Archive for the ‘Edward Snowden’ Category

The NSA Has Done Little to Prevent the Next Edward Snowden – Motherboard

When Edward Snowden walked out of the NSA in 2013 with thumb drives full of its most secret files, the agency didn’t have a reliable list of peoplelike Snowdenwho had privileged access to its networks. Nor did it have a reliable list of those who were authorized to use removable media to transfer data to or from an NSA system.

That’s one of the alarming revelations in a Department of Defense Inspector General report from last year. The report, which was ordered by Congress, reviewed whether the NSA had completed some of the most important initiatives it has started in response to the Snowden leak to make its data more secure. The New York Times obtained the DOD IG report via FOIA.

The most shocking detail in the report is that even at the new National Security Agency data center in Utah, “NSA did not consistently secure server racks and other sensitive equipment” in data centers and machine rooms. At the Utah Data Center and two other facilities, the report stated, “we observed unlocked server racks and sensitive equipment.” The finding that the NSA wasn’t locking down all its server racks was first disclosed and reported in a House Intelligence Committee Report on Edward Snowden’s leaks released in December.

But the more fundamental problem revealed in the report is that the NSA has done little to limit the number of people who have access to what are supposed to be the most protected hardware the NSA has.

The IG report examined seven of the most important out of 40 “Secure the Net” initiatives rolled out since Snowden began leaking classified information. Two of the initiatives aspired to reduce the number of people who had the kind of access Snowden did: those who have privileged access to maintain, configure, and operate the NSA’s computer systems (what the report calls PRIVACs), and those who are authorized to use removable media to transfer data to or from an NSA system (what the report calls DTAs).

The government’s apparent lack of curiosity is fairly alarming

But when DOD’s inspectors went to assess whether NSA had succeeded in doing this, they found something disturbing. In both cases, the NSA did not have solid documentation about how many such users existed at the time of the Snowden leak. With respect to PRIVACs, in June 2013 (the start of the Snowden leak), “NSA officials stated that they used a manually kept spreadsheet, which they no longer had, to identify the initial number of privileged users.” The report offered no explanation for how NSA came to no longer have that spreadsheet just as an investigation into the biggest breach thus far at NSA started. With respect to DTAs, “NSA did not know how many DTAs it had because the manually kept list was corrupted during the months leading up to the security breach.”

There seem to be two possible explanations for the fact that the NSA couldn’t track who had the same kind of access that Snowden exploited to steal so many documents. Either the dog ate their homework: Someone at NSA made the documents unavailable (or they never really existed). Or someone fed the dog their homework: Some adversary made these lists unusable. The former would suggest the NSA had something to hide as it prepared to explain why Snowden had been able to walk away with NSA’s crown jewels. The latter would suggest that someone deliberately obscured who else in the building might walk away with the crown jewels. Obscuring that list would be of particular value if you were a foreign adversary planning on walking away with a bunch of files, such as the set of hacking tools the Shadow Brokers have since released, which are believed to have originated at NSA.

NSA headquarters in Maryland. Image: MJB/Flickr

The government’s apparent lack of curiosityat least in this reportabout which of these was the case is fairly alarming, because it is a critically important question in assessing why NSA continues to have serious data breaches. For example, it would be important to know if Hal Martin, the Booz Allen Hamilton contractor accused of stealing terabytes of NSA data in both hard copy and digital form, showed up on these lists or if he simply downloaded data for decades without authorization to do so.

Even given the real concern that Russia or someone else might have reason to want to make the names of PRIVACs and DTAs inaccessible at precisely the time the NSA reviewed the Snowden breach, the NSA’s subsequent action does provide support for the likelihood the agency itself was hiding how widespread PRIVAC and DTA access was. For both categories, DOD’s Inspector General found NSA did not succeed in limiting the number of people who might, in the future, walk away with classified documents and software.

With PRIVACs, the NSA simply “arbitrarily” removed privileged access from some number of users, then had them reapply for privileged access over the next 3 months. The NSA couldn’t provide DOD’s IG with “the number of privileged users before and after the purge or the actual number of users purged.” After that partial purge, though, NSA had “a continued and consistent increase in the number of privileged users.”

As with PRIVACs, the NSA “could not provide supporting documentation for the total number of DTAs before and after the purge” and so was working from an “unsubstantiated” estimate. After the Snowden leak, the NSA purged all DTAs and made them reapply, which they did in 2014. The NSA pointed to the new number of DTAs and declared it a reduction from its original “unsupported” estimate. When asked how it justified its claim that it had reduced the number of people who could use thumb drives with NSA’s networks when it didn’t know how many such people it had to begin with, the NSA explained, “although the initiat[iv]e focused on reducing the number of DTA, the actions taken by NSA were not designed to reduce the number of DTAs; rather they were taken to overhaul the DTA process to identify and vet all DTAs.” The IG Report notes that the NSA “continued to consistently increase the number of DTAs throughout the next 12 months.”

When, in 2008, someone introduced a worm into DOD’s networks via a thumb drive, it decreed that it would no longer use removable media. Then, after Chelsea Manning exfiltrated a bunch of documents on a Lady Gaga CD, the government again renewed its commitment to limiting the use of removable media. This report reveals that only in the wake of the Snowden leaks did the NSA get around to developing a vetted list of those who could use thumb drives in NSA’s networks. Yet as recently as last year, Reality Winner (who, as an Air Force translator, was presumably not a privileged access user at all) stuck some kind of removable media into a Top Secret computer, yet the government claims not to know what she downloaded or whether she downloaded anything at all (it’s unclear whether that Air Force computer came within NSA’s review).

When contacted with specific questions about its inability to track privileged users, the NSA pointed to its official statement on the DOD IG Report. “The National Security Agency operates in one of the most complicated IT environments in the world. Over the past several years, we have continued to build on internal security improvements while carrying out the mission to defend the nation and our allies around the clock.” The Office of Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond with comment to my questions.

Yet this issue pertains not just to the recent spate of enormous data breaches, which led last month to the worldwide WannaCry ransomware attack using NSA’s stolen tools. It also pertains to the privacy of whatever data on Americans the NSA might have in its repositories. If, three years after Snowden, the NSA still hasn’t succeeded in limiting the number of people with the technical capability to do what he did, how can NSA ensure it keeps Americans’ data safe?

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The NSA Has Done Little to Prevent the Next Edward Snowden – Motherboard

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June 20, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Putin compares James Comey to Edward Snowden – Newburgh Gazette

An hour after the “nice” tweet, Trump continued to reiterate his stance that the investigation was a farce, tweeting again that it was a “witch hunt”.

President Donald Trump wants to make it very clear to all Americans: An investigation of his campaign’s tied to Moscow is a “witch hunt”, plain and simple.

Malcolm, who worked for Trump’s FBI director pick, Chris Wray, when Wray was head of the DOJ’s criminal division, spoke after a Washington Post report said Mueller’s investigation has now widened to determine whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice.

Since appointed as special counsel last month, Mueller has not publicly discussed his work.

Donald Trump has spent much of his presidency obsessing over whether he’s personally under investigation as part of the probe into his Russian Federation scandal.

The Post referred to anonymous sources who had been briefed on requests made by Mueller’s investigators.

Rachel noted on last night’s show the blockbuster new report from the Washington Post.

The special counsel is following two major lines of investigation, said one United States official familiar with the rough outlines of Mueller’s probe who spoke on condition of anonymity. Reports have alleged that Trump asked both men to publicly quash the credibility of the Russian Federation investigation.

Even if Mueller’s probe finds evidence Trump tried to obstruct justice, the Justice Department – which oversees the FBI and the special counsel investigation – is highly unlikely to indict a sitting president.

The piece added that Trump had received assurances from then-FBI Director James Comey that he wasn’t personally being investigated, but that changed for the president “shortly after Comey’s firing”. The transition official said the organization has also separately asked the General Services Administration to preserve records from the Trump transition that were transferred to its facilities after the inauguration.

While he was strongly critical of some of Mr Comey’s testimony to a Senate panel, the president said last week that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief had vindicated him when he said that while he was at the agency, Mr Trump was not the subject of the FBI’s Russian Federation probe.

It will be up to Mueller to decide whether Trump crossed the legal line and whether to pursue an obstruction case against him.

The obstruction of justice investigation into Trump began days after Comey was sacked on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter, the Post said.

He’s increasingly focused his anger at both Rosenstein and Mueller, according to advisers and confidants, viewing the two as part of a biased effort to undermine his presidency. Sen.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Jared Kushner’s business dealings were also being scrutinized by Mueller’s team.

“In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believed to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate”, Rogers said.

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Putin compares James Comey to Edward Snowden – Newburgh Gazette

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June 17, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Russian President Says Edward Snowden Did Not Leak US Intelligence to Moscow – Newsweek

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden, who is currently living in Russia, ever offered to hand Moscow sensitive information in exchange for asylum.

We made first contact with Mr. Snowden in China, Putin said, reflecting on Snowdens departure from the U.S. following his leak of tens of thousands of National Security Agency and British Government Communications Headquartersdocuments in 2013. The Russian president was speaking to U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone for his four-part documentary series for Showtime called The Putin Interviews.

Related: Putin answers questions about cloning himself, marijuana and sex

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Thats when we were told that there is this person who wants to fight for human rights and against their violation. And we need to give credit to Mr. Snowden. He never took it upon himself to give us any kind of information, Putin said.

However, Putin told Stone that Russia was not prepared to welcome Snowden at first. We have such complicated relations with the U.S., and we dont need additional complications, the Russian president explained.

According to Putin, Snowdens arrival in Moscow came as a surprise to the Kremlin, as it was initially only intended as a transit flight to Latin America.

To Cuba or to Ecuador? Stone asked Putin, though the president did not answer. He only revealed that Russia was not fully prepared to accept Snowden at first and that once the information about his protracted trip around the world made it to the press, he would not be allowed to fly anywhere.

And he was stranded in the transit passenger zone, Putin said. He is a personthat it is brave, if not a little reckless. He sat for a while in the transit passenger zone, and then we even gave him temporary asylum.

Of course the American side asked us to hand him over. Clearly we could not do that, Putin said. When asked why, he said it was because Russia did not feel it would have the same treatment in response if it asked for an extradition.

Equally, Snowden has denied taking any files to Russia, telling TheNew York Times in 2013 it would not serve the public interest to do so.

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Russian President Says Edward Snowden Did Not Leak US Intelligence to Moscow – Newsweek

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June 16, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Vladimir Putin Invites James Comey to Follow Edward Snowden and Seek Asylum in Russia – Newsweek

Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared ex-FBI director James Comey to fugitive Edward Snowden and joked he would offer him political asylum.

Speaking on his annual Direct Line program, in which he answers screened questions from viewers all over Russia live on all major state TV channels, Putin weighed in on the rift between Comey and U.S. President Donald Trump.

I do not know the details of Comeys testimony but some things are clear to me, Putin said, referring to the ex-FBI directors address to the U.S. Senate in which he spoke of awkward encounters with Trump. Among those mentioned by Comey included Trump demanding loyalty from the FBI director and expressing hope Comey would stop investigating compromising links between the presidents appointees and the Russian government.

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Read More: Putin gets trolled by Russians calling for his resignation live on air

Comey was fired because Trump was not happy with the ongoing investigation, which he has called a made up story even as his former national security adviser Michael Flynn admitted to misleading the White House about past contacts with the Russian ambassador. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from the investigation for a similar reason.

Putin has argued the Russian ambassador did nothing wrong as it is his job to meet with people. Perhaps in a show of good faith on Thursday he said Comey could find shelter in Russia if ever he needed, just like Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor-turned-whistleblower.

Comey said he kept record of a conversation with the president and then gave it to the press. Well this already is odd. How then is the FBI director different from Snowden, he added, referring to the huge leak of classified information by Snowden. Then he is a rights defender.

The legal difference that Putin, a former spy himself, did not mention is that Comey leaked the memo after being dismissed from his role and a private citizen and the information was about a conversation he had personally, and was not classified. Snowden had leaked classified information about U.S. intelligence and surveillance activities.

Regardless, Putins arms, at least rhetorically, are wide open as he said if Comey were to face political persecution, Russia is ready to accept him too.

Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov was quick to congratulate Putin on his brilliant trolling. I can imagine former FBI director Comeys face, when he learned that Moscow was ready to grant him asylum as it did to Snowden.

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Vladimir Putin Invites James Comey to Follow Edward Snowden and Seek Asylum in Russia – Newsweek

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Edward Snowden Fast Facts – KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana – KRTV Great Falls News

CNN Library

(CNN) — Here is a look at the life of Edward Snowden, who has admitted to leaking information about US surveillance programs to the press.

Personal: Birth date: June 21, 1983

Birth place: Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Birth name: Edward Joseph Snowden

Father: Lonnie Snowden, former Coast Guard officer

Mother: Elizabeth Snowden, federal court administrator

Other Facts: Dropped out of high school.

The Guardian reported that in 2009, Snowden got the first of several jobs with private contractors that worked with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Timeline: May 7, 2004 – Enlists in the Army Reserve as a Special Forces candidate.

September 28, 2004 – Is discharged from the Army Reserve without completing any training.

2013 – Works for Booz Allen Hamilton for less than three months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. Snowden is terminated on June 10, 2013.

May 16, 2013 – Snowden has his first direct exchange with Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman.

May 20, 2013 – Snowden leaves for Hong Kong.

May 24, 2013 – In an e-mail to Gellman, Snowden requests that the Post publish information about PRISM, a surveillance program that gathers information from Facebook, Microsoft, Google and others.

June 5, 2013 – The Guardian reports that the US government has obtained a secret court order that requires Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans to the NSA.

June 6, 2013 – The Guardian and the Washington Post disclose the existence of PRISM, a program they say allows the NSA to extract the details of customer activities — including “audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents” and other materials — from computers at Microsoft, Google, Apple and other Internet companies.

June 9, 2013 – The Guardian and Washington Post disclose Snowden as their source for the intelligence related leaks.

June 9, 2013 – Booz Allen Hamilton releases a statement confirming that Snowden has been an employee of their firm for almost three months.

June 12, 2013 – The South China Morning Post publishes an interview with Snowden in which he says that US intelligence agents have been hacking networks around the world for years.

June 17, 2013 – During a live online chat, the person identified as Snowden by Britain’s Guardian newspaper insists that US authorities have access to phone calls, e-mails and other communications far beyond constitutional bounds.

June 18, 2013 – Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce argues that the PRISM program has helped stop a number of alleged terrorist attacks.

June 21, 2013 – Federal prosecutors unseal a complaint filed in US District Court in Virginia on June 14, 2013, charging Snowden with espionage and theft of government property.

June 22, 2013 – A senior US administration official says the United States has contacted authorities in Hong Kong to seek the extradition of Snowden.

June 23, 2013 – Snowden flies to Moscow from Hong Kong. Russian President Vladimir Putin later verifies that Snowden is in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.

June 23, 2013 – A source tells CNN that the US government has revoked Snowden’s passport.

June 30, 2013 – German news magazine Der Spiegel reports that classified leaks by Snowden detail NSA bugging of European Union offices in Washington and New York, as well as an EU building in Brussels.

July 12, 2013 – Snowden meets with human rights activists and lawyers. He says he is requesting asylum from Russia while he awaits safe passage to Latin America.

July 16, 2013 – Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena tells CNN that Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in Russia. If his request is granted, Snowden would be able to live in Russia for at least a year.

July 24, 2013 – Russian news media reports that Russia has approved documents that would allow Snowden to enter the rest of the country while his temporary asylum request is considered.

August 1, 2013 – Kucherena tells CNN that Snowden’s application for political asylum for a year has been approved and he has left the Moscow airport.

October 31, 2013 – Snowden’s attorney Kucherena tells CNN that his client has been hired by an unnamed Russian website.

November 3, 2013 – A letter, purportedly written by Snowden, is published in the German magazine Der Spiegel. The letter, titled “A Manifesto for the Truth” says, “mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution.”

December 17, 2013 – Snowden posts an open letter to Brazil, offering to help investigate US surveillance of Brazilian citizens.

January 23, 2014 – Attorney General Eric Holder says, “If Mr. Snowden wanted to come back to the United States and enter a plea, we would engage with his lawyers.” Snowden says in an online chat the same day that,” (a return to the US is) unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistle-blower protection laws.”

March 10, 2014 – Snowden speaks via teleconference from Russia to an audience of thousands at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, urging the audience to help “fix” the US government’s surveillance of its citizens. The event marks the first time Snowden has directly addressed people in the United States since he fled the country with thousands of secret documents last June.

May 28, 2014 – NBC News airs an interview with Snowden in which he claims, “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word — in that I lived and worked undercover, overseas, pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine.” In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, National Security Adviser Susan Rice denies that Snowden was ever a US spy.

August 7, 2014 – Snowden’s attorney announces that Snowden has been granted an extension to stay in Russia for three more years.

February 23, 2015 – NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers says that Snowden’s surveillance leaks have had a “material impact” on the agency’s ability to prevent and detect terror plots.

June 4, 2015 – In response to President Barack Obama signing the USA Freedom Act that will limit our nation’s surveillance on private citizens, Snowden publishes an op-ed piece in The New York Times saying “ending the mass surveillance of private phone calls under the Patriot Act is a historic victory for the rights of every citizen…”

July 28, 2015 – The White House rejects a petition to pardon Snowden and maintains its position that Snowden should return to the United States. The petition contains over 167,000 signatures supporting Snowden.

September 29, 2015 – Snowden joins Twitter and gains over 110,000 followers in less than an hour after posting his first tweet. Snowden only follows the NSA.

October 5, 2015 – According to Snowden, he is willing to go to prison if he is allowed to return to the United States. Snowden and his lawyers are waiting to discuss a deal with the US government.

May 30, 2016 – Former US Attorney General Eric Holder says Snowden performed a “public service” by triggering a debate over surveillance techniques, but still must pay a penalty for illegally leaking a trove of classified intelligence documents.

September 16, 2016 – The film “Snowden,” directed by Oliver Stone, opens in US theaters.

December 22, 2016 – Congress releases a report saying Snowden has been in contact with Russian intelligence officials since arriving in Russia. Snowden immediately takes to Twitter following the report’s release to dispute the accusations, writing “they claim without evidence that I’m in cahoots with the Russians.”

January 17, 2017 – Russia extends Snowden’s asylum until 2020.

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Putin says Edward Snowden’s arrival in Russia was a surprise but claims he remains ‘safe’ – International Business Times UK

Russian president Vladimir Putin has indicated he was just as surprised as anyone to learn that National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden was heading in the direction of Russia after revealing his identity and fleeing Hong Kong back in 2013.

The Kremlin chief opened up during an interview published this week (13 June) with Hollywood director Oliver Stone as part of a four-part documentary filmed over the past two years. In 2016, Stone released a biopic about the infamous leaker to a mixed reception.

“Our first contact with Mr Snowden was in China,” Putin said. “We were told back then that this was a person who wanted to fight against violations of human rights.

“Mr Snowden didn’t want to give us any information. He needs to be credited for that, but we were not willing to do that [provide asylum] yet.”

He added: “We already had a quite difficult relationship with the United States as it was and we didn’t want to aggravate those relations. He just disappeared.

“Then I got a report that Snowden was on a plane bound for Moscow to transfer to another plane and [then] fly to Latin America.”

Indeed, it was June 2013 when Snowden, alongside WikiLeaks’ Sarah Harrison, landed in Moscow to find US authorities had cancelled his passport. Despite some scepticism, the pair have long-denied any stolen NSA material was accessed by China or Russia.

Putin called Snowden a “courageous” man and claimed it was a failed extradition treaty between Moscow and Washington which ultimately led to him being given temporary asylum. In January 2017, it emerged Snowden would be permitted to stay in Russia until 2020.

“Snowden is not a traitor,” Putin asserted. “He didn’t betray the interests of his country nor did he transfer any information to any other country which would have been pernicious to his own country or his own people. The only thing Snowden does, he does publicly.

“I am quite confident that the American authorities were just acting under the pressure of circumstances and they have made many mistakes.

“Their mistakes are what saved Snowden because otherwise he would be in prison now.”

The rogue NSA agent, who maintains an active presence on social media, has many opponents. One former agency analyst, John Schindler, has repeatedly voiced the opinion Snowden was a foreign spy and that he should be branded a defector rather than a whistleblower.

“There is no known case of a defector not collaborating with the KGB or its successors,” he wrote in a blog post in June 2016. “If you want sanctuary, you will tell the Russians everything you know,” he added. “That is how the spy game works.”

Additionally, John Inglis, a former deputy director of the NSA, told IBTimes UK in an interview last year that Snowden may have become an “unwitting tool” of Russia.

“I think [he is] complicit in that whether he likes it or not,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine an intelligence service of that high calibre would not find some way to take advantage of the presence of somebody who actually was inside NSA and CIA and tease out what insights they might get.”

As Stone’s documentary rolls out with the next instalment set to air on 15 June 2017 some critics have voiced the opinion the programme should be viewed as propaganda. Tensions between the US and Russia spiked last year after American political groups were targeted by hackers.

The Hollywood director noted on Snowden: “One thing is clear, I think the only place in the world where he is safe is in Russia.” Putin, the former KGB agent, replied: “I think so too.”

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Putin says Edward Snowden’s arrival in Russia was a surprise but claims he remains ‘safe’ – International Business Times UK

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Edward Snowden criticizes Comey’s firing, despite …

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 7:27 PM

Even Edward Snowden condemned James Comeys firing.

Shortly after the White House announced that President Trump had fired the FBI director, Snowden spoke out against the move.

This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities, he tweeted Tuesday evening.

If I can oppose his firing, so can you.

GOP, Dems weigh in on FBI Director James Comey’s firing

Snowden fled the United States in May 2013 after leaking thousands of classified National Security Agency documents.

A month later, the U.S. Department of Justice, led by Comey, charged him with two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property.

In January 2014, Comey said he was confused by those who called Snowden a whistleblower or hero.

“I see the government operating the way the founders intended,” Comey told reporters, “so I have trouble applying the whistleblower label to someone who basically disagrees with the way our government is structured and operates.”

Trump fires FBI Director James Comey over Clinton email probe

Comey also told Yahoo News in 2015 that he had no intention of negotiating a plea deal with Snowden, calling him a fugitive.

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Edward Snowden criticizes Comey’s firing, despite …

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Years-old story that Edward Snowden can prove Osama bin Laden lives in Bahamas is fake news – PolitiFact

A fake news story claimed that NSA leaker Edward Snowden had proof that Osama bin Laden was still alive, living with family in the Bahamas. (AP photo)

A fake news story that said former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had proof that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was enjoying a taxpayer-funded lifetime vacation in the Caribbean has resurfaced after several years.

“Edward Snowden: Osama bin Laden is still alive living in the Bahamas,” read the headline on a May 13, 2017, post on AntiNews.in, a repository of wild-eyed conspiracy stories. It was flagged by Facebook users as potentially fake as part of the social media websites efforts to combat fake news.

The post said Snowden told the Moscow Tribune that instead of killing the al-Qaida leader in May 2011, the United States set him up with a cushy retirement fund through the CIA payroll. As of 2013, it said, bin Laden is living with “five of his wives and many children” collecting more than $100,000 a month via a Nassau bank account.

“Osama Bin Laden was one of the CIAs most efficient operatives for a long time,” Snowden is allegedly quoted as saying. “What kind of message would it send their other operatives if they were to let the SEALs kill him? They organized his fake death with the collaboration of the Pakistani Secret services, and he simply abandoned his cover. Since everyone believes he is dead, nobodys looking for him, so it was pretty easy to disappear. Without the beard and the military jacket, nobody recognizes him.”

We could find no evidence that Snowden, who leaked classified information about the federal governments surveillance programs, has ever said such a thing about bin Laden. Snowden fled to Moscow to avoid espionage charges and has since given several interviews, but this post is fake.

Versions of the story have appeared on many other websites over the last several months. But it originated on WorldNewsDailyReport.com, a parody website weve identified on our list of dubious news sources, way back on Aug. 25, 2015.

The sites disclaimer noted that “WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website even those based on real people are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.”

The sites stories are fabricated. As far as we can tell, the Moscow Tribune is not even a real media outlet, although there are Twitter and Facebook accounts under that name that do share news stories (the paper in Moscow, Idaho, is called the Daily News).

The version of the post on AntiNews.in also cited a Dec. 31, 2015, post on a site called NaijaPicks.com, which said it worked “to keep you informed on what’s going on in Nigeria, Africa and the world over.” The post also included real quotes from Snowden reported in The Guardian newspaper in 2013.

We attempted to reach AntiNews.in through its online contact form, the only available method of reaching the site, but did not receive a response.

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Years-old story that Edward Snowden can prove Osama bin Laden lives in Bahamas is fake news – PolitiFact

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Comey hailed as ‘intelligence porn star’ by Assange, as Snowden defends ‘leak’ – RT

Published time: 8 Jun, 2017 22:03 Edited time: 9 Jun, 2017 10:20

James Comey’s revelation Thursday that he leaked information to the media received mixed reactions from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange seized the opportunity to play on the former FBI Directors own words, when he coined the term “intelligence porn” in his criticism of WikiLeaks’ activities.

READ MORE:Intelligence porn: FBI directors new nickname for WikiLeaks

Meanwhile, Snowden, reacted somewhat more empathetically, tweeting: sometimes the only moral decision is to break the rules.

Comey confirmed under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee that he leaked details of a meeting with President Donald Trump to the media via a friend. The leaked memo included the claim that Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynns contacts with Russian officials.

READ MORE: Ex-FBI chief Comey: Many news stories about Russia are just dead wrong

Weighing in on Thursdays proceedings, Snowden subtly pointed out the similarities in their situations.

The whistleblower added that he was sympathetic to Comeys reasoning for the leak but noted that the government was not convinced when the same argument was made by former CIA director General David Petraeus over his leaks.

Snowden also responded to claims by Trumps lawyer that Comey made unauthorized disclosures of privileged communications, with the former NSA contractor saying the public interest in this case is superior.

In March, Snowden called out Comeys statement on leaks to the media in which the then-FBI director suggested such releases could be deterred by locking some people up.

In June 2013, federal prosecutors, led by Comey, filed criminal charges against Snowden under the Espionage Act over the leaking of classified information regarding the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

Two years later, Comey called Snowden a fugitive, adding, Id love to apprehend him so he can enjoy the benefits of the freest and fairest criminal justice system in the world.

However that hasnt stopped the whistleblower coming to the defense of the former FBI director in the aftermath of his firing by Trump. This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities. If I can oppose his firing, so can you, he tweeted last month.

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Comey hailed as ‘intelligence porn star’ by Assange, as Snowden defends ‘leak’ – RT

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The NSA Has Done Little to Prevent the Next Edward Snowden – Motherboard

When Edward Snowden walked out of the NSA in 2013 with thumb drives full of its most secret files, the agency didn’t have a reliable list of peoplelike Snowdenwho had privileged access to its networks. Nor did it have a reliable list of those who were authorized to use removable media to transfer data to or from an NSA system. That’s one of the alarming revelations in a Department of Defense Inspector General report from last year. The report, which was ordered by Congress, reviewed whether the NSA had completed some of the most important initiatives it has started in response to the Snowden leak to make its data more secure. The New York Times obtained the DOD IG report via FOIA. The most shocking detail in the report is that even at the new National Security Agency data center in Utah, “NSA did not consistently secure server racks and other sensitive equipment” in data centers and machine rooms. At the Utah Data Center and two other facilities, the report stated, “we observed unlocked server racks and sensitive equipment.” The finding that the NSA wasn’t locking down all its server racks was first disclosed and reported in a House Intelligence Committee Report on Edward Snowden’s leaks released in December. But the more fundamental problem revealed in the report is that the NSA has done little to limit the number of people who have access to what are supposed to be the most protected hardware the NSA has. The IG report examined seven of the most important out of 40 “Secure the Net” initiatives rolled out since Snowden began leaking classified information. Two of the initiatives aspired to reduce the number of people who had the kind of access Snowden did: those who have privileged access to maintain, configure, and operate the NSA’s computer systems (what the report calls PRIVACs), and those who are authorized to use removable media to transfer data to or from an NSA system (what the report calls DTAs). The government’s apparent lack of curiosity is fairly alarming But when DOD’s inspectors went to assess whether NSA had succeeded in doing this, they found something disturbing. In both cases, the NSA did not have solid documentation about how many such users existed at the time of the Snowden leak. With respect to PRIVACs, in June 2013 (the start of the Snowden leak), “NSA officials stated that they used a manually kept spreadsheet, which they no longer had, to identify the initial number of privileged users.” The report offered no explanation for how NSA came to no longer have that spreadsheet just as an investigation into the biggest breach thus far at NSA started. With respect to DTAs, “NSA did not know how many DTAs it had because the manually kept list was corrupted during the months leading up to the security breach.” There seem to be two possible explanations for the fact that the NSA couldn’t track who had the same kind of access that Snowden exploited to steal so many documents. Either the dog ate their homework: Someone at NSA made the documents unavailable (or they never really existed). Or someone fed the dog their homework: Some adversary made these lists unusable. The former would suggest the NSA had something to hide as it prepared to explain why Snowden had been able to walk away with NSA’s crown jewels. The latter would suggest that someone deliberately obscured who else in the building might walk away with the crown jewels. Obscuring that list would be of particular value if you were a foreign adversary planning on walking away with a bunch of files, such as the set of hacking tools the Shadow Brokers have since released, which are believed to have originated at NSA. NSA headquarters in Maryland. Image: MJB/Flickr The government’s apparent lack of curiosityat least in this reportabout which of these was the case is fairly alarming, because it is a critically important question in assessing why NSA continues to have serious data breaches. For example, it would be important to know if Hal Martin, the Booz Allen Hamilton contractor accused of stealing terabytes of NSA data in both hard copy and digital form, showed up on these lists or if he simply downloaded data for decades without authorization to do so. Even given the real concern that Russia or someone else might have reason to want to make the names of PRIVACs and DTAs inaccessible at precisely the time the NSA reviewed the Snowden breach, the NSA’s subsequent action does provide support for the likelihood the agency itself was hiding how widespread PRIVAC and DTA access was. For both categories, DOD’s Inspector General found NSA did not succeed in limiting the number of people who might, in the future, walk away with classified documents and software. With PRIVACs, the NSA simply “arbitrarily” removed privileged access from some number of users, then had them reapply for privileged access over the next 3 months. The NSA couldn’t provide DOD’s IG with “the number of privileged users before and after the purge or the actual number of users purged.” After that partial purge, though, NSA had “a continued and consistent increase in the number of privileged users.” As with PRIVACs, the NSA “could not provide supporting documentation for the total number of DTAs before and after the purge” and so was working from an “unsubstantiated” estimate. After the Snowden leak, the NSA purged all DTAs and made them reapply, which they did in 2014. The NSA pointed to the new number of DTAs and declared it a reduction from its original “unsupported” estimate. When asked how it justified its claim that it had reduced the number of people who could use thumb drives with NSA’s networks when it didn’t know how many such people it had to begin with, the NSA explained, “although the initiat[iv]e focused on reducing the number of DTA, the actions taken by NSA were not designed to reduce the number of DTAs; rather they were taken to overhaul the DTA process to identify and vet all DTAs.” The IG Report notes that the NSA “continued to consistently increase the number of DTAs throughout the next 12 months.” When, in 2008, someone introduced a worm into DOD’s networks via a thumb drive, it decreed that it would no longer use removable media. Then, after Chelsea Manning exfiltrated a bunch of documents on a Lady Gaga CD, the government again renewed its commitment to limiting the use of removable media. This report reveals that only in the wake of the Snowden leaks did the NSA get around to developing a vetted list of those who could use thumb drives in NSA’s networks. Yet as recently as last year, Reality Winner (who, as an Air Force translator, was presumably not a privileged access user at all) stuck some kind of removable media into a Top Secret computer, yet the government claims not to know what she downloaded or whether she downloaded anything at all (it’s unclear whether that Air Force computer came within NSA’s review). When contacted with specific questions about its inability to track privileged users, the NSA pointed to its official statement on the DOD IG Report. “The National Security Agency operates in one of the most complicated IT environments in the world. Over the past several years, we have continued to build on internal security improvements while carrying out the mission to defend the nation and our allies around the clock.” The Office of Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond with comment to my questions. Yet this issue pertains not just to the recent spate of enormous data breaches, which led last month to the worldwide WannaCry ransomware attack using NSA’s stolen tools. It also pertains to the privacy of whatever data on Americans the NSA might have in its repositories. If, three years after Snowden, the NSA still hasn’t succeeded in limiting the number of people with the technical capability to do what he did, how can NSA ensure it keeps Americans’ data safe?

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June 20, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Putin compares James Comey to Edward Snowden – Newburgh Gazette

An hour after the “nice” tweet, Trump continued to reiterate his stance that the investigation was a farce, tweeting again that it was a “witch hunt”. President Donald Trump wants to make it very clear to all Americans: An investigation of his campaign’s tied to Moscow is a “witch hunt”, plain and simple. Malcolm, who worked for Trump’s FBI director pick, Chris Wray, when Wray was head of the DOJ’s criminal division, spoke after a Washington Post report said Mueller’s investigation has now widened to determine whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice. Since appointed as special counsel last month, Mueller has not publicly discussed his work. Donald Trump has spent much of his presidency obsessing over whether he’s personally under investigation as part of the probe into his Russian Federation scandal. The Post referred to anonymous sources who had been briefed on requests made by Mueller’s investigators. Rachel noted on last night’s show the blockbuster new report from the Washington Post. The special counsel is following two major lines of investigation, said one United States official familiar with the rough outlines of Mueller’s probe who spoke on condition of anonymity. Reports have alleged that Trump asked both men to publicly quash the credibility of the Russian Federation investigation. Even if Mueller’s probe finds evidence Trump tried to obstruct justice, the Justice Department – which oversees the FBI and the special counsel investigation – is highly unlikely to indict a sitting president. The piece added that Trump had received assurances from then-FBI Director James Comey that he wasn’t personally being investigated, but that changed for the president “shortly after Comey’s firing”. The transition official said the organization has also separately asked the General Services Administration to preserve records from the Trump transition that were transferred to its facilities after the inauguration. While he was strongly critical of some of Mr Comey’s testimony to a Senate panel, the president said last week that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief had vindicated him when he said that while he was at the agency, Mr Trump was not the subject of the FBI’s Russian Federation probe. It will be up to Mueller to decide whether Trump crossed the legal line and whether to pursue an obstruction case against him. The obstruction of justice investigation into Trump began days after Comey was sacked on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter, the Post said. He’s increasingly focused his anger at both Rosenstein and Mueller, according to advisers and confidants, viewing the two as part of a biased effort to undermine his presidency. Sen. The Washington Post reported Thursday that Jared Kushner’s business dealings were also being scrutinized by Mueller’s team. “In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believed to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate”, Rogers said.

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June 17, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Russian President Says Edward Snowden Did Not Leak US Intelligence to Moscow – Newsweek

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden, who is currently living in Russia, ever offered to hand Moscow sensitive information in exchange for asylum. We made first contact with Mr. Snowden in China, Putin said, reflecting on Snowdens departure from the U.S. following his leak of tens of thousands of National Security Agency and British Government Communications Headquartersdocuments in 2013. The Russian president was speaking to U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone for his four-part documentary series for Showtime called The Putin Interviews. Related: Putin answers questions about cloning himself, marijuana and sex Daily Emails and Alerts- Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox Thats when we were told that there is this person who wants to fight for human rights and against their violation. And we need to give credit to Mr. Snowden. He never took it upon himself to give us any kind of information, Putin said. However, Putin told Stone that Russia was not prepared to welcome Snowden at first. We have such complicated relations with the U.S., and we dont need additional complications, the Russian president explained. According to Putin, Snowdens arrival in Moscow came as a surprise to the Kremlin, as it was initially only intended as a transit flight to Latin America. To Cuba or to Ecuador? Stone asked Putin, though the president did not answer. He only revealed that Russia was not fully prepared to accept Snowden at first and that once the information about his protracted trip around the world made it to the press, he would not be allowed to fly anywhere. And he was stranded in the transit passenger zone, Putin said. He is a personthat it is brave, if not a little reckless. He sat for a while in the transit passenger zone, and then we even gave him temporary asylum. Of course the American side asked us to hand him over. Clearly we could not do that, Putin said. When asked why, he said it was because Russia did not feel it would have the same treatment in response if it asked for an extradition. Equally, Snowden has denied taking any files to Russia, telling TheNew York Times in 2013 it would not serve the public interest to do so.

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June 16, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Vladimir Putin Invites James Comey to Follow Edward Snowden and Seek Asylum in Russia – Newsweek

Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared ex-FBI director James Comey to fugitive Edward Snowden and joked he would offer him political asylum. Speaking on his annual Direct Line program, in which he answers screened questions from viewers all over Russia live on all major state TV channels, Putin weighed in on the rift between Comey and U.S. President Donald Trump. I do not know the details of Comeys testimony but some things are clear to me, Putin said, referring to the ex-FBI directors address to the U.S. Senate in which he spoke of awkward encounters with Trump. Among those mentioned by Comey included Trump demanding loyalty from the FBI director and expressing hope Comey would stop investigating compromising links between the presidents appointees and the Russian government. Daily Emails and Alerts- Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox Read More: Putin gets trolled by Russians calling for his resignation live on air Comey was fired because Trump was not happy with the ongoing investigation, which he has called a made up story even as his former national security adviser Michael Flynn admitted to misleading the White House about past contacts with the Russian ambassador. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from the investigation for a similar reason. Putin has argued the Russian ambassador did nothing wrong as it is his job to meet with people. Perhaps in a show of good faith on Thursday he said Comey could find shelter in Russia if ever he needed, just like Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor-turned-whistleblower. Comey said he kept record of a conversation with the president and then gave it to the press. Well this already is odd. How then is the FBI director different from Snowden, he added, referring to the huge leak of classified information by Snowden. Then he is a rights defender. The legal difference that Putin, a former spy himself, did not mention is that Comey leaked the memo after being dismissed from his role and a private citizen and the information was about a conversation he had personally, and was not classified. Snowden had leaked classified information about U.S. intelligence and surveillance activities. Regardless, Putins arms, at least rhetorically, are wide open as he said if Comey were to face political persecution, Russia is ready to accept him too. Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov was quick to congratulate Putin on his brilliant trolling. I can imagine former FBI director Comeys face, when he learned that Moscow was ready to grant him asylum as it did to Snowden.

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June 15, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden Fast Facts – KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana – KRTV Great Falls News

CNN Library (CNN) — Here is a look at the life of Edward Snowden, who has admitted to leaking information about US surveillance programs to the press. Personal: Birth date: June 21, 1983 Birth place: Elizabeth City, North Carolina Birth name: Edward Joseph Snowden Father: Lonnie Snowden, former Coast Guard officer Mother: Elizabeth Snowden, federal court administrator Other Facts: Dropped out of high school. The Guardian reported that in 2009, Snowden got the first of several jobs with private contractors that worked with the National Security Agency (NSA). Timeline: May 7, 2004 – Enlists in the Army Reserve as a Special Forces candidate. September 28, 2004 – Is discharged from the Army Reserve without completing any training. 2013 – Works for Booz Allen Hamilton for less than three months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. Snowden is terminated on June 10, 2013. May 16, 2013 – Snowden has his first direct exchange with Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman. May 20, 2013 – Snowden leaves for Hong Kong. May 24, 2013 – In an e-mail to Gellman, Snowden requests that the Post publish information about PRISM, a surveillance program that gathers information from Facebook, Microsoft, Google and others. June 5, 2013 – The Guardian reports that the US government has obtained a secret court order that requires Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans to the NSA. June 6, 2013 – The Guardian and the Washington Post disclose the existence of PRISM, a program they say allows the NSA to extract the details of customer activities — including “audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents” and other materials — from computers at Microsoft, Google, Apple and other Internet companies. June 9, 2013 – The Guardian and Washington Post disclose Snowden as their source for the intelligence related leaks. June 9, 2013 – Booz Allen Hamilton releases a statement confirming that Snowden has been an employee of their firm for almost three months. June 12, 2013 – The South China Morning Post publishes an interview with Snowden in which he says that US intelligence agents have been hacking networks around the world for years. June 17, 2013 – During a live online chat, the person identified as Snowden by Britain’s Guardian newspaper insists that US authorities have access to phone calls, e-mails and other communications far beyond constitutional bounds. June 18, 2013 – Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce argues that the PRISM program has helped stop a number of alleged terrorist attacks. June 21, 2013 – Federal prosecutors unseal a complaint filed in US District Court in Virginia on June 14, 2013, charging Snowden with espionage and theft of government property. June 22, 2013 – A senior US administration official says the United States has contacted authorities in Hong Kong to seek the extradition of Snowden. June 23, 2013 – Snowden flies to Moscow from Hong Kong. Russian President Vladimir Putin later verifies that Snowden is in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. June 23, 2013 – A source tells CNN that the US government has revoked Snowden’s passport. June 30, 2013 – German news magazine Der Spiegel reports that classified leaks by Snowden detail NSA bugging of European Union offices in Washington and New York, as well as an EU building in Brussels. July 12, 2013 – Snowden meets with human rights activists and lawyers. He says he is requesting asylum from Russia while he awaits safe passage to Latin America. July 16, 2013 – Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena tells CNN that Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in Russia. If his request is granted, Snowden would be able to live in Russia for at least a year. July 24, 2013 – Russian news media reports that Russia has approved documents that would allow Snowden to enter the rest of the country while his temporary asylum request is considered. August 1, 2013 – Kucherena tells CNN that Snowden’s application for political asylum for a year has been approved and he has left the Moscow airport. October 31, 2013 – Snowden’s attorney Kucherena tells CNN that his client has been hired by an unnamed Russian website. November 3, 2013 – A letter, purportedly written by Snowden, is published in the German magazine Der Spiegel. The letter, titled “A Manifesto for the Truth” says, “mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution.” December 17, 2013 – Snowden posts an open letter to Brazil, offering to help investigate US surveillance of Brazilian citizens. January 23, 2014 – Attorney General Eric Holder says, “If Mr. Snowden wanted to come back to the United States and enter a plea, we would engage with his lawyers.” Snowden says in an online chat the same day that,” (a return to the US is) unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistle-blower protection laws.” March 10, 2014 – Snowden speaks via teleconference from Russia to an audience of thousands at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, urging the audience to help “fix” the US government’s surveillance of its citizens. The event marks the first time Snowden has directly addressed people in the United States since he fled the country with thousands of secret documents last June. May 28, 2014 – NBC News airs an interview with Snowden in which he claims, “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word — in that I lived and worked undercover, overseas, pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine.” In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, National Security Adviser Susan Rice denies that Snowden was ever a US spy. August 7, 2014 – Snowden’s attorney announces that Snowden has been granted an extension to stay in Russia for three more years. February 23, 2015 – NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers says that Snowden’s surveillance leaks have had a “material impact” on the agency’s ability to prevent and detect terror plots. June 4, 2015 – In response to President Barack Obama signing the USA Freedom Act that will limit our nation’s surveillance on private citizens, Snowden publishes an op-ed piece in The New York Times saying “ending the mass surveillance of private phone calls under the Patriot Act is a historic victory for the rights of every citizen…” July 28, 2015 – The White House rejects a petition to pardon Snowden and maintains its position that Snowden should return to the United States. The petition contains over 167,000 signatures supporting Snowden. September 29, 2015 – Snowden joins Twitter and gains over 110,000 followers in less than an hour after posting his first tweet. Snowden only follows the NSA. October 5, 2015 – According to Snowden, he is willing to go to prison if he is allowed to return to the United States. Snowden and his lawyers are waiting to discuss a deal with the US government. May 30, 2016 – Former US Attorney General Eric Holder says Snowden performed a “public service” by triggering a debate over surveillance techniques, but still must pay a penalty for illegally leaking a trove of classified intelligence documents. September 16, 2016 – The film “Snowden,” directed by Oliver Stone, opens in US theaters. December 22, 2016 – Congress releases a report saying Snowden has been in contact with Russian intelligence officials since arriving in Russia. Snowden immediately takes to Twitter following the report’s release to dispute the accusations, writing “they claim without evidence that I’m in cahoots with the Russians.” January 17, 2017 – Russia extends Snowden’s asylum until 2020. TM & 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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June 15, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Putin says Edward Snowden’s arrival in Russia was a surprise but claims he remains ‘safe’ – International Business Times UK

Russian president Vladimir Putin has indicated he was just as surprised as anyone to learn that National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden was heading in the direction of Russia after revealing his identity and fleeing Hong Kong back in 2013. The Kremlin chief opened up during an interview published this week (13 June) with Hollywood director Oliver Stone as part of a four-part documentary filmed over the past two years. In 2016, Stone released a biopic about the infamous leaker to a mixed reception. “Our first contact with Mr Snowden was in China,” Putin said. “We were told back then that this was a person who wanted to fight against violations of human rights. “Mr Snowden didn’t want to give us any information. He needs to be credited for that, but we were not willing to do that [provide asylum] yet.” He added: “We already had a quite difficult relationship with the United States as it was and we didn’t want to aggravate those relations. He just disappeared. “Then I got a report that Snowden was on a plane bound for Moscow to transfer to another plane and [then] fly to Latin America.” Indeed, it was June 2013 when Snowden, alongside WikiLeaks’ Sarah Harrison, landed in Moscow to find US authorities had cancelled his passport. Despite some scepticism, the pair have long-denied any stolen NSA material was accessed by China or Russia. Putin called Snowden a “courageous” man and claimed it was a failed extradition treaty between Moscow and Washington which ultimately led to him being given temporary asylum. In January 2017, it emerged Snowden would be permitted to stay in Russia until 2020. “Snowden is not a traitor,” Putin asserted. “He didn’t betray the interests of his country nor did he transfer any information to any other country which would have been pernicious to his own country or his own people. The only thing Snowden does, he does publicly. “I am quite confident that the American authorities were just acting under the pressure of circumstances and they have made many mistakes. “Their mistakes are what saved Snowden because otherwise he would be in prison now.” The rogue NSA agent, who maintains an active presence on social media, has many opponents. One former agency analyst, John Schindler, has repeatedly voiced the opinion Snowden was a foreign spy and that he should be branded a defector rather than a whistleblower. “There is no known case of a defector not collaborating with the KGB or its successors,” he wrote in a blog post in June 2016. “If you want sanctuary, you will tell the Russians everything you know,” he added. “That is how the spy game works.” Additionally, John Inglis, a former deputy director of the NSA, told IBTimes UK in an interview last year that Snowden may have become an “unwitting tool” of Russia. “I think [he is] complicit in that whether he likes it or not,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine an intelligence service of that high calibre would not find some way to take advantage of the presence of somebody who actually was inside NSA and CIA and tease out what insights they might get.” As Stone’s documentary rolls out with the next instalment set to air on 15 June 2017 some critics have voiced the opinion the programme should be viewed as propaganda. Tensions between the US and Russia spiked last year after American political groups were targeted by hackers. The Hollywood director noted on Snowden: “One thing is clear, I think the only place in the world where he is safe is in Russia.” Putin, the former KGB agent, replied: “I think so too.”

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June 14, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden criticizes Comey’s firing, despite …

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 7:27 PM Even Edward Snowden condemned James Comeys firing. Shortly after the White House announced that President Trump had fired the FBI director, Snowden spoke out against the move. This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities, he tweeted Tuesday evening. If I can oppose his firing, so can you. GOP, Dems weigh in on FBI Director James Comey’s firing Snowden fled the United States in May 2013 after leaking thousands of classified National Security Agency documents. A month later, the U.S. Department of Justice, led by Comey, charged him with two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property. In January 2014, Comey said he was confused by those who called Snowden a whistleblower or hero. “I see the government operating the way the founders intended,” Comey told reporters, “so I have trouble applying the whistleblower label to someone who basically disagrees with the way our government is structured and operates.” Trump fires FBI Director James Comey over Clinton email probe Comey also told Yahoo News in 2015 that he had no intention of negotiating a plea deal with Snowden, calling him a fugitive.

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June 13, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Years-old story that Edward Snowden can prove Osama bin Laden lives in Bahamas is fake news – PolitiFact

A fake news story claimed that NSA leaker Edward Snowden had proof that Osama bin Laden was still alive, living with family in the Bahamas. (AP photo) A fake news story that said former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had proof that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was enjoying a taxpayer-funded lifetime vacation in the Caribbean has resurfaced after several years. “Edward Snowden: Osama bin Laden is still alive living in the Bahamas,” read the headline on a May 13, 2017, post on AntiNews.in, a repository of wild-eyed conspiracy stories. It was flagged by Facebook users as potentially fake as part of the social media websites efforts to combat fake news. The post said Snowden told the Moscow Tribune that instead of killing the al-Qaida leader in May 2011, the United States set him up with a cushy retirement fund through the CIA payroll. As of 2013, it said, bin Laden is living with “five of his wives and many children” collecting more than $100,000 a month via a Nassau bank account. “Osama Bin Laden was one of the CIAs most efficient operatives for a long time,” Snowden is allegedly quoted as saying. “What kind of message would it send their other operatives if they were to let the SEALs kill him? They organized his fake death with the collaboration of the Pakistani Secret services, and he simply abandoned his cover. Since everyone believes he is dead, nobodys looking for him, so it was pretty easy to disappear. Without the beard and the military jacket, nobody recognizes him.” We could find no evidence that Snowden, who leaked classified information about the federal governments surveillance programs, has ever said such a thing about bin Laden. Snowden fled to Moscow to avoid espionage charges and has since given several interviews, but this post is fake. Versions of the story have appeared on many other websites over the last several months. But it originated on WorldNewsDailyReport.com, a parody website weve identified on our list of dubious news sources, way back on Aug. 25, 2015. The sites disclaimer noted that “WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website even those based on real people are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.” The sites stories are fabricated. As far as we can tell, the Moscow Tribune is not even a real media outlet, although there are Twitter and Facebook accounts under that name that do share news stories (the paper in Moscow, Idaho, is called the Daily News). The version of the post on AntiNews.in also cited a Dec. 31, 2015, post on a site called NaijaPicks.com, which said it worked “to keep you informed on what’s going on in Nigeria, Africa and the world over.” The post also included real quotes from Snowden reported in The Guardian newspaper in 2013. We attempted to reach AntiNews.in through its online contact form, the only available method of reaching the site, but did not receive a response. We rate this statement Pants On Fire! Share the Facts 2017-06-12 20:32:59 UTC 1 1 7 Pants on Fire “Edward Snowden: Osama bin Laden is still alive living in the Bahamas” in a headline Saturday, May 13, 2017 2017-05-13

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June 13, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Comey hailed as ‘intelligence porn star’ by Assange, as Snowden defends ‘leak’ – RT

Published time: 8 Jun, 2017 22:03 Edited time: 9 Jun, 2017 10:20 James Comey’s revelation Thursday that he leaked information to the media received mixed reactions from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange seized the opportunity to play on the former FBI Directors own words, when he coined the term “intelligence porn” in his criticism of WikiLeaks’ activities. READ MORE:Intelligence porn: FBI directors new nickname for WikiLeaks Meanwhile, Snowden, reacted somewhat more empathetically, tweeting: sometimes the only moral decision is to break the rules. Comey confirmed under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee that he leaked details of a meeting with President Donald Trump to the media via a friend. The leaked memo included the claim that Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynns contacts with Russian officials. READ MORE: Ex-FBI chief Comey: Many news stories about Russia are just dead wrong Weighing in on Thursdays proceedings, Snowden subtly pointed out the similarities in their situations. The whistleblower added that he was sympathetic to Comeys reasoning for the leak but noted that the government was not convinced when the same argument was made by former CIA director General David Petraeus over his leaks. Snowden also responded to claims by Trumps lawyer that Comey made unauthorized disclosures of privileged communications, with the former NSA contractor saying the public interest in this case is superior. In March, Snowden called out Comeys statement on leaks to the media in which the then-FBI director suggested such releases could be deterred by locking some people up. In June 2013, federal prosecutors, led by Comey, filed criminal charges against Snowden under the Espionage Act over the leaking of classified information regarding the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. Two years later, Comey called Snowden a fugitive, adding, Id love to apprehend him so he can enjoy the benefits of the freest and fairest criminal justice system in the world. However that hasnt stopped the whistleblower coming to the defense of the former FBI director in the aftermath of his firing by Trump. This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities. If I can oppose his firing, so can you, he tweeted last month.

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June 11, 2017   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed


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