Well, another week, another story about the world’s favourite traitor Mr Edward Snowden. The latest information as shown by Sky news is that he offers Brazil to defeat US spying, but it starts with a permanent political asylum. So, Brazil would end up spending way too much on a person who is likely not fluent in any way in the Portuguese ways.
So, after he ‘walks away’ from China and as Russia seems to be a non-option, Brazil now gets a shot at buying that diamond in the rough for only $2.99. Is no one picking up on this?
My advice to the Brazil government is that if you want to secure your systems in a proper way, get someone with a decent University degree with additional papers and knowledge of Cisco systems. Both will allow for the implementation of Common Cyber Sense. Now, this might not stop US spying, but it will make it a lot harder for them. In the end, if a Brazilian official opens a mail with a ‘personalised’ letter from some sexy ‘Miss X’, hoping for a dinner date, then the worm that opens their security would already be installed again. So, your system might not remain that secure for long. Still, getting the proper professionals will help.
I just do not get it, a person that is regarded as ‘non-valuable’ in both China and Russia, is now hoping for some future in Brazil? I reckon that Brazil might not want these complications in any way or form. Do you think that IF Snowden was such an asset that there was not some ‘loophole’ in place where he would have been able to spend a permanent comfortable time in either Russia or China? America had been playing that game for decades (even for non-intelligence and zero economic value holding trained ballerinas). I see it in a more simple way. Snowden walked away with a treasure chest, there are plenty of issues on the validity of the bulk of what he had, but now that he is on the outside, that one chest will have to last him a life time. The strongest issue that seems to be ignored by EVERYONE in the press is on how the NSA failed to the extent that he was able to walk away with this amount of data, more important, who is he selling it to?
I am not talking about governments and their intelligence groups, but the commercial branch of many corporations who might want to take a deep look at all this data.
So here we are reading another iteration of the Snowden joke and at present the press seems to ignore many of the most common sides that we should worry about. Some might have read the statement that General Alexander gave. Funny enough, the issues he stated and the acts he described were close to identical to the issues that I mentioned no less than 5 months ago. Many of them were the paces that any IT professional would have seen. No, it is just so much sexier to just take over the issues the Guardian took to heart. I am not stating that what they wrote were not based upon ‘facts’, but the source is already proving to be extremely unreliable and even less bothered by the integrity he proclaimed to have. Also, when people compare him to Julian Assange, then consider that I still have my doubts about Assange, but at least he always remained on his horse of idealism, not one I truly support, but I get to some extent the windmill he believes that he had been fighting. It makes the two worlds apart and in case of Snowden in a very negative way.
So back to Snowden, what to do about him?
Although I am all for the ‘drastical’ solution we reserve for certain types, it is important to get him into the US (alive) and into the interrogation room. You see, he got a boatload of data out of a building that should not have allowed the opportunity for this to happen. Even though the American alphabet groups have their own issues as they used private contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton, certain security matters are now at the forefront of whatever they will try to do next. This is not an accusation against BAH, I am convinced that the bulk of these people are devoted nationalists and American patriots. I reckon 99.1% would never consider doing what Snowden did, this makes for a case that there are a few still walking around contemplating what Snowden did. We need to learn what weaknesses the NSA had. Not because we truly care that much (Americans definitely might), but if it happens there where they have an overwhelming budget of many billions, what issues can we expect to find when a light is brought on both the DSD and GCHQ? Let’s not forget that they get a combined budget less than 1% of what the NSA has at its disposal. I feel that direct treason is not likely to happen, but overall, there is the danger of intrusions and even the danger of data heists to some degree. It is that degree that will bear scrutiny. So the open question ‘How easy is it to get data out of the agency?’ is a question that needs to be addressed by several governmental parties.
So back to this Snowden fellow, when we see the LA Times (at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mcmanus-column-metadata-snowden-20131218,0,4977259.column#axzz2nqe1wbKe) we see other parts of this discussion. There are two quotes in this piece “Congress is debating several proposals to rein in the program, including a bill that would effectively end it.” This is of course a valid option, for one, the US is still a nation governed by laws, and Congress can put in place a policy to change it. Let us not forget now that the bad guys know (thanks to the Guardian amongst others) what is being done; only the stupid terrorists will get caught and they would have gotten caught anyway. The second one is a little harder to discuss “I cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion of citizens’ rights”, District Judge Richard J. Leon wrote in a blistering opinion. “The author of our Constitution, James Madison would be aghast.” I feel uncertain to agree with his honour Justice Leon. In the end citizens’ rights were never in danger, we could state that only terrorists were in danger, all were collected to see whether they were a terrorist or not. It could have been stated that if Senator McCarthy had access to these systems, would innocent people ever have been targeted? That is at the centre of this. There people SUSPECTED of communism were destroyed, here they are trying to find the real terrorists. In the end the McCarthy issue went a lot deeper, but at the core we have this notion, is it un-American to object to these methods (if you are an American)? There was never a case for innocent people. There is even the notion that criminals, drug dealers and others could never be gotten at through this way, it is a method to find the hidden dangers of terrorism. In addition, his honour should not forget that it was the legal branch that enacted the Patriot Act the way it was. It was for the most, the legal branch that ‘wallowed’ in ambiguity, which allowed for most of these far fetching ‘freedoms’.
It gets a lot more fun if we consider the article the Guardian published a month ago (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/01/nsa-keith-alexander-blames-diplomats-surveillance-foreign-leaders)
So as General Alexander answered: “the NSA collected information when it was asked by policy officials to discover the ‘leadership intentions’ of foreign countries. If you want to know leadership intentions, these are the issues,” the NSA director said. So basically, the NSA responded to questions by the policy makers. (perhaps the same policymakers who are now proposing a bill to end all this?)
So, who exactly is this pot which is calling the kettle monitored?
It is the Australian that gives us the final part (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/us-nsa-spy-agency-is-split-on-snowden-leaks-deal/story-e6frg6so-1226783316594), which discussed a few parts last Monday. The issue of making any kind of a deal with Snowden should not be considered. “General Alexander said an amnesty deal would set a dangerous precedent for any future leakers.” The other quote, which came from Rick Ledgett who stated “Mr Snowden would have to provide firm assurances that the remaining documents would be secured“. This is an assurance that has no holding whatsoever. After the Chinese and the Russians were done with him as well as the Guardian, any ‘security’ to these documents is nothing more than a hollow promise. I personally find it disgusting that treason to this degree could end up being non-prosecuted in any way, shape or form. It is more than a dangerous precedent. It is an almost assured way for fake ideologists to take a roll at the casino for a few million and an optional new passport. It is a dangerous game that will hold long term consequences for all involved.