Report: Snowden leaks affected terrorist behavior

posted at 1:01 pm on August 2, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

We’ve already seen people as high up the food chain as Jon Tester saying that Edward Snowden’s leaked material didn’t really hurt anything. But does that argument hold water? One report from a leading data firm claims to have done a very thorough investigation and concludes that al Qaida made some big changes to their communications protocols shortly after the Snowden material moved into the public domain.

According to a new report to be released Friday by big data firm Recorded Future , a direct connection can be drawn: Just months after the Snowden documents were released, al-Qaida dramatically changed the way its operatives interacted online.

“We saw at least three major product releases coming out with different organizations with al-Qaida and associated organizations fairly quickly after the Snowden disclosures,” said Recorded Future’s CEO and co-founder Christopher Ahlberg. “But we wanted to go deeper and see how big those changes were.”

By “product releases,” Ahlberg means new software. And for the first time, Recorded Future says, it can now codify just how big a change it was.

Through some reverse engineering magic, Recorded Future determined that the terrorists had been using a home grown encryption program called Mujahideen Secrets for the past seven years with only minor updates to the code. (To be thorough, I went and looked for Mujahideen Secrets on my Droid right after reading this story, but the Play Store doesn’t offer that app for Android.) But after the Snowden leaks dropped, things took a sudden turn.

As it turns out, Recorded Future and Reversing Labs discovered that al-Qaida didn’t just tinker at the edges of its seven-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it. The new programs no longer use much of what’s known as “homebrew,” or homemade algorithms. Instead, al-Qaida has started incorporating more sophisticated open-source code to help disguise its communications.

None of this sounds terribly surprising and likely just serves as confirmation that the terrorists are keenly aware of international news headlines and respond to whatever information they can get accordingly. It’s also worth noting – as another analyst in the story mentions – that this isn’t absolute proof of a causal relationship between the two events. It’s possible that they just felt the software was long past due for an overhaul and would have done it anyway. But that’s relying awfully heavily on coincidence.

Of course, the real questions about the Snowden leaks go unanswered in this report. The fact that they upgraded their software is interesting, but what we still don’t know – and may never know, for obvious reasons – is how much other damage was done. How many agents had to be moved around or removed for protection? How many foreign informants supplying us with information were compromised, or simply disappeared? What opportunities were lost which our intelligence agencies clearly can’t talk about in public?

If you still think Snowden was a hero, read through this report and ask yourself those questions. Yes, there are big questions about the NSA and its practices – particularly regarding US citizens – which deserve answers. But Snowden went a lot further than just that and he’s not just a whistle blower.


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Comment pages: 1 2

LOL, and releasing *this* information is better than Snowden’s release (w/r to prompting changes in how AQ communicates)… how, exactly? Reading this, they won’t now change *again*?

FFS.

Midas on August 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Report: Snowden leaks affected terrorist behavior

No kidding. This has been known for awhile now.

The al Qaeda-affiliated, open-access website Ansar al Mujahidin posted several messages earlier this week expressing concern and urging terrorists to seek more secure electronic communications outlets.

Terrorists were critical of the Ansar al Mujahidin website administrators for not doing enough to warn members to the monitoring danger.

One jihadist identified as “Abu Muizz” stated that the NSA program is “very dangerous” as it can access email, chats, stored data, voice transfers, and social networking data. The program was a serious threat to jihadist media groups working through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.

In a troubling sign, the jihadist posted links to documents on the PRISM program. That is likely to allow terrorists to avoid or limit monitoring of Internet communications.

A second jihadist urged members of the al Qaeda forum to use software called Tor that can mask online identities and avoid discussing jihadist topics in online voice exchanges.

Another jihadist urged terrorists to use Jitsi, a software program that allows secure video and audio calls and another software called MorphVOX that can mask voices.

The website also included, in an indication that al Qaeda is reacting to the NSA disclosures, illustrations for secure communications from a person who is a member of the closed al Qaeda website Shumukh al-Islam.

Jihadists on Twitter also urged fellow terrorists to avoid using Windows and shift to Linux. One posting said Microsoft had become “one of the CIA’s most dangerous tools” for countering terrorists.

Stoic Patriot on August 2, 2014 at 1:06 PM

All stories around Snowden are ‘funny’.

Thank you Mr. Snowden.

If you want to live, stay in Russia, ironically.

Schadenfreude on August 2, 2014 at 1:07 PM

If you still think Snowden was a hero, read through this report and ask yourself those questions. Yes, there are big questions about the NSA and its practices – particularly regarding US citizens – which deserve answers. But Snowden went a lot further than just that and he’s not just a whistle blower.

Snowden is not an official whistleblower because he was offered no opportunity to be. The government made it impossible.

“there are big questions about the NSA and its practices”

What an understatement. You make it sounds like their lunch breaks weren’t long enough and he should have gone to HR.

Yes, he’s a hero, and your continual smearing of him is precisely what gives the government the cover to keep doing what they are doing and focusing on him instead of the insane things they are doing.

ebrawer on August 2, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Boy, if only Jazz had as much condemnation for all the leaks that have come from the White House and staff -with demonstrable enemy actions taken e.g. SEAL Team 6, then MAYBE I might think Snowden criticism had merit.

Any possible “help” Snowden’s info gave the enemy is more than offset by making it obvious that the govt has colluded with private industry to effectively run a Stasi spy operation on the American public.

MistyLane on August 2, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Oh stop with the hand-wringing already, Jazz. Our government has become the enemy of its citizens and snowden’s leaks just confirmed the extent of corruption and lawlessness we already suspected was occurring. Our own govt has become the enemy within, ignoring the constitution, ignoring laws, ignoring the stated will of the people with utter impunity and disregard for the consequences to a formerly free people. If that’s less important to you than what our declared external enemies have been doing, you are part of the problem too.

Harbingeing on August 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

How many agents had to be moved around or removed for protection? How many foreign informants supplying us with information were compromised, or simply disappeared? What opportunities were lost which our intelligence agencies clearly can’t talk about in public?

You sound like a 9/11 Truther. You know, just asking questions.

Aquateen Hungerforce on August 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Bah… another Psy-Op. If your enemy has a code that you can’t easily crack, convince them that you have cracked it and then convince them to use a code you can easily crack.

In other news, Trey Gowdy is setting Killary Klinton and the Obamanation Administration up in the exact same way.

oscarwilde on August 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Snowden is now the blueprint for all future Russian spies – when they get exposed, expose (or allege) nefarious goings-on aimed at US citizens to gain their sympathy.

Steve Eggleston on August 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM

OTOH, Arming AQ in Syria, Selling AWs to Sinaloa Cartel, and failure to reinforce the fight in Benghazi, no effect whatsoever.

Kenosha Kid on August 2, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Well, duh. EVERYTHING affects behavior. That’s the premise of advertising, which makes the economy go around. Even Obama saying “enhanced interrogation techniques” were in fact “torture” will affect behavior — to be used as an Al Qaeda recruiting tool. When the chairman of the Federal Reserve takes a crap, THAT affect behavior. When your spouse looks at you funny, THAT affects behavior.

And when there’s by far the largest amount of leaked intelligence and methods ever …

of COURSE that will affect behavior.

LashRambo on August 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM

It must be so hard to make Snowden a villain and a hero all at once.

Cindy Munford on August 2, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Just because Obama is a corrupt creep doesn’t mean we should be praising Snowden as a hero for what he did.

Jack_Burton on August 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Snowden may not be a hero, but what he did was a good thing.

DisneyFan on August 2, 2014 at 1:29 PM

this is what the traitors snowden and greenwald and their boss putin always wanted.

if snowden had really only been a whistleblower then he could have proven the case of nsa overreach with a few thousand files.

he stole millions.

he could have used the theft of those files to negotiate an immunity deal with the us senate in return for testimony – something us senators wyden and paul could have help to arrange.

instead he went to china and then russia with hopes of ending up in cuba. none are libertarian.

putin wanted to hobble the usa for his purposes – and if that meant helping islamists, then he could not care less.

postmodern leftist scum like greenwald and snowden so hate judeo-christian civilization that they would do anything to topple us – even help the islamists.

as a wiser man than me said:

“postmodern leftists are so devoted to their Gramscian war, that they don’t see their attacks on the west as suicidal. They think that the Islamic Caliphate will help them demolish the traditional Christian civilization that they believe unnecessarily and unfairly constrains the fullest expression of their libertinage. But they will find that Christian civilization was the only thing standing between them and a living hell on this earth.”

reliapundit on August 2, 2014 at 1:30 PM

So the terrorists upgraded to windows 8, therefore Snowden is bad, NSA good. How did they have time to adjust when they are so frantically on the run?

We need a thousand more Snowdens to come forward and show this jackbooted Republicrat crime syndicate for what it really is.

Would be nice if we had a Snowden at the IRS right now, woudn’t it?

He is a hero, plain and simple.

Exninja on August 2, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Just because Obama is a corrupt creep doesn’t mean we should be praising Snowden as a hero for what he did.

Jack_Burton on August 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

True, we should be praising Snowden because he’s a hero, not because Obama is a villain.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Thanks to Snowden everybody in the world has changed their behavior, me included: I switched to Linux and stopped using Skype, switching to Mumble instead. Not that Snowden is the same, but Jesus changed the world as well, altering the behavior of good and bad alike. That doesn’t make Jesus bad.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 1:35 PM

oscarwilde on August 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Nice article. Haven’t watched the video yet. I presume what you were talking about is in there.

gh on August 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I really boggle at all the love for a Russian spy. It’s clear that Snowden was employed by the Russians to gather U.S. intelligence secrets.

AngusMc on August 2, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Not sure why the terrorists would bother to change their behavior. DC has more important things to focus on, like spying into every aspect of every American’s personal life while deploying every technology to humiliate and subjugate all us “threats” … while providing suites full of flatscreens, buffets, and exercise facilities to lawbreakers who are too stupid to use a toilet properly but will nonetheless “jumpstart the economy” after they suck the teat of Uncle Sam for the next 300 years.

This country is shot.

Smegley on August 2, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Thanks to Snowden everybody in the world has changed their behavior, me included: I switched to Linux and stopped using Skype, switching to Mumble instead. Not that Snowden is the same, but Jesus changed the world as well, altering the behavior of good and bad alike. That doesn’t make Jesus bad.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I have locks on all of my kitchen counter canisters and lock all food cabinets.

hawkdriver on August 2, 2014 at 1:43 PM

OTOH, Arming AQ in Syria, Selling AWs to Sinaloa Cartel, and failure to reinforce the fight in Benghazi, no effect whatsoever.

Kenosha Kid on August 2, 2014 at 1:16 PM

I know, isn’t it strange that so many neocons that supported arming Jihadis in Libya, Syria and elsewhere, many of whom support amnesty and open-borders and the police/surveillance-state, have the gall to call Snowden a traitor? It’s called double-speak and/or projection.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM

OT – gas explosion in Taiwan

Schadenfreude on August 2, 2014 at 1:51 PM

us tinfoilers, who have been telling people for years the same stuff he told you, say FU for all the crap and welcome to club.
the traitor didn’t tell me anything new.
fk him and the journalist who rode him.

dmacleo on August 2, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Between Jazz Shaw and Noah Rothman I am seriously thinking sticking to Breitbart. Or starting my own blog.

ConstantineXI on August 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Would be nice if we had a Snowden at the IRS right now, woudn’t it?

Exninja on August 2, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Sure would, but no hero would ever work at the IRS, only the jackbooted dregs and sheep. There is nothing to do but to abolish the IRS from the outside.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 1:55 PM

oscarwilde on August 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Nice article. Haven’t watched the video yet. I presume what you were talking about is in there.

gh on August 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM

The video is Trey showing why he is so dangerous to those attempting to destroy America from the inside.

oscarwilde on August 2, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Between Jazz Shaw and Noah Rothman I am seriously thinking sticking to Breitbart. Or starting my own blog.

ConstantineXI on August 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Do it.

thebrokenrattle on August 2, 2014 at 1:58 PM

“We must record patriotic citizens’ every phone call, email, Internet activity, and credit card transaction because terrorists. Patriotic citizens do not mind this because security. Anyone who exposes this, criticizes it, complains about it, or doesn’t like it, is helping the terrorists, spreading venereal diseases, and is an enemy of Big Brother.”

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Not sure why the terrorists would bother to change their behavior. DC has more important things to focus on, like spying into every aspect of every American’s personal life while deploying every technology to humiliate and subjugate all us “threats” … while providing suites full of flatscreens, buffets, and exercise facilities to lawbreakers who are too stupid to use a toilet properly but will nonetheless “jumpstart the economy” after they suck the teat of Uncle Sam for the next 300 years.

I agree. The lawless, illigetimate Regime in DC is more concerned with preventing threats to its power than it is terrorism. Indeed, DC sees those who do not support the eternal expansion of its own totalitarian power as the terrorists.

ConstantineXI on August 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

The moral of this story is that the US government shouldn’t spy on its own citizens. If the US government hadn’t done so, nobody would have exposed anything, because there would be nothing to expose.

The Rogue Tomato on August 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM

In case you haven’t noticed, the regime doesn’t exactly smile favorably on whistle blowers. Just ask those VA doctors how well that worked out. Maybe Snowden is just on the wrong side of history.

Kissmygrits on August 2, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Thanks to Snowden everybody in the world has changed their behavior, me included: I switched to Linux and stopped using Skype, switching to Mumble instead. Not that Snowden is the same, but Jesus changed the world as well, altering the behavior of good and bad alike. That doesn’t make Jesus bad.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I’ve heard that tin-foil works effectively as well…

thebrokenrattle on August 2, 2014 at 2:02 PM

If you still think Snowden was a hero, read through this report and ask yourself those questions. Yes, there are big questions about the NSA and its practices – particularly regarding US citizens – which deserve answers. But Snowden went a lot further than just that and he’s not just a whistle blower.

More proof that those who still think Snowden is some sort of a here are idiots (well intentioned or otherwise). They fail to recognize the fact that the number one rule in the IC is that you don’t give up information on means and capabilities. Snowden put NSA’s “keys to the kingdom” on the front page. But he didn’t just stop there, he also detailed the way NSA activities were funded.

But for some incomprehensible reason there the idiots remain ready to erect a statue to Snowden and strike a medal in his honor. Benedict Arnold should be less reviled that Edward Snowden.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Sure would, but no hero would ever work at the IRS, only the jackbooted dregs and sheep. There is nothing to do but to abolish the IRS from the outside.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Exactly. No patriot would WANT to work for the IRS. I could see work at the NSA drawing someone naive enough to think that the agency works to protect the American People, but never the IRS….

ConstantineXI on August 2, 2014 at 2:04 PM

“We must record patriotic citizens’ every phone call, email, Internet activity, and credit card transaction because terrorists. Patriotic citizens do not mind this because security. Anyone who exposes this, criticizes it, complains about it, or doesn’t like it, is helping the terrorists, spreading venereal diseases, and is an enemy of Big Brother.”

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Lois Lerner weaponized the IRS. Edward Snowden weaponized the NSA and handed the weapon over to our enemies. You are in fact are an enemy of the state if you laud Snowden’s actions.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

The moral of this story is that the US government shouldn’t spy on its own citizens. If the US government hadn’t done so, nobody would have exposed anything, because there would be nothing to expose.

The Rogue Tomato on August 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM

The US government has NO AUTHORITY to spy on its citizens beyond that granted in the Constitution.

ConstantineXI on August 2, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Lois Lerner weaponized the IRS. Edward Snowden weaponized the NSA and handed the weapon over to our enemies. You are in fact are an enemy of the state if you laud Snowden’s actions. Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all day, thanks.

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:06 PM

In case you haven’t noticed, the regime doesn’t exactly smile favorably on whistle blowers. Just ask those VA doctors how well that worked out. Maybe Snowden is just on the wrong side of history.

Kissmygrits on August 2, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Good thing Snowden isn’t a whistleblower. All he has to do is hope he can find a place to live that will not allow extradition. Personally, I think a poison-tipped umbrella is in Snowden’s future.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:08 PM

That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all day, thanks.

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Whatever. Vidkun Quisling thought he was a patriot too, but that didn’t make it true.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

How shocking!

thebrokenrattle on August 2, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Lois Lerner weaponized the IRS. Edward Snowden weaponized the NSA and handed the weapon over to our enemies. You are in fact are an enemy of the state if you laud Snowden’s actions. Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

This is beyond ridiculous.

Lois Lerner turned a government agency into a weapon of oppression against the people.

The NSA has been turned into the same thing.

But Snowwdon weaponized the NSA?

Would a whistleblower ratting out Lerner be weaponizing the IRS too?

Try to get yourself out of this one.

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:11 PM

William Binney — one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in National Security Agency (NSA) history — worked for America’s premier covert intelligence gathering organization for 32 years before resigning in late 2001 because he “could not stay after the NSA began purposefully violating the Constitution.”

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Interview With Former NSA Boss Bill Binney

Some excepts:

Q “As far as you know, nothing in the Snowdon revelations is incorrect or exaggerated.”

A “Uh, no. I mean, because it’s all the documentation of the government. It’s their documentation. That’s the best evidence.”

“My understanding is that he [Snowdon] turned all of the data over to reporters in Hong Kong. He had none of it with him” when he got to Russia.

If Snowdon came back to the US “He wouldn’t get a fair trial…. any exculpatory evidence they would just claim state secrets, which is what they did with Tom Drake.”

“They’re spying on everybody in the US, that’s why I left.”

“It’s all content, not just metadata.”

“All your Internet activity… whatever you do on the Internet.”

“Transcription [mechanical] of 3 billion phone calls a day.”

“Without a warrant… full transcription.”

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Edward Snowden is the new Edward Lee Howard, but without the Russian dacha that Howard got for defecting.

Howard’s position was also that he wasn’t a spy and was exposing internal corruption at the CIA.

In the end, Howard died by falling down stairs. I guess the Russians got tired of paying for him.

Watch your step, Mr. Snowden. Watch your step.

unclesmrgol on August 2, 2014 at 2:20 PM

How shocking! thebrokenrattle on August 2, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I thought baseless accusations and name calling were ok. I guess only when you do it.

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:21 PM

I wiped some Snowden off my shoe this morning. Stepped right in it…

Aplombed on August 2, 2014 at 2:27 PM

But Snowwdon weaponized the NSA?

Would a whistleblower ratting out Lerner be weaponizing the IRS too?

Try to get yourself out of this one.

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Snowden disclosed means and capabilities. You’re clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed so I’ll explain what that means. Snowden told our enemies how we spy on them and just how capable we were at doing it. It changed up the way known terrorists communicate with one another.

This is totally different than the way the IRS was weaponized. Lerner armed OFA and the administration to attack conservatives. Snowden armed America’s enemies with a loaded gun that will ultimately do us harm. And BTW, Snowden’s treason has nothing to do with the separate debate about the Constitutionality of what the NSA was doing.

Not that I’d expect you to understand. You probably went around wearing a army camouflage uniform to show your support of Bradley Manning during his court martial.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:29 PM

But, but, but…Snowden’s a HERO for exposing how our government harms innocent citizens!!!

/extreme libertarian

look folks, it is possible that there are no good players here. Sure the NSA should not spy on innocent citizens, but also, their own employees should not be blowing the whistle without considering the consequences and potential harm that can come to those very citizens.

john1schn on August 2, 2014 at 2:34 PM

In a few years they will be blaming Snowden for 9/11. Then in several more years for Pearl Harbor.

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Edward Snowden weaponized the NSA and handed the weapon over to our enemies. You are in fact are an enemy of the state if you laud Snowden’s actions.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

The NSA and their jackboot supporters such as yourself are responsible for weaponizing the NSA against the American people. You are merely engaging in double-speak/projection.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Nomad,

I guess you have convinced me that Snowden is a traitor. I will now ask your forgiveness. We have no right to meddle in the affairs of the Federal Leviathon. We have no right to know what our rulers are up to. I guess I learned nothing from the smashing successes of Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, or the current lovefest in North Korea.

I will now go back to watching American Idol. The brilliance that is government is far too vast for a peasant such as I.

Exninja on August 2, 2014 at 2:37 PM

You are in fact are an enemy of the state if you laud Snowden’s actions.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I’m quite sure Pharoah Obama feels the very same way so you have just made a couple of points with his reich as the N-Statsi-A sees all.

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

I thought baseless accusations and name calling were ok. I guess only when you do it.

Akzed on August 2, 2014 at 2:21 PM

War and espionage hold different rules than domestic back-and-forth. That’s why the link you sent me is a non-controversy.

thebrokenrattle on August 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

There is a reason this stuff is “Top Secret”, and it isn’t “just because someone felt like it”.

Count to 10 on August 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Snowden is a hero. Jazz is a fascist.

iwasbornwithit on August 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

The NSA and their jackboot supporters such as yourself are responsible for weaponizing the NSA against the American people. You are merely engaging in double-speak/projection.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 2:36 PM

The NSA isn’t harming the American people. Snowden is.

Count to 10 on August 2, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I’m quite sure Pharoah Obama feels the very same way so you have just made a couple of points with his reich as the N-Statsi-A sees all.

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

It may come as shock to those of you demanding that Snowden get his image on a postage stamp but what the NSA does is really a bipartisan issue. The debate over NSA’s actions and boundaries is completely separate from what Snowden did.

That difference is completely ignored by you idiots as you engage in your support of Snowden for no discernible reason than you don’t like what the NSA is/was doing. It’s a waste of time trying to dissuade you people from your own ignorance since you’ve clearly made up your minds. Nevertheless, history will prove just how goddamned stupid you are on this issue.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:51 PM

The NSA isn’t harming the American people. Snowden is.

Count to 10 on August 2, 2014 at 2:51 PM

You couldn’t be more wrong. Corrupt fascists/socialists and statists of all stripes are the biggest threat to our freedom and liberty, not foreign terrorists, many of whom are allied with DC and used as a pretext to enslave America.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 2:54 PM

what the NSA does is really a bipartisan issue.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:51 PM

All the corruption and violations of the Constitution emanating from DC are bi-partisan, including amnesty. The political theatre in DC is mostly, if not entirely, a sham.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Snowden is a hero. Jazz is a fascist.

iwasbornwithit on August 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Are you sure you weren’t born without it?

darwin on August 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Are you sure you weren’t born without it?

darwin on August 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Maybe it’s Maybelline :P

thebrokenrattle on August 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Aug 02, 2014 at 3:00 pm darwin
Snowden is a hero. Jazz is a fascist.
iwasbornwithit on August 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM
Are you sure you weren’t born without it?

Don’t you have a General Hayden portrait to fap to?

iwasbornwithit on August 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country. War does not always give over democratic communities to military government, but it must invariably and immeasurably increase the powers of civil government [NSA, DHS, TSA, etc., etc., etc.]; it must almost compulsorily concentrate the direction of all men and the management of all things in the hands of the administration. If it does not lead to despotism by sudden violence, it prepares men for it more gently by their habits. All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and the shortest means to accomplish it. This is the first axiom of the science.- Alexis de Tocqueville

Per Ben Swann, co-anchor at WXIX Fox 19 in Cincinnati, said about the PATRIOT Act [largely Orwellian name, IMO];

“It is a nice idea that U.S. citizens are still protected and measures in the Patriot Act that step on the 4th amendments protection against unlawful search and seizure, won’t be used unless its against terrorists. But the facts don’t support it. According to a 2009 report from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, in 2008 the Feds used 763 warrant-less wiretaps, a direct violation of the 4th amendment to the Constitution, which protects against unlawful search and seizure. It is a power granted to law enforcement under the Patriot Act. But here is the kicker, 763 warrant-less wiretaps were used and only 3 of those cases involved suspected terrorism. Only 3. Furthermore, 65% of those cases were drug cases.”

Then, of course, there is the N-Stasi-A which I don’t see how anyone can regard as anything remotely like patriotic, unless it’s patriotism on the old East German plan, and the TSA Gropestapo which ain’t at all patriotic either. And there should be no need to explain about Herr Obama’s weaponized IRS. I can almost hear the Founding Fathers rolling over in their graves crying out “Why did we even bother?”

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Don’t you have a General Hayden portrait to fap to?

iwasbornwithit on August 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Several. Would you like one?

darwin on August 2, 2014 at 3:15 PM

All stories around Snowden are ‘funny’.

Thank you Mr. Snowden.

If you want to live, stay in Russia, ironically.

Schadenfreude on August 2, 2014 at 1:07 PM

.
Ironically, ALL the stories coming from the KneePad Media regarding Snowden’s revelations of the Surveillance State (S.S.) WILLFULLY IGNORE there has been next to ZERO changes made by the S.S. and NONE that actually reined it in.

Posts like Jazz’s are propaganda on WHY WE NEED THE S.S.!

Intended to raise fears and emotions … while suppressing rational thought.

The REAL question remains WHO was Snowdens’ source for the Verizon FISA Court Warrant that he was physically separated from ALL NSA systems?

(Note: Yes, last month Snowden made the claim “I had access through the NSA systems … which is complete horseshit – look it up in Eli Lake’s article from June 2013.)

PolAgnostic on August 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM

You couldn’t be more wrong. Corrupt fascists/socialists and statists of all stripes are the biggest threat to our freedom and liberty, not foreign terrorists, many of whom are allied with DC and used as a pretext to enslave America.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Do you have any proof of foreign terrorists being allied with DC?

kcewa on August 2, 2014 at 3:17 PM

If the NSA was plotting to take guns away from Americans, exposing that info would be traitorous, right? If the NSA were directly affecting election results, exposing this would be treason, right?

iwasbornwithit on August 2, 2014 at 3:18 PM

It is not Snowden who is spying on my phone calls, emails and credit card statements, and anything else some sick twisted pervert can think of, treating me like a criminal serf who can never be proven innocent It’s the anti-American abomination National Spy Agency that’s doing that.

Either the NSA dies or America does.
“In the end, there can be only one”.

The NSA is as incompatible with America as is Islam and for many of the same reasons.

When a government becomes so totalitarian that it sets to spying, and in mass and in great detail, on it’s own people like they were all subjects, if not criminals, it is not doing so on their behalf. Only mice and sheep could think so (or maybe some who fancy themselves patriots, but that would be “patriots” on the Stalin plan). The Stasi wasn’t in East German and the N-Stasi-A isn’t in America. And this is on top of the TSA/Gropestapo molesting little girls and grandmas at our airports and largely giving middle easterners a pass. I don’t think the federal government has stopped a single attack, and has caused quite a number (Fort Hood, Boston, Benghazi, Navy Shipyard, Mexican invaders who kill so many and most every day), with their gross willful dereliction. I don’t care how many times Herr Hussein Obama and other N-Stasi-A supporters and apologists and lackeys tell me that’s Holy Water they are spraying on my leg to keep me safe, I know that it’s something very different – and it smells to high Heaven.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Founding Fathers, to a man, would despise the NSA at least as much as they despised King George, probably more. As Barry Goldwater said of “the end justifies the means”, if ever there was a philosophy of government totally at war with that of the Founding Fathers, it is this one”. If there were justice in the world, Snowden would be living it up in the White House and Obama and all his N-Stasi-A criminals would be in hiding, maybe somewhere in North Korea, in a dark cave. subsisting on grass and having nightmares of Nuremberg.

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Who threatens my life more than anyone else? Al Qaeda? The Federal Government? Answer, the Federal Government and by a massive degree.

If Al Qaeda started a war here in the USA, I could very easily pick them out of a crowd and avoid or eliminate them.

If the United States Government decided to start a war against its citizens, which looks like it is pretty much planning to, the government can use propaganda to take out the most potent threats against it and then begin a covert operation of targeted indefinite detention or worse on others before anyone ever figured it out.

The United States Federal government must be brought to bear in total and understand that it serves OUR interest, not its own interests. Snowden is a blessing to the potential for continued freedom in America. He may not be perfect, but then again, no human is.

As for Al Qaeda benefiting… tough shit, it is not like Barack Hussein Obama was really intent on taking them out anyways. Just simply using them as an excuse to destroy freedom in America and around the world.

astonerii on August 2, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Do you have any proof of foreign terrorists being allied with DC?

kcewa on August 2, 2014 at 3:17 PM

I meant to say foreign jihadis, many of which, according to news reports, are Al Qaeda and affiliates.

FloatingRock on August 2, 2014 at 3:24 PM

There is a reason this stuff is “Top Secret”, and it isn’t “just because someone felt like it”.

Count to 10 on August 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

.
The bulk of data that is classified, especially during the Obama administration, has been precisely because “someone felt like it”.

FrontLine – United States of Secrets

Educate yourself – among the more interesting tidbits is the gentleman accused of possessing “classified information”, even though everything in his possession had the correct “Declassified” stamps on it, because the Obama administration declared it “Classified” information again AFTER the date when they seized the information during a pre-dawn raid on his house.

PolAgnostic on August 2, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Do you have any proof of foreign terrorists being allied with DC?

kcewa on August 2, 2014 at 3:17 PM

ISIS was for a while. I think John McCain was posing next to one of them in order to tell us that they are not terrorists.

astonerii on August 2, 2014 at 3:25 PM

If the NSA was plotting to take guns away from Americans, exposing that info would be traitorous, right? If the NSA were directly affecting election results, exposing this would be treason, right?

iwasbornwithit on August 2, 2014 at 3:18 PM

I am not unsympathetic. However, Snowden did do massive damage. He released the good with the bad.

He is not a hero.

darwin on August 2, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Do you have any proof of foreign terrorists being allied with DC?

kcewa on August 2, 2014 at 3:17 PM

The Muslim Brotherhood now permeates Imperial City DC and they are a terrorist organization.

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Here’s just a partial list of Snowden’s leaks that have little or nothing to do with domestic surveillance of Americans:

Go to this link for links to references: http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/01/the-extent-of-the-snowden-disclosures/

The classified portions of the U.S. intelligence budget, detailing how much we spend and where on efforts to spy on terror groups and foreign states, doesn’t deal with Americans’ privacy. This leak revealed the intelligence community’s self-assessment in 50 major areas of counterterrorism, and that “blank spots include questions about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear components when they are being transported, the capabilities of China’s next-generation fighter aircraft, and how Russia’s government leaders are likely to respond to ‘potentially destabilizing events in Moscow, such as large protests and terrorist attacks.’” The Pakistani, Chinese, and Russian intelligence agencies surely appreciate the status report.

Our cyber-warfare capabilities and targets don’t deal with Americans’ privacy. The revelation that the U.S. launched 231 cyber-attacks against “top-priority targets, which former officials say includes adversaries such as Iran, Russia, China and North Korea and activities such as nuclear proliferation” in 2011 has nothing to do with Americans’ privacy.

The extent and methods of our spying on China have nothing to do with Americans’ privacy.

British surveillance of South African and Turkish diplomats has nothing to do with Americans’ privacy.

The NSA’s successful interceptions of communications of Russian President Dimitri Medvedev has nothing to do with Americans’ privacy. This is not a scandal; it is literally the NSA’s job, and now the Russians have a better idea of what messages were intercepted and when.

Revealing NSA intercepts and CIA stations in Latin America — again, nothing to do with U.S. citizens.

Revealing a U.K. secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East — nothing to do with U.S. citizens.

The extent and range of NSA communications monitoring in India. . . .

The fact that the United States has “ramped up its surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms,” has “previously undisclosed concerns about biological and chemical sites there,” and details of “efforts to assess the loyalties of counter­terrorism sources recruited by the CIA” . . .

The U.S.’s spying on Al-Jazeera’s internal communication system. . . .

What we know about al-Qaeda efforts to hack our drones. . . .

The NSA’s ability to intercept the e-mail of al-Qaeda operative Hassan Ghul. . . .

The NSA’s ability to read the e-mail of the Mexican president. . . .

The U.S.’s electronic intercepts of communications to French consulates and embassies in New York and Washington. . . .

The existence of NSA surveillance teams in 80 U.S. embassies around the globe . . .

NSA’s spying on OPEC . . .

NSA’s collecting data on the porn habits of Muslim extremist leaders in order to discredit them . . .

kcewa on August 2, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Between Jazz Shaw and Noah Rothman I am seriously thinking sticking to Breitbart. Or starting my own blog.

ConstantineXI on August 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Then stop complaining and do so. How shallow are you if the fact they refuse to worship at the altar of Snowden is the reason you leave?

( they’ve given plenty reason elsewhere, but Snowden is crossing the line?!?)

MWC_RS on August 2, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Part of what Snowden did was positive. He also caused a great deal of harm to us and our allies – and doesn’t seem to care about that. Just my opinion but I don’t think he’s a hero.

ISIS was for a while. I think John McCain was posing next to one of them in order to tell us that they are not terrorists.

astonerii on August 2, 2014 at 3:25 PM

I think that was the group fighting ISIS in Syria, wasn’t it? But still, not a good bunch I’m sure.

kcewa on August 2, 2014 at 3:34 PM

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

VD, neither of those goobers did anything good for the US. Snowden is no hero to look up to.

hawkdriver on August 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM

I think that was the group fighting ISIS in Syria, wasn’t it? But still, not a good bunch I’m sure.

kcewa on August 2, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Well, then, I guess I will go for the lowest hanging fruit. HAMAS. DC is allied with HAMAS. Willing to give them hundreds of millions of dollars.

astonerii on August 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

VD, neither of those goobers did anything good for the US. Snowden is no hero to look up to.

hawkdriver on August 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM

He did more good for Americans than Bush and Obama staying in Afcrapistan the last 12 years with their stupid “Great Islamic Society Nation Building” has done and he didn’t cost America into the thousands of lives and limbs and hundreds of billions of dollars that we don’t have.

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 4:09 PM

I think that was the group fighting ISIS in Syria, wasn’t it? But still, not a good bunch I’m sure.

kcewa on August 2, 2014 at 3:34 PM

It would seem that at least one of them was actual ISIS, rather than ‘just’ similar. They bragged about it on their website anyway.

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Virtually all commenting on this blog know full well that Herr Obama has used the IRS, and other alpehbet soup federal agencies like the EPA, in nefarious political ways, so I don’t know why they would think he wouldn’t use the NSA in the same way.

VorDaj on August 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Rambles on about how since it is supported by Regressive (R)s and Regressive (D)s it must be awesome…

That difference is completely ignored by you us idiots as youwe engage in your support of SnowdenThe Police State for no discernible reason than you don’t like what the NSA is/was doing. It’s a waste of time trying to dissuade you people us from your own ignorance since youwe’ve clearly made up your irrational minds. Nevertheless, history will prove just how goddamned stupid you we are on this issue.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 2:51 PM

The reality is that the government is positioning itself to make a move against its own people right now, as we speak.

It is actively working to instigate the conservatives and constitutional loving people in this nation into moving against it first.

It is ignoring our borders and importing millions of illegal aliens to make our lives miserable. Importing disease to cause our families to suffer and possibly die. It is ignoring the rule of law for some favored groups and draconian enforcement of others against disfavored groups. Setting up a police state and running drills intended to intimidate and cow citizens into acquiescence. It is destroying every bit of trust citizens put in the government by pitting government against we the people. IRS, EPA, NSA, TSA… Quickly eroding our freedoms and god given rights and replacing them with government granted privileges and government enforced obligations.

But somehow, you think that you are going to be proven right on this issue. LOL.

astonerii on August 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Fruit rots. And Jazz Shaw hates Edward Snowden.

Rusty Nail on August 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Fruit rots. And Jazz Shaw hates Edward Snowden.

Rusty Nail on August 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

You say that as if it were an unreasonable thing.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Comparing Snowden to Jesus??

bwahahahaahahaah

Mental midget alert.

CW on August 2, 2014 at 5:28 PM

RustyNail:

According to a new report to be released Friday by big data firm Recorded Future , a direct connection can be drawn: Just months after the Snowden documents were released, al-Qaida dramatically changed the way its operatives interacted online.

As it turns out, Recorded Future and Reversing Labs discovered that al-Qaida didn’t just tinker at the edges of its seven-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it. The new programs no longer use much of what’s known as “homebrew,” or homemade algorithms. Instead, al-Qaida has started incorporating more sophisticated open-source code to help disguise its communications.

Pssst these were not Jazz’s words.

CW on August 2, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Is Snowden a hero? No. Did he do a good thing? Yes. Did he do it in a dumb way? Yes. These three things are not incompatible.

RblDiver on August 2, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Oh, by terrorists I thought they meant Ogabe’s Regime, JustUs, EPA, Homeland “Security”, and the Death Panels.

Never mind…..

viking01 on August 2, 2014 at 6:46 PM

OK, so a casual software encryption update using OPEN SOURCE developments readily available is some sort of long sought proof that Snowden is the source of all terrorist evil in the world.

Someone is getting really desperate.

Masih ad-Dajjal on August 2, 2014 at 6:53 PM

I appreciate Snowden pulling back the curtain to expose how the govt violates several of our inalienable rights. This is much more important than the “good” the govt has done to protect us from terrorists. But bottomline, the greatest terrorist is a government that uses its God-ordained power against its people and does greater harm than an external terrorist could ever dream of accomplishing.

The patriot act was merely the camel getting its nose under the tent to upend the constitution in the name of providing security. When the govt is fully entwined into knowing our personal details and secrets we are no longer free nor do ee have liberty which trumps “security”. If only we had more snowdens in every govt agency ready to blow the whistle the instant the govt tramples our rights, costs to the govt be damned.

AH_C on August 2, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Snowden is a dumb ass that was probably used by someone else. However, the biggest dumb ass was the guy who hired him.

The alphabet soup of government agencies are totally out of control and need to be cut down in size or eliminated because none of them have our best interest at heart.

Vince on August 2, 2014 at 8:26 PM

This is a big bunch of SH!T.

I have a (small) hobby of repairing/modding(jailbreaking) small electronics, including game consoles, for a small fee. Therefore, I keep abreast of the latest hacking protocols for these types of electronics. There is nothing in the way of computer security code written by men, that can’t be hacked (reverse engineered) by other men.

The cat and mouse game played by hackers and Microsoft over the Xbox 360 is a perfect example. It’s been going on since 2006 (when it was released), and this is with a device where both the hardware and software is made by the same party. Yet hackers have blown thru Microsoft’s security over the years (the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 have been equally hacked.)

For those who can’t resist the urge to bash Microsoft Windows, Microsoft’s Windows can be hacked easily because Microsoft doesn’t control the hardware, only the software. That makes a huge difference in security. When a developer controls the hardware and software, they can create a symbiotic relationship between the two, which makes breaking the encryption a shot in the dark. However, all these game consoles (built by private corporations who have rivers of money to hire the brightest security experts) have been hacked by others who earn nothing for their efforts.

To put it simply, just because Al-Qaida has upgraded their security protocols, it doesn’t mean they’re any safer with their communication. It just means the efforts to find them need to be re-started.

Snowden hasn’t harmed the war on terrorism one bit. This article is a perfect example of media hysteria trying to take advantage of the public’s ignorance.

The entire premise of this article is a non-sequitur. It’s based on fear and ignorance.

UnstChem on August 2, 2014 at 9:01 PM

entire premise of this article is a non-sequitur. It’s based on fear and ignorance.
UnstChem on August 2, 2014 at 9:01 PM

This. FUD to get the citizens focused on the squirrel in Snowden’s whistleblowing and let the govt continue monitoring us instead of focusing 100% on real enemies.

AH_C on August 2, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Has the NSA prevented any terrorist attacks? NNo? Did they find the shoe bomber? How about the shooters at the military bases? No again? Can you name any terrorist attacks that have been prevented by all the NSA spying on US citizens? None right? Yeah, evey person working for the NSA is a traitor and should be shot dead. Snowden is a hero.

earlgrey on August 2, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Any word on whether or not the “Big data firm” (btw… Shouldn’t that be “Big Data Firm”?) can link any changes to our massive domestic spying programs – that are um, in direct violation of our Constitution??? And by “any” changes, I actually mean changes to bring it back under control and within the scope of our Constitution.

KMC1 on August 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM

This.

KMC1 on August 3, 2014 at 12:41 AM

Is Jazz Shaw on the government payroll?

PersonFromPorlock on August 3, 2014 at 7:04 AM

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