Thursday, June 13, 2013

... and from Reddit on the NSA/CIA spying scandal...

This is pretty amazing stuff, really. 

James Bramford, an author who's work I've read over the years, answered questions concerning the latest revelations of what the NSA and CIA are really up to.  Here are just three highlights.  Though for the complete story, you should just head over to Reddit and read it all there.  Seriously.

So what scares you most out of everything you know about the whole thing?

[–]JimBamford[S] 556 points ago
To me what scares me most now is that you have this director of the NSA who now has under his authority the ability to actually destroy things. It's a thing called cyber kinetic warfare where you're using cyber not just to erase someone's hard drive but to actually blow things up. The largest dam in Russia for example, was destroyed. It wasn't cyber warfare but it was an accidental cyber event. The U.S. used that in Iran and destroyed the Iranian you have this General who can not only eavesdrop on everybody but he can blow things up. 

How much access do you believe they have? Did they coerce the tech giants into submission or pay them off? What will happen to Snowden?
[–]JimBamford[S] 186 points ago
I think it's mysterious, this cooperation between the NSA and ISPs, and the only thing I can compare it to is the deal with AT&T - where all data flows into their computers filled with software that does deep-pocket inspection, looking for target information and target names and so forth. Whether the NSA created some sort of lock box or portal in cyber space where they can do this, I don't know. But what you have is the NSA saying they have direct access to their servers. And what the tech giants are saying is that they don't give them direct access to their services. What we have then is something in between - is it semantics or truth or both? But eventually it will come out through investigative reporting or congressional hearings or something. I think Snowden is very courageous. He's doing something other people wouldn't do. He's not making any money on it, and he's facing serious repercussions. Last year, in my WIRED cover story on the NSA data-center in Utah, I interviewed a number of former senior officials, including Bill Binney, and they told me very similar things about getting data records from everyone at Verizon and so forth. But the NSA was able to largely brush off those accusations, and the mainstream media just believed them because General Alexander said it. This might have been one of the reasons why Snowden felt this information could only be taken seriously if the public actually got to see the documents. This way, there is no way to brush it under the rug, say these people are lying or exaggerating. A number of whistleblowers have said very similar things. The media and the public only believe it's real, despite the denials, when confronted with actual documents. 

This is the strangest thing right here.  Read and wonder/weep/whateverthehellyoudoattimeslikethis -

What kind of keywords are they looking for? I understand that they will probably be looking for words that will be indicative of terrorist conspiracies, but I've heard they've caught more drug dealers than terrorists.

[–]GloriousDawn 635 points ago
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