Edward Snowden

So, What Else Does Edward Snowden Know?


Can we get him to say "I will destroy you!" in a Morbo voice?
The Guardian

Over the weekend, Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden/NSA/PRISM story over at The Guardian, told La Nacion in Argentina that surveillance leaker Snowden is capable of causing more damage to the United States than "anyone else has ever had in the history" of the country. Besides writing the prosecution's opening statement should Snowden actually be captured, Greenwald was attempting to point out that he didn't intend to do so. Fox News reports:

"But that's not his goal," Greenwald told the newspaper. "His objective is to expose software that people around the world use without knowing what they are exposing themselves to, without consciously agreeing to surrender their rights to privacy. He has a huge number of documents that would be very harmful to the U.S. government if they were made public." 

Greenwald also told The Associated Press that disclosure of the information in the documents would "allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it." 

Greenwald said "literally thousands" of documents taken by Snowden constitute "basically the instruction manual" for how the NSA is built. 

"In order to take documents with him that proved that what he was saying was true he had to take ones that included very sensitive, detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do," said Greenwald, adding that the interview took place about four hours after his last interaction with Snowden. 

If this is the case, actually quite a few people are probably able to cause this damage. Snowden's just the one who has gone public to let us know the extent of what was going on.

Greenwald also explained the pact to release more information should any harm come to Snowden:

Asked about a so-called dead man's pact, which Greenwald has said would allow several people to access Snowden's trove of documents were anything to happen to him, Greenwald replied that "media descriptions of it have been overly simplistic. 

"It's not just a matter of, if he dies, things get released, it's more nuanced than that," he said. "It's really just a way to protect himself against extremely rogue behavior on the part of the United States, by which I mean violent actions toward him, designed to end his life, and it's just a way to ensure that nobody feels incentivized to do that." 

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  1. Don’t fuck with Black Jesus and his crew, or else!

    That’s what Snowden, and any other whistleblower type, have been thought.

  2. If they kill him, they’ll never find out.

  3. Snow knows.

  4. “So, What Else Does Edward Snowden Know?”
    I’ll bet Obozo would sure like the answer to that question.

  5. All this damage he could cause, I wonder what kind of damage that is? Troop positions? Strategic military plans? Or are they things that are violations of constitutional and/or international law? How many here don’t think the big threat is in the latter?

    Too many fucking secrets if you ask me. Snowden may be an ass, but from what we’ve learned so far, there is a real threat in how far the government has left the reservation.

    1. Sounds like a real snowjob to me.

    2. You cannot have a military without secrets, or intelligence for that matter. I’m not really concerned with these types of secrets.

      But when they start saying the ends justify the means, when they view the constitution as an impediment and then attempt to cover up blatant violations by keeping them secret, I’ve got a big fucking problem.

      For most of last year, Ron Wyden was crying wolf.

      In the U.S. government’s approach to surveillance and gathering information, the Oregon Democratic senator insisted, it was using secret interpretations of laws to conduct much broader data collection than anybody realized. As a member of the Senate intelligence committee, he could not speak openly, but he warned that if Americans knew what their government was doing, they would be considerably surprised — and dismayed.

      I suspect they are WAY off the reservation.

    3. Well census isn’t exactly a state secret.

    4. Or are they things that are violations of constitutional and/or international law?

      My contempt for “international law” is topped only by my contempt for those that would sign on to such bullshit.

      1. Well, some of it is bullshit. Not all of it, though.

  6. I guess I’m in the John Galt camp on this one. Release ALL of the documents, tear the whole fucking thing down, because at this point, the very existence of the NSA is a threat to all people, everywhere.

    The resulting “damage” is the price we have to pay at this late stage in the game in order to have a fighting chance of dismantling this leviathan that threatens to extinguish liberty forever.

    1. But Snowden also has his own safety to consider. Right now not releasing the info is his insurance policy. As time goes on the value of the information will diminish. It’s quite possible that even if he hangs on to some info that he’ll come to an untimely end.

      1. They’re going to get him anyway. He should at least make his inevitable slaying at the hands of his own government count for something.

        1. Snowden is as safe as a baby in mama’s arms.

          If he dies, there would be a shitstorm the likes of which even god has never seen. This administration isn’t THAT stupid.

          1. “Snowden is as safe as a baby in mama’s arms.

            Yeah, if his mama is Casey Anthony!

            1. Good one, TLA Guy.

              1. Or Susan Smith.

            2. Vicki Weaver is the correct answer here.

          2. This administration isn’t THAT stupid.

            I’m not sure I would stake my life on that claim…

        2. He just needs to stay in countries that vigorously defend their airspace and he just might survive a little longer.

          1. I wonder how secure his deadman switch is, anyhow? Surely the government can identify the people he shared the information with.

            1. I’m guessing it’s in the hands of those Wikileaks lawyers he met with.

              1. At the very least, I mean.

            2. Especially since the terms “highly-skilled” and “low-skilled” are completely subjective and meaningless when it comes to the demand for labor.

              Not if its hand-to-hand exchanges of stored data.

              1. Oopsie. You know what I mean.

          2. That’s the other danger, Pro L. The government is surely putting a lot of effort into finding who has that info, and where it’s stored. Even if they can’t destroy all copies, they can make life miserable for anyone who has a copy, etc.

    2. Agreed. The U.S. government is by far the biggest threat to my life and liberty in the world today.

  7. The state secrets doctrine is not to be found in either the Declaration of Independence or the federal constitution. Save the state secrets doctrine was not one of the rallying cries of 1776.

    If a judge is to be true to his oath, he should simply reject the state secrets doctrine and the idiotic rationale offered for its acceptance.

    The philosophic underpinnings of the state secrets doctrine are adolescent, emotional, puerile and irrational.

  8. There is plenty of information already in the public domain which would lead any reasonable person to deeply fear and distrust the American government, yet the majority continue to skip merrily down the nicely paved road to Hell.

    1. Come on, didn’t you see that Kelley Osbourne is engaged to a vegan chef? Priorities, where are your priorities? Who cares about what the NSA is looking at, I post my whole life in my twitter feed anyway, I just wished they showed up as followers to boost my stats.

  9. Deadman switch??
    Proof positive that Snowden hates America.
    Our leaders would never murder a citizen without trial.

    1. Our leaders would never murder a citizen without trial.

      *spittake* What???

  10. by which I mean violent actions toward him, designed to end his life, and it’s just a way to ensure that nobody feels incentivized to do that.

    I wouldn’t rely too much on that, Glenn.

  11. “So, What Else Does Edward Snowden Know?”

    Why does this make me want to make an Image of Ygrette saying “You know nothing Eric Snowden”

  12. Well Greenwald has the biggest boner of his life over this deal. Snowden is a civilian and would be tried in the normal judicial system, facing maximum penalties of 10 years for each charge, likely getting quite a bit less than that. He’s not been charged with anything having to do with terrorism, so the US government can’t just drone him, and it would of course be incredibly politically stupid to do so.

    The fate of Edward Snowden has nothing to do with my civil liberties, but that sideshow has become the main attraction.

    But yeah, the US government has the technical capability to do things that would keep you up at night. I’m OK with the US possessing superior technology; the problem is it’s overseen by human beings, who inevitably engage in abuse when they aren’t properly overseen themselves.

    1. It’s not just that they have superior technology. There is a qualitative difference between collecting pen-register data on a small number of suspects, and assembling a giant database of pen-register data on everyone in the country.

      If this was the Bush administration you would be screaming about hypocrisy and carrying an Edward Snowden placard on Capitol Hill.

      1. This was the Bush administration, but Snowden was probably smart to wait until now. I don’t want to think how this situation would unfold in the hands of Dick Cheney.

        Yes there is a difference, and I’ve not defended any of these programs. But I am somewhat of a fatalist here–it is the goal not only of the US and other governments, but of private companies, to be able to store every bit of electronic data in the world forever. It’s inevitable without some kind of massive principled movement against it.

        1. Tony| 7.15.13 @ 12:28PM |#
          …”But I am somewhat of a fatalist here-“…
          Yeah, having your fave lying twit in office does that.

        2. I don’t want to think…

          Tony reveals his philosophy on life.

        3. Private companies don’t have the power to arrest you, throw you in prison, disappear you, torture you, or drone-assassinate you.

          1. For pete’s sake, HM, I missed that wounded strawman.

        4. That’s a lot of fluff just to say, “It’s okay when the right guys are in charge”.

        5. “”But I am somewhat of a fatalist pathetic apologist for abuses of power by MY TEAM here””


    2. Snowden is a civilian and would be tried in the normal judicial system…


  13. I’d really like to see Reason comment on the appalling stance taken by Orin Kerr over at Volokh on this issue.

    1. “I tend to think of whistle-blowing as involving acts taken in the public interest, not acts that threaten grievous harm to the public interest to further one’s personal interest.”

      Sounds reasonable to me–isn’t that what Greenwald is claiming is on the table?

      1. Tony, Orin Kerr is part of the Volokh rabble who banned me from posting there because I called a prosecutor a slave.

      2. Snowden’s actions ARE in the public interest.

        1. Too many people mistake government interest for public interest, often intentionally and disingenuously.

  14. The fate of Edward Snowden has nothing to do with my civil liberties, but that sideshow has become the main attraction.

    Those boots won’t lick themselves, you know.

  15. Haha, our leaders wouldn’t kill a man without trial. They do it all the time.
    And even if they killed him, everyone would be pissed just for a second until forgetting all about it and going back to praising government.

    1. “And even if they killed him, everyone would be pissed just for a second until forgetting all about it and going back to praising government.”

      Gillespie did an article on this a day or so back.
      It seems that most folks don’t praise it, the seem to think that the failures are cure by *more* oversight.
      I sure don’t know how to fix that stupidity, but it’s not the same stupidity as praising the government.

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