Lawmakers rebut Obama's data defense - Reid J. Epstein - POLITICO.com“I can assure you the phone number tracking of non-criminal, non-terrorist suspects was not discussed [at the administration's classified briefings],” said [Congressman Aaron] Schock. “Most members have stopped going to their classified briefings because they rarely tell us anything we don’t already know in the news. It really has become a charade.”
Dem. Senator disputes Obama's claims that Congress was briefed"By the way,” [Senator Jeff] Merkley continued. “When I sought information [on the phone surveillance program], the only information I got was that, yes there is a program sweeping up broad amounts of data through the records act. This second thing, which we just learned about, called PRISM, I had no idea about.”
U.S. is spying on Web servers - Philly.comThe only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.
the lady (nyt) does graham greene (look for the rubik's cube):
when they met, mr snowden worked to portray himself as, unlike bradley manning who was reckless, "carefully selective" about what he was to releaseThe source had instructed his media contacts to come to Hong Kong, visit a particular out-of-the-way corner of a certain hotel, and ask — loudly — for directions to another part of the hotel. If all seemed well, the source would walk past holding a Rubik’s Cube.
So three people — Glenn Greenwald, a civil-liberties writer who recently moved his blog to The Guardian; Laura Poitras, a documentary filmmaker who specializes in surveillance; and Ewen MacAskill, a Guardian reporter — flew from New York to Hong Kong about 12 days ago. They followed the directions. A man with a Rubik’s Cube appeared.
It was Edward J. Snowden, who looked even younger than his 29 years — an appearance, Mr. Greenwald recalled in an interview from Hong Kong on Monday, that shocked him because he had been expecting, given the classified surveillance programs the man had access to, someone far more senior. Mr. Snowden has now turned over archives of “thousands” of documents, according to Mr. Greenwald, and “dozens” are newsworthy.
snowden has "no regret, no sense of what have i done, he is so convinced he has done the right thing"
he's not "delusional," he's "completely rational," he has "tranquility"
it's not clear how he extracted his thousands of documents, "dozens" of which are "newsworthy"
as a teen, he was "enthralled by computers," seen thru his window by his maryland neighbors up all nite at the keyboard
he moved up in the nsa (despite dropping out of hs) because of his tech expertise and his ability to pass a thorough background check
he contacted laura poitras, the computer privacy activist and award winning documentarian featured by nyt, after "seeing disturbing things on a frequent basis, questioning abuses, only to find no one cared"
"over time, he decided his comfortable life was helping build up an architecture of oppression"
he first considered blowing his whistle in 2008 while working in geneva but said "he held off in part because he hoped senator barack obama's election as president might reverse the growth of the surveillance state"
snowden's disillusionment, however, at what he was subsequently witnessing, "hardened" him, he "decided he could not wait for others to act"
“i had been looking for leaders, but i realized that leadership is about being the first to act"
snowden reached out to poitras in january
ms poitras, mr greenwald (the guardian reporter at the front of the story who is facing legal issues of his own) and vietnam era hero daniel ellsburg were working with the freedom of the press foundation, a "new organization devoted to whistleblowers and transparency"
in february, snowden contacted greenwald with "an enigmatic email identifying himself as a reader and saying he wanted to communicate about a potential story using encryption"
greenwald wrote back that he did not have the software, snowden sent him a homemade video with step by step instructions for the install, which flummoxed greenwald who gave up
so snowden went to poitras and said he had a major story about the nsa which required both technical and legal expertise
next, poitras met greenwald (who lives in brazil) in person in a ny hotel, she shared emails from snowden saying "he had come to see the surveillance state as out of control and an abuse, and that he felt ready to risk his life and liberty to expose it"
at this point, neither greenwald nor poitras knew snowden's name
snowden arranged a meeting, "somewhere far away," where "i want you to interview me and get the documents"
a week later, snowden sent a sample of about 20 documents, including power point slides explaining prism
ms poitras, meanwhile, had contacted one baron gellman, wapo reporter, for advice---did all this seem credible to him
in mid may, snowden sent gellman the same 20 documents, and gellman gave poitras the cover she sought
“it was good to have the washington post invested in the leak, so it wasn’t just us---to tie in official washington"
in the last week of may, greenwald flew from brazil to ny to meet with guardian editors and review the preliminary docs
the next day, he and poitras and macaskill flew to hong kong
after the rubik's cube, the four talked for 6 hours in swowden's room
in the end, the journalists were "persuaded that mr snowden was who he claimed to be"
the lady concludes her tale by quoting john schindler, former nsa officer: "if a smart systems administrator went rogue you’d be in trouble”
the gray lady may be an old whore and a lush, too much makeup and her apt sorta stinks, but she still tells a great story
The other new wrinkle is that now the data can be analyzed by computers to establish patterns of phone usage and law enforcement notified solely because of suspicious patterns. That is appropriate when their is preexisting suspicion, but not something that should be done randomly or to everybody.
*"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Ben Franklin, 1775
the president's pal putin the puppetmaster will take him
Edward Snowden: Russia offers to consider asylum request | World news | guardian.co.uk
The NSA should be spying on folks who call Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other sensitive areas.
Not folks who frequently call relatives in Ireland, Italy, and Israel.
the dropout is no dummy, manipulates the msm like a master
The perfect leak - Mackenzie Weinger - POLITICO.comIn his dealings with the media, Edward Snowden played his hand like a pro.
Snowden, 29, was looking to disclose top-secret information about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs to the world — and to do so he arranged a powerful one-two combination punch with the press that provided both mainstream credibility (Barton Gellman and The Washington Post) and someone who shared his ideological inclinations (Glenn Greenwald), according to media observers and whistleblower experts.
As more and more agenda-driven outlets, reporters and bloggers hit the media scene, leakers such as Snowden find themselves with a wealth of potential options to get their information out. It’s a seismic shift from the old media landscape, when would-be leakers had only one clear path to ensuring widespread attention for their stories: a successful pitch to a handful of national newspapers or TV networks.
But the traditional national security media heavyweights — led by The New York Times and The Washington Post — still have outsize influence on stories about intelligence gathering and potential overreach by the government.
So at the end of the day, experts told POLITICO, Snowden found a way to pull off what was in effect the perfect leak. He established parallel tracks with the MSM — The Washington Post and The Guardian — and also found a member of the media who was sympathetic to his cause. Snowden’s material was given widespread exposure and credibility in the traditional press and at the same time had the hand of a friendly journalist on the wheel for at least part of the ride.
the lady goes on at length:
Um.... yeah? Do you have indications that law enforcement was called in to visit random people or everybody because of pattern analysis programs?The other new wrinkle is that now the data can be analyzed by computers to establish patterns of phone usage and law enforcement notified solely because of suspicious patterns. That is appropriate when their is preexisting suspicion, but not something that should be done randomly or to everybody.
“If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures.”
- Alexander Hamilton. Spiritual father of #NeverTrump
"It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan