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back to article Snowden: 'I am still working for the NSA ... to improve it'

Edward Snowden believes he is “still working for the NSA right now” and that his actions in recent months don't constitute treason but an effort “to improve the NSA”, according to an interview in The Washington Post. Snowden's thinking is that he did not set out to “bring down the NSA” but that his theft of and distribution of …

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Because we can

We spy because we need to? Or - like the surveillence states of yesteryear's most terrible regimes - because we can?

Snowden has accomplished more than one mission. For society, he's launched a serious debate. And for the powers of the state, he's sown/nurtured seeds of doubt about their online security, that may cause those with most to hide to deny themselves the power of modern communications.

And one more ... he's taken the media spotlight firmly away from a certain aussie now leading a non-life in limbo. A blessed relief there!

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Big Brother

Re: Because we can

Because their corporate overlords tell them too.

Spying to defeat fascism is one thing, but spying to advance commercial interests is quite another, exactly the opposite in fact, and this farcical War on Terriers® is little more than gang warfare between those commercial interests and OPEC.

Granted, I'm sure Christian fundamentalism plays a role too, along with an overinflated sense of "exceptionalism".

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@Nick Re: Because we can

Every Nation spies on every other nation.

Merkel? She should win the German equivalent of an Oscar for her feigned outrage at the US.

And people say that the Germans don't have a sense of humor.

C'mon seriously?

As to your remarks on Snowden... one of my Russian friends thinks he's FSB.

Personally I think he's a delusional loser who lucked out by getting his clearance in the first place.

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Happy

The UK should appreciate what Edward Snowden has done for them ...

by revealing what a bunch of low life the UK employs.

Everyone was complacently happy in their ignorance until that fateful day in HongKong when several people met around that Rubic's cube.

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Big Brother

Re: The UK should appreciate what Edward Snowden has done for them ...

I often wonder, and especially today, what Alan Turing would have thought of all this. His legacy his been flushed down the toilet of history by those that followed him.

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Re: The UK should appreciate what Edward Snowden has done for them ...

The supporters of unfettered state surveillance are busy with the downvote button today.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The UK should appreciate what Edward Snowden has done for them ...

>Alan Turing would have thought of all this. His legacy his been flushed down the toilet of history by those that followed him.

He seemed happy enough during WW2 and after as focus shifted to the soviets - eras when absolutely all domestic communication (phones, mail etc) was subject to interception without any oversight..

.......also post-war we recycled the Nazi tech for our European and colonial allies thus ensuring we could monitor their secure communications.

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Re: The UK should appreciate what Edward Snowden has done for them ...

"The supporters of unfettered state surveillance are busy with the downvote button today."

The daily mail readers are busy with the downvote button today.

Fixed.

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Re: The UK should appreciate what Edward Snowden has done for them ...

Have an upvote for your handle. I hope you can justify it.

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Re: The UK should appreciate what Edward Snowden has done for them ...

The mentally challenged daily mail inbred readers are busy with the downvote button this week.

Perfected.

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Here is a man who has caused millions, if not billions worth of damage by his actions. Made countries mistrust America on whole new levels and did it for no other reason than trying to make the world a little better place to live in. Will they learn ? Ever?

Me personally I can't wait to see what other dirty little secrets will be revealed in the hope 'Murricah will stop playing World Police and let the right parties intermediate in international conflicts and affairs.

What I don't understand (and perhaps there are reasons for it), is why the US media isn't in an uproar or why Americans aren't up in arms over this.

Maybe they just don't want to bite the hand that feeds it...

Nixon's actions seems like a paper cut compared to this fiasco.

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As someone else said...

... in another articles thread, the reason they aren't up in arms about it all is because the US nutures 'patriotism' like it's a cult, if you even question it then surely you must be an enemy of the state.

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Here is a man who has caused millions, if not billions worth of damage by his actions. Made countries mistrust America on whole new levels and did it for no other reason than trying to make the world a little better place to live in. Will they learn ? Ever?

-------

whaaaa?

If I witness a crime, is my testimony what sends the criminal to jail, or the criminals misconduct?

So much for "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide"

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|Quote|Me personally I can't wait to see what other dirty little secrets will be revealed in the hope 'Murricah will stop playing World Police and let the right parties intermediate in international conflicts and affairs.

---

You mean like the EU/UN did in Bosnia for 3 years until the US led bombing of the country in the aftermath of Srebrenica

Or perhaps like Rwanda where everyone did nothing until the bodies starting floating down the rivers into Lake Victoria?

But after WW2, we collectively said "never again" where what should have been said is "never again unless a UN veto holding power is supporting the country in question"

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How can you stop playing World Police when

no one else is either stupid enough or wealthy enough to do so?

Let's face it, few if any European or Middle East countries even want to be involved for ANY reason. The UN is the most constipated, worthless, impotent organization that ever sucked the public teat.

I can't blame anyone for NOT participating. However, when you don't participate or provide support; IMHO you lose your right to criticize forever. Now I'm off to bake some bread you arent getting.

BTW, I don't fully support or condone what the US has done even though I live here. I DO have to live with the results however.

As far as the spying is concerned, you can't single out the USA when ALL of your various countries alphabet agencies are all involved (you just don't have your own Snowden (Yet).

The damage was done by others when they spied illegally and unconstitutionally, all Snowden did was let people know for sure instead of guessing.

Nixon was a little different because we do not expect that our President is a damned burglar, directly running a group of criminals. There could have been no plausible excuse for his actions.

Unfortunately, Oblama is just as big a crook as Nixon but he has an excuse that all governments can hide their dirty tricks behind, "National Security"!

The Liberal media is as guilty as Oblama is, one for rigging all media coverage and next for failing to report what he has done with same fervor they would use against Bush or some other GOP politician.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As someone else said...

Unfortunately, you are right in the nurturing US patriotism as a cult. But you are wrong to think that there are US "patriots," citizens, and those with access to information the public does not know who thinks that Snowden is a criminal and find it fitting that he is in mother Russia running away from his actions.

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Re: As someone else said...

"and those with access to information the public does not know " -are shitting their pants, because thanks to Mr Snowden, they{the public) soon will have access to that information.

yes, all whistleblowers are criminals, according to those criminals they blow the whistle on. As for running away from his actions - the man is not a complete fool - I certainly wouldn't be running back to the waiting arms of the slimeballs behind this mess.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As someone else said...

I'm so embarrassed for my countrymen. It isn't patriotism muting the response, outside of the initial reactions no one seems to care anymore. It is a reality far more damning than the spying itself.

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So much for "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide"

It's obvious just who is the real crims here, then. The NSA, GCHQ, ASIO, GCSB, etc, are all so very forthcoming with the details, aren't they? If they were doing nothing criminal, they would be forthcoming with the details ... they're so good at pretending they're doing nothing I suspect them of the very worst not merely LOVEINT, but PERVERTINT ...

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FAIL

Re: Loopy Wankinmasta Re: So much for "If you've done nothing wrong.....

"It's obvious just who is the real crims here, then....." Yes, it is - the NSA and GCHQ are legally covered, whereas Snowope took restricted material (cybercrime) and distributed it to "journalists" that did not have clearance to have it (breach of the Espionage Act in the US and the Official Secrets Act in the UK). Yes, by his own admission, it is very clear that Snowdope is a criminal. Your wanting to baaaah-lieve otherwise is just LACKOFINT.

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End of the Age of Innocence

What Nixon's Plumbers did was peanuts compared to what Snowden has revealed, but this was a much more innocent country then. This was an era when the press and Secret Service colluded to keep the scandalous affairs of government out of the press in the USA. Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, and Abscam changed all that. What Snowden did was/is heroic. I too am looking forward to his fact-checking NSA propaganda.

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Anonymous Coward

"...when you have access to the tools the NSA does, probable cause falls out of trees."

The problem is, if you have the NSA's toolbox and all the feeling of omniscience that goes with it, you probably develop a bit of a deity complex, leading you to the view that probable cause is for mere mortals.

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many more in his possession?

So you think he is lying when he says he has nothing?

I loved the "it is generally held" bit; how about citing your sources? Who are these people generally holding this, and how do *they* say they know?

My source? The NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/world/snowden-says-he-took-no-secret-files-to-russia.html

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Re: many more in his possession?

There is a difference between 'he has no files in his possession' and 'he has no access to the files'.

This is someone who was as professionally paranoid as any tinfoil hat wearer, so, knowing he would be flying through Russia, what might he have done with the files?

I'd guess the files are very well encrypted and kept on a server somewhere, probably stenographically hidden as well as encrypted.

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WTF?

Re: many more in his possession?

"....so, knowing he would be flying through Russia, what might he have done with the files?...." He has already stated he gave everything to Poitras and Greenwald. That is why he can't now get anyone to give him asylum outside Russia, because he has no secrets to offer and only lots of diplomatic heat from the US. Snowdope was duped by Greenwald just as Manning was by A$$ange.

".....Whether Snowden's declaration that his mission is accomplished means he will continue to release documents isn't disclosed....." Hmmm, so leaving glorious, tropical Hawaii, poledancer girlfriend, and an allegedly $150K job, for winter in Moscow with a crappy helldesk job paying peanuts and only KGB goons for company? Yeah, what an accomplishment! ROFLMAO! Snowdope's unfounded narcissism is so beyond Walter Mitty it's simply tragic.

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Re: many more in his possession?

Ditz. This is getting fucking annoying. Snowden's like Manning, in that he handed over the files, and now reporters are combing through them to write articles. At least, that's the last I'd heard.

If this weren't already the Register, I'd expect the Register to be skewering you and every other half-brained reporter. Truly, it's sad.

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I really think he does have nothing

Part of his plan surely was to pass it off, as he must have known his tech would get torn apart wherever he went. I would say that there are encrypted version(s) out there in the "cloud", which is sort of ironic.

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All's Fair in LOVE and CyberIntelAIgent Security WareFare and Virtual Protection Warfare

It would surely be akin to an act of treasonous neglect of duty for UKGBNI Spookery not to be grooming and offering Snowden whatever he wants for as long as he wants in order to take possession of a copy of the intelligence jewels he allegedly has spirited away.

J'accuse.

Is Blighty AI Leading Great Game Player or much more at home starring as a Wannabe Cuckold, Blissfully Content with the Sloppy Seconds being Servered to Please Leading Great Game Players in the Live Operational Virtual Environment?

All that is required to virtually change that very particular and peculiarly tasty reality are new and novel and noble GCHQ Intelligence Community Enterprises with Global Operating Devices delivering Head Quarters Global Command with NEUKlearer IT and HyperRadioProActive Media Control.

And such costs nothing whenever priceless and freely readily available to market to markets.

Merry XSSXXXXmas, One and All.<:-)>

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Eddy Is A Crackpot

OH my goodness!

"

the NSA “are the only ones who don’t realize” he's still working for the agency.

"

Could it possibly be true that we've all been had by these Snowden leaks? Could this be a ploy to divert our attention from other things?

The USA is famous for letting you see what one hand is doing, whilst the other hand does pretty much the opposite.

No. I don't believe any of the above.

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Re: Eddy Is A Crackpot

I don't think that... I just think that Snowden is now trying to rationalize this after the fact. He certainly did commit the crime that he's accused of. (yep, it's true by definition)

Indirectly, he's doing his country a favour. Bad for overreaching security agencies (they'll be kept on somewhat shorter leashes now) but good for humanity, including Americans in the long run.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eddy Is A Crackpot

"I don't think that... I just think that Snowden is now trying to rationalize this after the fact. He certainly did commit the crime that he's accused of. (yep, it's true by definition)"

No it ain't.

Treason is a plot to overthrow the government, what Snowden did was expose the US Government's lies and illegal acts against the constitution of which said lies and acts ARE TREASON.

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Re: Eddy Is A Crackpot

I thought that as a possibility, too.

That all this was planned from the beginning...

I'm not a conspiracy freak, but the US seem to be...

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"Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. "How did you know it was Catch-22? Who the hell told you it was Catch-22?"

"The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. The girls were crying. 'Did we do anything wrong?' they said. The men said no and pushed them away out the door with the ends of their clubs. 'Then why are you chasing us out?' the girls said. 'Catch 22,' the men said. All they kept saying was 'Catch-22, Catch-22. What does it mean, Catch 22? What is Catch-22?"

"Didn't they show it to you?" Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. "Didn't you even make them read it?"

"They don't have to show us Catch-22," the old woman answered. "The law says they don't have to."

"What law says they don't have to?"

"Catch-22".

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The idea that this had nothing to do with the Russians is laughable.

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It does look like the condition that he discontinue his attacks on the US have been quietly dropped by Russia.

Which is fair enough, since obviously the only reason for accepting his Asylum request from Russia's POV was to allow Mr Snowdon to continue to give the USA a good kicking in the media.

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Funny old world

What are all these governments complaining about? They keep telling us that it is necessary to keep tabs on our every move and that 'if you have done nothing wrong, you have no need to worry'. None of these governments should worry then if they have done no wrong, but they are worrying quite a lot.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps the NSA could recover some moral high ground...

> when you have access to the tools the NSA does, probable cause falls out of trees

Or rather "when you have access to the tools the NSA does..." pedophiles can be arrested, people smugglers and slave traders can be intercepted, and child-porn sites starved of credit card payments.

Maybe some action on those fronts may earn back some goodwill - especially since the cat's out of the bag and there is no need to protect sources of evidence anymore?

Or maybe the NSA has already thought about this and decided that once the pedos, slave traders and pornographers have been stopped there would be no choice but to go on and deal with tax evaders and ever smaller-scale criminals until eventually there would only be litterers left and therefore no further reason for the NSA's existence? Better therefore just to stay in a nice, cushy job protecting against 'terrorists' lest there be any danger of doing good.

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Childcatcher

Look! It's an Obvious Distraction!

Snowden's thinking is that he did not set out to “bring down the NSA” but that his theft of and distribution of documents will help to refocus the agency on its true purpose. He therefore told the Post that the NSA “are the only ones who don’t realize” he's still working for the agency.

Seems a bit late to work on his insanity defense, but whatever gets the job done, I suppose.

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IT Angle

Stop it. Just stop it.

Don't you realize this is the NSA's busiest night of the year ?

http://www.noradsanta.org/

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Re: Stop it. Just stop it.

But that is because they've yet to crack Santa's communications!

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Joke

NSA spying on SANTA ..

@Gannon (J.) Dick: "Don't you realize this is the NSA's busiest night of the year ?

Fixed headline ..

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Am I sympathetic with the excuse that the NSA is spying on the world because they are spying on us? Yes, I expect that, and all the crocodile tears being shed by world leaders make me laugh. Am I happy with the idea of all the domestic spying by the NSA? Not at all. The answer is simple. The ability to create a set of programs that exploit a technology that few understand creates an extraordinary opportunity for abuse which the NSA shields with the policy of blocking all inquiry under the guise of exposing national secrets. Once the NSA crosses on to our borders they should, by law, be subject to domestic jurisprudence.

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FAIL

Re: Jerry H. Appel

"....Once the NSA crosses on to our borders they should, by law, be subject to domestic jurisprudence." So, whilst readying yourself for your rant, you missed that whole bit about how the NSA's domestic activities WERE under the oversight of the FISC...?

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In the beginning, I thought he did a great thing as a service to all of our countries.

Nowadays, he only seems to be bragging and going on like he's the saviour of humanity. His lack of dignity and grace is starting to annoy the hell out of me.

To Snowden, you are not a hero. Standing on your soap box and declaring that you know everything about everything in our generation and for future generations is wearing your credibility very thin.

You are a former security employee who spilled the beans on spying, and it's becoming more and more obvious that you did it to make yourself out to become the second coming of Christ.

It's time for you to go away now...please...I beg you.

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He is working for the NSA

By showing them how arrogant and complacent they are.

He worked by ASKING people there for passwords which that just gave to him!

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