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Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders 749

cold fjord writes "There are new developments in the ongoing controversy engulfing the NSA as a result of the Snowden leaks. From The Hill: 'Emerging from a hearing with NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), the senior Democrat on the panel, said Edward Snowden simply wasn't in the position to access the content of the communications gathered under National Security Agency programs, as he's claimed. "He was lying," Rogers said. "He clearly has over-inflated his position, he has over-inflated his access and he's even over-inflated what the actual technology of the programs would allow one to do. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do." ... "He's done tremendous damage to the country where he was born and raised and educated," Ruppersberger said. ... "It was clear that he attempted to go places that he was not authorized to go, which should raise questions for everyone," Rogers added.'" U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has also told the E.U. justice commissioner that media reports surrounding PRISM are wrong: "The contention it [PRISM] is not subject to any internal or external oversights is simply not correct. It's subject to an extensive oversight regime from executive, legislative and judicial branches and Congress is made aware of these activities. The courts are aware as we need to get a court order. ... We can't target anyone unless appropriate documented foreign intelligence purpose for the prevention of terrorism or hostile cyber activities." Meanwhile, Bloomberg has gone live with a report (based on unidentified sources, so take it with a grain of salt) saying that private sector cooperation with snooping government agencies extends far beyond the ones listed in the PRISM report. "Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said." Whatever PRISM turns out to be, the NY Times is reporting that at least Yahoo, and probably other tech companies as well, tried to fight participation in it. Other reports suggest Twitter refused to participate, though there's been no official confirmation.
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Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

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  • by Bartles ( 1198017 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @11:37AM (#44007509)
  • Other Whisleblowers (Score:5, Informative)

    by aeranvar ( 2589619 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @11:43AM (#44007571)
    ... are confirming what Snowden says. I'm certain someone is lying, though. []
  • Holder?! (Score:5, Informative)

    Holder says he was lying?! Eric Holder? The attorney general whose office is responsible for Too Big To Jail? Who will not prosecute bankers. Who oversaw the Fast and Furious debacle? Who hounded Aaron Swartz to his death?

    Now I know Snowden was telling the truth.

  • 2GB per person (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 14, 2013 @11:47AM (#44007651)

    They have a budget of $4 billion for General Keiths commercial spying. At $100 per TB (overestimate), 10% of their budget is 2GB per person on the internet per year.
    Think of all the data they can keep in 2GB and you see that Keith is lying. No different than when he pretended they didn't collect info on Americans.

    "is not subject to any internal or external oversights is simply not correct."
    We don't care if Bob the spooks approved John the spooks spying on our emails, fuck off. The US Constitution apples and the EU privacy law, and anything else you do is treason.

    "The courts are aware as we need to get a court order."
    And the court orders say "give everything to NSA for 3 months" and is signed by 1 judge in secret. Fuck off.

    "saying that private sector cooperation with snooping government agencies extends far beyond the ones listed in the PRISM report."
    You leaked the SWIFT data, so you've been giving the NSA financial data too, including presumably all the IRS stuff, bank data and all.

    "Whatever PRISM turns out to be, the NY Times is reporting that at least Yahoo, and probably other tech companies as well, tried to fight participation in it. "
    Good for them, Snowden risked his future freedom to leak that, you guys shut up and gave them the data.

    Secret laws and secret judgements run by the military have no place in a democracy. So you're not a democracy. And judging by the fear we see in European politicians, neither is Europe. We all work for the military now. Try not to get shot by the fucking liars.

  • Sure... (Score:5, Informative)

    by milbournosphere ( 1273186 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @11:53AM (#44007737)
    Just in March, Clapper testified to congress that such a program didn't even exist. On March 12th:

    [Wyden]"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
    [James Clapper]"No, sir."
    [Wyden]"It does not?"
    [Clapper:]"Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect -- but not wittingly."

    There have been too many lies and half truths for me to believe anything that the NSA, Obama administration, or upper congressional committees have to say on the matter.

  • Re:Of course. (Score:3, Informative)

    by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @11:57AM (#44007795) Homepage Journal

    Uhm, that's a quote from the Wizard of Oz. What prompted this tirade?

    Slashdot's awesomely terrible post filtering system hid the actual comment he replied to, making it look like he replied to yours.

  • by oGMo ( 379 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @12:01PM (#44007861)
    Sadly while this was my first thought, they're claiming "well we have this system so he committed treason, but he lied about it being bad". Yeah. Right.
  • Outlandish? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SpaceManFlip ( 2720507 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @12:05PM (#44007909)

    Report after report has come out from non-mainstream news sources such was Wired or CNet citing sources with similar stories, like the guy (Mark Klein I think) working for AT&T who discovered the secret room in SF with the NARUS box siphoning off all the Internet traffic to the NSA. Also several ex-NSA employees like William Binney have blown similar whistles.

    Fuck the lies, and wake up. People are tired of the unjustified mission creep that has lead to such horrible violations of our rights. So your paycheck depends on violating your fellow citizens' Constitutional rights? How does that feel? Ever think about honoring your oath to uphold the Constitution? There are plenty of private-sector jobs that pay well enough and don't require violating anyone's rights.

  • Re:Of course. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Friday June 14, 2013 @12:15PM (#44008047) Journal

    The entire point of the constitution was to put limits on government, serious limits.

    And apropos of that, the constitution is the entirety of the legal basis for the government's very existence. Whenever it exceeds the powers granted in the constitution, it is acting without any legal authority.


  • by Lucas123 ( 935744 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @12:26PM (#44008233) Homepage
    There's been plenty of information about the NSA's program for more than TEN years. U.S. Citizens, however, trusted that their government was doing the right thing when the NSA was constructing its electronic dragnet because it was right after 9/11. People are also too busy living their lives to get involved until it's often too late and the damage has been done. NYT article from 2002: []
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @12:53PM (#44008513) Homepage Journal

    That is because he provided HARD EVIDENCE. Power-point slides that explain the scope of the program. He didn't just release all of this stuff on his word. The slides clearly show what is currently existing within the scope of the system and what is forecast for the future. We don't have to believe him. He delivered the proof.

    the slides themselves on their own would have been just slides.

    but - after high level officials tried to do damage control, they're no longer just some slides - they're actual presentations about what the USA government is doing. which gets us to the point that the government didn't even think that authorizing all that was bad or questionable.

    it's the governmental response which provided the proof that they were not just some college boys joke slides.

  • Re:Of course. (Score:5, Informative)

    by gclef ( 96311 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @12:57PM (#44008557)

    criminal []:

    1. (Law) a person charged with and convicted of crime
    2. a person who commits crimes for a living

    Until he's charged and convicted, he's not a criminal.

  • Re:Of course. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @01:51PM (#44009185) Homepage Journal
    Or even better ... child molester. Which is what they did to Kimberly Lindsey who found evidence that the Anthrax sent through the US Mail years ago could not have come from Bruce Ivins (the accused that "committed suicide"), because the strain had to have been manufactured in a very sophisticated industrial facility.
  • by Whorhay ( 1319089 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @02:15PM (#44009433)

    One of the most humorous things I keep hearing is that he was just a lowly so-and-so, he wouldn't have that kind of access. Who exactly do these people think is actually running their systems. For a system of this scale there are going to be hundreds of servers if not more and databases of epic proportions. They have to employ a small army of SA's and DBA's running all of that crap. Then you have all kinds of other folks that'll be performing other functions like security checks and such that will need access. I wouldn't be surprised if each of the servers in this system are accessible at the root level by at least 50 people or more whom these big wigs wouldn't even consider as having access. I've worked in places where I helped monitor dozens of different systems and not a one of them would likely have ever thought to list me as someone with 100% unfettered access to their data. Sometimes I think that these people live in a completely different reality than the rest of us, they seriously have no idea of the technicalities involved in the everyday running of their lives and pet projects.

  • Re:Of Course.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Friday June 14, 2013 @02:25PM (#44009535)

    "Why didn't our brilliant hero sysadmin publish the rest of the powerpoint slide deck independent of the newspapers?"

    The fact that Snowden did not just upload a massive amount of raw data lends credibility to the fact that his primary motivation was to inform the public. He specifically asked Glenn Greenwald not to publish everything. He told the Guardian to release only what they, as journalists believed to be in the public interest. []

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi&evcircuits,com> on Friday June 14, 2013 @04:58PM (#44011175) Homepage

    The idiot at the Post Office is REQUIRED to take his lunch at a particular time and he'll do so and take an extra 30 minutes break because he's unionized. If his boss told him to be productive and wait a half hour extra take his lunch, the entire postal service will go on strike and they'll have to renegotiate the hourly wage contract and 6 weeks paid vacation time and unlimited paid personal days.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"