The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
Edward Snowden took a job with a firm that provides contractors to the National Security Agency solely to gather evidence about U.S. surveillance programs, the self-avowed leaker told the South China Morning Post Newspaper.
“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” the Post quoted him as saying in a story published Monday. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”
The documents Snowden has revealed so far — he claims to have thousands more — revealed classified details of U.S. programs to monitor domestic telephone traffic, as well as the activities of Internet users overseas. He has also said the National Security Agency hacks into major Internet pipelines to intercept millions of communications flowing through them each day. Snowden said he obtained the documents in April, and intends to release more after he has a chance to review them, the newspaper reported.
“If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of US network operations against their people should be published,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. is an American technology consulting firm headquartered in Tysons Corner, Fairfax County, Virginia in Greater Washington DC, with 80 other offices throughout the United States. Its core business is the provision of management, technology and security services, primarily to civilian government agencies and as a security and defense contractor to defense and intelligence agencies, as well as civil and commercial services. The scope of services includes strategic planning, human capital and learning, communications, operational improvement, information technology work, systems engineering, organizational change efforts, modeling and simulation, program management, assurance and resilience, and economic business analysis. … Booz Allen Hamilton was founded in 1914 by Edwin G. Booz, and is one of the oldest management consulting firms in the world. … Booz Allen Hamilton is majority owned by private equity firm The Carlyle Group …
Snowden worked in Hawaii for Booz Allen and earned about $200,000 a year, according to Britain’s Guardian newspaper. The 29-year-old started working at the CIA without a high school degree and later worked as a contractor at an NSA facility in Hawaii. He was last reported to be in Hong Kong and the subject of an investigation that could land him in jail for the rest of his life. U.S. authorities could seek to have him extradited. Snowden told the Guardian that he revealed only what he considered egregious abuses of surveillance by the U.S. upon its own citizens. “If you realize that that’s the world you helped create and it is going to get worse with the next generation and the next generation,” he said, “you might be willing to accept any risks and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is.” …
BAH. Snowden, in one interview said that encryption works, but if machines are compromised, they get the data before it is encrypted. I’m curious about this list of hacked machines and particularly the methods. I suspect we are talking about backdoors given to the NSA by both software and hardware companies rather than viruses and rootkits that can be cleaned with anti-virus software. As a wild guess, even if you install Windows fresh I think there would be some data collecting mechanism, such as Windows Updates, where the NSA could pull data off of your machine at the same time patches are being downloaded. I imagine tricky things too, like your TV has a chip that intercepts your home WiFi signal and sends it on to the NSA via its own secret connections. Who knows? Snowden might.
Fugitive American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is likely to leave the transit zone in Moscow’s airport, where he’s been holed up for weeks, “in the next few days,” his lawyer said Wednesday. Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday from Sheremetyevo International Airport.He “will leave (the airport) in the next few days because some legal papers are still required to be formalized,” Russian attorney Anatoly Kucherena said in Moscow. (July 17, 2013) – cnn
Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena speaks to the media at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 12, 2013. About a dozen Russian human rights activists, lawyers and political figures were ushered into a room at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport on Friday where they were expected to meet with Edward Snowden, the leaker of U.S. National Security Agency secrets. Snowden is believed to have been stuck in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo international airport since June 23. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
By making Snowden an outlaw and calling him a traitor instead of providing a valid internal way to address the problems of the system he exposed, our government is further putting all U.S. citizens at risk by chasing him (all everything he knows) into the waiting arms of the Russians. Enough of the cat is out of the bag that they can no longer pretend there is no cat. We all now know that Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Skype, etc. (lying bastards) have been giving the NSA secret access to all of our data.
How to fix this? Reverse course! Do what is right for a change. Build trust in government again. Have a big public purge. Blame everything from 9/11 to Aurora to the Boston bombings on a crazy group of insiders and then publicly get rid of them in some spectacular shakedown. We don’t know what they look like or who they really are, so it would be a piece of cake. Admit a government conspiracy! Confess, then reduce the spying back to the level where probable causes is needed. Offer Snowden a deal, return to the US safely and he gets a few years of probation in return for shutting the hell up about the rest of what he knows. Whoever is running this needs to be accurately assessing the damage and not playing with vendettas and egos. Put the damn country first. Leak it out slowly over the next 10 years and keep the world in a new kind of suspense. Give people the headlines they want:
“Conspirators arrested! Obama apologizes to Snowden and US citizens! Holy crap, 9/11 WAS an inside job, but it wasn’t who you think!”
That’s how this patriot would play it.