British gov’t: Snowden hauled off a lot more than US thinks

posted at 7:01 pm on August 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

After getting reams of bad press for detaining Glenn Greenwald’s domestic partner at Heathrow Airport for almost nine hours under the Terrorist Act’s Schedule 7, the British government got a chance to make its case in court today for why they stopped him at all.  The hearing turned out to be very educational, as testimony indicates that the cache stolen by Edward Snowden from the NSA may be much larger than anyone has estimated so far, and includes around 58,000 documents belonging to British intelligence, too.  Furthermore, the government alleges that the material carried by Miranda could have exposed its intelligence operatives in dangerous assignments, if seized:

British authorities revealed Friday that NSA leaker Edward Snowden took at least three times as many highly sensitive documents as previously reported, and possibly far more.

At a court hearing in London the government told a judge that David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was carrying 58,000 documents related to British intelligence on electronic devices when he was stopped and searched at Heathrow airport on August 18. The government also said it believed the documents had been “stolen” from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British counterpart of the NSA. …

In a signed statement revealed at Friday’s hearing, a detective superintendent with the Counter-Terrorism  branch of the Metropolitan Police said that the material on an “external hard drive” seized from him “discloses approximately 58,000 UK documents of the highest level of classification.”

Previous estimates of Snowden’s cache put the total closer to 20,000, although these are just guesstimates at best.  The NSA, as it turns out, didn’t have the kind of controls in place for them to know just how much Snowden managed to purloin while working in two consecutive jobs as a contractor to the agency.  Of course, the NSA also didn’t have enough security in place to keep the files from being stolen in the first place, which would have been a little more helpful.

That’s not to say Snowden and his allies are all that much better at operational security. Had other intelligence services managed to intercept Miranda and steal his material, they would have found it pretty easy to decrypt some of it:

The government was able to decrypt some of the files using a code found on a piece of paper carried by Miranda, but is struggling to decrypt the rest.

“So far only 75 documents have been reconstructed” into a legible format, said the statement. “This represents only a tiny fraction of what was seized.” …

In a separate statement to the court, Oliver Robbins, Britain’s deputy national security advisor for intelligence, chided Miranda for carrying a password on a piece of paper. “The fact that … claimant was carrying on his person a handwritten piece of paper containing the password for one of the encrypted files,” said Robbins, “is a sign of very poor information security practice.”

The Telegraph headlined that development, and notes that the British government got more time from the court to continue looking at the data, and whether to prosecute Miranda — under the Terrorism Act, as it turns out:

In a written statement handed to the High Court in London, a senior Cabinet Office security adviser said it showed “very poor judgment” by David Miranda and other people associated with him.

Senior judges agreed to issue a court order which allows Scotland Yard to continue to examine data from nine electronic devices seized from Mr Miranda on August 18.

But the terms of the order were widened so police have specific permission to analyse whether Mr Miranda, and others, have breached the Official Secrets Acts or a section of the Terrorism Act 2000 which make it an offence to possess information which may be useful to terrorists.

The government has been forced to assume that copies of the information held by Mr Snowden, who worked for the US National Security Agency, are now in the hands of foreign governments after his travel to Moscow via Hong Kong, Mr Robbins said.

Disclosure of the material could put the lives of British intelligence agents or their families at risk, the court heard, and the general public could also be endangered if details about intelligence operations or methods fell into the wrong hands.

Joshua Foust connects a few dots in an update, after running down an impressive list of details from the hearing:

Another Telegraph journalist, Tim Stanley, also pointed out some important inconsistencies between Miranda’s initial statements about his detention and how he describes it now. For example, right after Miranda’s detention, Greenwald said he did not have a decryption key. Twitter @snarkamendment discovered it:

@FlexYourRights He only gave up the pws to his Facebook and email accounts, which reveal nothing. They threatened him w/prison if he didn’t.

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 20, 2013

Like many statements he has made over the past two months, further details throws doubt on its veracity.

Either way, if the government’s description of the data is true — so far Greenwald’s vague assertion that it’s a “lie” is about all that contradicts it — then Greenwald and Poitras have potentially life-threatening information in their possession. When compared with Greenwald’s threats to punish the UK government for his husband’s detention, I would imagine the British government is rather angry and worried.

Stay tuned.


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So again this was Bush’s fault ….right?

CW on August 30, 2013 at 7:09 PM

And the Russians and Chinese have all of them. Putin’s probably sharing some of them with Assad right now. The Iranians as well.

rbj on August 30, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Yeah, this is gonna get a lot worse.

BallisticBob on August 30, 2013 at 7:12 PM

In a separate statement to the court, Oliver Robbins, Britain’s deputy national security advisor for intelligence, chided Miranda for carrying a password on a piece of paper. “The fact that … claimant was carrying on his person a handwritten piece of paper containing the password for one of the encrypted files,” said Robbins, “is a sign of very poor information security practice.”

Idiotic. This is like criticizing a bank robber for not stacking the different denominations separately.

slickwillie2001 on August 30, 2013 at 7:14 PM

British gov’t: Snowden hauled off a lot more than US thinks

…the US stopped thinking at around the year 2009!

KOOLAID2 on August 30, 2013 at 7:17 PM

My original assessment…”either the most inept whistle blower of our time or the most brazen spy of our time” has shifted to the latter.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 7:17 PM

uh oh.

Snowden may be the gift that keeps on giving.

novaculus on August 30, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Yeah, this is gonna get a lot worse.

BallisticBob on August 30, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Or better. Depending on if you are on the side of tyranny or on the side of freedom.
I really do not see Al Qeada ever placing me under tyranny.

astonerii on August 30, 2013 at 7:19 PM

The Regime already knows what Snowden has or hasn’t got they’re just dependent on secret court judges of easy virtue, WH bureaucrats and shills at the Ass. Press to keep things quiet.

viking01 on August 30, 2013 at 7:20 PM

You know how the US and UK could prevent comprehensive information on their citizens’ private communications from falling into the hands of China and Russia? By not collecting it in themfirst place!

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 7:23 PM

The Regime already knows what Snowden has or hasn’t got they’re just dependent on secret court judges of easy virtue, WH bureaucrats and shills at the Ass. Press to keep things quiet.

viking01 on August 30, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I might have agreed until I read this:

Snowden Impersonated NSA Officials, Sources Say

slickwillie2001 on August 30, 2013 at 7:26 PM

NSA spying on ordinary citizens: Ok.

Ordinary citizen spies on NSA: Bad.

I haven’t made up my mind about Snowden, but it sure looks like poetic justice so far.

The Rogue Tomato on August 30, 2013 at 7:34 PM

You know how the US and UK could prevent comprehensive information on their citizens’ private communications from falling into the hands of China and Russia? By not collecting it in themfirst place!

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 7:23 PM

:) ummm, not collecting information about our agents in the field and their operations/missions?? :) kinda beats the purpose now, doesn’t it… In case you missed it, apparently that’s type of info Snowden stole and that was carried by Miranda on memory sticks with passwords written on his palms, or on notes in his bags….mow, for someone that ‘bright’ and savvy as Miranda and his concubin Greenwald, am surprised they didn’t tatoo the passwords on his butt cheecks …maybe Poitras will try that, am sure the TSA agents would be delighted to descipher search for and them :), had she venture on a trip to the US…

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

The NSA has been paying tech companies with our money to keep PRISM a secret.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/23/nsa-paid-internet-firms-surveillance-prism/2693701/

Oh, and to try to save face, MS and Google are trying to sue the US gov.

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-and-google-to-sue-government-over-transparency-7000020076/?utm_medium=App.net&utm_source=PourOver

MS and Google are our enemies.

jawkneemusic on August 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Snowden Impersonated NSA Officials, Sources Say

slickwillie2001 on August 30, 2013 at 7:26 PM

It’s okay. Barky is impersonating president for Al Qaeda.

viking01 on August 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

the cache stolen by Edward Snowden from the NSA may be much larger than anyone has estimated so far, and includes around 58,000 documents belonging to British intelligence, too

So the British government has been scrooming their people even more than thought too.

VorDaj on August 30, 2013 at 7:44 PM

It’s okay. Barky is impersonating president for Al Qaeda.

viking01 on August 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

r
… and the Muslim Brotherhood … and the Black KKK.

VorDaj on August 30, 2013 at 7:46 PM

It’s okay. Barky is impersonating president for Al Qaeda.

viking01 on August 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

…isn’t that true!

KOOLAID2 on August 30, 2013 at 7:46 PM

I would imagine the British government is rather angry and worried.

Maybe those dolts shouldn’t have placed their big secrets where they were so easy to get at.

VorDaj on August 30, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Disclosure of the material could put the lives of British intelligence agents or their families at risk,

Then why did they put secrets like that where so many people could get to them?

VorDaj on August 30, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Looks like we’re going to have to get some new secrets.

trigon on August 30, 2013 at 7:56 PM

:) ummm, not collecting information about our agents in the field and their operations/missions?? …

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

When the field the agents are in is their own country, that’s right. Spy agencies are for spying on foreign countries, not vacuuming up information on their own citizens with unconstitutional general warrants.

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Team Edward.

TheDriver on August 30, 2013 at 8:01 PM

VorDaj on August 30, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Enamored with high-tech solutions…and fancy machines thsat go bleep and lights that flash…the intel community went “paperless” as both a cost saving measure and to bring intel into the 21st century.

Conveneience over security.

The reason why both Snowden and Manning could easily do so much damage.

One can hide a USB stick in a pair of cufflinks…easily. matter of fact the International Spy Museum in DC sells them in the gift shop as a novelty. About $75 a pair.

The best cover for a spy is to have a valid reason to be there…so an IT guy, or an analyst or documents custodian is a very valuable recruitment for a hostile spy service. Don’t waste time recruiting the General…recruit his staff assistant…or code clerk or the guy who runs the message center. Standard trade craft.

Going high-tech makes the job easy.

Having only controlled paper files, with sign in and sign out regimens in place and close supervision and document control would have prevented nearly all of what both Snowden and Manning were able to accomplish.

Why supervisory personnel…trick chiefs…managers…branch chiefs or division chiefs in both the Snowden and Manning cases have not been rounded up and charged for neglect and endangering SCI…astounds me.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 8:03 PM

…Why supervisory personnel…trick chiefs…managers…branch chiefs or division chiefs in both the Snowden and Manning cases have not been rounded up and charged for neglect and endangering SCI…astounds me.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Hold a government bureaucrat accountable? You must be mad, sir, simply mad! Have you no respect for your betters!

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Who’s fault is this, exactly?

Putin laughs because he can.

Worst admin. in all of history.

Carter is redeemed, many times over and Nixon too.

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2013 at 8:09 PM

And, with Syria, Dick Cheney is redeemed.

Note, not one azzhat from the left are here today to defend their oaf in chief.

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2013 at 8:09 PM

n s a

U S A

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2013 at 8:18 PM

World, you sheepleton, in the USA too, you cheered for obama.

You got him!!!

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Jeebus… the more I hear about this hero… the more I luv him…. pretty Snowden is gonna git my leg all tingly

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 30, 2013 at 8:23 PM

:) ummm, not collecting information about our agents in the field and their operations/missions?? …

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

When the field the agents are in is their own country, that’s right. Spy agencies are for spying on foreign countries, not vacuuming up information on their own citizens with unconstitutional general warrants.

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Yes, coz we know that spies ‘hide’ in foreign countries alone and they can never be on the US territory or they can never be US citizens, god forbid….say, field agents shadows or infiltrate a terror cell in the US – according to you this it not legit? And no info should be collected?

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 8:27 PM

You know how the US and UK could prevent comprehensive information on their citizens’ private communications from falling into the hands of China and Russia? By not collecting it in the first place!

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 7:23 PM

That wasn’t what these jerks were carrying. The Soviets and the Chinese could care less about anything in Prism. What they care about are intelligence means and methods — and the names of anyone the US has “turned”.

You can bet that we’ve been damaged.

I’m hoping Snowden and everyone else in this sorry mess is put away for a long time. I’m very Doc Hudson on this, although I’d be inclined to let three or four jails rot around them if that’s what it takes.

unclesmrgol on August 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Why supervisory personnel…trick chiefs…managers…branch chiefs or division chiefs in both the Snowden and Manning cases have not been rounded up and charged for neglect and endangering SCI…astounds me.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Or, say, at least Booz Allen lose their contract with the govt. Even that didn’t happen, it boggles the mind.

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 8:27 PM

That’s right, a general warrant on our own citizens is never legitimate. I am not interested in living in a police state so I can have a “little temporary safety”.

Certainly spies should spy, and collect info on our enemies. This does not describe the current activities of the NSA.

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Enamored with high-tech solutions…and fancy machines thsat go bleep and lights that flash…the intel community went “paperless” as both a cost saving measure and to bring intel into the 21st century.

Conveneience [sic] over security.

The reason why both Snowden and Manning could easily do so much damage.

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 8:03 PM

When the rest of the world is tweeting and facebooking and using high-tech solutions, you sort of have to grow past using a pad and pencil to take note of the world…

And when the nexus of terrorist communications sits on servers in the United States, you have to look at every bit of traffic that comes into our borders from outside of them — and vice versa.

If we were using pads and pencils, we’d still be looking for the Boston Bombers. Or maybe not — maybe they would have been caught when they blew up Times Square or something.

unclesmrgol on August 30, 2013 at 8:37 PM

That wasn’t what these jerks were carrying…

unclesmrgol on August 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM

In reality, we don’t know exactly what they were carrying. Likely they were carrying that and more. Yes, Miranda is a jerk, and worse. But he doesn’t hold a position of trust in my government; I have low expectations of his character.

Employees of the NSA etc. ate another matter entirely. I am paying them to spy on me, to blatantly implement a police state in front of my eyes. Long term that will do far more damage to the US and our way of life than anything Snowden has stolen.

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Given how easily Snowden got this material I suspect that the Russians and Chinese have had this information for years. They seemed strangely uninterested in what Snowden had when he was available to them if it was as valuable as the British say.

sharrukin on August 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

The Chicago files?

Mason on August 30, 2013 at 8:54 PM

unclesmrgol on August 30, 2013 at 8:37 PM

The proliferation of “fusion centers” makes the job of espionage even easier, for fusion centers are not manned by just CIA personnel, but personnel from all over government, some with full background checks and TS/SCI clearances, some with less, some with mere temporary or provisional clearances for specific programs..all under the same roof, all in the same office.

In what was once the Directorate of Operations, individual offices and branches had separate computers…and NONE were interlinked between offices even within the Directorate. Then along comes the National Clandestine Service…case officers from CIA and operators from the militasry and other “intel” agencies within the US government…and still…other than in the fusion centers or task groups…there is no wire linkage between offices.

Good secure operations real HUMINT can be done without having skads of fancy computers and interwebs and that garbage…and should be…but that requires officers to know their area, be read up on their area, know assets, now agents, know developmentals and be able to scoot around various locales around the world without maps and looking like a tourist out for the first time….and that worked well and should still.

But, since 9-11, seems HUMINT is run with all the subtlety of a combat brigade jumping the FEBA…

The bulk of CIA’s funding goes to operations, the classic covert stuff…and much is being wasted…simply buying agents as one would buy a “date” in a fancy gentlemens’ club in Patpong or on Kaiserstrasse.

On the analysis side…things are a lot more lax, even have a regular rotation of college professors and even graduate students “doing research” coming and going in and out routinely…just have different letters on their badges or different ID burned into the badges to be scanned entering or leaving the building.

Bigger is not always better…and since 9-11 is is getting worse each years…over 100,000 government employees under the umbrella of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence,,,and probably double that working as contractors for an entire alphabet of different private/quasi government firms….covering all sorts of targets and areas and such.

And we can’t even figure out that young men, here oin refugee visas are going to and from the “hostile” country from which they sought refuge…and are openly engaged in activities detrimental to our security.

I’ve worked all over the community starting in the 1970′s here and abroad…until the late 1990′s…and you know…the culture is getting farther and farther away from intelligence and more and more toward flash and pizzaz…haven’t recruited a code clerk in Damascus, but boy howdie, have cwe got a Power Point briefing that’ll knock your socks off…the graphics are just killer, hellabad…awessome.

That is not intel.

That is bureaucracy run wild.

And it doesn’t come cheap.

NBut if you are spending 20 million a yeat on a small program…consistently…then you are probably doing sa good job…you’d have to be…”they” wouldn’t be giving you the funding year after year if you weren’t. right?

And the establishment, staffing and funding of the ODNI simply made matters far far worse than they were prior to 9-11.

So…where did you hang your hat in the intel world?

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Given how easily Snowden got this material I suspect that the Russians and Chinese have had this information for years. They seemed strangely uninterested in what Snowden had when he was available to them if it was as valuable as the British say.

sharrukin on August 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

And if they did, do you think they are that stupid to announce loudly and enthusiastically their level of interest to the world, via the press or the Greenwalds of the world :)…thats usually American-style idiocy, not exactly the Russian or even the Chinese way…

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

And if they did, do you think they are that stupid to announce loudly and enthusiastically their level of interest to the world

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

The information is compromised whether they announce it or not. No intelligence agency is going to proceed thinking that any information exposed to the enemy might not be in their hands. There is little reason for them not to grab the material if it was that vital.

Given the lack security at the NSA they probably have most of it anyway.

sharrukin on August 30, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Not wishing to be too picky but unlike Ed, I don’t believe in incorrectly stating the facts:

Police who seized documents from #miranda found among them a piece of paper with the decryption password, the statement says

This password allowed them to decrypt one file on his seized hard drive, adds Oliver Robbins, Cabinet Office security adviser


Hmmmmmmmmm
… it turns out the other 57,999 are still encrypted.

Except … if there are a total of 58,000 documents and the GCHQ claims 58,000 of them are their secrets … does that mean Edward Snowden’s partner was only in possesion of British secrets???

PolAgnostic on August 30, 2013 at 9:28 PM

He got a lot more than you think he did. And he is probably not the only one.

Someone with skills probably has some serious NSA collected dirt.

dogsoldier on August 30, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Given how easily Snowden got this material I suspect that the Russians and Chinese have had this information for years. They seemed strangely uninterested in what Snowden had when he was available to them if it was as valuable as the British say.

sharrukin on August 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

And if they did, do you think they are that stupid to announce loudly and enthusiastically their level of interest to the world, via the press or the Greenwalds of the world :)…thats usually American-style idiocy, not exactly the Russian or even the Chinese way…

jimver on August 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM


Given the mind boggling credulity and butt kissing cravenness of the Kneepad Media,
would it not make sense that one of the following statements is undeniably true:

A) The NSA has computer security in place that is MUCH WORSE than your average run of the mill bank. Virtually every banking account for any corporation not only requires a unique username & high security confidence password (i.e. no plain words, numbers & special characters required) but also has a one-off, mated-to-the-account keyfob which generates a constantly changing PIN required to be entered within a few seconds after correctly entering the username and password – without which, the account gets logged and immediately flagged for a security audit.

Under THIS scenario, where the NSA is operating a laughably insecure system, the Russians, Chinese and Anonymous would already have every shred of information on every NSA system.

OR

B) Snowden is merely the front man for someone with THE highest levels of security access and was recruited by an appeal to his vanity, greed and/or patriotism so the mole could continue in place.

Because of ALL the sundry BS to be “leaked” to the media, the idea that a system administrator just creates his own “impersonation accounts” and can then tiptoe in & out without leaving a trace is something only the willfully ignorant (i.e. Kneepad Media) would not immediately see through as ludicrous beyond belief.

Seriously, folks – it’s either A or B.

And once people start paying attention to THAT inescapable conclusion, the SCOAMF and his co-conspirators will have to create a new emergency to distract everyone from that fact.

PolAgnostic on August 30, 2013 at 9:51 PM

He got a lot more than you think he did. And he is probably not the only one.

Someone with skills probably has some serious NSA collected dirt.

dogsoldier on August 30, 2013 at 9:43 PM


Once upon a time, in a another life …

… I caught people like Snowden when it was FAR easier for them to hack things than it is now.

… and later, I caught the corporation I worked for when they were trying to hack my home computer while it was tied into their system …

… so stop and consider, “Why are you trusting what the media is telling you about HOW Snowden got information, when at the same time WHAT Snowden has provided is proving YOU CAN’T TRUST ANYONE?

PolAgnostic on August 30, 2013 at 9:59 PM

He got a lot more than you think he did. And he is probably not the only one.

Someone with skills probably has some serious NSA collected dirt.

dogsoldier on August 30, 2013 at 9:43 PM

.
BTW, I do not doubt Snowden has a TON of stuff.

I am trying to get folks on here to use their critical thinking skills and ask questions like:

1) If Snowden was doing everything so undetectably – why did he leave in such a high profile manner?

2) If Snowden was trying to damage the United States – why didn’t he just set up multiple, automated uploads to a wide variety of servers on Dark Net with instructions to replicate out onto the internet?

3) If Snowden is SUCH a genius rather than somebody’s front man – why didn’t he immediately go to a country that does not extradite people to the U.S.???

Snowden …its’ how you spell D I V E R S I O N

PolAgnostic on August 30, 2013 at 10:12 PM

I understand from Edward Snowden, that when he was working for the NSA, his Bosses had the mantra **collect it ALL** … and he was told not to worry about any pesky law wrt the issue

so … that makes me wonder what young Ed might have decided to collect about …say …. Barry Soetero … and say …. Valerie Jarret

it would be a tremendously welcome surprise if he has a shock or 2 pending, wrt this question, would it not?

wouldn’t it be simply sweet for Constitutional America if Barry has to flee with his dependents,….. to asylum in Africa

I have been considering what reason the non-BULLSCHMIDTER, LTC West might have had to use this particular language, in a FB post a month or so, ago …

“Obama said he would fundamentally transform America. The time draws near to teach this usurper and charlatan the lesson our forefathers taught King George III. We will not be ruled by arrogance and edict. ”

~ LTC Allen West

won’t it be AWESOME if the next Snowden Document Leak drops the ‘deceptive’ Usurper and Charlatan right in the DEEP DOO DOO?

LOL x 1000

#BeClingers —————-> #AmericaRISING

exodus2011 on August 30, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Or, say, at least Booz Allen lose their contract with the govt. Even that didn’t happen, it boggles the mind.jimver on August 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM

What would that solve? The company had nothing to do with what Snowden did. Don’t forget he also worked for the cia. He’s just another resume that had clearance and qualifications but no one knew he was a “bad apple” until the deed was done.

AH_C on August 30, 2013 at 10:52 PM

So the British government has been scrooming their people even more than thought too.

VorDaj on August 30, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The only way it all makes sense is to view these governments and political parties as criminal gangs. If we quit feeding them, it’s all over for them.

But we continue to delude ourselves in the belief that since the Constitution and the Magna Carta mean much to us they must have some kind of innate power because they simply exist, that these documents are some kind of magical protection against being robbed and enslaved.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 30, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Fruit of the poisonous tree.

iwasbornwithit on August 31, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 30, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Well said. It’s startling how much faith some here have in their governments.

iwasbornwithit on August 31, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Also, maybe people are finally understanding he is a traitor.

rlwo2008 on August 31, 2013 at 1:36 AM

PolAgnostic on August 30, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Certainly there could be lots of stuff going on that we don’t know about. Most likely is. And Snowden could be a dupe, but it’s just speculation. Not that it’s implausible, but sometimes people just do things that seem stupid in hindsight. Why did he make a big splash and why didn’t he choose a better country (better for him) to flee to? I could come up with a bunch of plausible reasons that don’t involve a partner. In fact, when you’re acting alone you tend to make more rookie mistakes, not fewer.

Fenris on August 31, 2013 at 1:40 AM

I am pro snowden, while his actions might damage our intelligence capabilities, fact is, he exposed a monster growing almost unchecked and i don’t trust any of our politicians to keep control of that monster

nathor on August 31, 2013 at 1:54 AM

From the very first of this story, I have cautioned about accepting anything Snowden or Greenwald claimed at face value. Greenwald because he is a known serial liar and deceiver who hates the US, defaulted on his state taxes, and a relentlessly exaggerating self-promoter, and Snowden because he chose Greenwald as his contact instead of whistleblower protection, pro-privacy congress members like Rand Paul, or a respected new outlet.

Nothing I have seen since – none of it – changes that opinion. Notice that only the first tiny fraction of info they leaked has anything at all to do with the privacy of US citizens even though that was the hype. Most of it qualifies as foreign intel, including sources and methods, which is just good old-fashioned espionage.

They should never have let Miranda go, the courier is part of a criminal spy conspiracy. Who was the Soviet spy we caught smuggling microfilmed secrets hidden in a hollow nickel, was it Harry Gold? If he had given the nickel to his lover would we have let her go when we found it?

Adjoran on August 31, 2013 at 1:58 AM

Snowden is a young and courageous American …a whistleblower who is loyal to The Constitution FIRST rather than the currently CORRUPT Govt

He selected the documents to leak very carefully, so that only the CORRUPTOCRATS would be damaged, and not people put at risk, or national security compromised

very clever indeed

If the Bushie NEOCONS R guilty of also conducting ILLEGAL SPYING on Americans via NSA before Obama ramped it up ON STEROIDS they must ALL BE EXPOSED, and dealt with by The Law

Stay with Snowden America! …the one who has exposed the TRAMPLING of your 4th Amendment RIGHTS!

#BeClingers ———> #AmericaRISING

exodus2011 on August 31, 2013 at 3:31 AM

The government was able to decrypt some of the files using a code found on a piece of paper carried by Miranda, but is struggling to decrypt the rest.

“So far only 75 documents have been reconstructed” into a legible format, said the statement. “This represents only a tiny fraction of what was seized.” …

In a separate statement to the court, Oliver Robbins, Britain’s deputy national security advisor for intelligence, chided Miranda for carrying a password on a piece of paper. “The fact that … claimant was carrying on his person a handwritten piece of paper containing the password for one of the encrypted files,” said Robbins, “is a sign of very poor information security practice.”

IRONY.

And, What about the “very poor security practice” at the NSA? You know, the ones that allowed Snowden to get all of the intel in the first place? Any touts on that?

mountainaires on August 31, 2013 at 6:51 AM

So has it been figured out yet as to whether Snowden is a traitor or a hero?

Bmore on August 31, 2013 at 8:04 AM

I seem to remember a discription of Snowdon as a low level employee, the kind that did drudge work. If so it must be a helluva security system over at the CIA, pick up all you can, top level, and run with it. There are supposed to be “need to know” requiremnts, as well as access levels according to clearnace type.
Guess not, and just another example of how government operates.
And idiots want to give the government more power ?

arand on August 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM

So has it been figured out yet as to whether Snowden is a traitor or a hero?

Bmore on August 31, 2013 at 8:04 AM

An interesting point really, which comes down to an opinion, and in this case the ‘traitor’ vs political party correlation I suspect is weak. Even those that call themselves libertarians are split.

slickwillie2001 on August 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM

“I feel absolutely secure here,” said Kuznetsov, who is just as confident that as long as Putin is in charge, Russia will not send Snowden back to the United States.

Other than mutual security in their adopted lands, Kuznetsov, 69, says he and Snowden, 30, have little in common. He describes the National Security Agency leaker, who was granted temporary asylum in Russia in July, as a traitor who voluntarily spilled U.S. secrets. He suspects that Snowden passed information to Russian in exchange for refuge.

“Personally, I have a negative opinion of Snowden: I don’t like traitors,” Kuznetsov said in Russian, through a translator. Kuznetsov says that his own case in Russia is politically motivated and that he never betrayed his homeland.

But the path that has led both men to find refuge far from home is similar, and it is one that infuriates both Moscow and Washington, who accuse each other of undercutting sovereignty in the name of political one-upmanship.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-russians-us-20130901,0,1088665.story

unclesmrgol on September 1, 2013 at 1:55 AM

Employees of the NSA etc. ate another matter entirely. I am paying them to spy on me, to blatantly implement a police state in front of my eyes. Long term that will do far more damage to the US and our way of life than anything Snowden has stolen.

Fenris on August 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

I don’t think they are spying on you — unless you are LOVINT — and that’s punished by the Government.

As for me, they are certainly welcome to squirrel away all the metadata on my phone conversations they want — if that will make it possible to prevent a terrorist from doing what was done on 9/11.

We are at war, and it’s a nasty thing. If my forebears had to endure censors during WWII, well — I can bear having my metadata scraped.

As for the content of my phone conversations, that’s still protected by warrant, and they still have to tell me that the warrant was issued. They might not have to tell me immediately, but they do have to tell me.

Now, come back and we’ll talk some more if either of us actually gets such a notification. But until we do, it’s tinfoil hat time.

unclesmrgol on September 1, 2013 at 2:01 AM

So…where did you hang your hat in the intel world?

coldwarrior on August 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Standard response, whether or not I’ve ever done anything: In order to tell you, I have to shoot you first.

unclesmrgol on September 1, 2013 at 2:04 AM

As for the content of my phone conversations, that’s still protected by warrant, and they still have to tell me that the warrant was issued. They might not have to tell me immediately, but they do have to tell me.

unclesmrgol on September 1, 2013 at 2:01 AM

If you honestly believe that, and are too blind to see the increase in tyranny as liberals misuse the Bush war powers more by the month, you are little better than an outright enemy.

MelonCollie on September 1, 2013 at 12:37 PM