Gov't Officials Leak Classified Info To Journalists To Discredit Snowden For Leaking Classified Info To Journalists
from the we're-from-the-government,-we-don't-do-irony dept
We already mentioned the bizarre NY Times article from over the weekend that described how Snowden apparently used some basic web crawler software to collect the documents he later leaked. As we noted, the basic story itself is unremarkable, other than for how the NY Times tried to turn “man uses basic tool” into a story. However, there is a really good quote from Snowden himself (via his lawyers) in response to the article. Since most of it involves senior government officials telling NYT reporters about security problems at some NSA facilities, Snowden was quick to point out the irony:
“It’s ironic that officials are giving classified information to journalists in an effort to discredit me for giving classified information to journalists. The difference is that I did so to inform the public about the government’s actions, and they’re doing so to misinform the public about mine.”
Kinda puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it?
Filed Under: classified info, ed snowden, nsa, surveillance
Comments on “Gov't Officials Leak Classified Info To Journalists To Discredit Snowden For Leaking Classified Info To Journalists”
Is it a surprise at all? The bright side is that in this age of communications these shady tactics cannot be hidden from the people as easy as they would like.
And this will help so very much with the growing understanding that there are different rules and laws depending on who you are, in the country where all men are created equal.
Not only are they using V for Vendetta and 1984 as a playbook, it seems they also read Animal Farm.
Be very suspicious every time NYT publishes an article that gives gives masked praise to the NSA or makes them look positive and Snowden & Co bad.
NYT has been doing it quite a lot lately, which is disappointing, before for a while I thought they finally “got it” and they would start being more like TheGuardian and WP and others in regards to these posts, but they still seem to mainly keep the side of the government. Shame. It’s almost like it’s not the same paper that protected Daniel Ellsberg several decades ago.
Strike almost and you nailed it… it’s not.
The NYT is just pissy because they are not the ones breaking the big news. They feel there is something wrong with any big story that didn’t come from them. Just put it down to arrogance and pity them.
They set them up for him and he knocks them down.
OK, I’m seeing a lot of this criticism from the geek quadrant. Yes, yes, you’re all much savvier than the normals, and certainly than the journalists who aren’t TOTALLY ON BOARD, all the time, with everything you believe.
But the story was a fairly big deal — it showed just how incredibly mismanaged the NSA is, especially with its own security. That was the point of the story. How it makes Snowden look bad and the NSA look good has so far gone unexplained, because it simply isn’t true. But it’s easier to just say that the story does that than to actually, you know, demonstrate it.
No it’s not. The “tools” used to “scrape” “websites” are actually very common. I have them on servers I admin. AFAIK they’re included stock with most linux distros.
It’s like saying “ZOMG he used teh NOTEPADSES!!!!”
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I think the ‘big deal’ was that he was able to get so much with such simple tools.
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They are showing their complete incompetence with this story without even realizing how incompetent they look.
So, basically, they leave all their documents sitting around on an intranet that Snowden had complete access to.
Seems like poor document management if you’re the NSA.
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Well, like the NYT reporter, I made a very clear point that you continue to choose to ignore: he used these very simple tools to download huge volumes of highly classified information. The fact that such tools are commonly used by admins is sort of the point.
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Vat is dis “linux” you spaek of? Jou must be a communist sympathizer to use “tools” such as dese…
How is it a big deal?
Part of an admins job is to find and move files around, make backups, etc. Without the tools they describe, he can not do his job. Period. So he automated part of the process. Guess what? That too is part of his job. Sys admins often times write scripts to handle big maintenance tasks that would take way too long to handle in a manual manner and need to be run frequently. That’s not surprising. The only thing he did (which isn’t new) is take content home on thumb drives the release it to the journalists. That’s it. This is more a government official speaking to the NYT about stuff that isn’t surprising at all and using loaded terms that they then parrot in the article to make it sound sensationalistic. The quotes are meant actually meant to diffuse backlash for using those loaded terms by effectively saying “these are their words not ours.” It’s a fluff piece and that is why they are getting mocked by those who see it for what it is.
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As the story makes clear, and as we should already know anyway, these are highly classified documents we’re talking about here. Yes, admins use scraping tools all the time, but they shouldn’t be able to use them as employees of government contractors who have no clearance to access highly classified material. Also as the story made clear, most NSA offices had security in place to prevent such a thing from happening, but the office Snowden worked on didn’t
Yeesh. I mean, the NYT perhaps made a bit more of a big deal out of this than it deserved, but it’s still a story, and not a minor one. It contains details we didn’t know before, which is the definition of news. Yeesh.
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Actually, all reports I’ve seen said that he HAD clearance to see the documents. And a sys admin without access can’t be a very good sys admin as access to the files is necessary for him to do his job. You have to trust you sys admin to a certain point with access otherwise your system falls apart without anyone to maintain it. Where they screwed up was that they were lax about it and had no one looking over his shoulder to make sure he didn’t walk out with anything. That’s the big problem. And it’s also not new.
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The really ironic thing is if they had just given him access to the meta data and encrypted the content none of this would be happening.
If those documents had been encrypted, then the admins can do their job but not gain access to the contents. So once again a government department is trying to deflect the blame for their own bad practices. The question that should be addressed is not how did Ed Snowden get hold of the document, but rather why were they not encrypted with keys that he did not have.
We need a revolution.
Secret agencies want to get RID of secret data…
ALL that OLd stuff just takes up Room, and its a PAIN to control distribution, and regulate WHO uses it..
You cant consider that the USA is the smartest group of people, unless you make EVERYONE ELSE STUPID..
they do enough of that to the Citizens..
pathetic! while they were scooping headlines, the journalists involved were on the Snowden articles like flies on shit! now they have been targeted for possible law suits, they are almost all back pedaling! typical self-interested only ass holes!
Yes, but the US Government are terrorists. That simple.
So, it’s okay if the government leaks documents but it’s not okay if an average citizen does or someone employed by the government does? WOW! Talk about a double standard.
In a ideal world we would put him in charge of gathering intelligence and lock up the current douchebags.
actually there's a triple-standard, by design
*yes* IT Security means different strokes for different folks!
1, you might be a nobody — you don’t get to see or do sh*t
2, you might be a current employ — you can ask for & get granted privileges to do a whole sh*t ton of cool Top Secret sh*t
3, you might be an ex-contractor suspected of espionage — you get all the privileges of a nobody, plus get to defend your pants-to-ankled government & armed spy agencies & their adversarial lawyers +1 elected prejudicial judge-jury-executioner drone assassin Command In Chief
Double-standards and hypocrisy are irrelevant here. We aren’t having a moral debate, or battle of ideas.
This is your country. And this is your country on terrorism.