There Might Be A Second Edward Snowden Out There

| Educate!

The news: Newly leaked source code has revealed just what the NSA considers justification for storing your web browsing data indefinitely — and it probably didn’t come from Edward Snowden.

Lena Kampf, Jacob Appelbaum and John Goetz (who are all associated with the Tor Project) wrote on the German site Tagessschau that they have seen the “deep packet inspection” rules used in the NSA’s XKeyScore program to determine which targets are worthy of deep surveillance. The rules are much broader than the NSA would like you to believe; for example, the NSA targets anyone who searches for information online about Tails or Tor. Anyone using Tor is also flagged for long-term surveillance. People deemed worthy of such intensive surveillance never have their data removed from NSA servers.

What is the NSA trying to do? Their main goal seems to be separating the technological know-hows from folks who wouldn’t know what an Onion router was if it hit them in the face. After making this distinction, the NSA will keep track of the former group, in case they ever become a potential threat. For example, the NSA is apparently keeping tabs on an anonymous email service hosted at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. BetaBoston notes that it’s not entirely clear whether XKeyScore was properly filtering out users from the “Five Eyes” nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States) that officially aren’t subject to surveillance.

As BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow writes:

“More importantly, this shows that the NSA uses “targeted surveillance” in a way that beggars common sense. It’s a dead certainty that people who heard the NSA’s reassurances about “targeting” its surveillance on people who were doing something suspicious didn’t understand that the NSA meant people who’d looked up technical details about systems that are routinely discussed on the front page of every newspaper in the world.”

How does Snowden factor in here? Experts believe that this particular document leak was the work of a second source, and not Snowden. One told BoingBoing that they had surveyed the initial treasure trove of Snowden docs and did not see this particular file.

“The existence of a potential second source means that Snowden may have inspired some of his former colleagues to take a long, hard look at the agency’s cavalier attitude to the law and decency,” writes Doctorow.

However, the identity of the source (if it’s not Snowden) has yet to be revealed. Hopefully it will stay that way, considering Snowden’s revelations about online privacy got him in a pretty sticky situation.

  • Pingback: There Might Be A Second Edward Snowden Out There | The Beacon()

  • Re: “the NSA targets anyone who searches for information online about Tails or Tor. Anyone using Tor is also flagged for long-term surveillance. People deemed worthy of such intensive surveillance never have their data removed from NSA servers.”

    Sh*t. That makes me a target for life. Anyone who think the lives of the citizenry should be private.

    The overarching fact that keeps bouncing around in my head is the cooperation between government agencies and private corporations. Studies have made it clear that we do not have democracy in the US and that we’re a plutocracy or oligarchy. I could also make the case that we’re a military dictatorship. The one rule in the media is that our troops are untouchable heroes. One can be anti-war but one cannot be against our troops and thus our military. Our warrior culture permeates everything from sporting events to amusement parks and video games. The “collect it all” NSA is under the direction of the military. The NSA, like the defense contractors and the military, is a union of private corporations and national defense public organizations. The executive branch, all under complete control of the president, is the head of the military.

    Do the oligarchs control the military or does the military control the oligarchs? I think it’s the wrong question to ask. The oligarchs and the military are in complete partnership, aligned by common interests, to control the US population and maintain a world order that serves their common interests. It’s corporatism at best and fascism at worst.

    Under such a system what is the odds that they don’t have the president under complete control?

  • I see we’re back on Disqus. No matter what comment system we’re using, we can be sure that the NSA is watching us with keen interest.

  • Veri1138

    Noticed that also? The commenting system with up or down votes was always used to see who was saying what, and their popularity.

  • Hi V-1138!


  • Veri1138

    Not much. Been on a war rant lately. Justifying the use of force, if necessary. Against traitors, jack booted thugs, etc. While plugging away at the illegalities of this Administration.

  • Southernfink

    Hey, it’s working again.


  • Southernfink

    Good point what do you do when you cannot gain access to a page using commonly used search engines – the immediate and practical solution is to use a search engine that does deliver the goods.

  • Southernfink

    Ever noticed all them dormant account following many hundreds if not thousands of accounts – why is DQ so reluctant to implement the much asked for block follower feature.

  • There is justified use of force but unfortunately we see too much unjustified use of force and too much killing. All the mass killings by nut cases gives justification for a militarized police force. And then there’s Israel…

    My pet peeve of late is movies where the supposed good guy kills the supposed bad guy in cold blood. Whatever happened to “killing is wrong” and “American justice where everyone is entitled to a fair trial of his peers?”

  • Veri1138

    Saudi Arabia is busy establishing mosques that are then used to preach Wahabbi Islam, the most virulent and extremist form of Islam (think ISIS/AQ/Bin-Laden).

    The improper application of force is benefiting a few while leaving most Americans vulnerable to reprisals. The many paying for the mistakes of a few.

    Normally, terrorism is a law enforcement issue. Watch a good movie, “The Siege”. Blown out of proportion, but it gives one an idea.

    American justice no longer guarantees a fair trial. Affluenza, visiting or even searching for or mentioning T dot O dot R will get you scrutinized by The NSA, copicide – murder committed by cops, the courts being used as collection agencies by sending debtors to prison, the courts being used to rubber stamp traffic violations in order to collect revenue, etc.

    EDIT: Eh? How the hell did this post end up here?

  • Veri1138

    Presidents are selected, not elected by a small elite. -FDR in Letter to Mandel House.

    When you look at the selection process, you see money from the RNC or DNC/DCCC flowing to select candidates. Support is given to select politicians or candidates and support is withdrawn from traitorous candidates who do not tow the line.

    This does not mean that it always works. However, it works most of the time.

    You see this in the candidacies of Ron Paul or Ralph Nader. Both espouse populist positions, both are Liberal in their own ways, both do not tow the party line. Both are made pariahs at Presidential debates, in the media, and by their own funding committees. And both suffer from attacks from their own parties or allies.

    As for the oligarchs, much of the intelligence gathering functions of The US are out-sourced to private companies. It is safe to say that the oligarchs control the intelligence functions. As for the military, oligarchs are busy buying Generals. There is one flaw, Generals may be popular or unpopular, yet they don’t get to see the troops much. It is the company commanders who directly control the troops. The military is content to let the civilians figure things out themselves. Yet, the military does act in a fashion.

    Consider 2007 when Tricky Dicky Cheney was trying to gin up a war with Iran by falsely claiming that Iran had attacked an American warship in The Straits of Hormuz (using the successful false-flag template that was The Tonkin Gulf Incident). Meanwhile, The CIA was tired of being the whipping boy for the false intelligence that neo-cons put out there to justify Iraq and being blamed for it.

    So, The DoD, in their infinite wisdom, acted in the best interests of the country. They made a fool out of Dick Cheney by releasing the actual tapes of said “attack” showing it to be just routine radio harassment and some bullsh*t boats that had been going on since the 1980s. And The CIA… changed the NIE to reflect that Iran was not developing nuclear weapons (which begs the question: why is Obama so worried about Iran developing nuclear weapons when we are sure that Iran is not?).

    Thus, Tricky Dicky Cheney was shown to be a fool. And we did not invade Iran. Oh, and one JCS confided back in 2010 or 2011 that he was prepared to walk into The White House and arrest the President if ordered to attack Iran. And then, one has to wonder about the Budget Showdown last October and why it was resolved at the last minute.

    Hint: The military would not be getting paid and there is a military garrison fifteen minutes away. You don’t fuck with a soldier’s pay. Especially when he or she is in a combat zone. Other than that, we follow orders and even sidestep a few that are criminal. What? You think we followed orders all of the time? You so crazy!

    The Oligarchs do not have complete control. They have enough control so that the Hornet’s Nest is not stirred up.

  • Veri1138

    Sometimes I think that some of those accounts are from sock puppet software reported on awhile back that the USG developed.

    Other times, one can spot the paid shills through their names – usually their full names – and their style of writing, as if it is all coming from one source. DNC/DCCC likes to do that on the Lib/Pro boards.

    Other times, a few have been Law Enforcement. You can usually tell those because they are more literate than their RW counterparts in arguing for violence. As soon as you pick up on it, and mention that they “sound like FBI or LE”, they are gone. No reply.

    Then you get the faux-gressives. Usually single-issue. See RW nutjobs below.

    After that, there are the RW nutjobs pretending to be Lib/Pro. They start of with a post that seems Lib/Pro, and when you insult them with attacks by pointing out the facts of the situation, they get off-topic, they get personal, and then accuse you of getting off-topic. Really weak minds. Can’t hold water. Just got done with one and I’m amusing myself with it.

    And to be truly paranoid? How can we be sure that our posts are being read? Can everyone see them? Or just a few?

    As a side note, RW and Alternet are basically single- or double-issue driven sites. With an occasional story to provide variety. Remember the experiment on Facebook to modify user’s emotions? Hell, media has been doing it for decades or a century. Yellow Journalism. RW and Alternet do be careful about how far they are willing to pursue an issue. Or some issues are simply not in their purview; which means they are – to some extent – manipulation with a purpose. And to have purpose, one must have someone running the show with an agenda.

    Sometimes, it is more about what sites don’t say, than what they do. Both are useful. Sometimes, what they don’t say, tells one a whole lot more than what they do.

  • re: “Presidents are selected, not elected, by a small elite. -FDR in Letter to Mandel House.”


    re: “When you look at the selection process, you see money from the RNC or DNC/DCCC flowing to select candidates. Support is given to select politicians or candidates and support is withdrawn from traitorous candidates who do not tow the line.”

    Yup, that’s how it’s done.

    re: “You see this in the candidacies of Ron Paul or Ralph Nader. Both espouse populist positions, both are Liberal in their own ways, both do not tow the party line. Both are made pariahs at Presidential debates, in the media, and by their own funding committees. And both suffer from attacks from their own parties or allies.”

    And both are used by the state to give a facade of free speech and democracy. Google or Privatelee, “the cable news heroism of chris hayes” to see what I mean.

    I appreciate your thoughts on the military and soldiers. It’s encouraging to hear that not all soldiers have been brainwashed completely to follow orders no matter what they are. In a sense, the soldiers are a threat to the ruling oligarchy. That’s why soldiers will be replaced by drones and robots as soon as technically feasible. Machines are much less likely to turn their guns on their creators. Or are they? 😉

    I believe in mass protests and strikes in the streets and a revolution at the polls. I support Larry Lessig’s superPAC to kill all superPACs. But is it enough? The oligarchs hold almost al of the chips while everyone else are struggling to stay afloat?

  • Veri1138

    Mass protests are all good and well. And can be effective. I like them to. However, despite all the mass protests – nothing is changing.

    Why? 1960s style protests in the 21st don’t work so well. Your opponents have had forty years to study the movement of the 1960s. Forty years to figure out ways to defuse, deny, delay, destroy… those 1960s-style mass protests now here in the 21st.

    Not a good thing. Mass protestors have been out-thought and out-fought here in the 2-and-1.

  • kevinzeese

    Making change requires more than protest, protest is an integral part, but it requires a vision, strategy and tactics. We advocate proceeding on two parallel paths — protest and creation — we call it Stop the Machine, Create a New World. The latter is probably more important than the former.

    But, we have seen the impact of protest so saying it does not work does not look at reality. Occupy was actually a pretty small protest, maybe 1/10th of 1% of the population participated yet it changed the debate on the wealth divide. As a result of occupy, along with other efforts, Obama’s attempts to cut Social Security were stopped.

    We have also been able to stop progress in Congress on the Trans Pacific Partnership (of course the battle continues, but right now we are winning).

    Similarly, with the FCC net neutrality issue, when the FCC proposed a tiered Internet based on fees there was a mass reaction and now our position — treating the Internet as a public utility where there can be no discrimination – is included in the rulemaking process.

    Change is an ongoing process. You are right that one protest or series of protests are insufficient, but as part of a strategy for change they are having a tremendous impact.

    To see more on our strategy see:
    History Teaches That We Have the Power to Transform the Nation, Here’s How.

  • Veri1138

    Revolutions and movements are successful when there is a sufficient middle class. Around 12.5% of the population.

    The FCC rules are not looking so hot as to Net Neutrality.

    Some locals have moved forward on minimum wage, while some States offer a slight increase in minimum wage, over the Federal standard. As for Obama’s EO, it probably will stand unless a Republican becomes President and wants to alienate his bureaucracy at the very lowest wage-worker levels. Most jobs from OPM where already offering around a $10.10/hour level. A Republican President would probably remove that requirement for government contractors of private corporations to pay $10.10 an hour.

    Bait and switch.

    No one has stopped progress on TPP other than the nations that do not find it favorable, yet. Like NAFTA, it is a done deal when the time comes for it to be a done deal; if current power structures remain in place.

    Change is an ongoing process. Current political leaders are doing the barest minimum to keep the masses, happy. Calculated. No one is arguing for overnight change, yet neither are they arguing for crumbs.

    OWS was successful in raising consciousness of income inequality. And they were crushed. Now, most of OWS – what is left – is operating within the rules of their masters. A lose-lose position, ultimately.

    There will be change. Most change comes about through violence and/or deprivation. Nor does change require massive violence. Violence is already here.

    You have a good start, however. Yet, your methods are… lacking. No one is proposing Black Bloc tactics.

    To be a bit… controversial… try studying Hamas or Golden Dawn in Greece, minus the violence. Look at their social organizing. And hard-core leadership. Liberal or Conservative movements, that are more successful, follow the same principles. Also, you better be able to go toe-to-toe with your opponents using non-classical methods.

    They kettle you. You kettle them. So to speak.

  • Veri1138

    Oh, and about the robots…

    No one has ever been able to replace boots and the ground, and then hold the real estate. They never will be able to. And if we follow Ray Kurzweil’s idiocy about AIs, then AIs will become the soldiers and wonder why they need humanity at all… lights out.

    Though, I would like to be able to order my own Jolene Blalock flesh-bot 😉 for $199.95. Maybe AI fleshbots are not a bad thing after all? Suitably programmed, of course. No more nagging or needy wives or girlfriends (or husbands or boyfriends), someone one can truly love.

    I jest of course.


  • kevinzeese

    Not sure where the 12.5% figure comes from, the 3.5% figure is actual research. Academics who have reviewed resistance movements that have occurred over the last 100 years. At 3.5% mobilization the movements always won, of course, they had to be pushing issues that a majority of the public wanted (and every issue we push has majority, usually 2/3+ support).

    The TPP has been stopped in Congress as well as in negotiation. In fact, a major reason the negotiation is going poorly is because Obama has been unable to get fast track trade promotion authority from Congress. Hundreds of members have opposed fast track in both Houses of Congress, after receiving tens of thousands of emails and phone calls. Without fast track the TPP will not pass because that is the only way to keep the contents secret during congressional review. If the contents of the TPP are known, it will fail. They know that which is why Obama is keeping it secret and pushing for fast track authority (where Congress votes up or down with minimal time for review).

    On the FCC the initial position of the commission was to push a tiered Internet based on fees, after lots of protest (including our occupation of the FCC) as well as hundreds of thousands of emails and phone calls they moved their position — now they included our position which was reclassifying as a public utility so there can be no discrimination. Getting that movement was a victory. Now we are pushing for the right decision by the FCC. It looks like we have two out of the three votes we need, so still some work to do. We have had protests outside the FCC and there have been hundreds of thousands of comments submitted supporting our view. So, it is looking like a winnable campaign, but it requires people to take action, mobilize — and not take the naysaying view do. We can win this battle.

    I agree raising the minimum wage is not won yet, but there have been victories moving in the right direction. It is not predictable whether a Republican or Democrat is best. On the face of it people assume a Democrat but it is not always that predictable as people get more aggressive in organizing and mobilizing when a Republican is in office and that can change the political environment.

    Don’t be so pessimistic. Just because the power structure says we have no power does not mean we have to believe them. In fact, a lot of the actions of the power structure show their fear of a mass movement that they cannot control. Let’s build it and show our power.

  • Veri1138

    You are talking about “mobilization”. When 3.5% show up. I’m talking about the characteristics of the entire society, that enable social change. Any society that experiences social change usually possesses a middle-class size of 12.5%.

    Army War College.

    There are a very few outliers from the 12.5% of course where the society did not possess a middle-class that large.

  • Southernfink

    Interesting and valid perspective, we know the software is out there and that people are hired to use it, every once in a while, you even see the vacancies for them

    – Facebook just never caught on with me, this is bad enough, then there are all those silent followers who have never even made a single comment, so for the time being, I set the profile to private.

    – Nanoflop recently announced they have altered their privacy policies – pretty soon after and unsurprisingly – came the announcement that various alphabet soups from all over the globe were to receive even more increased powers to monitor electronic conversations.

    – Then I think back to the number of times that the Bush administration declined to cooperate with investigations into 911 – by hiding behind the State Secret Privilege act a staggering 23 times !

    -Time after time – again and again – Those at the very top of the chain of command have not been properly investigated for waging wars under false pretexual’s – while civil rights are still being reduced right around the globe, shock horror !

    – The contradiction, is that civil rights are still being reduced, but by the very people elected to safeguard them, who say; that it’s all done as a matter of national security, which is akin to pissing on someone’s trousers while having the audacity to smile, while telling them it’s raining .