Snowden and Greenwald Beginning to Self-Destruct; ‘The Nation’ and ‘Mother Jones’ Raise Questions

snowden_greenwald_thenation(UPDATE below)

It’s now been more than a week since Glenn Greenwald reported that the National Security Agency attained “direct access” to servers owned by the various tech giants, Google, Facebook, Apple and so forth. And it’s been almost a week since other sites, now including Mother Jones, The Nation and Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish, began to notice significant issues with his reporting about PRISM.

I should underscore once again how consequential the “direct access” line happens to be. The implication of “direct access” is clearly that, unbeknownst to the public, the NSA and, apparently, low level IT subcontractors, enjoyed back door access to proprietary server data, horked it at will and, according to Greenwald, did so potentially without a warrant. Rick Perlstein, in a post for The Nation, quoted Mark Jaquith of WordPress who observed that the “direct access” line is “the difference between a bombshell and a yawn of a story.” (I’m sure Perlstein and Jaquith have been inundated with “Obamabot apologist!” accusations for daring to aim an incredulous post in Greenwald’s direction.)

On his Wednesday podcast, Sam Seder said in support of Greenwald and Snowden, “That guy [Snowden] revealed all of this to us.” But in terms of new news, the “direct access” description is arguably the only aspect of the PRISM item, other than the PRISM PowerPoint and the story of a guy named Edward Snowden who leaked it, that was unknown prior to last week’s reporting. And it’s not holding water under scrutiny. Furthermore, we’ve been aware of the NSA’s eavesdropping efforts, including email, for many years now. In fact, the Obama administration, only three months into its first term weeded out several instances of unwarranted NSA eavesdropping. Kurt Eichenwald covered the NSA’s counter-terrorism efforts in his bestselling book, 500 Days. But this was somehow flushed down the memory hole in lieu of hyperbole and kneejerk mass hysteria over Greenwald and others shouting “fire!” (or “Worse than Bush!”) in a virtual crowded theater.

Indeed, Greenwald continues to shout “fire!” in the face of mounting concern (see my previous posts) over the veracity of his central scoop. Perlstein also quoted open-source expert Ken Fogel who referred to the use of “direct access” as an “epic botch.” Mother Jones‘ Kevin Drum wrote yesterday, “…the ‘direct access’ claim puzzled me from the start. Even with my modest technical background, I understood immediately that it didn’t make sense.” Wednesday night on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show, Greenwald weaseled around the questions, saying essentially the same thing he’s said all week: that he summarized the line from the PRISM PowerPoint slide and therefore he’s didn’t botch the story.

Our story was the following: we have documents, a document, from the NSA that very clearly claims that they are collecting directly from the servers of these internet giants. That’s the exact language that this document used. We went to those internet companies before publishing and asked them, and they denied it, and we put into the story very prominently that they denied it. Our story is that there is a discrepancy between the relationship that these, that the private sector and the government has, in terms of what the NSA claims and what the technology companies claim.

Tenacious, to put it mildly. To suggest that the problem is merely that the tech giants contradicted the PRISM slide represents a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the volumes of contravening information that’s been released, including from his own publication. No, Greenwald couldn’t possibly have gotten it wrong, it must be that someone else is lying about it — and who are you going to trust? Greenwald or a big bad tech company? It’s a clever dance around the growing reality that “direct access” to servers was actually about secure FTP access, a process that’s commonplace on the internet and doesn’t allow full and direct access to anything other than files posted for download.

Fogel wrote, “It looks like Greenwald and company simply misunderstood an NSA slide because they don’t have the technical background to know that ‘servers’ is a generic word and doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as ‘the main servers on which a company’s customer-facing services run.’” I mean, Greenwald’s source is an IT expert who could’ve educated him on this mammoth chunk of the story. Why didn’t that happen, if only to add meat to Greenwald’s lede? Drum hypothesized that if could be that Snowden doesn’t know as much about it as he claims.

But the he-said-she-said explanation doesn’t matter as much as the fact that Greenwald is sticking with “direct access” and its bombshell implications, exactly as reported more than a week ago, without clarification or acknowledgment of any new information.

What else have we learned that’s making this appear to be more “yawn” worthy?

Not only is Greenwald’s credibility on this story falling apart, but strange discrepancies with Snowden’s story continue to pop up. Not only that, but he’s made an egregiously irresponsible mistake. More on that presently.

First, the LA Times learned yesterday that Snowden’s claim that he absconded off with four Booz Allen laptops containing the documents appears to be untrue. In fact, Snowden reportedly transported the documents on a USB thumb drive. Unless the investigators mentioned in the LA Times article are trying to spread misinformation about Snowden, this brings up yet another bizarre gap in Snowden’s story as well as The Guardian‘s reporting of it. It’s not unlike the $78,000 salary discrepancy between what Snowden said he was earning and what Booz Allen said it was paying him.

Drum wrote, “I want to know how far I can trust Edward Snowden.” Me, too. And I’m willing to concede that these weird gaps in his story might be trivial, but just because a random guy says he knows top secret awful things doesn’t make him instantly trustworthy. However, on top of the potential trivialities, there are his wild remarks about having the power to wiretap the president and access any CIA station in the world. Unless you’re inescapably trapped within an epistemic bubble, such statements ought to raise a heaping pile of red flags irrespective of your penchant for skepticism.

And then Snowden did something that might actually be worse than lying about wiretapping the president, etc.

He handed over documents about American cyber warfare against China — to China. Specifically, Snowden gave the documents to a Hong Kong publication. Perhaps he was emboldened by all of the attention, hero worship and deification he received here. Who knows. Whatever drove him to do it, it was phenomenally irresponsible on a couple of fronts. Not only could he have exacerbated an already dubious international relationship, considering how there appears to be an escalating hacking war between the United States and China, but he also managed to turn numerous Americans against him — Americans who believe he crossed the line from whistleblower to traitor.

But this cuts more deeply than any healthy skepticism some of us might possess. Greenwald’s stubbornness and Snowden’s foolishness are actually self-destructive to what they’re attempting to achieve. As I’ve written from day one, credibility will make or break not only this story, but anyone who chooses to blindly latch their own credibility to it. If Greenwald was truly interested in the endurance of this story, he would’ve stowed his ego and done whatever was necessary to preserve its integrity as well as his own reputation; because as long as “direct access” continues to disintegrate, so goes the believability of everything else he’s reported. Instead, the widening holes in this story could indicate Peak Greenwald.

UPDATE: Reuters is reporting that Snowden may have lied about his education in order to be hired by the CIA, etc.

According to the sources, Snowden told employers he took computer classes at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, earned a certificate from the University of Maryland’s campus in Tokyo, and expected in 2013 to earn a master’s degree in computer security from the University of Liverpool in England.

A Johns Hopkins spokeswoman said she could not find a record of Snowden’s attendance but he may have taken correspondence courses for which records are not kept. A Maryland official confirmed Snowden attended at least one summer class. A Liverpool spokeswoman said Snowden registered for an online master’s degree in computer security in 2011, but did not complete it.

Bob Cesca is the managing editor for The Daily Banter, the editor of BobCesca.com, the host of the Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show podcast and a Huffington Post contributor.

  • Senor Equis

    So self destructive Cesca and the other fed gov White House minions can’t even convince a majority he’s a TRAITOR while ranting non stop about it and getting paid to do nothing but troll Greenwald 24/7

  • Politiva_com

    Sad to watch progressives eat their own in blind partisanship. Who knew Mother Jones would be lining up with Peter King?

  • RobinOfTheWest

    Duh … Anyone who didn’t know this was going on, was either asleep or didn’t want to know . NSA announced some time ago that it was filling several more sub-levels with additional servers (did you think they were going to use them to play dungeons and dragons ?) and that they had the capacity to listen to (means record) every telephone conversation in the world. Perhaps if Congress spent less time with lobbyists and more time actually reading the legislation they vote on …

  • RobinOfTheWest

    Judging by most of the childish remarks here, you would rather persecute the messenger than hear his message – typical when reality becomes overwhelming and denial sets in.

  • gailstorm0

    Bob Cesca would have loved Nixon…if only Nixon chose to be a Democrat.

  • jimmyt
  • Marlboro.Stan

    Over on WaPo, there is a pretty good breakdown of Snowden’s life. From birth until the day they wrote the article. NO ONE remembers the guy. He was a nobody in terms of standing out in a crowd.

    I’m still trying to figure out how he got that hot girlfriend. The guy is either a real playa or he was paying her. OR, someone provided her to him.

    • RobinOfTheWest

      I’m sure there is a point to your rant – what is it ? – other than he has a hot GF and you don’t ?

      How many people knew ANYTHING about the (supposed) Sandy Hook shooter – who presumably lived in that small town most of his life ?

  • hidflect

    Cenk Uyger just ripped you guys a new one over your bizarre hate-fest with this story. Stop painting yourselves into a corner before you lose your last 5 readers.

  • Cobbesca

    “A retired federal judge warned Friday against blind faith in the secret court deciding the scope of U.S. government surveillance. During a panel discussion on constitutional privacy protection in the wake of a leaked Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decision that revealed widespread NSA data collection, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner stood up in the audience to counter the statements of conservative law professor Nathan Sales that secret surveillance requests are subject to meaningful judicial review. She cautioned: 
    “As a former Article III judge, I can tell you that your faith in the FISA Court is dramatically misplaced. 
    Two reasons: One … The Fourth Amendment frameworks have been substantially diluted in the ordinary police case. One can only imagine what the dilution is in a national security setting. Two, the people who make it on the FISA court, who are appointed to the FISA court, are not judges like me. Enough said.”
    Gertner, now a professor at Harvard Law School who teaches criminal law and criminal procedure, was a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer before being confirmed to the federal bench in 1993. In an interview with ThinkProgress, Gertner explained that the selection process for the secret national security court formed in 1978 is more “anointment” than appointment, with the Chief Justice of the United States — now John G. Roberts — selecting from a pool of already-conservative federal judges those he thinks are most suited to decide national security cases in secret: 
    “It’s an anointment process. It’s not a selection process. But you know, it’s not boat rockers. So you have a [federal] bench which is way more conservative than before. This is a subset of that. And it’s a subset of that who are operating under privacy, confidentiality, and national security. To suggest that there is meaningful review it seems to me is an illusion.” 
    Gertner, an attendee at the American Constitution Society’s national convention, stood up during a panel discussion to make her comment after Sales, a law professor at George Mason University, suggested that individuals have some protection from excessive government surveillance because the Internet Service Providers who field government requests for information have the opportunity to challenge those requests before the secret court. “This isn’t a a paper tiger,” he said. “This is a court that engages in judicial review.” 
    Gertner urged the audience to be skeptical about the court’s oversight, both because of its severely conservative make-up, and its secrecy. The judge whose order was leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was Judge Roger Vinson, who authored the error-riddled federal court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act that even his fellow conservatives rejected. 
    Gertner also questioned the need for a secret court, noting that national security protections exist within the civilian court system: 
    “I’m very troubled by that. When you get cases in court, in regular civilian court that have national security issues that have classified information, we developed a process whereby the parties would develop security clearances and it could be presented to the court without it being disclosed to anyone else. It is not entirely clear to me why a civilian court with those protections that is otherwise transparent couldn’t do the job. That’s the way we did it before. Then we moved to this national security court. The notion that we have to have a conversation about major incursions on civil liberties and that we have step back and say we don’t really know, we haven’t seen the standards, we haven’t seen the opinions is extraordinary troubling in a democracy.”

    Cesca et al I’m sure are completely fine with Bush appointed judges providing “judicial scrutiny”. Of course they are.

    • Cobbesca
    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      Oh give it a rest!
      Some retired judge (who’s record we don’t know) says something bad might happen because the government uses espionage and keeps state secrets. The government also has a huge arsenal, does that make you crap yourself too? You can play ‘what if’ and scare monger all you want, but the truth is this is not a new story. This is old news. Very old news. What’s next for you now…..screaming about drones…..EEEEEK!
      Time to grow up and realize there’s a big world out there and Interpol, NSA, CIA, CSIS, FBI, Scotland Yard and many more institutions are just doing what they were created to do.

      • Cobbesca

        Oh how cute another denialist. Let me translate your idiotic rant: strawman, strawman, strawman. You’ve provided nothing of substance, just character assassination, conjecture, deflection, misdirection and an inability to address the facts. Let that strawman burn and maybe purge the stupid from your ignorant and naive mind, because baby, the stupid it burns.

        • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

          If you’re so upset about this you need to vote appropriately. You do understand that the Patriot Act can only be repealed through the legislative branch don’t you?
          Or are you saying you don’t just don’t like government?

          • Cobbesca

            Oh please, yes the Patriot Act can only be repealed via congress and yet most of congress is in the dark about the actual details of how this is program has been implemented. Ergo no discussion of this program by we the people. And those that are privy are, by law, not allowed to discuss the details. So pray tell, how can one argue in congress the merits of this act with an eye to repealing it, without the details to do so? Perhaps you’re familiar with the concept of a Catch 22? This would be one of those. Also, because of State’s Secrets there is also no method to get the courts to weigh in on this since the administration keeps declaring State’s Secrets which removes any plaintiffs standing in court. Again nullifying that path to any meaningful discussion. I see that you prefer conjecture since you’ve asked the inane question of whether I like government or not. I’m about as left leaning as they get, so yes I like government, I just don’t like secret government, except to keep nuclear codes. Does that make it clearer?

          • RobinOfTheWest

            Vote – that’s a good one (LOL).
            Your future is bought and paid for – but you just can’t see it, can you ?

        • FJN

          Can you please give us some articles detailing any cases of actual abuse that went on with these programs, not just examples of what could be done?

          • Adam Watson

            I wonder if that argument would be used if the government had cameras in every home in America. If there is no evidence that the system is being abused, then it’s perfectly ok!

            Are there any hoops (including defending your ‘right’ to be kept in the dark about what your government is doing to your personal data) that you people won’t jump through? It’s truly mind boggling.

          • FJN

            So instead of citing any actual abuse you give me a scarier hypothetical?

          • RobinOfTheWest

            Read 1984 (George Orwell) – and get a grip on reality.

          • Cobbesca

            This ongoing story is an actual abuse with regard to this program. Isn’t that enough? If you believe Bob Seska “Nothing to see here, this has been going on, all along,” and cheerleader extraordinaire then nothing will sway you.

      • Adam Watson

        I suppose you’re not aware that dragnet surveillance of US citizens is a violation of the fourth amendment. Oh well.

  • Adam Watson

    To highlight the hypocrisy and misinformation inherent in Bob Cesca’s articles, please read Bart Gellman’s Post article in its CURRENT version (http://goo.gl/c5fOw):

    >>The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.<<

    I think an admission of error on the part of Cesca is in order. Particularly as he constantly parrots on about Greenwald's supposed mistakes and how he should correct for them. An admission of error should also be made for the demonstrable lie that Snowden handed sensitive documents to the Chinese.

    • RobinOfTheWest

      Google and FB claim to “approve” a certain percentage of HLS user data requests – suggesting that HLS (etc) do not have “direct access” – but who knows – makes for a good cover story if they do.

  • Carol Isaacs

    They have had access all along then. I was looking into an identity theft issue here in Indiana and one of the docs had a term I searched or rather a word and some numbers and when I went to Google it lef to a Fed Register search (search Google) not on the actual page but in the search results was a robo text and it had three places to go further. It is a backdoor and it is or was anyway very informative to the thief’s I discovered operating here on the United States Citizens inhabitants and yes the Government. The US Government is being portrayed as having many security leaks when I think about 3/4 ths of them are intentionally left alone. They can stop the security breaches because third party vendors serve the US and the banking and insurance industry as well.

  • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

    Bob Cesca is making a fool of himself.

    Today he retweeted: “BTW dropbox likely is a directory called /var/ftp but Greenwald wouldn’t have a clue about that.”

    Yeah, Glenn probably doesn’t know about Linux and UNIX, and neither does he need to. That has absolutely no relevance to what he has stated.

    I bet Bob Cesca himself doesn’t know much about Computers either – shall we use that fact to try and rubbish what he is saying?

    Cheap shot, that is making Bob Cesca look desperate.

    • Ebert McFartington VI

      Bob Cesca is a name I definitely don’t need to know about. He’s added NOTHING to the issue at hand, just proved himself to be some useless party-line hack.

  • Paul K.

    Keep beating Greenwald and Snowden over the head with this fraud Bob. Don’t stop. Go on Ring of Fire with Papontonio and blow this story wide open. More people need to hear this! I always suspected Greenwald was an Obama hater. Not much more can be said for Snowden except that He is a Ron Paul supporter and likes Rand Paul and Ayn Rand. Thanks for the fine reporting Bob!

    • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

      Actually, Glenn publicly denounced Ron Paul before the elections, Glenn is on record as saying he supports none of the candidates. What Glenn did do was quote Ron Paul regarding civil liberties. Now it might be hard for your brain to comprehend, but just because you agree with someone on one topic, it doesn’t mean you agree with them on all topics and endorse them.

    • Ebert McFartington VI

      You call this “reporting?” Cesca is an ankle-biter and will never have a scoop like GG because everyone knows what he is: a hack blogger. You must be a really sad sack of sht to publicly laud this kind of PR. Sheesh.

  • DaeguDave

    Isn’t this about your fifth story that says “Greenwald’s Story Beginning to Unravel?” And yet, he’s still there, and there is surely more to come. I know how badly you WANT it to unravel. I guess cheerleading for the guys in Blue is more important than getting at the truth.

    • Cobbesca

      Yup. It’s pretty pathetic. Cesca can’t believe his lucky stars, he gets to speculate, insinuate and pretend that the only thing that matters is GG’s and Snowden’s credibility, all while the important contours of the program have been confirmed by government officials. Sad to see an aging cheerleader keep pumping those pom poms in the face of massive civil liberty abuses by his Lord and savior, PBHO. This has always been Cesca’s MO: no matter the facts nor the lies he will always defend and make excuses for O. The true sign of any sycophant. For a proper and lovely take down of his pathetic crusade to absolve O and discredit GG check out Sam Seder on the Majority Report on Friday. Brilliant.

    • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

      Bob is just trying to cash in to try and get some fame – he’s actually just making himself look like a fool.

  • Trojan Horace

    If the Greenwald story didn’t give you indigestion Bob, perhaps you’ll find a way to make this story go away too? http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/general-keith-alexander-cyberwar/all/

  • Kevin Hengehold

    wait a second… the CIA doesn’t check resumes?

  • CheerUpYoureNotDeadYet

    Is it possible that this is a choreographed pantomime, that is cosmetic? This is a really stupid suggestion but “change architects” and “behavioural economics” and “nudge” are all about putting ideas into people’s minds that make something attractive or repulsive. All over the BBC and the Guardian, there are lots of articles spinning off from this, tellling people not to go on the internet. The problem for government is that the internet is a place where we are all equal. A bit like when you drive on the road – Prince Charles and the Queen are equals behind the wheel of a car. That is a bit of a challenge for the corporate sector particularly who really do not want different “publics” – amateur and professional – to learn from each other and to build new communities that might challenge the status quo.

    So is it possible that this whole thing is a behaviour change management or a behavioural economics exercise, to scare the public off the internet? It would be really interesting to find out if global postings have gone down as a result, or if they go down after this?

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      “So is it possible that this whole thing is a behaviour change management
      or a behavioural economics exercise, to scare the public off the
      internet”

      Only if you’re a conspiracy theorist …….for example, Alex Jones.

      • CheerUpYoureNotDeadYet

        In the UK, the real news never makes it into the press. The British public are still totally unaware that the NHS has been / is being privatised. Total press blackout over this especially on the BBC. Even the Guardian did not cover it properly. This is not conspiracy theories unfortunately. Richard Branson is now running bits of the NHS and as an experiment, one newspaper asked people in the building using that service if they realised this and they all refused to believe it was no longer an NHS service because nowhere in the buildings was there any sign to say that Richard Branson is running that service as a profit making enterprise. Everything says “NHS”. The government is too scared to admit what they have done. Ask anyone on the street in the UK, nobody knows this has happened. Media blackout. What a load of tramps journalists have become.

  • Rudewaitress

    I have a problem with the fact that Snowden went to Hong Kong May 20th and May 28th we had the biggest cyber attack in history into our defenses and it was China that did the attack!!!! Coincidence…I think not!!!

  • Adam Watson

    Thomas Drake, a former NSA whistleblower, had a recent article in the Guardian. In it he verifies that he saw all of the same things at the NSA that Edward Snowden is now warning Americans about (http://goo.gl/v3Dck):

    >>In the first week of October 2001, President Bush had signed an extraordinary order authorizing blanket dragnet electronic surveillance: Stellar Wind was a highly secret program that, without warrant or any approval from the Fisa court, gave the NSA access to all phone records from the major telephone companies, including US-to-US calls. It correlates precisely with the Verizon order revealed by Snowden; and based on what we know, you have to assume that there are standing orders for the other major telephone companies.

    It is technically true that the order applies only to meta-data. The problem is that in the digital space, metadata becomes the index for content. And content is gold for determining intent.<<

  • Adam Watson

    1) Both the ‘direct access’ claim and the tech companies response to those claims were covered in the original article by Greenwald/MacAskill (they were even in the sub-headings!). Greenwald merely reported what the documents stated. The article was vetted by Guardian editors and journalists. In other words, the criticism is a flop. It doesn’t hold water.

    2) Bart Gellman in the Post stands by the original story: “From their workstations anywhere in the world, government employees cleared for PRISM access may ‘task’ the system and receive results from an Internet company without further interaction with the company’s staff”.

    3) “He handed over documents about American cyber warfare against China — to China. Specifically, Snowden gave the documents to a Hong Kong publication.”

    This is a demonstrably false claim. The reference provided makes mention only of an interview Snowden gave to the South China Morning Post.

    4) ” because as long as “direct access” continues to disintegrate, so goes the believability of everything else he’s reported.”

    Even if it were true that he botched the direct access story (which he didn’t), it does not follow that everything else he says is not believable. In much the same way as the author’s lie that Snowden handed documents to the Chinese doesn’t necessarily invalidate the rest of the piece.

    As predicted, the personality assaults on Snowden is in full force (http://goo.gl/QEj98). The author of this piece, in a previous article, even said this: “How the hell did a low level IT guy with only a GED have access to a world of top secret information and national security operations”.

    The implication being that everyone with a GED is inherently worthless and will never achieve anything. How can this sort of bilge be called journalism and be taken seriously? I really do want to know.

    • Awreally

      Did you Notice how Bob won’t address any of these salient points? Yeah me too.

  • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

    Incidentally, I’ve heard from a few people about the word “tenacious,” and how I might’ve intended to write “tenuous.” Yes, I intended to use “tenacious” exactly how it’s presented: to mean Greenwald is being stubborn and persistent with his story. In fact, the sentence following “tenacious” elaborates on the meaning: “To suggest that the problem is merely that the tech giants contradicted the PRISM slide represents a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the volumes of contravening information that’s been released…”

    • reanimate

      Bob, how do you explain the follow up story the Washington Post published on June 8th, that says the PRISM program does indeed allow the NSA to retrieve information directly from tech companies – based on an NSA inspector general’s report they obtained?

      “From their workstations anywhere in the world, government employees cleared for PRISM access may “task” the system and receive results from an Internet company without further interaction with the company’s staff.”

      “The companies cannot see the queries that are sent from the NSA to the systems installed on their premises, according to sources familiar with the PRISM process.”

      That’s pretty far from the FTP program you described above, and sounds much more like “direct access” to me.

      You might also want to look into the testimony of earlier whistleblowers. In 2006, Mark Klein, an AT&T engineer, testified in court that the NSA had installed technology at AT&T headquarters in San Francisco that allowed it direct access to all of the web traffic from their servers. This is all sworn testimony in court. If the government demanded “direct access” from AT&T, it’s hard to imagine why they wouldn’t do the same for Google or Facebook. William Binney, who was a high-ranking cryptoanalyst with the NSA, has also made similar claims.

      Personally, I could care less about arguing over Greenwald, Snowden, etc, but the bulk of the reporting on this suggests you are completely wrong in your conclusions.

      • Cobbesca

        You will never penetrate Cesca’s bubble. If Bush were in office he’d be all over it but because it’s O he reverts to innuendo to discredit the information and persons connected to it. He also claims that there’s nothing to see, we knew all about it since 2006, and yet you have Senators and Congress critters saying they had no idea of the scope of this program. His loyalty is pathological and does not comport with the facts nor logic. But what do you expect form an Obot extraordinaire?

      • Cobbesca

        Notice by the way how none of Cesca’s articles address any of the facts you’ve provided in your comment. They would get in the way of his rat fucking.

  • lilyannerose

    A lot of folks have lost their credibility in latching onto this story. Even simple questions were asked regarding Snowden and his access. The Washington Post story of 2006 and the near identical verbage were completely ignored. The story stunk from the beginning. There’s nothing I want more than to see The Patriot Act revoked but this isn’t going to do it.

  • Christine Barker

    Tenuous, not tenacious. Anyways…

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      No. Tenacious, as in Greenwald is sticking with his story — stubbornly.

      • Christine Barker

        Apologies, I read it wrong. I read it as Greenwalds grip on the facts is tenuous. You’re right, tenacious is obviously the best term to describe Greenwalds efforts. Like a dog with a dirty sock.

  • McNett

    His blond good looks snookered everybody from the start. It appears he’s been using his “Middle American” advantage his whole life to get ahead. Snowden struck me as a narcissistic individual with delusions of grandeur. Classic bipolar characteristics. Why were Americans so quick to fall for this high school dropout and former security guard? I have to come back to his American blondness.

    The first thing that occurred to me when this story broke was who else has he sold secrets too. As my mother-in-law used to say, “A liar will steal.”

  • MarshallLucky

    Snowden himself predicted that his character would be the first thing to come under attack. How nice of you to prove him right. As for your desperate attempt to use the manufactured “direct access” issue to invalidate the entire story? Dream on.

    You’re pissing into the wind.

    • Michael Cruise

      Way to ignore all the information and sources that directly contradict this guy’s various claims.

      • Adam Watson

        He’s right though, this article is a character assassination. It boggles the mind that such a transparently obvious attempt to focus on the persons involved rather than the message can be defended.

        • raz6

          So are you saying that if someone claims to have secret information, we should just trust what they claim and not verify sources?

          • Adam Watson

            What are you referring to exactly? In what sense is it legitimate to character assassinate at the expense of dealing in substantives?

          • raz6

            Seriously? If someone is known to lie a lot, then why should we trust them. You should always check if your source is trustworthy. I’m very surprised that you seem to think you should not evaluate the trustworthiness of a source..

            I also think pointing out that Snowden and Greenwald are refusing to correct the misinformation they gave – the term “server” does not mean direct access to all of a companies data. I work with several different tech companies, we transfer data back and forth through FTP, and we always refer to that as “connecting to their server” – it is not nearly as intrusive as Greenwald made it out to be, and he is hurting his credibility be refusing to correct the misinformation even after it has been pointed out.

          • Adam Watson

            The Greenwald article was co written with another Guardian journalist and vetted by editors and journalists. Nothing in the piece was inaccurate, it was a report of what the leaked document said, and the response of the tech companies to those claims. If you read the original article, the discrepancy between what the document claimed and what the tech companies claimed are both in the sub-headings.

            So I have to ask, but what is Greenwald supposed to correct?

          • raz6

            “The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.”

            He should correct that for starters.. The NSA does not have direct access to their systems, he is simply making things up and asserting them as facts.

            And again – there is no discrepancy between the documents and what the tech companies say. The documents say they connect to their server, they do not say direct access to all of their systems. Connecting to a server does not mean that and only someone who knows nothing about technology would jump to that conclusion without any further information.

          • Adam Watson

            He did. If you notice in the very quote you provided, it said ” according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.” He then noted the tech companies responses to those allegations.

          • raz6

            How many times does this need to be explained to you? The document does not say what the article claims it does. The article claims that the NSA has direct access to the tech companies systems, suggesting that the NSA can simply read whatever data they want and have access to everything – but the document never says that. As has been pointed out repeatedly, “servers” is a generic word that is commonly used to refer to connecting to an FTP site.

          • Adam Watson

            Yes, the document said exactly what the article claimed it said. Regardless of whether it suggested unfettered access, it still said what it was reported to have said. This is not a difficult point.

          • raz6

            The article suggested unfettered access – the document did not. So no, the document did not say what the article claimed it did.

          • Adam Watson

            The document stated direct access to company servers, the article reported that the document stated direct access to company servers. If you read on:

            “Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.”

            So we have an example of the tech companies lying about their involvement with the program. Even if it was an FTP set-up, executives of these companies would have held meetings with NSA members under PRISM. The conflicting claims were made so that we could have this debate in public, rather than behind a veil of secrecy.

          • FJN

            Debating with you is like talking to a brick wall. You only see what you want to see.

          • Cobbesca

            Clearly the brick wall here is made up of facts. This is the proper blog for you since Cesca of late has been dealing in non-facts, speculation and innuendo. Welcome home.

          • FJN

            Why are Greenwald fans so angry all the time?

          • Adam Watson

            I’m not a ‘fan’ of Greenwald. I respect him in speaking out on abuses of civil liberties. I suppose your strawman had some purpose in your mind, but the reality is quite different. Someone has just released files of import to many people, and the main aspects of the leaks have been confirmed by government officials. Yet we have an author (together with a band of followers of almost ape like mentality) who, rather in engage in the substantive issues raised by the leaks, instead attack the whisteblower and the journalist who broke the story. Not only that, but his accusations are demonstrably untrue! Therefore, it should be very obvious indeed why people are angry. Misrepresentation and character assassination is not something to be proud of.

          • FJN

            Oh look he lied again… from Glenn’s twitter “A reminder: the WashPost issued no correction to their PRISM story, and Bart Gellman says he stands by his story.”

            And he’s an article outlining the exact changes that occurred.
            http://www.zdnet.com/the-real-story-in-the-nsa-scandal-is-the-collapse-of-journalism-7000016570/

            It’s not character assassination if your target has no character to begin with.

          • Adam Watson

            I’ve noted the overwhelming tendency by posters here to insinuate, speculate and otherwise tarnish the characters of both Greenwald and Snowden. How is it possible to defend this sort of dishonesty and still maintain a semblance of intellectual honesty? If we are discussing factually untrue information, why not talk about Bob Cesca’s lie that Snowden handed documents to the Chinese? Even his link disagrees with him, noting only that he gave an interview. By Cesca’s logic, this would invalidate everything else he wrote.

          • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

            Cesca logic – please, I really don’t think we want to be going down that route!

        • ultraviolet_uk

          No, it is not a character assassination. It raises legitimate questions that are directly relevant to the story we have been told.

          A character assassination is when, for example, the police say that someone ran away from them and jumped the barriers so that he could get onto a tube train, so they had no alternative but to shoot him, when in fact he put his ticket through the barrier and strolled down onto the platform before a group of armed officers grabbed him and shot him 11 times in the head. They then publish that he was a visa overstayer, a completely irrelevant fact designed to reduce sympathy for the victim. (Jean Charles de Menezes).

          • Adam Watson

            I think you need to check what a character assassination is. Hint: don’t take it literally.

    • raz6

      Manufactured? There is a pretty major difference between having “direct access” to tech companies main servers and having access to a server to transfer limited amounts of information back and forth. I’m not sure how you can pretend that is a non-issue.

      • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

        Actually, nowhere did Glenn say “main servers”.

        Go and read his article: where he broke the story

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

        Nowhere does he say main servers. He says they have direct access to their servers. and he is merely reporting what the slide says.

        • ultraviolet_uk

          Let’s look at that article, shall we?

          NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others

          The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

          The Prism program allows the NSA, the world’s largest surveillance organisation, to obtain targeted communications without having to request them from the service providers and without having to obtain individual court orders.

          With this program, the NSA is able to reach directly into the servers of the participating companies and obtain both stored communications as well as perform real-time
          collection on targeted users.

          So your “nowhere does he say main servers” is rather undermined by the fact that he expressly says the NSA has direct real time access to precisely the material that would be on the main servers.

          • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

            Rubbish.

            All that could be done with targeted data moved onto another server, and the NSA accessing that in real-time.

            Again, Glenn never said the NSA has direct access to “main servers” or anything of the sort. In fact, Glenn actually said in an interview we don’t know what exactly PRISM is about, and that we need transparency so we can find out.

    • ultraviolet_uk

      SOP. “Lie, lie, lie lie. Now any moment now, those who oppose me are going to start claiming I have been lying.”

      We saw it time and time again with the GOP last year.

    • MissArtyNutMeg

      Oh I’m sure he predicted it. And if I go rob a bank, just watch, I predict that the police will arrest me and say I robbed a bank.

      The point I’m making here is not that I believe one side or the other, but that the questioning of Snowden’s character would be occurring whether he was questionable or not.

  • MissArtyNutMeg

    I wish I was more tech savvy. While I get the gist of this article, that tis story is full of holes, and the holes are getting deeper, I don’t really understand the technical aspects of it.

    • raz6

      I work in technology. The point is pretty simple. The PRISM slides say that they get information from the companies server. Greenwald took this to mean that the NSA has direct access to all of the companies data, but in reality the term “server” is generic and usually does not mean direct access to all of their data – in this context it likely just means a secure place where they can trade files.

      • reanimate

        The Washington Post went on to report in another story (based on a leaked NSA report) that they do indeed have direct access.

        “From their workstations anywhere in the world, government employees cleared for PRISM access may “task” the system and receive results from an Internet company without further interaction with the company’s staff.”

        “The companies cannot see the queries that are sent from the NSA to the systems installed on their premises, according to sources familiar with the PRISM process.”

        For me, the key question is not which server they do or don’t have access to, but whether the NSA can instantly (without company input) pull any data they want. And it seems that is indeed the case.

      • MissArtyNutMeg

        Thanks. That helps.

  • MissArtyNutMeg

    The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

  • Rich

    Good old character assination. Standard proceedure

    • Bubble Genius

      As opposed to word assination, which you’ve clearly got a PhD in.

      • Rich

        Take it up with spell check lad.

        • Bubble Genius

          spell check must have gone to the same school as you then.

    • Michael Cruise

      So far, this guy and his claims have not survived closer scrutiny. Perhaps your over-eagerness is blinding you a bit.

  • RobinOfTheWest

    And Julian, Bradley and Edward said: “Let there be light” and there was light.

    And people saw the light, that it was good.

    • Michael Cruise

      There was light…back in 2006. This guy has revealed nothing new.

      • Adam Watson

        Ah, so you knew about PRISM in 2006 yes? And Boundless Informant? And the cyberwarfare hit list? And the dragnet surveillance of Verizon Business customers phone data?

        • nmykita
        • raz6

          All we really know about PRISM today is that the NSA requests information from tech companies – is that really shocking? I’d be shocked if they weren’t requesting information from those companies. Boundless Informant? Not sure what is really new about that either – who cares if the NSA organizes their information by country and visualizes it – is that supposed to be some sort of bombshell? Cyber warfare hit list – did you think our government would not be making plans like that? Of course they are going to always be planning potential targets in case they need to use them. It would be irresponsible not to plan ahead. And we are already aware of cases where the US has engaged in cyber warfare – so of course they had a list of potential targets. Surveillance of phone records – yeah, we knew about that too – someone else just posted a link for you.

          • Adam Watson

            There are a number of things that don’t add up though. If all the companies are doing is providing what they’ve always provided to the NSA, then why would this new program under the name PRISM be needed? The NSA document stated it was a new form of collection. if it was just court ordered data scooped from a drop box, why is it then top secret? Also, note the response of Sen. Loretta Sanchez, after a classified briefing by the NSA:

            “What we learned in there is significantly more than what is out in the media today. . . . I can’t speak to what we learned in there, and I don’t know if there are other leaks, if there’s more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it’s the tip of the iceberg . . . . I think it’s just broader than most people even realize, and I think that’s, in one way, what astounded most of us, too.”

            Does the government secrecy and the fact that many members of Congress not on the Intelligence Committee knew nothing about the full extent of the surveillance program being constructed not bother you?

          • raz6

            Isn’t everything the NSA does top secret?

            The documents actually do not say it is a new form of collection. Can you cite where they say that.. Because they actually show that this has been going on since at least 2007.

            Of course the classified information is going to be significantly more than what is in the news.. hence the term classified. And the intelligence briefings were available to members outside of the Intelligence Committee. If they chose not to go to them, that is their problem.

          • Adam Watson

            The program has been in operation since 2007. The new forms of collection are explained in the slides that verifies PRISM, explaining what can be collected, and how they can be collected.

            If those in the intelligence committee were fully briefed, then why did James Clapper lie at a hearing of the intelligence committee on 12 March? To recap, Ron Wyden asked the following question: “What I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question: does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

            To which Clapper replied: “No, sir…Not wittingly”.

            Hardly a resounding success for sufficient congressional oversight.

      • RobinOfTheWest

        What are you talking about ? People not listening then ? Snowden walked away from a $200K/yr job and a comfortable lifestyle to become high on DOJ’s most wanted hit list – to tell you what “Your” (“Our”) country is really doing – and this is the thanks he gets ?

      • RobinOfTheWest

        He hasn’t released all that he has – and still it’s more than you would have ever learned from mass media. Have you noticed how sold out NPR (et al) has become ? – now filling 56 minutes of ever hour with crap no one care about – while the world tears it’self apart.

  • FJN

    Thanks again for keeping them honest.

  • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

    Another weakness in the argument that the servers in question are FTP servers that these organisations have where they simply upload information the NSA requested from a FISA court is the fact that it makes absolutely no sense for the NSA to not have their own server to which these are uploaded.

    Think about it, wouldn’t the NSA want this information on a machine where they can get THEIR staff to look after it? Why would the NSA trust, say, Google’s system administrators to manage a server with such crucial information? Furthermore, why would you keep this information on the FTP server of someone else? If I was part of the NSA, what I would want to do is get this information as soon as I could onto my server, behind my firewall, and then I can back it up, and then anyone who wanted to access it from within the NSA, could do so. I wouldn’t be telling my staff to go each and every time to Google’s server to get the information, because then I am relying on their being no network problems between my computer and Google, and I am relying on Google to look after this highly sensitive information. It makes no sense at all.

    And are you really telling me that managing 10 FTP servers costs 20 million dollars a year? I mean, really?

    • raz6

      I couldn’t help but laugh at your post. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. It actually makes perfect sense for the companies to host their own FTP sites. And since it is their own data that they are sending to the NSA, then yeah, they should be able to manage their own data. It also seems like you are unaware what an FTP server is – it is for transferring data, not storing it. The NSA isn’t connecting to all of their FTP servers whenever they need to look up something, they download it periodically and store it locally and do whatever sort of data mining they do internally. And no, no one is telling you that it costs 20 million to manage 10 FTP servers, but the systems to do the type of data mining that the NSA does would be very expensive (plus all the people needed to build and maintain those systems).

      • reanimate

        And I am laughing at the fact that you think the U.S. government does all this via FTP. You really think that’s what all this controversy is about?

        How do you explain the NSA wiretapping of all of AT&T’s web traffic uncovered back in 2006? If the government felt it had to authority to directly access all of that data, why would it rely on something as inefficient as FTP when it came to Google or Facebook?

        Why would a program that only involves access to FTP dropboxes be called PRISM? A prism = an object that splits light. A perfect description for the technology described by AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein (and produced by a company called Narus) that captures traffic on fiber optic networks by splitting the signal.

        A couple useful reads:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

        http://www.narus.com/solutions/narus-nsystem

        • ultraviolet_uk

          “And I am laughing at the fact that you think the U.S. government does
          all this via FTP. You really think that’s what all this controversy is
          about?”

          No, the controversy is because Greenwald lied in saying that it was about anything more than this, and too many people with too little understanding believed him.

          • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

            He didn’t lie. You’re lying by accusing him of saying something he didn’t.

            He presented a slide that said the NSA can contain directly from the servers of the names companies. He then said we need transparency to know exactly what is going on.

      • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

        You wrote: “It also seems like you are unaware what an FTP server is – it is for transferring data, not storing it.”

        That one line alone exposes just how clueless you are. An FTP server is a dedicated server where you STORE information, and then allow clients to connect to it and transfer data. Oh dear.

        “I couldn’t help but laugh at your post. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.”

        Said the person who doesn’t even know that FTP servers store the data that you want people to FTP! You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. The number one rule is, you should always want sensitive data stored on your servers only. And the reason is quite simple, you put more trust in your staff than someone else’s.

        Also, the slide just doesn’t make sense if it is for specific data, because you wouldn’t tell your staff to go there to grab specific data, because someone would know a request for specific data was made, and would be getting it. The slide is clearly about mining of generic data continuously .

        “The NSA isn’t connecting to all of their FTP servers whenever they need to look up something, they download it periodically and store it locally and do whatever sort of data mining they do internally.”

        Download it periodically? How do you know this? What proof do you have? None whatsoever. You read an article that suggested it might be an FTP server, and now to defend this position, you’re making up things and passing them off as fact. Hilarious.

        • raz6

          “An FTP server is a dedicated server where you STORE information, and then allow clients to connect to it and transfer data.”

          Right – which means that the purpose is to transfer data, not store it. You do not store all of your data on an FTP server, you just store what you are transfering for a short period of time.

          “The number one rule is, you should always want sensitive data stored on your servers only.”

          And now you seem to be thinking that the FTP servers are for storing data again. The NSA downloads the data and stores it on their own servers. The FTP servers are used as a way to transfer the information. I’m not sure how you do not understand this. The NSA is not accessing the FTP server each time they want the same data. They download it once, likely delete it once it is downloaded (or after a period of time), and then store it on their own servers.

          “Download it periodically? How do you know this? What proof do you have? None whatsoever.”

          I was replying to your post where you are trying to dispute things about an FTP server explanation that make perfect sense to me – someone who works with transferring data with other companies through FTP every day. I do not know if that is what the NSA is doing, but I am just pointing out that your arguments do not make any sense. Do you have any technical background at all? If not, then why are you trying to make technical arguments that you clearly do not understand?

          • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

            “Right – which means that the purpose is to transfer data, not store it. You do not store all of your data on an FTP server, you just store what you are transfering for a short period of time.”

            You just proved my point – you store it in there for a SHORT period of time. Which is exactly what I said – that if it was an ftp server where you store data for a short period of time, then the program would not be telling people to use the servers as a source for getting data and analysis. You’d have someone who would just grab the data and put it on NSA’s system as soon as ie became available, and you would not be telling your analyst’s to go to the server to get it each time. But the slide is contrary to that.

            “And now you seem to be thinking that the FTP servers are for storing data again. The NSA downloads the data and stores it on their own servers. The FTP servers are used as a way to transfer the information.”

            Clueless. The slide doesn’t state that at all. The slide is for general NSA analysts – why would a general NSA analyst be involved in transferring the data from the server of a tech company to the NSA’s server? That’s the job of a System Admin, not an analyst.
            You clearly have no idea what you’re on about and are just embarrassing yourself further.

            BTW, you do realise one fundamental problem with your suggestion that it is an FTP server where data is meant to be stored for a very short period of time, don’t you? The problem is you can easily set up automation jobs that automatically start to transfer the files from the FTP server to your servers. If you can do this, why on earth would you ask your staff to do it?

  • Monica V Lucas

    Wasn’t it Keith Alexander that made a definitive statement that there was NO mass gathering of data? Regardless of who Snowden is as an individual, it’s alarming to think that all of our internet and telecom companies have been sworn to secrecy over surveillance of an entire nation of people. Passing it off as “we all knew something was happening” isn’t good enough. This is much bigger than the media, including this article, is going to admit.

  • David R Velasquez

    Blah, blah, blah… Obama apologists.

    • FJN

      Great argument!

      • David R Velasquez

        Just trying to be concise. Why should I banter words on a thread with people who obviously can argue the minutiae of this case with the intent on trivializing the broad latitude with which Obama is giving the NSA even though with the congressional approval. Has Snowden over dramatized matters? Why the hell would he? What possible gain is there for him to do so? What could possibly be the incentive after seeing how Bradly Manning is being overprosecuted or Julian Assange is reduced to living in something like cell (if he’s still stuck in that embassy)
        We still have a gov’t policy of wiretapping whether it involves all americans or all foreign communications, millions or thousands. I still see a government program that overstepped its mandate even before it ever became national policy. Obama weeded out a few unnecessary FISA requests…. while increasing them exponentially.
        He doesn’t deny that this program goes on… or even on the scale that it does. The War On Terror only ends only when we stop empowering fear.
        Did Snowden make anything up (overstating his access to information)… did Greenwald exaggerate anything? I’d say Snowden by his actions highlighted a program or policy that does indeed exist and Greenwald reported it. President Obama has to go before the G8 gathering and he’ll have to explain what exactly we’re doing …I expect him to give the public relations explanation… but it will still be revealing. We have to reassess what we believe in as constitutional guarantees. Otherwise we will continue to allow any justification to reduce how we see our inherent rights as individuals.
        Moreover, with this attack on dozens of whistleblowers and the lessening of protections for them I would fail to see how this would help to foster an enviroment of transparency.
        Sorry for the longwinded reply…. now you might appreciate the short version a bit better.

    • McNett

      Where were you when the Patriot Act was passed? You really want to believe in a liar like Snowden who sells secret documents to China?

      • David R Velasquez

        What does where I was during its passage have to do with anything?
        But you miss the point. It passed and now we’re stuck with this monolith of paranoid policies that seem to allow secret renditions, drone strikes and warrantless wiretapping.
        Did Snowden sell documents to China?….he gave them to a publication, not a governmental agency of the chinese gov’t. Kind of a big difference.

        • ultraviolet_uk

          No, kind of a fuck all difference.

  • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

    It seems likely from from the slides that PRISM isn’t a system whereby you simply get the FISA-requested information from the organisations listed in the slides. That would mean the information you’re requesting is very specific. However, as stated by the NSA, PRISM is “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports”. Why would information you gathered about a potential terrorist whose details you want to monitor be used for “analytic reports”?

    It seems more likely there is large-scale data mining going on, and reports are being built using these. The fact that Upstream and PRISM are both on the same slide, and it says “you should us both” suggests that they’re both doing the same job, but differently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Red-Riotdog/100001301163849 Red Riotdog

    Interesting article great to see y’all supporting the Obama administration.

    • Michael Cruise

      For some of us, this isn’t political. It’s unfortunate that so many can’t approach anything without it being political.

  • Richard_thunderbay

    In regards to the update: How can you lie about something like your education to the CIA and get away with it? The CIA doesn’t do a background check? LOL.

    The thing is, we’ve had all this paranoia about a sinister national security state snooping into everyone’s lives when evidently what we’ve really got are a bunch of blundering Keystone Kops incapable of doing anything but tripping over themselves.

    • CullenNewsom

      Now that would be a news story. “CIA fails to vet applicants for even the most blatant lies.”

    • H S

      Irony huh, this is probably the most troubling aspect of this entire story.

    • Mr X

      Bingo. This is where the bullshit starts to really pile up. The NSA and CIA cannot destroy this guy and nit pick every aspect of his life or ‘prove’ in the court of public opinion that he was a Chinese asset without making themselves look incompetent.

  • chrisj

    If I were only a rich, Rand Paulian-Snowden cyber freedom fighter type with lots of friends in rogue nations. Then I could set up a mini-cloud server at home and spin up a simple emulation of facebook, inviting a few hundred friends. Then leak it to some NSA official and wait for NSA to pound on my door to negotiate how they can include me as a dot on that powerpoint Prism slide. Then I’d know directly what type of ‘back door’, ‘ftp-access’, etc to my servers required to stay in operation.

    Until the specs on Prism are published from a vetted source, perhaps GG could write for a tabloid on the youtube poledancing girlfriend so I have some small entertainment while waiting in line at the grocery store.

  • Kathleen Koblensky

    its all bull…YOU ARE NOT….I EMPHASIS NOT…A TRAITOR TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST GOVERNMENTAL WRONGS……IT IS RIGHTEOUS TO SPEAK….THE CHINESE??? REALLY?? WE ARE IN BED WITH THEM…WE HAVE NO ENEMIES ON THE HIGHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT …IT ALL A BIG LIE….THE CORPORATION OF AMERICA DOES MEGA BUSINESS WITH THE CORPORATION OF CHINA…AND ALL OTHER CONTRIES…KOREA’S LEADER IS A PAL…NOPE…DON’T GET CONFUSED……THIS IS A TACTIC…TO KEEP YOU …IN FEAR….

    • FJN

      please, stop the caps…

    • Kitty Smith

      CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL!

  • DowneastDiva

    If they had asked a techie, they would have known how stupid their ‘leak’ was. They did a file dump, bfd. A low level employee with access to nothing who has now destroyed his life. Brilliant

  • Bill_Andersoot

    I just found a back door that gives me direct access to Google’s servers. Here’s a link–check it out: http://www.google.com

  • differentdrummer

    Snowden met Greenwald in February, started working for Booz in March. Rat smell?

    • TheyreBothWrong

      Thanks for joining us, Mr. Jones. Can I call you Alex?

      • Jimmy Greenez

        So anyone not willing to take a story at face value is an Alex Jones? There is definitely a rat.

        • Mr X

          Everyone nowadays who doesn’t accept any official narrative or who smells bullshit is Alex Jones.

      • differentdrummer

        I’m not the only one who noticed that Snowden met Greenwald *before* he started working for the firm where he stole documents. Not sure what to make of it, but it is one more peculiarity in an increasingly peculiar story.

      • McNett

        You really want to believe in this traitor? Why? Are people so desperate for an “all-American” hero, even when he’s a liar and thief?

        • Mr X

          You really want to believe so bad that NSA hasn’t handed over warrantlessly obtained data on Obama’s critics to the IRS and DHS?

  • Daz K

    Please don’t let up on this Bob, your perspective on this has been valuable amongst the sea of knee-jerk, sycophantic misinformed guff knocking about.

    • gn

      Seconded.

      • KarenJ

        Thirded.

        • Bubble Genius

          Fourthed.

          • paddles57

            Fifthed.

          • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

            aw hell………..SIXTHED.

          • Victor_the_Crab

            Make it seven!

          • Cobbesca

            Stupid to the Nth power. Gooooooo team!

          • Victor_the_Crab

            For Team Douchewald, yeah!

    • Willow Richardson

      add me!

    • Lazarus Durden

      Boom! Scruffied!

    • HilaryB

      Agreed. I’m so sick of it. I’m glad we have people like Bob and Chez to help keep things in perspective.

      • Mr X

        Yes we need Bob and Chez to tell us nothing to see here, move on. I thought that was Ben Smith’s job but apparently not.

    • Gethin Davies

      It’s only one man’s (Bob) perspective people. I am neither knee jerk or sycophantic in my approach to receiving these stories, however when a NSA employee is able to replay a phone conversation I had back in 2010 with a few clicks of the button, I am worried. It appears your fears are benign until you are in it’s line of fire, not a bad thing, however taking into account all facts when reporting will give a more balanced view. While you busy yourself hoping to discredit whistle blowers, the rest of us with a moral compass will continue to support them. You might want to start by pulling down a certain statue from Staten Island, you certainly don’t want ‘liberty’!!

  • trgahan

    Many of us lost our minds, suddenly became 4th Amendment experts, and shout “I knew it! Worse than Bush!” over the government’s apparent spying. I have read/heard many impassioned condemnations of government misusing its power and the sacredness of individual rights and privacy. Meanwhile, our Senate is deadlocked over legislation to finally recognize the individual rights of a large segment of our population; however numerous Senators (and their constituents) believe these human beings don’t deserve these rights because their very presence in our country threatens them. Will Greenwald go to bat for them? What database do they need an agenda driven mole to hack to help them?

    Anyone in this country under a below a certain income bracket and brown skin can tell you that the “police state” we are so fearful of becoming is already here and it is perfectly legal (no secret databases necessary). We have subjected large segments of our population to these suddenly “unjust” practices for decades. The current feakout is just an instance when “real Americans” see they are vulnerable to the system they INSISTED be put into place to protect them.

    • Mr X

      “Meanwhile, our Senate is deadlocked over legislation to finally recognize the individual rights of a large segment of our population; ” Correction, MEXICO’s population.

      • trgahan

        That’s right…I see your point and it justifies everything.
        Let’s continue to profit from abusive labor practices that directly stem from keeping them “illegal.”
        Though, we better make sure those “NOW HIRING” signs that hang above the southern border fences are lit at night. Don’t want to get the ones that don’t die of dehydration to get lost.

        • Mr X

          I don’t oppose selective legalization. But that’s the key word, selective. Meaning we take the people who’ve learned English, are law abiding, who aren’t on welfare or food stamps, and/or who’ve joined the military. And I would severely crack down on the employers of illegals, something that has never really happened except sporadically since Cesar Chavez called for it back in the 1960s to protect the wages of the U.S. citizen Hispanic workers.

          The problem that I and many others who oppose the current amnesty bill have is that we’ve seen this movie before — the 1986 amnesty. We know how it plays out every time — the elites promise border enforcement but bring in more people than the GOP wing things will drive down wages and the Democrats think will keep them in power forever like Hugo Chavez’s party in Venezuela. And the economy already cannot produce enough jobs for the low-to medium wage people. Is that the fault of the illegals, per se? No, I blame the elites who create magnets for illegals with welfare benefits and massive Medicaid spending to transfer the costs of paying substandard wages from the employer to the taxpayer and thereby crush the middle class.

          If the economy were booming and faith in the government weren’t at an all time low, then maybe you could get this passed provided the workplace enforcement were finally enforced. But everybody knows we’re living in the lawless Obama era where the laws are simply waived for various groups.

          • Mr X

            Make no mistake, blanket amnesty is about substituting a group of people (Mexicans) our elites think are more pliable and compliant and content with less over the existing middle class population.

  • js hooper

    Snowden is clearly a traitor now by any standard. I would also classify him as a spy working for the Chinese Govt.

    Here are a few questions I would like answered.

    1) Who is paying for Snowden and Greenwald’s accommodations while they are hiding out in Hong Kong? Self funded, the Guardian, Koch brothers, Chinese agents ?

    2) Given Greenwald’s unusual relationship with Snowden dating back to February…Did Greenwald influence or assist in Snowden’s stealing / leaking of the classified info

    3) If so…is Greenwald in danger of facing legal action against him (might be why he’s in China)

    4) I’ve seen some rumors that the Tech Companies might sue Snowden…is this possible?

    • Awreally

      Bob is that you? I hope not, this is too stupid even for you.

      • js hooper

        No, I am not Bob. Greenwald is the only one who uses sock puppets to do his dirty work.

        My questions may be stupid to you, but I still feel they are interesting nuggets that need to be explored.

        Also may I ask….are you Greenwald?

  • Eruanion Nolaquen

    Snowden was a patsy, at best. How a high school dropout can join the army, never get a GED or college degree and do all the jobs he has on his resume is beyond me. I know IT pro’s from the military and private sector who have Bachelors degree’s and can’t find jobs in their field as fast as this guy seems to. He might know computers, but I doubt he was ever in charge of anything more than repairing broken computers, which would give him unrestricted access to them to copy files. It is bad security on their part for him to have gotten files out of the building on a flash drive

    • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

      You simply do not know about IT.

      I am educated to post-grad level in Computer Science from one of the top universities in the world. Let me assure you, some of the most knowledgeable individuals that I have come across when it comes to “hacking” are those who have no formal qualification. And I have studied with people who might be very good at the theory, but don’t even know the basics of protecting their computers from viruses and rely on others to do so.

      In other words, there is no correlation between “knowing your way around systems” and Computing.

      • Norbrook

        But there is a huge difference when you’re trying to get hired, particularly for something that requires a security clearance. Most employers are going to look at your education/certifications as a measure, not your statements that “you’re really good at computers.” If there’s one thing that makes me wonder about Snowden, it’s that he apparently not only doesn’t have those formal education points. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in Booz-Allen’s hiring that they didn’t double check them as well.

        • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

          He joined as a security guard – that would have given him the clearance he needed.

          • Norbrook

            Having a clearance for being a security guard is not the same as having that clearance as a computer tech. There’s a difference between “right to know” and “need to know.” Equally the case is that getting hired as a computer tech – and particularly a systems administrator – has some markedly different requirements.

          • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

            But he did have access to their systems. If he was just a college drop-out with no “IT skills”, he would never have been allowed to access their system. The fact he was means he must have had some “skills”.

          • Norbrook

            I never said he didn’t have some, but apparently his main talent was bullshitting human resources.

          • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

            The OP’s whole argument was that he couldn’t have had access to servers with top secret information because he didn’t have “IT skills” for lack of a better choice of term.

            Well, he clearly had access to top secret documents (as they state themselves). Either he had access to this because he had access to servers that are meant to contain top secret information, or the NSA had poor security that allowed top secret information find its way around. Either way, he had access to NSA machines that had top-secret information on them.

          • Eruanion Nolaquen

            No, my argument was that he shouldn’t have had access because he didn’t have the (usually) required training and experience for the jobs he purportedly held. You don’t make a hacker sysadmin just because they know how to breach a system, not without a lot of background checks and other info. Even whitehats or grayhats need some formal paperwork to get IT jobs. I know from experience that tech skill alone doesn’t get you high level access to a system, especially one that is guarding national secrets.

          • ultraviolet_uk

            Perhaps he had a minder somewhere within the organisation who had a vested interest in getting him into the position he was in.

          • CullenNewsom

            In what way does it make sense for a security guard to have a lesser clearance than that which he guards? If that were the case then the sysadmin now has two jobs, fix the IT systems, and protect them from the security guards.

          • Norbrook

            I guess I’m the only one who has had a clearance, then. There is “right to know,” which is your clearance level, and “need to know” which is what you are allowed access to. A security guard doesn’t have a “need to know,” or really doesn’t need to have “right to know” for this information. Their function is to prevent unauthorized people from going in and out and making sure the doors are locked. They don’t necessarily need to have the highest clearance.

            Real example: I had a top secret clearance in the military. I didn’t need it for my job, but I had one anyways. Down the street from me were the people who handled the secure lines for the White House. Did my clearance get me access to their facility, let alone to what was being transmitted in there? No. I had “no need to know,” despite having the correct clearance, so I would not have been allowed in the door.

            The other thing that seems to have been missed or skipped was that getting a clearance (of any grade) is not a “one time deal.” Generally, you have to be rechecked every time you switch positions. Having the initial one makes it somewhat less painful. You’re also “rechecked” on a regular basis, and you can lose it at any time. That raises a lot of questions about Booz-Allen’s hiring process, and what exactly they were checking.

          • CullenNewsom

            Okay so, you had a top secret clearance, even though you think you didn’t really need it. But you think that it is strange that Snowden may have had a top secret clearance that you think he didn’t really need?

            As to whether acquiring a clearance is a big deal WRT hiring, I think it is safe to say that if you already have one for one job, it might be easier for you to get another one for another job as opposed to a candidate who has none, and that a hiring manager might take that into consideration.

          • chrisj

            “…it might be easier for you to get another one for another job as opposed to a candidate who has none, and that a hiring manager might take that into consideration.”

            Very true, especially if one does not

            1) have a lapse in jobs that require it,

            2) do certain independent foreign travel (non-job related),

            3) have romantic involvement with a foreign national from countries such China,

            4) other things I can’t remember now.

            It’s a good chunk of tax payer money to start a clearance check from scratch.

            Still, no matter what clearance one has, there is supposed to be “need to know” rules to follow as Mr. Norbrook states above. One in principle would need to be very high level to have such access as Snowden claimed to possess.

          • Norbrook

            I think it’s strange that he didn’t undergo a follow-up check. At least when I was in, changing jobs or posts meant that while I wouldn’t have “started from scratch” on the clearance, I would have had to had a check run from the last time the clearance was issued.

            The reason I said I didn’t really need it was that I wasn’t handling or anywhere near things classified as Top Secret. I had to get it because of my rank and where I was assigned. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t handle some classified information, or that I wasn’t very aware of proper procedures. Which is why a lot of what Snowden claims or what he says doesn’t exactly add up.

          • Mr X

            It would appear the massive DHS/WhiteHouse paid troll brigades have been supplemented by folks nervously trying to assure Big Brother of their loyalty by trashing Mr. Snowden. Well the 4th Amendment trumps whatever agreement you’ve signed. And if you see it being violated and don’t leak or blow the whistle, you become an Oath Breaker.

          • chrisj

            Too bad no one at Booz-Allen was able to glance at his personal laptop.

            From Snowdens’ wikipedia page:
            “his laptop displays stickers
            supporting internet freedom organizations including the Electronic
            Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Tor Project.”

          • Mr X

            I know! They should’ve purged him right then and there! Hail Oceania!

          • Mr X

            Watch this video from Lt. Col. Roy Potter:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o31RY2BiE3o

            If you see something that shreds the 1st, 2nd or 4th amendments to the Constitution you have a duty to blow the whistle or leak it. If you don’t, your bosses are going to eventually have you blackbagging/fighting Americans on American soil. Wake up they want a Civil War 2.0 in this country even if they can’t win just to watch it burn.

      • Mr X

        Glenn Reynolds answered this: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/170737/

        And if Snowden is such a loser and all the data NSA has collected on him is secure how did they hire him and how did he walk out with this stuff on flash sticks? Oh wait…doublethink…my head hurts now from trying to spin this Barry Hussein and the NSA’s way…must get more IngSoc koolaid that’ll do it.

      • Eruanion Nolaquen

        Actually, I know a lot about IT, my degree says so, so do all my clients and my former teachers. I know several people who can set up a server, but would have to google how to automate anything on it, like password updates. I know others who use 40 character personal passwords, and have different ones for each system/login they have. This isn’t about “knowing your way around systems” or computing, it is about access. Based on reports of his lifestyle, someone was paying him extra to get info.

    • chrisj

      “It is bad security on their part for him to have gotten files out of the building on a flash drive.”

      GG could have had a more respectable story in the end if he just stuck to your point and criticized the weakness of NSA.

    • proximity1

      Uh, no.

      Apparently you don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

      1) Snowden did get a G.E.D. You didn’t know that.

      2) Snowden worked as a contract employee. His direct employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is a contractor to the N.S.A., C.I.A. and other U.S. Intelligence agencies. It’s as Booz Allen Hamilton’ employee that E. Snowden worked as a technical assistant where his work was that of computer systems administrator. So, his access was, if not virtually complete, then extremely extensive. I have yet to hear of an element of the C.I.A.’s or the N.S.A.’s computer systems to which, while he worked there, Snowden did _not_ have access. In addition, besides his having gained the a top-secret security clearance, he apparently did rather good work since he readily had offers to work in both the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. Had he not done a good job, he wouldn’t have been paid $ (US)100K+ and been asigned to jobs in Switzerland, Japan and Hawaii, working with some of the most sensitive security systems.

      All the evidence I’ve seen so far indicates that both Snowden’s employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the agencies and intelligence superiors he worked with in the C.I.A. and N.S.A. had every good reason to be favorably impressed with Snowden’s skills and intelligence–and, in that respect, they were correct. What they didn’t understand was that Snowden’s moral sense, unlike theirs, was not in a virtual-coma.

      It may be news to you but a person’s innate intelligence has nothing necessarily to do with the educational level he has attained, the number of degree certificates he holds or how much time he’s spent in a classroom.

      Not only is Snowden clearly very intelligent in his field and, generally, he also has an unusually mature and fine sense of moral virtue. That sets him apart from nearly all of his fellow intelligence agency workers, their senior management and, of course, the morally-bankrupt crowd which constitutes Washington’s and the nation’s so-called leading news media and the members of Congress and the White House, including President Obama, all of whose lack of sound moral judgement puts them in another world from the rare people like Snowden.

  • silaria

    A thought: if I were the largest, most powerful information-gathering organizations in the world, and one of my biggest secrets had been leaked, the very first thing I’d do would be to try to discredit the leaker.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      Thanks for joining us, Mr. Jones. Can I call you Alex?

      • silaria

        No, you can tell me why you don’t think the NSA would be doing damage control on the situation every way it can, rather than resorting to ad hominem attacks on people you’ve never met.

        • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

          Because someone stole documents from the NSA. That’s — what’s it called? — against the law.

          • silaria

            And also very, very embarrassing for them. It’s in their best interest to try to downplay the breach.

          • Daniel Kalban

            Sorry, he still stole classified documents and leaked several to the Chinese.

            Not to mention his story seems to have bigger holes than swiss cheese

        • MissArtyNutMeg

          In these situations, I find it best to approach all sides of the story with a healthy skepticism.

    • dbtheonly

      And that automatically makes him creditable? You make Cesca’s point for him.

    • Pelle Svanslös

      the very first thing I’d do would be to try to discredit the leaker.

      Indeed, like dismissing a highly inconvenient point by painting you as some conspiracy theorist rather than addressing that point. If the message is too troublesome or shatters your preferred narrative; go after the messenger.

    • chrisj

      What if you were a well meaning journalist and someone handed you a document with top secret classification? Would you assume to be independently able to judge that it was inappropriately labeled and publish it without even redacting the signing judge’s name?

      I am not aware that GG holds expertise in this matter (nor Mr. Snowden).

  • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

    a random guy???!!! What are you smoking? And you don’t have to trust Snowden. They are printing the documents! You can read them! All the messenger killing in the world doesn’t matter. You don’t like a sentence or two from the stories, fine. Draw your own conclusions from the documents, but don’t imagine that a few details written in the first week of a huge story is a mountain. These molehills will be overtaken by new documents, reporting and more details soon.

    • ultraviolet_uk

      The ONLY document is a FUCKING POWERPOINT SLIDE.

  • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

    “Snowden’s claim that he absconded off with four Booz Allen laptops containing the documents” Where did Snowden, or anybody else for that manner, make this claim? Simply the idea of using four laptops to transport data is ludicrous. Do you think he’s stupid? More likely he will use them in succession to access the Internet in until each one’s MAC is compromised. And whatever he does to mask them, they will be found eventually. Who’s the tech illiterate now?

    • hdl1784

      “As he pulled a small black suitcase and carried a selection of laptop bags over his shoulders, no one would have paid much attention to Ed Snowden as he arrived at Hong Kong International Airport. But Snowden was not your average tourist or businessman. In all, he was carrying four computers that enabled him to gain access to some of the US government’s most highly-classified secrets.”

      From The Guardian, quoted in the LA Times story linked above.

      • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

        Yeah, I read that already. “Enabled him to gain access” could mean they had encryption software on them to actually read the files he took. You don’t think they are stored as PDFs, do you?

        • hdl1784

          I was responding to your question “Where did Snowden, or anyone else for that matter” say that “he absconded off with four Booz Allen computers containing the documents?” The passage I reproduced directly answers the question.

          • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

            Can you read? Where does it say Snowden took BAH computers and where does it say the files were stored on the computers?

          • disqus_FaQog92bFO

            Well- He would not have been working on his laptop from Best Buy at BAH ;-) So yes, he would have accessed and stolen information from BAH computers not his own… I know- you might find this so crazy. But these places don’t allow you to bring in your own equipment. Not that their security procedures protected us in this case as we were compromised by an ass who believes he’s above the law.

          • hdl1784

            Yes, I can read. And I read the sentence in which you asked whether anyone, not just Snowden,had ever said that. In any event, as Snowden was the only one among those involved with The Guardian who could have had first hand knowledge of his travels, it is not unreasonable to conclude that he said that to someone. Not all the information about his activities was conveyed in direct quotes. Of course it is possible that the reporter for The Guardian lied and made that up. If that is the case, then one can say that nothing about this that appears in The Guardian is trustworthy. Maybe there were crossed wires. But I do not believe The Guardian reporter just made this up out of whole cloth.

        • disqus_FaQog92bFO

          You’re just making stuff up to suit your fantasy. Sadly, it’s completely unrelated to information being provided.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      You’re gullible and badly informed.

      • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

        Okay, inform me. Please provide the quote where you learned Snowden claimed he took BAH computers and that he used them to carry the documents.

      • 624LC .

        these guys have moved the goal posts so much, that it is in the stadium’s parking lot by now. Great work, Bob – keep it up!

    • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

      I should say that he could be using all at once too, for the same reason of avoiding detection.

      It should be said that since Snowden is not on a Pacific island living off a big Swiss bank account, he is taking precautions to not let the unencrypted files be taken from him and also to protect himself when he is taken into custody. The encrypted files are likely stored on a remote server, not on his laptops.

      • disqus_FaQog92bFO

        He downloaded the files that he *stole* (long after contacting Poitras and Greenwald btw) to a thumb drive. Seriously, do you read? This is not some super genius. This is a vindictive little brat with an agenda.

      • disqus_FaQog92bFO

        Notice @NorwegianShooter:disqus that I asked you if you read? Because this is your response to everyone while continually spewing non facts? It’s so very effective.

      • disqus_FaQog92bFO

        FYI: Mark- Snowden now hiding out in a private home and before that was staying in a swank hotel. So yes, someone is helping him and it’s definitely not the US government. And in all his brilliance, he was putting towels up against the door of the hotel…. you know, as part of some ingenious plan to protect himself and information. (Cuckoo- and completely paranoid)

        In addition, Snowden is most upset about the work we (the US) was doing in Geneva. This would have almost certainly involved tracking money laundering to Iran (to avoid sanctions) and to known supporters of terrorism. Snowden and Greenwald don’t believe the US has any right to track our known enemies. If you read their statements, this is about exposing the US to the world and our enemies. Greenwald regularly defends murderous, repressive regimes over the US. His hatred is that deep. His agenda is clear. The NSA hysteria was meant to hook paranoid people before they go on about how the “US spies on everyone!” Snowden revealed his intent quickly with his exposure to China… a country well known for its spying on citizens and continued hacking of US targets.

        And- guess what? They all spy. Every single country. Germany spies on China. They spy on Russia. Russia spies on everyone including their own citizens and jail/ murder political dissenters just like China. But no, Greenwald not concerned about this. He’s only concerned with attacking the US.

        This is an agenda. And they’re exaggerating and stretching the truth in order to push this agenda. If Snowden had docs that he thought needed to be exposed immediately, he could dump them somewhere like Cryptome (a number of options). He hasn’t because he and Glenn need and want to manipulate the information.

        • disqus_FaQog92bFO

          Correction: Meant to say Snowden was most upset with work *he was doing in Geneva not “we”. ;-) But yes, it’s we as in US. And what we do in Geneva is legitimate and not related to spying on your everyday Joe US citizen.

        • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

          How have Snowden and GG manipulated the information? For instance the first FISC order ever published: did they change the type face? Or the PRISM slides: did the WaPo manipulate them in the same way?

  • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

    Talk about a yawn, meaning your post. Greenwald’s quote above speaks for itself. I think you are narrow-mindedly thinking that because GG writes his opinion a lot, that he somehow can’t ever report something which is not his opinion. The PRISM slide says what he said it says. End of story. I also think you meant another T word besides tenacious. Lets see if you can figure that one out.

    But the more important point is what GG said next in that interview. About 13:30 here http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/52186575#52186575. He said, correctly, that we don’t know how access has been negotiated by the tech companies and the NSA/FBI. There are likely different protocols used with different companies. Microsoft seemed eager to help. Twitter has resisted. It will take quite a bit of reporting and likely more unauthorized leaks to find out. You’d be wise to say lets wait and see rather than grind an axe on the messenger.

  • blackdaug

    At this point what is left to learn? The story is in tatters, the characters more discredited by the day, but their are those who will not let go of the narrative, or keep revising it fit their preconceived notion of what is real.
    It is apparent that no matter what new facts emerge showing how poorly conceived and shoddily vetted the entire thing was from the start, there are those who are just going to say: So what? I don’t care about the facts…blah….blah…tyranny….blah blah..government intrusion….
    Greenwald will dance and refuse to back off even as the very publication he works for redacts the story.
    Snowden will still be hailed as a hero; doing photo ops in a month from the heart of The Forbidden City, handing over thumb drives and briefcases to smiling Chinese security officers.
    We are really in the Twilight Zone here folks.
    I used to make jokes about Dick Cheney being able to eat babies on the White House lawn and the story on Meet The Press would be: “Baby Eating Leads to Lower Taxes”.
    There was literally no criminal act they could not white wash away within a 24 hour news cycle.
    This administration comes in, cleans up what messes it can….and is relentlessly attacked because somebody can’t understand the nomenclature in a fucking powerpoint slide?
    One more nothing burger scandal on top of the last…..except their are people who usually know better biting into this one hook line and sinker….
    Mr. Brink was right…..Fuck the Media. They have failed most profoundly this time….

    • TheyreBothWrong

      “There was literally no criminal act they could not white wash…” HA!
      As if this doesn’t apply to Obama. I see you’ve moved to bullsh*t
      mountain as well. I hear it has a nice view.

      Luckily, Barack W. Warbama has more people to kill in another war we absolutely must be involved in so this story will be buried soon enough

      Ps. Nobody care what’s on people’s computers? Really? Not now and not ever? You act as if your saint Dems will be in power forever. Would you be so comfortable if McCain or Romeny were President and the crook Republicans had this power? You act as if abusing power for political reasons has never happened and never will. Ever hear of Hoover’s FBI files, Nixons enemies list, and fuckn BUSH.

      • blackdaug

        Barrack W. Warbama…oooh..Barry Obummer too hard to spell? Yeah I’m on bullshit mountain, lookin up at you moron.
        …and thats right. Nobody cares about your information. You wouldn’t make the enemies list on Sesame Street. Because you are an idiot, and as an idiot pose no threat to anybody.,,,except yourself. Keyboard warrior. Paranoid hack…….go live in cave…or Somalia. They will show what what a libertarian paradise looks like….since around here.theyrebothwrong …and all.

        • TheyreBothWrong

          Well, I’m actually not worried about myself. But I suppose you’re correct, prominent individuals, pundits, career govt employees, political appointees, and political enemies of politicians aren’t like us regular folk. No President ever would abuse such power. Never ever.

          p.s. I’m not just a keyboard warrior. I got my chance to shoot the freedom into people in one of America’s spectacularly awesome freedom wars. USMC

          • 624LC .

            I would worry about you – cheetos and hours of Halo is no way to go through life, son.

          • TheyreBothWrong

            How very Scarboroug of you. I’m sure neocons take great pride in knowing they’re not so different from party loyalists on the other side.

          • Mr X

            Damn straight two legged Obama drones might as well be neocon drones. I think they’re in full blown paid by the comment and tweet tag teaming on this thread.

          • Mr X

            Worshipping NSA and salivating over how data mining will create an endlosung to America’s bitter clinger problem is no way to go through life either. Especially if you intend to live to a ripe old age.

          • Mr X

            And TheyreBothWrong will be the types that once you idiots who think a CivilWar2 is gonna be awesome and will end with all bitter clingers surrendering like Johhy Rebs in 1865 because of awesome NSA data mining and drones…well read this:

            http://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/what-i-saw-at-the-coup/

            and this:

            http://www.bob-owens.com/2012/12/what-youll-see-in-the-rebellion/

        • Senor Equis

          The paranoid will survive.

      • Guest

        Did anyone, besides you, say Obama or Democrats were “saints” other than you?

      • MissArtyNutMeg

        Did anybody, besides you, say that Obama and Democrats were “saints”?

      • Mr X

        Luckily, Barack W. Warbama…

        yes but it’s for the chiiiiiiiiiilllllldren. And Assad really did use Sarin. Nevermind that the Le Monde journos who collected the sample should’ve been dead from absorbing it through their skin.

    • Mr X

      No, fuck the NSA. Because if they keep stealing the data of every citizen of Montana or Wyoming eventually Clapper’s going to be teeing off in Jackson Hole and get arrested by Wyoming State Troopers for violating their state’s wiretap laws. What’s that you say? Supremacy clause? Immunity? Ha ha. Try the 4th Amendment. You fed worshippers want to keep dumping on it watch what happens.

    • David R Velasquez

      The programs exists. No one denies that.
      So what if Snowden isn’t who he says he is. He still highlighted something that shouldn’t happening.

    • Senor Equis

      “At this point what is left to learn?” Would the NSA Data Center in Utah handle one or two passes by A-10s should they start using their data to blackbag patriots?

  • Larry Strong

    I’m pretty well informed, but I had no idea that the govt was storing the telephone history of every single American citizen. And apparently they are doing much more than that according to Congress members.

    And I guess the rest of the world, particularly our allies, were surprised to learn that their citizens were being spied on via their internet usage by NSA.

    This comes off as just an obvious attempt to besmirch the messengers, who, in my opinion, have performed a great service.

    Bottom line is: I don’t want to be spied on. I want my effin privacy from govt intrusion. One way to get rid of terrorists is to stop invading mideastern countries and droning innocent people.

    • Bubble Genius

      Guess you never read USA Today, or any other publication in 2006.

      http://yahoo.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm

      You may note also in abovereferenced article that POTUS 43 says the program is for international use. I do believe our allies are better informed than you, or at least, you know, read newspapers, so no, I doubt very much they were surprised.

      Why don’t you learn about world history and how politics work before you start spouting half-baked theories?

      • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

        Larry can be excused for not knowing about previous disclosures from anonymous sources. And he is absolutely right this article is about shooting the messenger. Btw, he explicitly says foreigners are pissed at Internet snooping, PRISM, while the 2006 article is about call metadata. So why don’t you learn to read before spouting off?

        • Bubble Genius

          Larry can’t be excused for being unaware of recent history. The messenger is more than flawed, and that taints the message.

          The article says “The NSA’s domestic program, as described by sources, is far more expansive than what the White House has acknowledged. Last year, Bush said he had authorized the NSA to eavesdrop — without warrants — on international calls and international e-mails of people suspected of having links to terrorists when one party to the communication is in the USA. Warrants have also not been used in the NSA’s efforts to create a national call database.”

          • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

            Larry said “Internet usage”. It’s clear he is talking about the PRISM program, not international email metadata that was previously disclosed.

      • Mr X

        Yes the Germans were so well informed they just compared PRISM to Stasi.

        Nice try DHS bot. You all need better talking points or a war in Syria to distract people.

        • Bubble Genius

          Yep, that’s right, son, you’ve outed me. Bubble Genius is on the Department of Homeland Security payroll. The soapmaking lab is just a front. FTW. You wonder why people don’t take you seriously.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      The government isn’t “storing the telephone history of every single American citizen.” Where did you hear such nonsense? I know the answer, but I want to hear it from you.

      • TheyreBothWrong

        This require having an attention span longer than a tv segment or newspaper article but it’s well worth the time to learn what the technical side to the NSA program is.

        Computer programmer and security expert Steve Gibson
        http://twit.tv/show/security-now/408
        (skip to the 58:00min mark to get to the nuts and bolts of how it almost certainly all works)

        • Lazarus Durden

          Almost certainly works? So you don’t have any proof to your claims? None. Okay thanks for playing. Why don’t you post a clip from Alex Jones next time.

          • TheyreBothWrong

            Sooooo yeah you obviously didn’t even bother to check out the link. It’s not a political show, simply a tech show by someone with expertise in information security.

            And yeah we can’t make absolute statements. No one can yet, you look at the evidence and make conclusions.

          • Lazarus Durden

            Or jump to conclusions. Here’s the problem with you far left types in that you’re just like the far right GOP. Everything is a scandal, everything is elevated to the level of outrage so I can’t take anything you say seriously. There is no conclusive proof. Zero. There’s not even likely proof.

            Again thanks for playing.

        • 624LC .

          Really? That’s your answer? Who is the “they’re” in your poster name? Your parents?

      • ultraviolet_uk

        Perhaps they might take it from Kurt Eichenwald:

        http://www.vanityfair.com/online/eichenwald/2013/06/prism-isnt-data-mining-NSA-scandal

        “First, the much-ballyhooed PRISM program is not a program and not a secret, and anyone who says it is should not be trusted because they don’t know what they’re talking about. PRISM is the name for the
        government computer system that is used to handle the foreign-intelligence data collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

    • chrisj

      “I’m pretty well informed.”
      That is good one.

    • Bruce__R

      There were a lot of foreign objections to the Patriot Act extensions of US surveillance powers. Spent a fair bit of time a decade ago trying to insulate Canadian customers against exactly this threat (of FISA-authorized spying on private communications) because to do so would violate their own privacy laws. Normally ended up meaning physically placing servers outside the US. So yeah, foreigners knew before, don’t worry about that.