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Thread: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

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    Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    I know there are some people who honestly believe Edward Snowden to be a defender of free speech and liberty, but I've long held the view that although it was important for the American public to know that their government was loosely spying on them, the methodologies used didn't need to be fully disclosed. In short, tell the enemy how we're tracking them and they'll soon change tactics. Such is the case with ISIS/ISIL.

    According to this article from WashingtonTimes.com:

    A former top official at the National Security Agency says the Islamic State terrorist group has “clearly” capitalized on the voluminous leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and is exploiting the top-secret disclosures to evade U.S. intelligence.

    Bottom line: Islamic State killers are harder to find because they know how to avoid detection
    .

    ...


    The top-secret spill has proven ready-made for the Islamic State (also referred to as ISIL or ISIS). It relies heavily on Internet channels to communicate internally and to spread propaganda.

    Mr. Snowden “went way beyond disclosing things that bore on privacy concerns,” said Mr. Inglis, who retired in January. “‘Sources and methods’ is what we say inside the intelligence community — the means and methods we use to hold our adversaries at risk, and ISIL is clearly one of those.

    Having disclosed all of those methods, or at least some degree of those methods, it would be impossible to imagine that, as intelligent as they are in the use of technology, in the employment of communications for their own purposes, it’s impossible to imagine that they wouldn’t understand how they might be at risk to intelligence services around the world, not the least of which is the U.S. And they necessarily do what they think is in their best interest to defend themselves,” he said.
    My concern has long been that once these terrorist groups came to understand how they were being tracked, they'd change tactics. Seems ISIS/ISIL is doing just that. To be clear, I've never been a fan of the PATRIOT Act or any government surveillance program that violated our 5th Amendment rights. However, I fully understood that prior to and since 9/11 the enemy lived within blending among the people in everyday life waiting until he (or she) received the word to carry out their murderous assaults upon the American people. As such, if their means of communications were pre-paid cellphones and the Internet, IMO, it stood to reason to track them where their lines of communications reigned. To that, the NSA surveillance program tried to do just that while also protecting the rights of U.S. citizens. Granted, the program didn't always succeed in that regard and it was important to disclose that much, but disclosing the methods used to track the enemy was wrong.

    To me, the issue isn't how many terror attacks you can count on your fingers and toes that have been stopped using meta-data methodology. The issues was "what is the best way for our intelligence agencies to track the enemy from within to stop them from committing other terror attacks on the U.S. homeland". Snowden let the cat out of the bag. Despite his best intentions, he's given the enemy a stronger hand then they deserve.
    Last edited by Objective Voice; 09-07-14 at 01:00 PM.
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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    You won't get many Snowden apologists to admit this. They'll dismiss it as propaganda and yet another in a long line of conspiracies against their privacy.

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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    But the meta-data wasn't telling the NSA anything about anyone specifically. It merely focused on the keywords or phrases terrorist might use to carry forward with their attacks. For the most part, John and Jane Q Public were relatively safe unless they were suspected of doing something wrong. I'm sure there were some mistakes made here and there and that is regrettable, but if we are to catch the enemy our intelligence gathering sometimes may have to go where we dread.
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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    I know there are some people who honestly believe Edward Snowden to be a defender of free speech and liberty, but I've long held the view that although it was important for the American public to know that their government was loosely spying on them, the methodologies used didn't need to be fully disclosed. In short, tell the enemy how we're tracking them and they'll soon change tactics. Such is the case with ISIS/ISIL.

    According to this article from WashingtonTimes.com:



    My concern has long been that once these terrorist groups came to understand how they were being tracked, they'd change tactics. Seems ISIS/ISIL is doing just that. To be clear, I've never been a fan of the PATRIOT Act or any government surveillance program that violated our 5th Amendment rights. However, I fully understood that prior to and since 9/11 the enemy lived within blending among the people in everyday life waiting until he (or she) received the word to carry out their murderous assaults upon the American people. As such, if their means of communications were pre-paid cellphones and the Internet, IMO, it stood to reason to track them where their lines of communications reigned. To that, the NSA surveillance program tried to do just that while also protecting the rights of U.S. citizens. Granted, the program didn't always succeed in that regard and it was important to disclose that much, but disclosing the methods used to track the enemy was wrong.

    To me, the issue isn't how many terror attacks you can count on your fingers and toes that have been stopped using meta-data methodology. The issues was "what is the best way for our intelligence agencies to track the enemy from within to stop them from committing other terror attacks on the U.S. homeland". Snowden let the cat out of the bag. Despite his best intentions, he's given the enemy a stronger hand then they deserve.
    Nice, a formal official from the NSA. When other former officials of the NSA have been quoted, they have been dismissed as disgruntled former employees.
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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by a351 View Post
    You won't get many Snowden apologists to admit this. They'll dismiss it as propaganda and yet another in a long line of conspiracies against their privacy.
    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
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    Generalizations are stupid.
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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by a351 View Post
    You won't get many Snowden apologists to admit this. They'll dismiss it as propaganda and yet another in a long line of conspiracies against their privacy.
    That is because it is propaganda. The deputy director of the NSA they quote in the article, Chris Inglis, was part of the outright lies told to congress to conceal the spying on American citizens. He is being forced to resign along with General Alexander, and his credibility is basically zero. The article offers no actual evidence, only the unverifiable claims of a liar defending his crimes.

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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    That is because it is propaganda. The deputy director of the NSA they quote in the article, Chris Inglis, was part of the outright lies told to congress to conceal the spying on American citizens. He is being forced to resign along with General Alexander, and his credibility is basically zero. The article offers no actual evidence, only the unverifiable claims of a liar defending his crimes.
    When all you've got is ad-hom It's not like he's the only one claiming so. The current head of the Counterterrorism Center supports this claim, as does the former head of the NSA. It's not like this is an intellectual leap either. If Snowden wanted to play folk hero among the American people, he could have dumped only the relevant and domestic portions of their intelligence gathering practices. Instead, he chose just about everything he could get his hands on, including how we gather data against foreign and legitimate threats to our interests. Those who support Snowden wholly will eventually have to grapple with the consequences instead of just burying their head in the sand.

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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by Μολὼν λαβέ View Post
    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Ben Franklin
    Wow. Never thought I'd see that quote in a Snowden thread. What a breath of fresh air. But on a serious note, what essential liberty did Americans sacrifice in order to keep our foreign intelligence methodology under wraps?

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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by Μολὼν λαβέ View Post
    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Ben Franklin
    To be clear, I've never been in favor of warrantless wiretaps. However, when it came down to "finding the enemy from within," I believe the collection and scrubbing of meta-data via our wireless network was a prudent step given how the 9/11 terrorist were communicating with each other at the time. Where our government crossed the line was in the amount of data collected, how long it was being held and the "wide net" that was cast in order to find the bad guys when it was very clear early on that such a net could have and should have been narrowed without harming the effectiveness of the surveillance system. I hope going forward things are changed to protect the liberties of honorable, patriotic Americans. Everyone else...keep an ear out.
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    Re: Islamic State using leaked Snowden info to evade U.S. intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    Nice, a formal official from the NSA. When other former officials of the NSA have been quoted, they have been dismissed as disgruntled former employees.
    As they say, "Don't shot the messenger," especially if the message is accurate.
    "A fair exchange ain't no robbery." Tupac Shakur w/Digital Underground

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