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SXSW: Edward Snowden Swipes At NSA 116

Nerval's Lobster writes "In a Google Hangout with an auditorium full of South by Southwest attendees, government whistleblower (and former NSA employee) Edward Snowden suggested that encrypted communication should become more ubiquitous and easier to use for the majority of Internet denizens. 'The way we interact with [encrypted email and communications] is not good,' he said from somewhere within Russia, where he resides under the conditions of a one-year asylum. 'It needs to be out there, it needs to happen automatically, it needs to happen seamlessly.' For his part, Snowden still believes that companies should store user data that contributes directly to their respective business: 'It's not that you can't collect any data, you should only collect the data and hold it as long as necessary for the operation of the business.' He also couldn't resist some choice swipes at his former employer, accusing high-ranking intelligence officials Michael Hayden and Keith Alexander of harming the world's cyber-security—and by extension, United States national security—by emphasizing offensive operations over the defense of communications. 'America has more to lose than anyone else when every attack succeeds,' Snowden said. 'When you are the one country that has sort of a vault that's more full than anyone else's, it makes no sense to be attacking all day.'"
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SXSW: Edward Snowden Swipes At NSA

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  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @03:11PM (#46448165)
    As a Canadian, what I'm not clear on is whether there are exact American laws dictating what the NSA can and cannot do? If there are laws, and they have been broken, can anyone be charged, and if not, why not?

    I realize the standard answers involve political interference, corruption blah blah blah, but on a purely academic level is there a means to charge anyone with a crime?
  • by bussdriver ( 620565 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @03:19PM (#46448253)

    Few people ever really think about how they would have acted if they were German citizens around the 1930s. Most people would do nothing but move with the crowd and many would get caught up in the propaganda.

    Few resisted or ran away, because it was easier to fall in line. Same situation today. The parallels exist for those who can think about it without being too influenced by the herd. We are encouraged to vilify the people who oppose the authority and to dogmatically (and thoughtlessly) adhere to authority. Orwell said it, in times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. We are at that point, most people can see that both parties are functionally dead and it's all one big scam - with the people pointing it out being marginalized and the people making REAL impact are treated as insurgents (because truth alone is not enough in the information overload age, it has to have bite to get noticed.)

    Godwin's law is for simpletons and Nazi sympathizers; prohibiting learning from history more than it stops the ignorant name calling rants (while true that the trolls seem hopeless to educate should we give up all chances to apply history because of them?)

  • Snowden's an expert? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asylumx ( 881307 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @03:46PM (#46448563)
    Wait a second, what on earth is he speaking at SXSW for? Is he now considered an expert on national security? Typical sysadmin, thinking they know everything about how you should do your job, even if your job has nothing to do with administering systems.
  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @04:00PM (#46448739)

    Google, Twitter and Facebook adding SSL is useless in face of third party doctrine effectively declaring you have no right to any privacy (e.g. "tangible thing") online even in communications between individuals.

    We need viable alternatives to massive centralized systems controlled by a handful of multi-billion dollar media and advertising companies.

    On state attacking the way I see it more attacks from all parties the more pressure on all to deploy secure systems... this is ultimately in everyone's best interests. Closer the day when cost for a systems exploit approaches infinity where only viable attacks are physical force, social engineering and coercion the better for all.

    Low intensity "cyber war" is better than complacency yielding brittle systems contributing to some cheese laden Hollywood doomsday plot line.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson