jabberw0k (62554) | about 4 months ago | (#45703241)

When working at home, Snowden covered his head and screen with a hood so that his girlfriend couldn't see what he was doing.

Sounds like he was channeling Joseph Smith.

The NSA is only targeting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703271)

The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans. Targeting the actual communications of Americans, rather than metadata, requires a probable cause finding and a specific court order.

And the IRS is not targeting political enemies, it's just a local issue, nothing to see here, move along.

Meta-data and SMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45703277)

Aren't text messages part of meta-data since texts piggyback on the maintenance comms?

Crocodile's tears (1)

zoffdino (848658) | about 4 months ago | (#45703319)

The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans

Note the multiple qualifiers here: communications, of Americans. They capture metadata for every other Americans, and voice data for the rest of the world.

Snowden's activity caught the notice of other System Administrators

And they did nothing about it until Snowden has fled to Hong Kong. Good to see my tax dollars being spent on those government employees with full pensions and top secret clearance.

NSA considered the possibility that Snowden left malicious software behind and removed every computer and cable that Snowden had access to from its classified network, costing tens of millions of dollars

Sometimes when watching their foes (or more likely, their fellow citizens), they forgot to look out for their own kind. Expenses well deserved.

The NSA's work is driven by requests for information by other parts of the government

How can we know that this is true? There are multiple gag orders preventing companies from disclosing those requests, and the NSA has not been forthcoming in those either. Say what you want, NSA, I'll choose to believe it when I see the evidence of it.

CBS interviewer is an intelligence guy himself (3, Interesting)

DaveyJJ (1198633) | about 4 months ago | (#45703347)

Regardless of CBS' political leanings, you'd have thought that the idea of CBS using John Miller, an ex-employee of the director of National Intelligence, and someone touted to be in the running for a top NYPD intelligence job, to be the interviewer would have stunk to high heaven. There was no criticism, no pushback and no attempt to suggest that the NSA has been doing anything wrong. Holy crickey ... did the NSA simply script this and hand it to CBS?
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