Jun 092013


Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 9 June 2013 21.17 BST

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows.

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Read article here

  2 Responses to “Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations”

  1. Hmm all coming out re illegal spying and why now? It only confirms what has been known for many years 🙁

    Excellent commentary from Sibel Edmonds – http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/06/07/the-united-states-of-america-a-four-branch-police-state/


    The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document. The NSA’s vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.


  2. The Prism programme explained


    June 7, 2013 11:30 am by John Aglionby

    The US government’s secret internet surveillance programme, codenamed Prism, began when the National Security Agency signed up Microsoft as its first partner on Sept 11, 2007, less than a month after the passing of the Protect America Act which authorised it.

    ♦ Yahoo was added on 12/3/2008, Google on 14/1/2009, Facebook on 3/5/2009, PalTalk on 7/12/2009, YouTube on 24/9/2010, Skype on 6/2/2011, AOL on 3/3/2011 and Apple in October 2012, , according to a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation obtained by the Guardian and the Washington Post .

    ♦ The companies liaise with the NSA through the FBI’s data intercept technology unit. Twitter is conspicuously absent from the list.

    ♦ The collectible data include email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, stored data, VoIP, file transfers, video conferencing, notification of target activity, online social networking details and what are described as “special requests”.

    ♦ It was portrayed as a mechanism to monitor foreigners’ communications, including those that pass through the US– which much of the world’s communication does because electronic data seek the cheapest path not the shortest.

    ♦ But Prism searches reportedly only had to be “designed to produce at least 51 per cent confidence in a target’s ‘foreignness’” and that if searches happened to turn-up the private information of Americans, “it’s nothing to worry about”.

    ♦ People in a suspect’s inbox or outbox would be included in any investigation. Anyone in those people’s inboxes and outboxes would probably be included, the Post reported, adding that agents might even “hop” out to another layer of contacts.

    ♦ According to the Powerpoint slides, the data obtained through the Prism programme became the NSA’s main source of raw intelligence for its analytic reports, including the US president’s daily intelligence briefing.

    ♦ The NSA monitors trillions of communications each year and one in seven of its reports used data obtained through Prism as its main source.

    ♦ Companies involved denied knowledge of the programme or involvement in it. But the Post quotes a report saying that the programme was set up in such a way as to allow “collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,” rather than directly to company servers.

    ♦ The FISA Amendment Act, passed in July 2008, granted retroactive immunity for telecoms companies which were working with the NSA and gave the government a four-year extension to its warrantless spying powers. It was extended for five years in 2012 with little fanfare.