Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is an American former technical contractor for the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who leaked details of several top-secret U.S. and British government mass surveillance programs to the press.

In June 2013, U.S. federal prosecutors charged Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person.

Edward Snowden and Julian Assange speak about privacy and technology

with the ACLU’s Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian at SXSW Interactive – March 10, 2014

From: www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37899.htm

Interview with Edward Snowden

“The Public Had A Right To Know About These Things”

German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden.

From: http://antiwar.com/blog/2014/02/04/edward-snowden-interview-the-public-had-a-right-to-know-about-these-things/

Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished

Washington Post – By Barton Gellman – December 24, 2013

Video: Post reporter Barton Gellman discusses how his exclusive interview with Edward Snowden came about and whether the former NSA contractor would ever want to return to the United States…. During more than 14 hours of interviews, the first he has conducted in person since arriving here in June, Snowden did not part the curtains or step outside. Russia granted him temporary asylum on Aug. 1, but Snowden remains a target of surpassing interest to the intelligence services whose secrets he spilled on an epic scale.

Late this spring, Snowden supplied three journalists, including this one, with caches of top-secret documents from the National Security Agency, where he worked as a contractor. Dozens of revelations followed, and then hundreds, as news organizations around the world picked up the story. Congress pressed for explanations, new evidence revived old lawsuits and the Obama administration was obliged to declassify thousands of pages it had fought for years to conceal.

Taken together, the revelations have brought to light a global surveillance system that cast off many of its historical restraints after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Secret legal authorities empowered the NSA to sweep in the telephone, Internet and location records of whole populations. One of the leaked presentation slides described the agency’s “collection philosophy” as “Order one of everything off the menu.”

Six months after the first revelations appeared in The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Snowden agreed to reflect at length on the roots and repercussions of his choice. He was relaxed and animated over two days of nearly unbroken conversation, fueled by burgers, pasta, ice cream and Russian pastry. …

Read in full: www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/edward-snowden-after-months-of-nsa-revelations-says-his-missions-accomplished/2013/12/23/49fc36de-6c1c-11e3-a523-fe73f0ff6b8d_story.html

Edward Snowden: former CIA man behind the NSA intelligence leak

The Guardian – Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras – June 10, 2013

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

Edward Snowden was interviewed over several days in Hong Kong by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.

Read the interview here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why

Edward Snowdon

Information arising out of the revelations here too.

Read about him plus articles re revelations released.

The Snowden files: why the British public should be worried about GCHQ

The Guardian – By John Lanchester – December 3, 2013

When the Guardian offered John Lanchester access to the GCHQ files, the journalist and novelist was initially unconvinced. But what the papers told him was alarming: that Britain is sliding towards an entirely new kind of surveillance society

… In the US, the Prism programme may have given the NSA access to the servers of companies such as Google and Facebook; in the UK, GCHQ has gained a similar degree of access via its Tempora programme, and the two of them together have a cable- and network-tapping capabilities collectively called Upstream, which have the ability to intercept anything that travels over the internet. This data is fed into a database called XKeyscore, which allows analysts to extract information “in real time”, ie immediately, from a gigantic amount of hoovered-up data.

In addition, the NSA has encouraged technology companies to install secret weaknesses or “backdoors” into their commercially available, supposedly secure products. They have spent a very great deal of money ($250m a year alone on weakening encryption), on breaking commercially available security products. Other revelations have been published in Der Spiegel, and concern the NSA exploitation of technology such as the iPhone.

Access all areas

What this adds up to is a new thing in human history: with a couple of clicks of a mouse, an agent of the state can target your home phone, or your mobile, or your email, or your passport number, or any of your credit card numbers, or your address, or any of your log-ins to a web service. …

Read this important article in full: www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/03/edward-snowden-files-john-lanchester

The Snowden file: facts and figures – Video Animation

Published by The Guardian, December 2, 2013

The NSA files revealed by Edward Snowden have thrown up a fascinating collection of statistics. How much data is collected and from what countries? How much money is spent on intelligence? Find out the answer to these questions and more in our numerical guide to the surveillance industry.

NSA infected 50,000 computer networks with malicious software

(Is NSA Menwith Hill involved with this? We need to know.)

nrc.nl – By Floor Boon, Steven Derix and Huib Modderkolk – November 23, 2013

The American intelligence service – NSA – infected more than 50,000 computer networks worldwide with malicious software designed to steal sensitive information. Documents provided by former NSA-employee Edward Snowden and seen by this newspaper, prove this.

A management presentation dating from 2012 explains how the NSA collects information worldwide. In addition, the presentation shows that the intelligence service uses ‘Computer Network Exploitation’ (CNE) in more than 50,000 locations. CNE is the secret infiltration of computer systems achieved by installing malware, malicious software.

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Urgent review needed of RAF base used to handle US spy data, says MP Tom Watson

The Independent – By Cahal Milmo – November 7, 2013

Tom Watson, a former defence minister and deputy chairman of the Labour Party, said there was an urgent need for “public scrutiny” of the activities at RAF Croughton, a US Air Force base in Northamptonshire which is a major hub for American military and clandestine communications.

The Independent revealed this week that the base is used to route vast amounts of data captured by Washington’s “Stateroom” network of listening posts in diplomatic premises back to America for analysis by the CIA and the National Security Agency.

The network is at the centre of revelations that the NSA intercepted a mobile phone used by Mrs Merkel. A spying “nest” on the roof Washington’s Berlin embassy appears to have been abruptly turned off last week following an incendiary row between Germany and America about the eavesdropping.

Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden imply that any material gathered from the Berlin embassy listening post would have been relayed back to a joint CIA/NSA facility in Maryland via a secure link within RAF Croughton.

In a letter copied to members of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee ahead of Thursday’s appearance by the heads of Britain’s three main spying agencies, Mr Watson said The Independent’s revelations added to existing concerns that RAF Croughton is used as a support site for US drone strikes in Yemen. …

Read on: www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/urgent-review-needed-of-raf-base-used-to-handle-us-spy-data-says-mp-tom-watson-8927214.html

CAAB has contacted Tom Watson to also ask that questions be asked about NSA Menwith Hill and all US bases here.

EU-UK-USA: Data surveillance

See Statewatch Observatory


Barack Obama ‘approved tapping Angela Merkel’s phone 3 years ago’

President Barack Obama was told about monitoring of German Chancellor in 2010 and allowed it to continue, says German newspaper

The Telegraph – By Philip Sherwell and Louise Barnett – October 27, 2013

President Barack Obama was dragged into the trans-Atlantic spying row after it was claimed he personally authorised the monitoring of Angela Merkel’s phone three years ago.

The president allegedly allowed US intelligence to listen to calls from the German Chancellor’s mobile phone after he was briefed on the operation by Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), in 2010.

The latest claim, reported in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, followed reports in Der Spiegel that the surveillance of Mrs Merkel’s phone began as long ago as 2002, when she was still the opposition leader, three years before being elected Chancellor. That monitoring only ended in the weeks before Mr Obama visited Berlin in June this year, the magazine added. …

Read on: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10407282/Barack-Obama-approved-tapping-Angela-Merkels-phone-3-years-ago.html

Obama Admin Tries to Block Supreme Court Review of NSA Spying

The Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court not to hear a challenge to the National Security Agency’s telephone records collection program.

Common Dreams – By Andrea Germanos – October 16, 2013

n July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a nonprofit that focuses on civil liberties and privacy, filed a petition to the Court, saying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court overstepped its bounds in ordering Verizon to give the NSA all telephone communications “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls,” and as such should halt this disclosure. EPIC’s petition marked the first NSA challenge brought to the Supreme Court; other challenges to NSA surveillance brought by civil liberties groups have targeted a lower court.

In June, the Guardian revealed the existence of this program, based on leaks from Edward Snowden. The paper reported:

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing

On Monday, the Solicitor General filed a brief in response to EPIC’s petition, urging the Court not to hear the case, saying it lacked jurisdiction. …

Read on: www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/10/16-5

NSA report on privacy violations in the first quarter of 2012

This is the full executive summary, with names redacted by The Post, of a classified internal report on breaches of NSA privacy rules and legal restrictions.

See the report here: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/nsa-report-on-privacy-violations-in-the-first-quarter-of-2012/395/

Court: Ability to police U.S. spying program limited

Washington Post – By Carol D. Leonnig – August 16, 2013

The leader of the secret court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government’s vast spying programs said that its ability to do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.

The chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules that aim to protect Americans’ privacy. Without taking drastic steps, it also cannot check the veracity of the government’s assertions that the violations its staff members report are unintentional mistakes.

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The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He Was President

Truthout – By Kara Brandeisky – August 10, 2013

When the House of Representatives recently considered an amendment that would have dismantled the NSA’s bulk phone records collection program, the White House swiftly condemned the measure. But only five years ago, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. was part of a group of legislators that supported substantial changes to NSA surveillance programs.

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Snowden findings corroborated by second whistleblower

DemocraticUnderground.com – By smartalex – August 9 2013

This is a short diary responding to the idea that Snowden’s allegations of easy NSA wiretapping of public officials is made up in his own mind.

In fact, for those who have been watching this closely, a second NSA whistleblower has corroborated the allegation, and provided more, but nobody’s mentioning him in the discussions today. His name is Russell Tice.

Tice is a former NSA analyst who blew the whistle on massive FISA violations…in 2005. After Snowden went public, he gave an interview to Sibel Edmonds (an FBI whistleblower turned journalist), including the following quotes:

In the summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator for Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives right now would you? It’s a big white house in Washington, D.C. That’s who they went after, and that’s the president of the United States now.


“Okay. They went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and judicial. But they went after other ones, too. They went after heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the White House–their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after U.S. companies that that do business around the world. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs like the Red Cross that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups.

So, you know, don’t tell me that there’s no abuse, because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it.”

Read more: www.democraticunderground.com/10023435976

NSA paid British spy agency $150 mln in secret funds – new leak

RT.com – August 1, 2013

The NSA has made hush-hush payments of at least $150 million to Britain’s GCHQ spying agency over the past three years to influence British intelligence gathering operations. The payouts were revealed in new Snowden leaks published by The Guardian.

The documents illustrate that the NSA expects the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, to act in its interest, expecting a return on the investment, The Guardian said Thursday.

Redevelopments at GCHQ’s site at Bude in southwest England, which alone cost over $20 million, were paid for by the US National Security Agency. The facility intercepts information from transatlantic cables carrying Internet and communications information.

The revelations appear to contradict previous denials from British government ministers that GCHQ does the NSA’s “dirty work.” In addition, the latest Snowden dossier details how British surveillance operations could be a “selling point” for the US. …

Read on: http://rt.com/news/nsa-pay-british-spy-agency-910/

Court: Chevron Can Seize Americans’ Email Data

Mother Jones – By Dana Liebelson – July 22, 2013

In an almost unprecedented decision, a federal judge has allowed Chevron to subpoena Americans’ private email data—and said the First Amendment doesn’t apply.

Thanks to disclosures made by Edward Snowden, Americans have learned that their email records are not necessarily safe from the National Security Agency—but a new ruling shows that they’re not safe from big oil companies, either.

Last month, a federal court granted Chevron access to nine years of email metadata—which includes names, time stamps, and detailed location data and login info, but not content—belonging to activists, lawyers, and journalists who criticized the company for drilling in Ecuador and leaving behind a trail of toxic sludge and leaky pipelines. Since 1993, when the litigation began, Chevron has lost multiple appeals and has been ordered to pay plaintiffs from native communities about $19 billion to cover the cost of environmental damage. Chevron alleges that it is the victim of a mass extortion conspiracy, which is why the company is asking Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, which owns Hotmail, to cough up the email data. When Lewis Kaplan, a federal judge in New York, granted the Microsoft subpoena last month, he ruled it didn’t violate the First Amendment because Americans weren’t among the people targeted. …

Read on: www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/07/chevron-ecuador-american-email-legal-activists-journalists

NSA Leaks About Spying Are Scaring Some Americans Away From The Internet

Huffington Post – By Oskar Garcia – July 22, 2013

In Louisiana, the wife of a former soldier is scaling back on Facebook posts and considering unfriending old acquaintances, worried an innocuous joke or long-lost associate might one day land her in a government probe. In California, a college student encrypts chats and emails, saying he’s not planning anything sinister but shouldn’t have to sweat snoopers. And in Canada, a lawyer is rethinking the data products he uses to ensure his clients’ privacy.

As the attorney, Chris Bushong, put it: “Who wants to feel like they’re being watched?”

News of the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs that targeted phone records but also information transmitted on the Internet has done more than spark a debate about privacy. Some are reviewing and changing their online habits as they reconsider some basic questions about today’s interconnected world. Among them: How much should I share and how should I share it?

Some say they want to take preventative measures in case such programs are expanded. Others are looking to send a message — not just to the U.S. government but to the Internet companies that collect so much personal information.

“We all think that nobody’s interested in us, we’re all simple folk,” said Doan Moran of Alexandria, Louisiana. “But you start looking at the numbers and the phone records … it makes you really hesitate.” …

Read on: www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/nsa-leaks-spying-internet_n_3633510.html

Asylum for Snowden won’t stop Greenwald from publishing more leaks

RT – July 13, 2013

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has indicated that he is willing to halt his leakage of US secrets, a condition for gaining Russian asylum, though the journalist who first published information from those leaks intends to continue.

Glenn Greenwald, a journalist working with both the British Guardian newspaper and Brazil’s O Globo, had been in direct contact with the now fugitive Snowden and coordinated with the former intelligence contractor ahead of publishing information on secret online surveillance programs.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that asylum for Snowden would be offered only under the condition that he releases no further information that could prove damaging to the US. Greenwald, however, has indicated that he would consider the intelligence provided by Snowden already in his possession fair game. …

Read on: http://rt.com/news/asylum-nsa-leaks-greenwald-037/

ECHELON Today: The Evolution of an NSA Black Program

GlobalResearch.ca – By Tom Burghardt – July 13, 2013

People are shocked by the scope of secret state spying on their private communications, especially in light of documentary evidence leaked to media outlets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

While the public is rightly angered by the illegal, unconstitutional nature of NSA programs which seize and store data for retrospective harvesting by intelligence and law enforcement officials, including the content of phone calls, emails, geolocational information, bank records, credit card purchases, travel itineraries, even medical records–in secret, and with little in the way of effective oversight–the historical context of how, and why, this vast spying apparatus came to be is often given short shrift.

Revelations about NSA spying didn’t begin June 5, 2013 however, the day when The Guardian published a top secret FISA Court Order to Verizon, ordering the firm turn over the telephone records on millions of its customers “on an ongoing daily basis.”

Before PRISM there was ECHELON: the top secret surveillance program whose all-encompassing “dictionaries” (high-speed computers powered by complex algorithms) ingest and sort key words and text scooped-up by a global network of satellites, from undersea cables and land-based microwave towers.

Past as Prologue

Confronted by a dizzying array of code-named programs, the casual observer will assume the spymasters running these intrusive operations are all-knowing mandarins with their fingers on the pulse of global events.

Yet, if disastrous US policies from Afghanistan and Iraq to the ongoing capitalist economic meltdown tell us anything, it is that the American superpower, in President Nixon’s immortal words, really is “a pitiful, helpless giant.” …

Read on: www.globalresearch.ca/echelon-today-the-evolution-of-an-nsa-black-program

Q&A with Glenn Greenwald: Americans’ reaction “surprising and gratifying”

Salon.com – By Falguni A. Sheth – July 13, 2013

Glenn Greenwald discusses how Americans see Snowden, and details the non-U.S. world’s anger at NSA privacy invasion

In the wake of his explosive reporting about the U.S. government’s surveillance regime over the last six weeks, I spent some time talking with Guardian reporter (and Salon alumnus) Glenn Greenwald Friday about the impact and scope of these revelations — as well as some other aspects of the fallout in the U.S. and internationally. The following is a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

There was a Quinnipiac poll that came out two days ago reporting that over half of Americans regarded Edward Snowden as a whistleblower rather than a traitor, despite the fact that we’ve heard tons of calls for him to be arrested and tried for leaking state secrets. What do you think? How do you reconcile these? Do you think something substantial has changed in terms of Americans’ opinions about the state’s tracking?

I do. …

Read the rest here: www.salon.com/2013/07/13/qa_with_glenn_greenwald_americans_reaction_surprising_and_gratifying/

GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits

The Guardian – By Ewen MacAskill, Nick Davies, Nick Hopkins, Julian Borger and James Ball – June 17, 2013

“Phones were monitored and fake internet cafes set up to gather information from allies in London in 2009.”

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic. … ↓ ↓ Show more ↓ ↓

Daniel Ellsberg’s determined lifelong resistance

WAGINGNONVIOLENCE.org – By Ken Butigan – July 11, 2013

In the Washington Post this week, Daniel Ellsberg published a thoughtful opinion piece on Edward Snowden’s decision to leave the country after releasing information about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance program. Ellsberg highlights how Snowden’s self-imposed exile is itself a critically important nonviolent action that is multiplying and extending his original act of conscience. Nonviolent resistance is not confined to the specific, isolated, dramatic act, Ellsberg seems to be suggesting. It opens opportunities for new action, and can come to be seen as part of an ever expanding drama, with many acts and episodes, all potentially furthering the opportunity for nonviolent change.

This speaks to Edward Snowden’s case — but it might apply even more to Ellsberg himself.

Releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971 was an historic act. Since then Ellsberg has relentlessly built on and expanded upon this particular nonviolent action in innumerable ways. Retirement doesn’t seem to apply to the job of making the world a better place, as Ellsberg proves almost daily.

Snowden has been criticized for fleeing the country. Some have compared him disapprovingly to Ellsberg, who, after leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and other papers in 1971, came forward and was eventually tried in a court of law. In his piece, Ellsberg challenged this negative comparison by carefully illuminating his own case in his fervent support of Snowden. …

Read more: http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/daniel-ellsbergs-determined-lifelong-resistance/

US Army blocking access to PRISM reports from Guardian and other websites at its bases

The Nest Web – Published Jun 28, 2013

The US army is blocking access to coverage of PRISM leaks on the Guardian and others news websites at its bases, following the newspaper’s publishing of leaks related to the US espionage program.

The Monterey Herald reports that an army spokesperson confirmed its some restrictions on the newspaper’s website are in place across all US army bases, although officers can access guardiannews.com freely. Initial reports told of a local ban at the Presidio of Monterey site only, but the block has since been confirmed as “army-wide”. …

Read more here:

Edward Snowden: former CIA man behind the NSA intelligence leak

The Guardian – Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras – June 10, 2013

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

Edward Snowden was interviewed over several days in Hong Kong by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.

Read the interview here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The US Govt. Went To The Real Dark Side

Published on 9 Jun 2013 By http://xrepublic.tv

Your Tax Dollars: The Government pays Corporations to hand over data about users.