NSA- FBI tapping directly into the central servers extracting audio, video chats, photographs, e-mai

J. Abizeid

J. Abizeid

Well-Known Member
Espionnage Élysée

Press Release Top French NSA Targets Top French NSA Intercepts
English | French

Ce 23 juin 2015, Wikileaks commence la publication de « Espionnage à l'Élysée », une collection de documents techniques et de rapports classés TOP SECRET de l'agence nationale de sécurité américaine, la NSA. Ces documents portent sur les moyens de surveillance et le renseignement sur les communications de personnes haut-placées dans le gouvernement français, qui s'étale sur une dizaine d'année.

Ces documents concernent des communications spécialement ciblées des présidents Français Francois Hollande (2012-présent), Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012), et Jacques Chirac (1995-2007), mais aussi des ambassadeurs français aux USA. Les documents contiennent aussi des « sélecteurs » provenant de la liste des cibles, détaillant les numéros de téléphones de nombreux officiels à l'Élysée jusqu'au téléphone direct du président.

La part belle est faite, dans ce trésor de documents top-secrets, aux résumés par les services secrets de conversations entre des membres du gouvernement français, sur des sujets critiques pour la France et la communauté internationale. On y retrouve la crise financière mondiale, la crise de la dette grecque, la gestion politique et le futur de l'Union Européenne, les relations entre le gouvernement de François Hollande et celui d'Angela Merkel, les efforts des français pour influencer la liste des dirigeants de l'ONU, l'implication française dans le conflit en Palestine, et le différent entre les gouvernements français et américains sur l'espionnage des USA en France.

Membre fondateur de l'Union Européenne et un des cinq membres permanents au conseil de sécurité de l'ONU, la France et un allié proche des États-Unis, et joue un rôle clé dans nombre d'institutions internationales ou associées aux États-Unis, y compris le G7, l'OTAN et l'Organisation Mondiale du Commerce (OMC).

Ces révélations sur l'ampleur du programme d'espionnage des dirigeants et diplomates français font écho à celles dans la presse allemande, sur l'espionnage par les États-Unis des communications de la chancelière Angela Merkel, et d'autres membres du gouvernement Allemand. Ces révélations avaient provoqué un scandale politique en Allemagne, aboutissant à une enquête officielle, encore en cours, portant sur la collaboration des services de renseignement Allemands avec les États-Unis.

Pendant que les révélations allemandes se concentrent sur le seul fait que des officiels ont été ciblés par les services américains, ce que Wikileaks publie aujourd'hui fournit un meilleur aperçu de l'espionnage américain sur ses alliés. Cette fuite inclut des interceptions montrant comment les USA espionnent les appels des dirigeants français et des ministres pour des raisons politique, économique et diplomatique.

Le fondateur de Wikileaks, Julian Assange déclare : « Le peuple français a le droit de connaitre que son gouvernement et ses élus sont sujets à une surveillance hostile provenant d'un allié supposé. Nous sommes fier de notre travail avec des medias français : Libération et Médiapart, en vue de porter cette histoire à la connaissance du public. Les lecteurs français peuvent espérer des révélations régulières plus importantes dans un futur proche. »
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  • J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    Libération Calls for Snowden to Get Asylum in France

    French Newspaper Cites U.S. “Contempt” as Reason to Offer Snowden Asylum

    France should respond to the U.S.’s “contempt” for its allies by giving Edward Snowden asylum, the leftist French daily newspaper Libération declared on Thursday.

    France would send “a clear and useful message to Washington, by granting this bold whistleblower the asylum to which he is entitled,” editor Laurent Joffrin wrote (translated from the French) in an angry editorial titled “Un seul geste” — or “A single gesture.”

    The editorial came just two days after Libération co-published a trove of documents obtained by WikiLeaks that recounted how the National Security Agency spied for years on the last three French presidents. (President Barack Obama spoke to French President Francois Hollande Wednesday and told him that — as of late 2013 — “we are not targeting and will not target the communications of the French President.”)

    “Contempt” is the only word to describe the U.S.’s behavior to its allies, Joffrin wrote.

    France could even the count by offering asylum to the “single, courageous man, who has been chased without respite for three years: Edward Snowden, stalked and threatened with life in prison for having told the truth.”

    The WikiLeaks documents showing NSA spying of French leaders have not been sourced to Snowden. But by turning over top-secrets documents to journalists in 2013, Snowden exposed a wide range of invasive U.S. and British surveillance around the globe, and this latest revelation created a new flashpoint for the already considerable outrage.

    Libération was co-founded by existentialist French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, and has remained a significant left-wing voice ever since.

    If Paris offers Snowden asylum, it will be joining several other nations who have done so in the past, including Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela. However, Snowden is still waiting in Moscow to hear from almost two dozen other countries where he has requested asylum.
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    Orwell's Triumph: Joshua Cohen and Novels of Surveillance
    Orwell’s Triumph: How Novels Tell the Truth of Surveillance

    When government agencies and private companies access and synthesize our data, they take on the power to novelize our lives. Their profiles of our behavior are semi-fictional stories, pieced together from the digital traces we leave as we go about our days. No matter how many articles we read about this process, grasping its significance is no easy thing. It turns out that to understand the weird experience of being the target of all this surveillance — how we are characters in semi-true narratives constructed by algorithms and data analysts — an actual novel can be the best medium.

    Book of Numbers, released earlier this month, is the latest exhibit. Written by Joshua Cohen, the book has received enthusiastic notices from the New York Times and other outlets as an ambitious “Internet novel,” embedding the history of Silicon Valley in a dense narrative about a search engine called Tetration. Book of Numbers was written mostly in the wake of the emergence of WikiLeaks and was finished as a trove of NSA documents from Edward Snowden was coming to light. Cohen even adjusted last-minute details to better match XKeyscore, a secret NSA computer system that collects massive amounts of email and web data; in Book of Numbers, Tetration has a function secreted within it that automatically reports searches to the government. As Tetration’s founder puts it, “All who read us are read.”

    Ben Wizner of the ACLU, who is Cohen’s friend and Snowden’s lawyer, has praised the novel’s depiction of the “surveillance economy,” as he puts it. “There’s a frustration on the law and advocacy side about how abstract some of these issues can seem to the public,” Wizner told the Times. “For some people, the novelist’s eye can show the power and the danger of these systems in ways that we can’t.”

    I am also a friend of Cohen’s, but I’m not sure this novel will radicalize the masses. Here’s a line from the book listing some of its vocabulary: “orthogony, heuristics, traverse vertices, exocortex, autonomia, transclusion.” This is not an especially difficult novel, but its ideal reader would already know a good deal about technology and surveillance, enough to enjoy seeing the details treated like playthings. Yet there are wonderful passages that capture the give-and-take at the heart of the information economy: “Each time each user typed out a word and searched and clicked for what to find, the algy would be educated. We let the algy let its users educate themselves. So it would learn, so its users would be taught. … The more a thing was clicked, the more perfect that thing would be.”

    We give our data to Google and Facebook freely, in exchange for ever-better information; the hidden cost is that we become complicit in our own surveillance. Two years ago, just days before the first of the Snowden NSA stories appeared in The Guardian, Julian Assange reviewed The New Digital Age, co-written by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt. The book celebrated the prospect of Silicon Valley joining forces with the military-industrial complex — and Assange accused the authors of having “updated and seamlessly implemented George Orwell’s prophecy.” Assange concluded, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine Washington-backed Google Glasses strapped onto vacant human faces — forever.”

    But Orwell’s “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever” is a fictional sentence. Most good novels are ambiguous, and 1984 is a good novel — good enough to be quotable more than half a century on. The writer John Crowley has argued that 1984 is no prophecy but a parable whose meaning conceals itself. “He loved Big Brother,” it ends, and Crowley says that rather than being meant to be terrifying, this sentence “is intended to be taken as absurd, as comic, as exhilarating in its impossibility.” Humans won’t tolerate totalitarian surveillance states forever.

    We can argue about this interpretation; indeed, we should. Argument about ambiguity, in particular the ambiguity native to surveillance itself, is what can make novels about surveillance politically useful, as well as aesthetically interesting. Unlike The New Digital Age, Book of Numbers is an allegory, one in which the novelist, his characters and the reader must navigate the thickets of technology and surveillance, all the complicated details we can barely hold in our heads at once.

    A simpler account of the surveillance economy was provided in 2013 by Dave Eggers in The Circle, which has proved enormously popular. It’s essentially a rewrite of 1984, set at a tech company that has subsumed Facebook and Google, and is now in the process of making itself into our new global government. While Orwell’s totalitarianism is militaristic, Eggers’s is consensual, as the sharing economy intrudes, invited, into every empty space. Orwell’s famous slogans, “WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH,” are recast as “SECRETS ARE LIES. SHARING IS CARING. PRIVACY IS THEFT.”

    The protagonist is Mae, a new employee at Circle who slowly but inexorably opens herself to the company’s vision of total openness. She encounters token opposition from her parents and an ex-boyfriend, who says things like “You and your ilk will live, willingly, joyfully, under constant surveillance, watching each other always, commenting on each other, voting and liking and disliking each other, smiling and frowning, and otherwise doing nothing much else.” Unfortunately, Eggers’s view of the surveillance economy is reductive: essentially, “Wake up, sheeple.” It’s useful agitprop for the imaginary reader who’s never had mixed feelings about social media, but it’s not a psychologically plausible novel.

    Even if contemporary surveillance novels aren’t perfect, Snowden’s leak of NSA documents has reaffirmed, in unexpected ways, the connections between fiction and surveillance. The codenames for NSA programs, which include Boundless Informant, Egotistical Giraffe and Stellar Wind, are as memorable as Charles ****ens’s Ebenezer Scrooge, Uriah Heep and Bumble, or Thomas Pynchon’s Benny Profane, Tyrone Slothrop and Oedipa Maas. With thousands or millions of programmers now writing a new world of code whose totality can be neither imagined nor comprehended, novels help us make sense of the chaos, including the most legendary ones.

    One of the 20th century’s iconic novels of surveillance is Franz Kafka’s The Trial, in which the protagonist, Josef K., is mysteriously arrested. He must try to prove his innocence though he hasn’t done anything “truly wrong” and is not even sure what he’s accused of. It might be the same with any of us — who hasn’t left some digital trace that would embarrass them or worse, the existence of which they might not be aware of in the first place, or wish to have forgotten? And who hasn’t adjusted their behavior — maybe for the better, but nevertheless — to correspond to new norms enforced by the digital panopticon?

    There remains much to write about surveillance, much to novelize. Following Kafka, I can imagine a great novel that would capture, moment by moment, what it feels like to live as if innocent in a world without privacy, a world in which the algorithms assume that we are all already guilty.
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s Flip-Flop on NSA Spying - The Intercept

    Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s Flip-Flop on NSA Spying

    Two years after she cancelled her state visit to Washington in outrage over revelations that the U.S. had spied on her, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is back in Washington, taking a decidedly more friendly approach to President Barack Obama.

    News articles in July 2013 based on documents provided by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the NSA had been spying on Rousseff’s phone calls and emails and hacking into the state oil corporation, Petrobas, where she serves on the board. She responded by delivering a fuming speech before the United Nations general assembly, and cancelling her visit.

    But now, it’s apparently all water under the bridge. Many observers attribute the change to her newfound political weakness at home and Brazil’s economic downturn. She says it’s due to a conversation she had with Obama at the Summit of the Americas meeting in Panama City in April.

    Here are some examples of Rousseff on NSA spying, then:

    NSA’s motivations for spying on Petrobas “is not security or combating terrorism, but economic and strategic interests” which is “incompatible with democratic co-existence between friendly nations” and “manifestly illegitimate,” Rousseff wrote in an official note, dated September 2013.

    “Tampering in such a manner in the affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and is an affront of the principles that must guide the relations among them, especially among friendly nations,” she told the U.N. in September 2013. “A sovereign nation can never establish itself to the detriment of another sovereign nation. The right to safety of citizens of one country can never be guaranteed by violating fundamental human rights of citizens of another country.”

    And now:

    “We recognize the actions taken by the U.S. … that friendly countries won’t be spied on,” Rousseff said at the April summit in Panama. “And we have a declaration from President Obama. When he wants to know something, he’ll call me.”
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    FISA Court Reinstates Bulk Surveillance Temporarily

    Bulk Phone Surveillance Lives Again, to Die in a More Orderly Fashion in Five Months

    A federal judge with the top-secret surveillance court on Monday breezily reinstated the NSA bulk domestic surveillance program that was temporarily halted a month ago, allowing the agency to go back to hoovering up telephone metadata for five months while it unwinds the program for good.

    “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Michael W. Mosman wrote in his ruling, using the French phrase that means “the more things change, the more they stay the same” to summarize the legislative and judicial back-and-forth that led to the temporary reinstatement.

    By failing to agree on how to reauthorize certain sections of the Patriot Act, the Senate on May 31 engaged in a rare act of rebellion against the surveillance state, forcing the National Security Agency to shutter the program that had collected telephone metadata — information about who called who, and for how long — for more than a decade, until NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden disclosed its existence in 2013.

    Two days later, however, the Senate passed a milquetoast surveillance reform bill that ordered the bulk collection program phased out by November 29, to be replaced by one in which the NSA has to request specific records, and explain why.

    That led to Monday’s paradoxical decision to revive bulk collection so it can die again, theoretically in a more orderly fashion.

    In his decision, Mosman also flippantly dismissed a major appellate court ruling in May that the program was illegal. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which was the government’s legal cover for bulk collection, didn’t authorize any such thing. The decision hinged on the common-sense conclusion that when the Patriot Act gave the government power to obtain phone records “relevant to an authorized investigation,” that wasn’t power to collect all phone records everywhere.

    “Second Circuit rulings are not binding on the FISC, and this Court respectfully disagrees with that Court’s analysis, especially in view of the intervening enactment of the USA FREEDOM Act,” Mosman wrote. “To a considerable extent, the Second Circuit’s analysis rests on mischaracterizations of how this program works and on understandings that, if they had once been correct, have been superseded by the USA FREEDOM Act.”

    Although his attempts to explain how the Second Circuit was wrong were murky, Mosman was clear on the point that the appellate court’s chief concern — that Congress had never intended for the world “relevant” to be interpreted so broadly — was now moot. That’s because Congress had, through the Freedom Act, knowingly approved giving it a six-month extension.

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., criticized the decision. “I see no reason for the Executive Branch to restart bulk collection, even for a few months,” he said in a statement. “This illegal dragnet surveillance violated Americans’ rights for fourteen years without making our country any safer.”
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member

    A Victory for Privacy or Extension of Mass Surveillance? Co-Sponsor of USA FREEDOM Act Rejects Bill
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    XKEYSCORE: NSA's Google for the World's Private Communications

    XKEYSCORE: NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications

    One of the National Security Agency’s most powerful tools of mass surveillance makes tracking someone’s Internet usage as easy as entering an email address, and provides no built-in technology to prevent abuse. Today, The Intercept is publishing 48 top-secret and other classified documents about XKEYSCORE dated up to 2013, which shed new light on the breadth, depth and functionality of this critical spy system — one of the largest releases yet of documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    The NSA’s XKEYSCORE program, first revealed by The Guardian, sweeps up countless people’s Internet searches, emails, documents, usernames and passwords, and other private communications. XKEYSCORE is fed a constant flow of Internet traffic from fiber optic cables that make up the backbone of the world’s communication network, among other sources, for processing. As of 2008, the surveillance system boasted approximately 150 field sites in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Japan, Australia, as well as many other countries, consisting of over 700 servers.

    These servers store “full-take data” at the collection sites — meaning that they captured all of the traffic collected — and, as of 2009, stored content for 3 to 5 days and metadata for 30 to 45 days. NSA documents indicate that tens of billions of records are stored in its database. “It is a fully distributed processing and query system that runs on machines around the world,” an NSA briefing on XKEYSCORE says. “At field sites, XKEYSCORE can run on multiple computers that gives it the ability to scale in both processing power and storage.”

    XKEYSCORE also collects and processes Internet traffic from Americans, though NSA analysts are taught to avoid querying the system in ways that might result in spying on U.S. data. Experts and privacy activists, however, have long doubted that such exclusions are effective in preventing large amounts of American data from being swept up. One document The Intercept is publishing today suggests that FISA warrants have authorized “full-take” collection of traffic from at least some U.S. web forums.

    The system is not limited to collecting web traffic. The 2013 document, “VoIP Configuration and Forwarding Read Me,” details how to forward VoIP data from XKEYSCORE into NUCLEON, NSA’s repository for voice intercepts, facsimile, video and “pre-released transcription.” At the time, it supported more than 8,000 users globally and was made up of 75 servers absorbing 700,000 voice, fax, video and tag files per day.

    The reach and potency of XKEYSCORE as a surveillance instrument is astonishing. The Guardian report noted that NSA itself refers to the program as its “widest reaching” system. In February of this year, The Intercept reported that NSA and GCHQ hacked into the internal network of Gemalto, the world’s largest provider of cell phone SIM cards, in order to steal millions of encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cell phone communication. XKEYSCORE played a vital role in the spies’ hacking by providing government hackers access to the email accounts of Gemalto employees.

    Numerous key NSA partners, including Canada, New Zealand and the U.K., have access to the mass surveillance databases of XKEYSCORE. In March, the New Zealand Herald, in partnership with The Intercept, revealed that the New Zealand government used XKEYSCORE to spy on candidates for the position of World Trade Organization director general and also members of the Solomon Islands government.

    These newly published documents demonstrate that collected communications not only include emails, chats and web-browsing traffic, but also pictures, documents, voice calls, webcam photos, web searches, advertising analytics traffic, social media traffic, botnet traffic, logged keystrokes, computer network exploitation (CNE) targeting, intercepted username and password pairs, file uploads to online services, Skype sessions and more.

    Bulk collection and population surveillance
    XKEYSCORE allows for incredibly broad surveillance of people based on perceived patterns of suspicious behavior. It is possible, for instance, to query the system to show the activities of people based on their location, nationality and websites visited. For instance, one slide displays the search “germansinpakistn,” showing an analyst querying XKEYSCORE for all individuals in Pakistan visiting specific German language message boards.

    As sites like Twitter and Facebook become increasingly significant in the world’s day-to-day communications (a Pew study shows that 71 percent of online adults in the U.S. use Facebook), they become a critical source of surveillance data. Traffic from popular social media sites is described as “a great starting point” for tracking individuals, according to an XKEYSCORE presentation titled “Tracking Targets on Online Social Networks.”

    When intelligence agencies collect massive amounts of Internet traffic all over the world, they face the challenge of making sense of that data. The vast quantities collected make it difficult to connect the stored traffic to specific individuals.

    Internet companies have also encountered this problem and have solved it by tracking their users with identifiers that are unique to each individual, often in the form of browser cookies. Cookies are small pieces of data that websites store in visitors’ browsers. They are used for a variety of purposes, including authenticating users (cookies make it possible to log in to websites), storing preferences, and uniquely tracking individuals even if they’re using the same IP address as many other people. Websites also embed code used by third-party services to collect analytics or host ads, which also use cookies to track users. According to one slide, “Almost all websites have cookies enabled.”

    The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies.

    Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users. In May of this year, CBC, in partnership with The Intercept, revealed that XKEYSCORE was used to track smartphone connections to the app marketplaces run by Samsung and Google. Surveillance agency analysts also use other types of traffic data that gets scooped into XKEYSCORE to track people, such as Windows crash reports.

    In a statement to The Intercept, the NSA reiterated its position that such sweeping surveillance capabilities are needed to fight the War on Terror:

    “The U.S. Government calls on its intelligence agencies to protect the United States, its citizens, and its allies from a wide array of serious threats. These threats include terrorist plots from al-Qaeda, ISIL, and others; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; foreign aggression against the United States and our allies; and international criminal organizations.”

    Indeed, one of the specific examples of XKEYSCORE applications given in the documents is spying on Shaykh Atiyatallah, an al Qaeda senior leader and Osama bin Laden confidant. A few years before his death, Atiyatallah did what many people have often done: He googled himself. He searched his various aliases, an associate and the name of his book. As he did so, all of that information was captured by XKEYSCORE.

    XKEYSCORE has, however, also been used to spy on non-terrorist targets. The April 18, 2013 issue of the internal NSA publication Special Source Operations Weekly boasts that analysts were successful in using XKEYSCORE to obtain U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s talking points prior to a meeting with President Obama.

    XKEYSCORE for hacking: easily collecting user names, passwords and much more
    XKEYSCORE plays a central role in how the U.S. government and its surveillance allies hack computer networks around the world. One top-secret 2009 NSA document describes how the system is used by the NSA to gather information for the Office of Tailored Access Operations, an NSA division responsible for Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) — i.e., targeted hacking.

    Particularly in 2009, the hacking tactics enabled by XKEYSCORE would have yielded significant returns as use of encryption was less widespread than today. Jonathan Brossard, a security researcher and the CEO of Toucan Systems, told The Intercept: “Anyone could be trained to do this in less than one day: they simply enter the name of the server they want to hack into XKEYSCORE, type enter, and are presented login and password pairs to connect to this machine. Done. Finito.” Previous reporting by The Intercept revealed that systems administrators are a popular target of the NSA. “Who better to target than the person that already has the ‘keys to the kingdom?’” read a 2012 post on an internal NSA discussion board.

    This system enables analysts to access web mail servers with remarkable ease.

    The same methods are used to steal the credentials — user names and passwords — of individual users of message boards.

    Hacker forums are also monitored for people selling or using exploits and other hacking tools. While the NSA is clearly monitoring to understand the capabilities developed by its adversaries, it is also monitoring locations where such capabilities can be purchased.

    Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.”

    Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

    These facts bolster one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by The Guardian on June 9, 2013. “I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge to even the president, if I had a personal email.”

    Indeed, training documents for XKEYSCORE repeatedly highlight how user-friendly the program is: with just a few clicks, any analyst with access to it can conduct sweeping searches simply by entering a person’s email address, telephone number, name or other identifying data. There is no indication in the documents reviewed that prior approval is needed for specific searches.

    In addition to login credentials and other target intelligence, XKEYSCORE collects router configuration information, which it shares with Tailored Access Operations. The office is able to exploit routers and then feed the traffic traveling through those routers into their collection infrastructure. This allows the NSA to spy on traffic from otherwise out-of-reach networks. XKEYSCORE documents reference router configurations, and a document previously published by Der Spiegel shows that “active implants” can be used to “cop[y] traffic and direc[t]” it past a passive collector.

    XKEYSCORE for counterintelligence
    Beyond enabling the collection, categorization, and querying of metadata and content, XKEYSCORE has also been used to monitor the surveillance and hacking actions of foreign nation states and to gather the fruits of their hacking. The Intercept previously reported that NSA and its allies spy on hackers in order to collect what they collect.

    Once the hacking tools and techniques of a foreign entity (for instance, South Korea) are identified, analysts can then extract the country’s espionage targets from XKEYSCORE, and gather information that the foreign power has managed to steal.

    Monitoring of foreign state hackers could allow the NSA to gather techniques and tools used by foreign actors, including knowledge of zero-day exploits—software bugs that allow attackers to hack into systems, and that not even the software vendor knows about—and implants. Additionally, by monitoring vulnerability reports sent to vendors such as Kaspersky, the agency could learn when exploits they were actively using need to be retired because they’ve been discovered by a third party.

    Seizure v. searching: oversight, audit trail and the Fourth Amendment
    By the nature of how it sweeps up information, XKEYSCORE gathers communications of Americans, despite the Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable search and seizure” — including searching data without a warrant. The NSA says it does not target U.S. citizens’ communications without a warrant, but acknowledges that it “incidentally” collects and reads some of it without one, minimizing the information that is retained or shared.

    But that interpretation of the law is dubious at best.

    XKEYSCORE training documents say that the “burden is on user/auditor to comply with USSID-18 or other rules,” apparently including the British Human Rights Act (HRA), which protects the rights of U.K. citizens. U.S. Signals Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID 18) is the American directive that governs “U.S. person minimization.”

    Kurt Opsahl, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s general counsel, describes USSID 18 as “an attempt by the intelligence community to comply with the Fourth Amendment. But it doesn’t come from a court, it comes from the executive.”

    If, for instance, an analyst searched XKEYSCORE for all iPhone users, this query would violate USSID 18 due to the inevitable American iPhone users that would be grabbed without a warrant, as the NSA’s own training materials make clear.

    Opsahl believes that analysts are not prevented by technical means from making queries that violate USSID 18. “The document discusses whether auditors will be happy or unhappy. This indicates that compliance will be achieved by after-the-fact auditing, not by preventing the search.”

    Screenshots of the XKEYSCORE web-based user interface included in slides show that analysts see a prominent warning message: “This system is audited for USSID 18 and Human Rights Act compliance.” When analysts log in to the system, they see a more detailed message warning that “an audit trail has been established and will be searched” in response to HRA complaints, and as part of the USSID 18 and USSID 9 audit process.

    Because the XKEYSCORE system does not appear to prevent analysts from making queries that would be in violation of these rules, Opsahl concludes that “there’s a tremendous amount of power being placed in the hands of analysts.” And while those analysts may be subject to audits, “at least in the short term they can still obtain information that they shouldn’t have.”

    During a symposium in January 2015 hosted at Harvard University, Edward Snowden, who spoke via video call, said that NSA analysts are “completely free from any meaningful oversight.” Speaking about the people who audit NSA systems like XKEYSCORE for USSID 18 compliance, he said, “The majority of the people who are doing the auditing are the friends of the analysts. They work in the same office. They’re not full-time auditors, they’re guys who have other duties assigned. There are a few traveling auditors who go around and look at the things that are out there, but really it’s not robust.”

    In a statement to The Intercept, the NSA said:

    “The National Security Agency’s foreign intelligence operations are 1) authorized by law; 2) subject to multiple layers of stringent internal and external oversight; and 3) conducted in a manner that is designed to protect privacy and civil liberties. As provided for by Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28), all persons, regardless of their nationality, have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information. NSA goes to great lengths to narrowly tailor and focus its signals intelligence operations on the collection of communications that are most likely to contain foreign intelligence or counterintelligence information.”
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    A Look at the Inner Workings of NSA's XKEYSCORE - The Intercept

    Behind the Curtain
    A Look at the Inner Workings of NSA’s XKEYSCORE

    The sheer quantity of communications that XKEYSCORE processes, filters and queries is stunning. Around the world, when a person gets online to do anything — write an email, post to a social network, browse the web or play a video game — there’s a decent chance that the Internet traffic her device sends and receives is getting collected and processed by one of XKEYSCORE’s hundreds of servers scattered across the globe.

    In order to make sense of such a massive and steady flow of information, analysts working for the National Security Agency, as well as partner spy agencies, have written thousands of snippets of code to detect different types of traffic and extract useful information from each type, according to documents dating up to 2013. For example, the system automatically detects if a given piece of traffic is an email. If it is, the system tags if it’s from Yahoo or Gmail, if it contains an airline itinerary, if it’s encrypted with PGP, or if the sender’s language is set to Arabic, along with myriad other details.

    This global Internet surveillance network is powered by a somewhat clunky piece of software running on clusters of Linux servers. Analysts access XKEYSCORE’s web interface to search its wealth of private information, similar to how ordinary people can search Google for public information.

    Based on documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Intercept is shedding light on the inner workings of XKEYSCORE, one of the most extensive programs of mass surveillance in human history.

    How XKEYSCORE works under the hood
    It is tempting to assume that expensive, proprietary operating systems and software must power XKEYSCORE, but it actually relies on an entirely open source stack. In fact, according to an analysis of an XKEYSCORE manual for new systems administrators from the end of 2012, the system may have design deficiencies that could leave it vulnerable to attack by an intelligence agency insider.

    XKEYSCORE is a piece of Linux software that is typically deployed on Red Hat servers. It uses the Apache web server and stores collected data in MySQL databases. File systems in a cluster are handled by the NFS distributed file system and the autofs service, and scheduled tasks are handled by the cron scheduling service. Systems administrators who maintain XKEYSCORE servers use SSH to connect to them, and they use tools such as rsync and vim, as well as a comprehensive command-line tool, to manage the software.

    John Adams, former security lead and senior operations engineer for Twitter, says that one of the most interesting things about XKEYSCORE’s architecture is “that they were able to achieve so much success with such a poorly designed system. Data ingest, day-to-day operations, and searching is all poorly designed. There are many open source offerings that would function far better than this design with very little work. Their operations team must be extremely unhappy.”

    Analysts connect to XKEYSCORE over HTTPS using standard web browsers such as Firefox. Internet Explorer is not supported. Analysts can log into the system with either a user ID and password or by using public key authentication.

    As of 2009, XKEYSCORE servers were located at more than 100 field sites all over the world. Each field site consists of a cluster of servers; the exact number differs depending on how much information is being collected at that site. Sites with relatively low traffic can get by with fewer servers, but sites that spy on larger amounts of traffic require more servers to filter and parse it all. XKEYSCORE has been engineered to scale in both processing power and storage by adding more servers to a cluster. According to a 2009 document, some field sites receive over 20 terrabytes of data per day. This is the equivalent of 5.7 million songs, or over 13 thousand full-length films.

    This map from a 2009 top-secret presentation does not show all of XKEYSCORE’s field sites.

    When data is collected at an XKEYSCORE field site, it is processed locally and ultimately stored in MySQL databases at that site. XKEYSCORE supports a federated query system, which means that an analyst can conduct a single query from the central XKEYSCORE website, and it will communicate over the Internet to all of the field sites, running the query everywhere at once.

    There might be security issues with the XKEYSCORE system itself as well. As hard as software developers may try, it’s nearly impossible to write bug-free source code. To compensate for this, developers often rely on multiple layers of security; if attackers can get through one layer, they may still be thwarted by other layers. XKEYSCORE appears to do a bad job of this.

    When systems administrators log into XKEYSCORE servers to configure them, they appear to use a shared account, under the name “oper.” Adams notes, “That means that changes made by an administrator cannot be logged.” If one administrator does something malicious on an XKEYSCORE server using the “oper” user, it’s possible that the digital trail of what was done wouldn’t lead back to the administrator, since multiple operators use the account.

    There appears to be another way an ill-intentioned systems administrator may be able to cover their tracks. Analysts wishing to query XKEYSCORE sign in via a web browser, and their searches are logged. This creates an audit trail, on which the system relies to assure that users aren’t doing overly broad searches that would pull up U.S. citizens’ web traffic. Systems administrators, however, are able to run MySQL queries. The documents indicate that administrators have the ability to directly query the MySQL databases, where the collected data is stored, apparently bypassing the audit trail.

    AppIDs, fingerprints and microplugins
    Collecting massive amounts of raw data is not very useful unless it is collated and organized in a way that can be searched. To deal with this problem, XKEYSCORE extracts and tags metadata and content from the raw data so that analysts can easily search it.

    This is done by using dictionaries of rules called appIDs, fingerprints and microplugins that are written in a custom programming language called GENESIS. Each of these can be identified by a unique name that resembles a directory tree, such as “mail/webmail/gmail,” “chat/yahoo,” or “botnet/blackenergybot/command/flood.”

    One document detailing XKEYSCORE appIDs and fingerprints lists several revealing examples. Windows Update requests appear to fall under the “update_service/windows” appID, and normal web requests fall under the “http/get” appID. XKEYSCORE can automatically detect Airblue travel itineraries with the “travel/airblue” fingerprint, and iPhone web browser traffic with the “browser/cellphone/iphone” fingerprint.

    PGP-encrypted messages are detected with the “encryption/pgp/message” fingerprint, and messages encrypted with Mojahedeen Secrets 2 (a type of encryption popular among supporters of al Qaeda) are detected with the “encryption/mojaheden2” fingerprint.

    When new traffic flows into an XKEYSCORE cluster, the system tests the intercepted data against each of these rules and stores whether the traffic matches the pattern. A slideshow presentation from 2010 says that XKEYSCORE contains almost 10,000 appIDs and fingerprints.

    AppIDs are used to identify the protocol of traffic being intercepted, while fingerprints detect a specific type of content. Each intercepted stream of traffic gets assigned up to one appID and any number of fingerprints. You can think of appIDs as categories and fingerprints as tags.

    If multiple appIDs match a single stream of traffic, the appID with the lowest “level” is selected (appIDs with lower levels are more specific than appIDs with higher levels). For example, when XKEYSCORE is assessing a file attachment from Yahoo mail, all of the appIDs in the following slide will apply, however only “mail/webmail/yahoo/attachment” will be associated with this stream of traffic.

    To tie it all together, when an Arabic speaker logs into a Yahoo email address, XKEYSCORE will store “mail/yahoo/login” as the associated appID. This stream of traffic will match the “mail/arabic” fingerprint (denoting language settings), as well as the “mail/yahoo/ymbm” fingerprint (which detects Yahoo browser cookies).

    Sometimes the GENESIS programming language, which largely relies on Boolean logic, regular expressions and a set of simple functions, isn’t powerful enough to do the complex pattern-matching required to detect certain types of traffic. In these cases, as one slide puts it, “Power users can drop in to C++ to express themselves.” AppIDs or fingerprints that are written in C++ are called microplugins.

    Here’s an example of a microplugin fingerprint for “botnet/conficker_p2p_udp_data,” which is tricky botnet traffic that can’t be identified without complicated logic. A botnet is a collection of hacked computers, sometimes millions of them, that are controlled from a single point.

    Here’s another microplugin that uses C++ to inspect intercepted Facebook chat messages and pull out details like the associated email address and body of the chat message.

    One document from 2009 describes in detail four generations of appIDs and fingerprints, which begin with only the ability to scan intercepted traffic for keywords, and end with the ability to write complex microplugins that can be deployed to field sites around the world in hours.

    If XKEYSCORE development has continued at a similar pace over the last six years, it’s likely considerably more powerful today.
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    CIA Spied on Germans and Outed Leaker to Retaliate Against Press

    Report: After Spying Operation in Germany, CIA Outed Suspected Leaker to Retaliate Against Journalists

    In the summer of 2011, the CIA station chief in Berlin asked one of the most powerful intelligence officials in Germany to go on a private walk with him, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reports. The American spy had an important message to convey: one of Germany’s own senior officials was leaking information to the press.

    The suspected leaker, Hans Josef Vorbeck, had been in contact with Spiegel, the station chief told the German official, Günter Heiss. Head of Division 6, Heiss is responsible for coordinating Germany’s intelligence services. Vorbeck was his deputy.

    At the time, Vorbeck was responsible for managing German counterterrorism efforts. Following the meet-up, Vorbeck was discreetly transferred to a less prestigious post, overseeing historical archives for the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service.

    For four years, the conversation that led to Vorbeck’s demotion remained secret. It has now become public, thanks largely to a German intelligence inquiry launched in the wake of Edward Snowden’s historic leak of top-secret NSA documents. The walk — and its implications for U.S.-German relations — were detailed Friday by Spiegel.

    Obama administration officials told the magazine that the disclosure of the alleged communications between Vorbeck and its journalists was prompted by national security concerns. The fact that the Americans were willing to expose an ongoing surveillance operation underscored the seriousness of the threat posed by the leaks, sources in Washington told Spiegel. Intentionally or not, the sources said, the disclosure put the Germans on notice — the Americans were watching.

    “People around the world — regardless of their nationality — should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security,” Ned Price, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement to The Intercept. “We also have made clear that we take their privacy concerns into account.”

    “While we are not going to discuss specific targets, we have repeatedly made clear that the United States does not collect intelligence for the purpose of suppressing or burdening criticism or dissent, or for disadvantaging persons based on their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion,” Price added. “Signals intelligence is collected exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose to support these missions and not for any other purposes.”

    The revelations, the latest in a series of disclosures detailing the fraught and intertwined intelligence relationship between German and American entities, offer an example of how the Obama administration, known for its aggressive approach to national security leaks at home, similarly asserts itself in leak cases abroad.

    Spiegel, the same periodical the two officials discussed that summer day in Berlin, describes how it came into the crosshairs of the U.S. government.

    Between about 2004 and 2009, the magazine published several scoops exposing controversial U.S. counterterrorism operations, such as the CIA’s extraordinary rendition of German Islamic extremist Mohammed Haydar Zammar to Syria, where he was subjected to torture at the hands of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. These reports triggered a political backlash in Germany and prompted a parliamentary committee to investigate the CIA’s practices.

    In late 2010, Spiegel cemented its status as a source of irritation for the U.S. government. Along with a number of other major news outlets, the magazine worked to publish thousands of classified cables provided by WikiLeaks. The cables detailed evidence of potential war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and revealed the grinding day-to-day toll of the United States’ war in Afghanistan. The U.S. government responded to the leaks by launching a Department of Justice investigation.

    Several months later, in the summer of 2011, the CIA apparently identified an alleged source of leaks within the German government and tried to shut it down. Citing CIA and NSA documents, as well as three independent government sources in both Berlin and Washington D.C., Spiegel reported Friday that it has confirmed the CIA station chief specifically identified the magazine and Vorbeck at the center of the alleged leaking during the 2011 conversation in Berlin.

    Testifying before a German parliamentary committee investigating NSA surveillance Thursday, Heiss confirmed that he had received the 2011 tip from the CIA, but that the information was not “concrete enough” to take steps against Vorbeck beyond his reassignment.

    According to Spiegel, Heiss visited CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia in June 2011, following his Berlin walk with the station chief. During conversations there, Spiegel was mentioned specifically, according to internal memos the magazine reviewed.

    Vorbeck maintains that media relations — including background conversations and public appearances as an official representative of the chancellery — were part of his job responsibilities. As such, he does not deny having ties to members of the press. “I had contact with journalists and made no secret about it,” he told Spiegel. “I even received them in my office in the Chancellery,” he added. “That was a known fact.”

    The Obama administration has developed a reputation for aggressively investigating journalists and their confidential sources in cases involved leaked national security information — serving subpoenas for phone records linked to reporters at major news organizations investigating sensitive CIA stories, dragging a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist through a multi-year legal battle in an effort to reveal an alleged government source, and applying the Espionage Act to target whistleblowers leaking to journalists more times than every previous administration combined.

    Exactly how the U.S. intelligence community learned of the alleged communications between Vorbeck and Spiegel is unclear. According to the magazine, chancellery officials, in the early days after the 2011 walk, considered how the CIA might have obtained its information. They had two ideas: one, the agency had an informant either inside the chancellery or the magazine; or two, the Americans had relied on electronic surveillance. They determined the latter was more likely. Who the target of the surveillance was — Vorbeck, Spiegel’s journalists or wider collection of German government officials — is an unanswered question.

    “Each of these acts would represent a violation of German law,” Spiegel noted in its report today.

    But Spiegel reports that the chancellery did virtually nothing to uncover how the Americans learned of the alleged communications between a high-ranking German official and members of the German press. Neither the actors in question, nor the appropriate bodies for oversight, were contacted about the suspicions raised by the CIA, including those tasked with reigning in German intelligence agencies and those charged with guarding against counterintelligence and protecting the German constitution.

    Instead, Spiegel reports that Vorbeck, whose job involved talking to the press, was reassigned with no opportunity to defend himself. Then, two years later, when evidence of U.S. surveillance in Germany emerged through the NSA leaks, German officials publicly declared themselves shocked that the Americans would do such a thing. Responding to the apparent lack of action on the part of the chancellery, Spiegel filed a federal complaint Friday.

    The magazine also noted that German law requires intelligence matters of “considerable importance” to be reported to the Bundestag’s Parliamentary Control Panel, which holds classified hearings in an effort to oversee the nation’s intelligence agencies. The panel, Spiegel reported, received no answers as to why Vorbeck was removed and was never informed of the CIA’s warning regarding his alleged communications with reporters.

    News of the CIA tip-off comes at a delicate time for relations between the U.S. and Germany. Home to Ramstein Air Base — one of the largest U.S. military installations abroad — Germany has played a crucial supporting role in the United States’ global war on terror. In April, The Intercept, in a partnership with Spiegel, confirmed that Ramstein serves as a key node in Washington’s controversial targeted killing operations.

    Cooperation aside, recent years have also seen the relationship between the U.S. and Germany marked by moments of public tension. In 2013, leaked NSA documents indicating that the U.S. intelligence agency had eavesdropped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone strained relations between the countries. A German probe into the alleged surveillance was recently dropped. On Wednesday, however, leaked NSA documents published by WikiLeaks and the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, included a list of nearly 70 phone and fax numbers purporting to show that U.S. surveillance of its longstanding ally has in fact included a broad circle of German officials beyond the chancellor.

    On Thursday, the State Department confirmed that ambassador John B. Emerson had traveled to Germany to meet with chancellery staff members, but did not answer specific questions posed by The Intercept as to whether the meeting bore any relationship to the alleged leaking, pointing instead to general comments from spokesperson John Kirby.

    “We’re not going to comment on specific intelligence allegations or the veracity of leaked documents, but as we’ve also said, we do not conduct foreign intelligence activities unless there’s a specific and validated national security purpose, and that applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike,” Kirby said Thursday.

    “We continue to enjoy a long and very productive friendship with Germany based on shared values and a history of cooperating to advance our interests around the globe,” he added. “Nothing’s going to change about that.”

    The CIA declined to respond to a request for comment.
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    Snowden documentary filmmaker sues US over years of harassment — RT USA

    Snowden documentary filmmaker sues US over years of harassment
    Published time: July 15, 2015 01:13

    Director Laura Poitras (Reuters / Danny Moloshok)

    Oscar-winning film director Laura Poitras is suing the US government to find out why she has been searched, questioned and subjected to enhanced security screenings over the past six years, being stopped over 90 times during the course of her travels.

    I am filing this lawsuit because the government uses the US border to bypass the rule of law,” said Poitras in a statement. “This simply should not be tolerated in a democracy.”

    Poitras is a professional journalist and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her work has also received a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur “genius” grant. Poitras’s documentary about National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Citizenfour, won her an Oscar earlier this year.

    In her federal complaint, Poitras, an American citizen, said she was searched and questioned every time she entered the US between 2006 and 2012, on more than 40 occasions. She was also subjected to secondary security screening on more than 50 occasions while leaving the US, outside the US during the course of international travel, and on domestic flights in the US.

    Security agents gave Poitras different reasons for why she was being stopped. They told her she had a criminal record even though she has never been arrested. Another time she was told her name appeared in a national security threat database, and on another occasion that she was on the government’s no fly list, according to the complaint filed in a US District Court in Washington, DC on Monday.

    She was often detained for hours during these secondary security screenings, and has had a laptop, camera, mobile phone and reporter notebooks seized and their contents copied. She was once allegedly threatened with being handcuffed for taking notes during her detention, as border agents said her pen could be used as a weapon. The searches were conducted without a warrant, often without explanation, and no charges were ever brought against her.

    I am also filing this suit in support of the countless other less high-profile people who have also been subjected to years of Kafkaesque harassment at the borders,” said Poitras. “We have a right to know how this system works and why we are targeted.”

    For the past decade, Poitras has been “documenting post-September 11 America” with films like Citizenfour. Other documentaries featured the work of dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, journalist Jacob Appelbaum, and NSA whistleblower William Binney. She has also made documentaries about the military commissions for Guantanamo Bay prison and the US’ military occupation of Iraq.
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    EXCLUSIVE: Edward Snowden Explains Why Apple Should Continue To Fight the Government on Encryption

    EXCLUSIVE: Edward Snowden Explains Why Apple Should Continue To Fight the Government on Encryption

    As the Obama administration campaign to stop the commercialization of strong encryption heats up, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is firing back on behalf of the companies like Apple and Google that are finding themselves under attack.

    “Technologists and companies working to protect ordinary citizens should be applauded, not sued or prosecuted,” Snowden wrote in an email through his lawyer.

    Snowden was asked by The Intercept to respond to the contentious suggestion — made Thursday on a blog that frequently promotes the interests of the national security establishment — that companies like Apple and Google might in certain cases be found legally liable for providing material aid to a terrorist organization because they provide encryption services to their users.

    In his email, Snowden explained how law enforcement officials who are demanding that U.S. companies build some sort of window into unbreakable end-to-end encryption — he calls that an “insecurity mandate” — haven’t thought things through.

    “The central problem with insecurity mandates has never been addressed by its proponents: if one government can demand access to private communications, all governments can,” Snowden wrote.

    “No matter how good the reason, if the U.S. sets the precedent that Apple has to compromise the security of a customer in response to a piece of government paper, what can they do when the government is China and the customer is the Dalai Lama?”

    Weakened encryption would only drive people away from the American technology industry, Snowden wrote. “Putting the most important driver of our economy in a position where they have to deal with the devil or lose access to international markets is public policy that makes us less competitive and less safe.”

    Snowden entrusted his archive of secret documents revealing the NSA’s massive warrantless spying programs all over the world to journalists in 2013. Two of those journalists — Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras — are founding editors of The Intercept.

    Among Snowden’s many revelations are the CIA’s years-long efforts to break Apple’s security systems, and American and British spy agencies’ theft of a vast trove of private encryption keys. Snowden himself taught Greenwald the importance of using strong encryption to protect the materials.

    FBI Director James Comey and others have repeatedly stated that law enforcement is “going dark” when it comes to the ability to track bad actors’ communications because of end-to-end encrypted messages, which can only be deciphered by the sender and the receiver. They have never provided evidence for that, however, and have put forth no technologically realistic alternative.

    Meanwhile, Apple and Google are currently rolling out user-friendly end-to-end encryption for their customers, many of whom have demanded greater privacy protections — especially following Snowden’s disclosures.


    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    Super Penguin
    National Security | Debates of the Century

    “Government should have lawful access to any encrypted message or device.”
    Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | Debate 6:30PM – 8:00PM
    The TimesCenter, 242 W 41st St, New York, NY 10036

    Some people believe the recent dispute between the FBI and Apple over a locked iPhone marks the return of what privacy advocates called the”crypto wars” of the 1990s, when federal authorities tried and failed to mandate government access to most forms of electronic communication. Although the FBI managed to decrypt the iPhone at issue without the company’s help, Apple and others are racing to build devices and messaging services that no one but their owners can unlock. The legal question remains unresolved in Congress, where competing bills have been introduced, and in dozens of cases pending in state and federal courts.

    Law enforcement agencies believe their vital mission requires compulsory access, under valid court order, to any device or communications stream. Leading technology companies (backed by some other U.S. government voices) say they cannot meet law enforcement demands without undermining customer security and privacy against hackers and foreign adversaries. Edward Snowden and Fareed Zakaria disagree on which course better serves society at large. Should companies be required to break into their own encrypted products, and should they be allowed to sell encryption that no one can break?

    This Debate Features:

    For the Motion: Fareed Zakaria
    Against the Motion: Edward Snowden (via live video chat)
    Moderator: Barton Gellman


    Active Member
    How could Vice arrange and meet with Snowden, when he's being chased by the US gov. ?


    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    How could Vice arrange and meet with Snowden, when he's being chased by the US gov. ?
    I haven't been following the Snowden case for a while. What do you mean by "being chased?" I thought he was living in Russia?


    Legendary Member
    Isn't he wanted by the US gov.?
    More at....https://twitter.com/snowden
    Criminal charges
    On June 14, 2013, United States federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Snowden, charging him with theft of government property, and two counts of violating the Espionage Act through unauthorized communication of national defense information and "willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person."[5][242] Each of the three charges carries a maximum possible prison term of ten years. The charge was initially secret and was unsealed a week later.

    Snowden was asked in a January 2014 interview about returning to the U.S. to face the charges in court, as Obama had suggested a few days prior. Snowden explained why he rejected the request: "What he doesn't say are that the crimes that he's charged me with are crimes that don't allow me to make my case. They don't allow me to defend myself in an open court to the public and convince a jury that what I did was to their benefit. ... So it's, I would say, illustrative that the President would choose to say someone should face the music when he knows the music is a show trial."[49][246] Snowden's legal representative, Jesselyn Radack, wrote that "the Espionage Act effectively hinders a person from defending himself before a jury in an open court, as past examples show," referring to Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou and Chelsea Manning. Radack said that the "arcane World War I law" was never meant to prosecute whistleblowers, but rather spies who sold secrets to enemies for profit. Under this law, she states, "no prosecution of a non-spy can be fair or just."[247]

    On October 29, 2015, the European Parliament voted 285 to 281 for a non-binding resolution for EU states to drop criminal charges against Snowden and prevent his extradition by third parties, in recognition of "his status as [a] whistle-blower and international human rights defender", reflecting fears of mass surveillance from European nations.[248] Snowden responded in Twitter by calling it a "game-changer" and "not a blow against the US government", but rather "a chance to move forward."[249]
    Edward Snowden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia