Military Review

Edward Snowden vs Big Brother

Last week, another undemocratic scandal struck the United States, reminding citizens of the country that their homeland is the stronghold of totalitarianism and the patrimony of Big Brother. Information about the top secret program of the American special services called “PRISM”, aimed at a comprehensive collection of information about citizens through mobile television systems and the Internet, has come up. The first publications were published in the British newspaper The Guardian. Then the Washington Post connected, and the scandal went around the entire Internet. The main character of the scandal also showed up.

В news The telecommunications company Verizon, from which the NSA received data from millions of calls from a wide variety of subscribers, got. Everything was done legally, on the basis of a court order - also, of course, a secret one. In the US, everything will soon be secret.

It was not just about Verizon. As transmits ITAR-TASS, the Washington Post newspaper reported that the NSA and the FBI have been getting direct access to Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube for several years now. "," Apple ". The article notes that within the framework of a top-secret program codenamed PRISM, special services collect audio and video files, photographs, electronic correspondence, documents and data about users’s connections to certain sites, which allows them to “follow the movements and contacts of various people”. True, "Apple", "Google", "Facebook" and "Yahoo" denied this information. And the director of US national intelligence, James Clapper, said that the media made "numerous inaccuracies" in publications. He stressed that the law allowing the special services to carry out such supervision allows them to act only in relation to people "who are not US citizens and are outside the country."

On this scandal would subside, but it was not there.

Human rights activists sounded the alarm, alarmists and journalists joined them, citizens remembered about the inviolability of personal life, freedom of speech, democracy, human rights, even the Constitution and some amendments to it - and it started.

The indignation of ordinary Americans is caused by the fact that the actions of the NSA and the FBI to collect data, which in the press are more often called “wiretapping”, were completely legitimate. Senior correspondent of the portal at the center of the American Foundation for Progressive Action Zaid Jilani told about it "Voice of Russia".

Comrade Jilani says legitimacy is ensured by the anti-terrorism act passed by Congress in 2001. With 2008-2012, Congress endorsed the law without amending it. Senators made listening in the US legal.

"... No one would complain if the secret services found a particular person who would harm America and ask permission to watch him, but when they take millions of people under surveillance at the same time, I, as an American, feel that my personal space and my rights are not respected. I think that millions of Americans think so, regardless of their political preferences. ”

Against the immutability of the legal acts of the past, some congressmen are actively opposing. As reported "Vesti" With reference to ITAR-TASS, the American Democratic senator Mark Yudoll is one of the supporters of such changes. “We need to revise the“ Act on patriotism ”and somewhat limit the amount of information that the National Security Agency collects,” he said in an interview with the ABC television company. He noted: “We are fighting terrorism, which still poses a real threat, but we must comply with the Bill of Rights and the fourth amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting illegal searches and interception of postal correspondence.”

Comrade Yudolla was supported by the famous Republican senator Rand Paul, who stated in the program of the Fox television company that the secret programs of the NSA indicate an extremely widespread invasion of citizens' privacy.

However, the overwhelming majority of senators defend the actions of the Obama administration and the American special services. Among well-known supporters, Dianne Feinstein, chairperson of the intelligence committee, and Republican Senator John McCain, noted in an interview with CNN, should note that “if today was 12 September 2001 of the year, no such disputes would probably would arise. "

On the night of Monday, June 10, the “wiretapping” scandal was continued. It was announced by its initiator - Edward Snowden, an employee of “Booz Allen Hamilton”, a man who set himself the goal of combating injustice and deception created by the government. It was he who gave the British newspaper The Guardian a secret court decision, which was discussed above. The scandal began last week with the publication of the PRISM program.

Correspondents The Guardian Ian MacAskill and Glenn Greenwald talked with fellow Snowden in Hong Kong. The fighter for justice explained to journalists that the NSA had built a whole infrastructure that allows intercepting virtually all communications, and automatically. If I wanted, he remarked, to look at the email or calls of my wife, all I would have to do was use this interception technology. With it, you can get emails, passwords, telephone records, access to information on credit cards.

“I do not want to live in a society that does such things ... I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. This is not something that I am ready to support or with which I am ready to live. ”

But maybe this kind of observation, reporters said, was started in order to try to reduce the likelihood of terrorist attacks - such as the Boston one?

Here, according to Snowden, only “good, old-fashioned police work ...”

They asked Snowden and Manning. In his opinion, Bradley Manning was inspired by the idea of ​​public good.

On the question of what will happen to him, Snowden answered concisely and sadly: "Nothing good."

According to him, he moved to Hong Kong because of the strong local traditions of free speech. The American said: “I think it’s really tragic that an American should go to a place that has the reputation of a less free country ... However, Hong Kong ... has strong traditions ... of freedom of speech."

The publication reminds that 29-year-old Snowden is a former technical assistant at the CIA. This person specifies that the NSA collects more digital information about America than about Russians.

To the question: “Did your family know what you were planning?” Snowden replied:

“No ... And now I’m most afraid that they’ll come for my family, my friends ... For any of those with whom I have a relationship ...”

He said that with this he would have to live the rest of his life. From now on, he is not going to communicate with them. The authorities will act aggressively against anyone who knows him.

Many people, Snowden told reporters, voted for Obama in 2008. But he voted for third parties. At the same time, he believed in Obama's promises. However, he continued the policy of his predecessor.

At the moment, Snowden hopes that the Hong Kong government will not deport him. He said that he intends to seek asylum in a country with nationwide values ​​- for example, in Iceland. But, in general, he does not know what awaits him.

In another article, Glenn Greenwald, Ian McAskill, and Laura Poitras (The Guardian) remind that Snowden is the person responsible for one of the most significant leaks in the American political stories- Not only was a technical assistant at the CIA, but recently a defense contractor at Booz Allen Hamilton, but for the past four years he worked with the National Security Agency as an employee of various external contractors, including the mentioned Booz Allen and Dell. ".

"The Guardian" revealed his identity at his own request: "I have no intention to hide who I am, because I know that I have not done anything wrong."

Now Snowden will go down in history along with Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. After all, the NSA is one of the most closed organizations in the world.

Despite his desire for publicity, he insists that he wants to avoid media attention. “I do not want public attention because I do not want this story to be about me. I want her to be about the acts of the US government. ”

He also said: "... I know that the government will demonize me." He explained that the only reason for declassification was to inform the public about what is being done on his (society's) name and what is being done against him.

Snowden lived a “very comfortable life,” which included a salary of about $ 200.000 per year, a friend with whom he shared a house in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loved.

“I’m ready to sacrifice everything, because I cannot, with a clear conscience, allow the US government to destroy the privacy, freedom of the Internet and the basic rights of people around the world with this powerful surveillance machine, created in secret.”

Snowden's plan was like that.

Three weeks ago he made his final preparations. In the NSA office in Hawaii, he copied the last set of documents that he was about to disclose. Then he told his supervisor that he needed to leave for a couple of weeks - to undergo treatment for epilepsy. Collecting things, he told his girlfriend that he had to leave for a few weeks. 20 May he boarded a plane to Hong Kong. He chose this city because of his “energetic commitment to freedom of speech,” and also because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that could resist the dictates of the US government.

He lives in a hotel - in constant fear of surveillance. He laid the door of his hotel room with pillows. He puts a big red hood on his head and on his laptop when he enters passwords. This is done so that possible hidden cameras do not shoot anything. This is not paranoia; Snowden has every reason for such concerns. After all, he worked with US intelligence for almost ten years.

It was once influenced by Iraq. In 2003, he enlisted in the US Army and began a training program to later join the special forces. He noted that his ideas about the purpose of the war were quickly dispersed. After breaking both legs in a training accident, he was demobilized.

He then got his first job at an NSA facility (security guard at a secret facility at the University of Maryland). From there, he moved to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His knowledge of the Internet and the ability to computer programming allowed him to quickly make a career - for a person who at that time did not even have a high school diploma.

In 2007, the CIA placed him under diplomatic cover in Geneva. He was responsible for maintaining the security of the computer network. This meant that he was allowed access to a wide array of secret documents. It was this access, along with the fact that he spent almost three years among the CIA officers, sowed in his soul serious doubts about the correctness of all that he saw around him.

For example, the CIA tried to recruit a Swiss banker - in order to get the secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by trying to get a drunk banker and arranging for him to go home in his car. The banker was arrested for drunk driving. It was then that the secret agent made friends with him and offered to help. A relationship was formed, which further resulted in successful cooperation.

"Much of what I saw in Geneva really disappointed me ... I realized that I was part of something that does much more harm than good."

He left the CIA in 2009, and went to work for a private contractor, who assigned him to an NSA facility located at a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he watched Obama formulate the policy that Snowden believed should bring change.

But over the next three years, he only learned that the NSA, with its thirst for overwhelming observation, set out to know about every conversation and every act in the world.

Once he came to the conclusion that monitoring the NSA would soon be irrevocable. It is only a matter of time. “What they do,” he says, “is an existential threat to democracy.”

His fidelity to the freedom of the Internet, British journalists write, is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: “I support the rights on the Internet:“ Electronic Frontier Foundation ”. Or as evidence of free anonymity: the Tor Project.

To the question of journalists and the authenticity of his personality, he, without hesitation, provided his personal data, social security numbers, ID of the CIA and expired diplomatic passport. There is no quirk at all, correspondents write. "Ask him about something from his personal life, and he will answer." The Guardian journalists call this man "quiet, intelligent, calm and modest."

Julian Borger and Spencer Ackerman in The Guardian They write that Sean Turner, a spokesman for US National Intelligence Director James Clapper, said: "Anyone who has admission knows that he ... has obligations to protect classified information and comply with the law."

The US military company Booz Allen Hamilton issued a statement describing the disclosure of information by Snowden as “shocking” and undertook to cooperate with any investigation.

Meanwhile, Snowden received support from civic activists. Jessilin Radak, who had previously served as a lawyer as an informant, told Reuters that the Snowden case could be a "turning point".

Russell Theis, a former NSA analyst who blamed the agency in the middle of 2000 for going beyond the legal mandate, said: "This guy has more courage than everyone I know."

Julian Borger (The Guardian) said that the company “Booz Allen” with a capital of 6 billions of dollars and 25.000 employees are largely focused on data processing computer systems. Under the motto "Improving public safety with analytics," the company offers assistance in processing large amounts of data collected. The project line, which just reflects some of the functions of Snowden, who worked for the NSA, includes the development of what “allows organizations to process, interpret and use data arrays stored for several weeks or months.”

It must be recalled that the United States has an extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

"The Telegraph" Citing Reuters, writes that the NSA is now about to initiate a criminal investigation into the leak. Republican politicians in the United States are already calling for the extradition of Snowden.

Any harassment of Snowden is likely to fall under the 1917 espionage law of the year — it was this law that the US government used against other civilians who disclosed secret information without permission.

The United States and Hong Kong signed an extradition treaty back in 1996, one year before the former British colony was returned to China. The document came into force in 1998 year and provides that the Hong Kong authorities may detain a person for 60 days at the request of the United States - while Washington is preparing a formal request for extradition.

Lawyers with extradition experience say that it will be difficult for Snowden to bypass the treaty if the US government decides to prosecute it. “They (Hong Kong) are not going to jeopardize their relations with the United States because of Snowden ...” says Robert Anello, a New York lawyer who worked on extradition cases. Anello noticed:

"If you are an American citizen, then escaping from the United States is not an easy task."

Hong Kong is under the full control of China, and therefore the treaty also provides for the refusal of extradition, which could damage China’s defense, foreign affairs, essential public interest or politics.

In addition, the defense of Snowden, as advocates say, can be based on the absence of “double criminality”: for the person to be extradited, the alleged act should be a crime in both countries.

However, Anello believes that they will find a local law in Hong Kong that is “very similar” to the American Spying Act.

Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
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  1. Denis
    Denis 11 June 2013 08: 23
    In 2003, he enlisted in the US Army and began a training program to subsequently join the special forces.
    Well done, let them all do that.
    And what are these guardians of the people so afraid of wiretapping?
    citizens remembered privacy
    I don’t care like that, even if all the switchgear and the Mossad are listening to me
    Just not a wife, then kirdyk-nuclear war, nuclear winter and non-nuclear hunger
    There is a good remedy for wiretapping -don't talk
    1. neri73-r
      neri73-r 11 June 2013 09: 49
      There is a good remedy for wiretap-do not chat

      And also do not commit unlawful acts on which you could catch and recruit!
      1. 755962
        755962 11 June 2013 12: 03
        Assange called the hero of the whistleblower of the US intelligence Snowden. Russia thought about sheltering him

        Meanwhile, Russia may consider a request for political asylum by CIA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, if received. This was reported by Kommersant with reference to the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation.

        "We will act upon the fact. If such an appeal is received, it will be considered," the newspaper quotes Dmitry Peskov.

        At the same time, Peskov explained that "there is no subjunctive mood in this topic."

      2. Denis
        Denis 11 June 2013 15: 48
        Quote: neri73-r
        do no wrongdoing
        That is incompatible with politics
    2. Che
      Che 11 June 2013 19: 35
      And for me, there would be more people in Ameria like Edward Snowden. The world would be better, and America would not be so much hated as it is now.
  2. treskoed
    treskoed 11 June 2013 08: 35
    He lives in a hotel - in constant fear of surveillance. He blocked the door of his hotel room with pillows. He puts a large red hood on his head and laptop as he enters passwords. This is done so that possible hidden cameras do not shoot anything.

    Apparently, he was not cured, but he didn’t say anything new for me. Perhaps, the Americans threw it specially in order to sow fear of their special services!
  3. Lech from ZATULINKI
    Lech from ZATULINKI 11 June 2013 08: 39
    THAT YANKS are rummaging around on other people's computers - this is not news. Some guys regularly come to MY COMPUTER and no antivirus program helps - I think antivirus programs have a corresponding golden key that the developers of these programs secretly transmit to special services.
    1. Atlon
      Atlon 11 June 2013 09: 45
      Quote: Lech s ZATULINKI
      THAT YANKS are rummaging around on other people's computers - this is not news. Some guys regularly visit my computer and no antivirus program helps

      I want to warn especially active on the network. Especially patriots. Especially anti-Semites. Beware of traveling abroad. Especially in NATO countries. And especially to Israel. You can get into an interesting situation ... You can laugh, but this is reality.
      1. Denis
        Denis 11 June 2013 15: 51
        Quote: Atlon
        Especially patriots. Especially anti-Semites.
        If so, then maaaaalenky question and I don’t need this abroad V.S. Vysotsky
      2. Che
        Che 12 June 2013 09: 00
        Quote: Atlon

        Common sense tells us that this cannot be done. So Bout was stolen and condemned as they wanted. Maybe in response the same action to hold. Who is blushing on Russia. Beware of coming to us.
    2. neri73-r
      neri73-r 11 June 2013 09: 50
      Very publicly! Otherwise, they will not work in this state!
    3. Justme
      Justme 11 June 2013 19: 11
      When I got into a similar situation with my computer, I was able to resolve the situation only by switching to Linux.
  4. Orel
    Orel 11 June 2013 08: 41
    If a "terrible" scarecrow in the face of world terrorism is presented to the people and they are told that this is a real threat for the United States that can destroy them, the country's population will applaud when their civil liberties are taken away from them in exchange for "security" and protection from terrorism.
  5. zvereok
    zvereok 11 June 2013 10: 23
    What will be surprised then? The next stage in the development of the Echelon system. It is strange that information about wiretapping / reading in England and other US partners has not yet floated in.


    And here, about five years ago, we were forced to deliver providers (at their own expense) with equipment that enables the special services to receive any information passing through communication channels. I’m not talking about mobile and regular telephone communications.

    Of course, in all OS and encryption methods there are special loopholes for special services. Previously, like PGP, they were untwisted as absolutely no-hacking code for anyone, but perhaps Mossad has more than once put Philipp Zimmermann in a pose. I don’t remember exactly, but Zimmerman seemed to be forced to leave the United States because of his program.
  6. Obliterator
    Obliterator 11 June 2013 12: 10
    I don’t understand completely the tantrums about this PRISM and surveillance of citizens. It seems that people were born just yesterday and don’t know what world they live in. We have the same thing - in the law on the ARD, among the list of operational-search measures there are such as:
    Control of mail, telegraph and other messages.
    Listening to telephone conversations.
    Removing information from technical communication channels.
    And it is clear that if the telecom operator or Internet provider does not provide relevant information to the authorities carrying out the ARD, at the first request, it has an unmistakable chance to lose the license to carry out its activities.
  7. cartridge
    cartridge 11 June 2013 12: 44
    Soviet Big Brother is just a dwarf compared to the American.
    1. Denis
      Denis 11 June 2013 15: 54
      Quote: cartridge
      Soviet Big Brother is just a dwarf in comparison with the American
      All moron a la Novodur army strongly disagree with you
  8. Scoun
    Scoun 11 June 2013 12: 45
    The United States and Hong Kong signed an extradition treaty back in 1996, one year before the former British colony was returned to China. The document came into force in 1998 year and provides that the Hong Kong authorities may detain a person for 60 days at the request of the United States - while Washington is preparing a formal request for extradition.

    "They are (Hong Kong) are not going to jeopardize their relationship with the United States because of Snowden ... "-
    "If you are an American citizen, then escaping from the United States is not an easy task."

    Hong Kong is under full control of China, and therefore the contract also provides for the waiver of extradition, which could damage China’s “defense, foreign affairs, essential public interests or politics”.

    In addition, Snowden’s defense, lawyers say, may be based on a lack of “Double crime”: for the person to be extradited, the alleged act must be a crime in both countries.

    However, Anello believes that in Hong Kong will find a local law that is "very similar" to American Espionage law.

    Apparently, playing on all these contradictions, China will force the guy to give out more secrets, including that regarding the CIA residency.
  9. Grigorich 1962
    Grigorich 1962 11 June 2013 12: 56
    It is urgent to declare Snowden a citizen of RUSSIA ...... we need a special program-bill in Russia for such cases ..... People like Snowden must be attracted to RUSSIA by any means. This will only benefit ... and democracy in the United States .... and a trump card in international affairs ... and much more ..... holders of classified information and their work for us ... let it be to the right decision-making in future
  10. Averias
    Averias 11 June 2013 14: 22
    Quote from the article: "Here, says Snowden, all that is needed is" good, old-fashioned police work ... ""

    What kind of police are you talking about? Is this about this?

    New York state lawmakers seem to have taken a shark jump by enacting a recent police protection law.
    Act 2402 of the Senate of New York, in fact, made a class E felony - "irritation" of the so-called law enforcers.

    The law, in particular, says:
    “A person is guilty of aggravating insult to a police officer or policeman if that person acts with the intention of insulting, annoying, scaring or alarming a person about whom he or she knows or should know that he is a police officer or policeman who performs his official duties duties if he or she strikes, pushes, kicks, or otherwise comes into physical contact with him. ”

    An example of how the law works: "A 14-year-old Florida resident was knocked to the ground and nearly strangled for so little as throwing 'inhuman gazes' at police."
    1. Che
      Che 11 June 2013 19: 44
      Yes, America is experiencing the heyday of the dictatorship of shit democracy, pushing it ... But this fascist entity will disappear, maybe everyone will be better.
  11. 128mgb
    128mgb 11 June 2013 15: 52
    Well, who will say after that that the USA is not a “police state”?
  12. mark021105
    mark021105 11 June 2013 17: 04
    So they have their own "Suvorov-Rezuns" ...
  13. El13
    El13 11 June 2013 18: 05
    I don’t understand what the fuss is about ... Nobody raises the panic that everywhere video cameras have been set up and you can monitor anyone whenever you want (well, you can’t do it at home), but accessing the Internet or using a telephone is like an exit to the street and there’s nothing offensive about it. Another question is how this information is used and processed and who has access to it, but what they write is not bad.
  14. Galinanp
    Galinanp 11 June 2013 19: 04
    Wash another dirty trick from the arsenal of the Anglo-Saxons, the same with Assange. About cyber espionage is not news, but for the rest of the details of the action, like Stanislavsky: "I don't believe it!"
  15. Roman_999
    Roman_999 11 June 2013 22: 36
    States go worse spiral to the bottom, worse than the USSR. But in general, precisely repeating the fall, and - I note We are as active as the states at the time, we do not help them THEY ARE falling. From this we draw a final conclusion, that the battle of the titans that was considered to be over with the end of the Cold War, the split in the USSR and the withdrawal of the RSFSR from so many positions - NOT FINISHED. That virus of totalitarianism, paranoid suspicion, boundless greed and the desire to command the World that it has been outlined, developed and reached its climax during the Epochal Confrontation of SUPER POWER, is appearing in the states right now - when they have no counterweight and there is no brain doctor who is the USSR doctor. The total result of the states was owed to My homeland to its strength and power, the false justification of its strategies - it was Our position in the World that gave them a legitimate opportunity to nod in our direction and tell the horrors of communism and the red plague - without forgetting, of course, to receive appropriations from Congress and NOT SMALL.
    But now there is no Us - as a single continental Power, as the only counterbalance - and here is a logical continuation of the already unlimited acceptance of the sweetest drug - UNLIMITED POWER, power to command without looking back .... The States are losing all those "bonuses" that have historically formed with them, they are slowly but surely following the disastrous and criminal path of the world tyrant, the usurper, losing more and more the last legitimacy of their actions.

    At an interesting time, we live. I don’t even know whether to be happy or upset - right now the tectonic shifts of the world social, economic, political and power vectors of the Office are taking place, the World has never been so intertwined and dependent on all its constituent parts. In fact, figuratively speaking, the Golden Horde, Great Rome, the British colonial and modern neocolonial systems, World Imperialism and Fascism are collapsing right now, and all this at once, over a historically insignificant period of time, with the power to destroy many times ALL living things on the Planet - That's it at THIS TIME WE LIVE.
  16. Ulysses
    Ulysses 12 June 2013 10: 23
    The system continues to improve ??
  17. Ironronin
    Ironronin 12 June 2013 19: 38
    After all these incidents, sales of 1984 suddenly jumped 7000%. To be honest, I thought that all this news about the disclosure of secret documents was just shaking the air and would not change anything, but if you believe these numbers, then it made people think about it.

    PS those who have not read it, be sure to read it.
  18. Fofan
    Fofan 12 June 2013 23: 38
    honestly, I’m xs, I could refuse 200 thousand bucks a year, working for the Russian government. either a really good person, or they went too far in the anb.
    1. carbofo
      carbofo 14 June 2013 23: 01
      Sooner or later, there is always a person who cares, and he is not afraid of persecution.
      Only such people usually do not live long.
      And so we live in fear for our own soldering :(
  19. Backfire
    Backfire 13 June 2013 07: 31
    In vain rejoice and not that.

    I think no one doubts that such a drain does not occur on its own. And his life (and very good one) in the toilet, as this guy did, at age 29 no one just throws away.

    This is a run over Obama, because he did not want to drag the United States into the war in Syria. For the fact that he does not support Israel as they would like. For cutting the military budget.

    We noticed: everyone approved this "wiretapping" - both the previous administration and both chambers of Congress, and there is a court decision, albeit a secret one, but there is, but immediately - an impeachment to Obama. Without trial, without "smooth" development of events, unwinding the tangle of the investigation. They are in a hurry because they have almost no time left.