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Congressional Report Claims Snowden In 'Contact With Russian Intelligence' (cnn.com) 185

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: Edward Snowden has been in contact with Russian intelligence officials since arriving in Russia in 2013, according to a new report from Congress. "Since Snowden's arrival in Moscow, he has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services," the 33-page report, issued Thursday by the bipartisan House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked volumes of information on American intelligence and surveillance operations to the media, settled in Moscow after initially traveling to Hong Kong following his 2013 public disclosure of classified information. The Russian government granted asylum to Snowden shortly thereafter. Large portions of the pertinent section, entitled "foreign influence," are redacted, but one paragraph reveals the Russian link, saying that Frants Klintsevich, the deputy chairman of the Russian parliament's defense and security committee, "publicly conceded that 'Snowden did share intelligence' with his government." Snowden immediately took to Twitter following the report's release to dispute the accusations, writing "they claim without evidence that I'm in cahoots with the Russians." The report cites classified material in the section linking Snowden to Russian intelligence. The investigation also noted that Snowden left encrypted hard drives containing classified information in Hong Kong and that the CIA had refused to grant Snowden access to sensitive information years before he began working with the NSA, documenting numerous issues that Snowden had with supervisors and co-wokers during his various jobs in the intelligence community.
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Congressional Report Claims Snowden In 'Contact With Russian Intelligence'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2016 @04:49PM (#53539529)

    If you take everything from a whistle blower but the information they have, your enemies become the only ones they have anything to give in exchange for safety.

    • Extra confusing.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xenographic ( 557057 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @04:58PM (#53539595) Journal

      Exactly what does Snowden have to do with Wikileaks, which released the emails leaked to them by the DNC insider and those phished from Podesta's gmail account?

      And just what did they think would happen to an NSA whistleblower who got stuck in Russia after the USA cancelled his passport? It's doubly ironic when the NSA watchdog who said that Snowden should have come to him was fired for retaliation against whistleblowers [pogo.org].

      This isn't exactly new. The fact that they had to dig up something this old to push tells you they've got nothing.

      • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @05:13PM (#53539685)

        Exactly what does Snowden have to do with Wikileaks, which released the emails leaked to them by the DNC insider and those phished from Podesta's gmail account?

        ...The fact that they had to dig up something this old to push tells you they've got nothing.

        It tells you the media is still going through the grief/straw grasping stages

      • by moeinvt ( 851793 )

        Sarah Harrison from Wikileaks helped get Snowden out of Hong Kong and then helped keep him alive when he was stuck in the Moscow airport. Beyond that, I'm not sure. Snowden has said on multiple occasions that he didn't want to give his NSA data to Wikileaks because they publish things indiscriminately. He worked with reporters and asked them to use their discretion in publishing only what was newsworthy.

        • He worked with reporters and asked them to use their discretion in publishing only what was newsworthy.

          Which is similar to what WikiLeaks used to do.

          They used [wikipedia.org]

          ... El País (Spain), Der Spiegel (Germany), Le Monde (France), The Guardian (United Kingdom) and The New York Times (United States).

          Then WikiLeaks folded due to inattention and gave leaks from DNC to the public. Assange stepped forward for the photo-op because he, too had become irrelevant.

          • Wikileaks started out editing content to make it more inflammatory.

            They started out as an inferior copy of Cryptome, then went downhill from there.

            • WikiLeaks did not start out editing content.

              In the beginning:

              1.) WikiLeaks was a depository, only. They stated, clearly, that they had no way of knowing who had left leaks on their doorstep, and they had no way of tracing material back to the source.

              Additionally, WikiLeaks assured the courts that they, themselves, were not hackers.

              This was true, and it kept them out of court because they could prove they could not comply with requests to reveal its sources.

              2.) WikiLeaks never published material. They gave s

          • If anyone flees an accusation for rape there would be an outcry. But when it. Is old Jules thespineless liberals cry foul.

            Assange is a RAPIST. He sexually assaulted a woman.

            • He sexually assaulted a woman.

              A statement like that is true if/when we read the verdict of a court/jury.

              You can't provide a citation of that finding because due process has not been applied.

              Therefore, you are in error.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Good decision not to give the stuff to Wikileaks. The email leaks right before the election proved how politically motivated Assange can be. He kept releasing batches of emails showing pretty much nothing, but promising that the good stuff was coming. Of course nothing really juicy ever came, but he managed to convince people that the leaks were devastating just by ramping up expectations before hand.

      • Clearly conspiracy theories are true whenever the target is Russia, and whenever the accuser is our intellihence conmunity, which lied us into two wars. Nevermind that Clapper himself has stated thay we definitely don't know who it was. Nevermind that the media and political establishment have made clear their intent to blame Russia for their and Clinton's failings, respectively. No, clearly there's a complex conspiratorial network between snowden, assange, and russi. give me a break. It's a good thing th
      • and those phished from Podesta's gmail account?

        purportedly phished. No connection has been shown between Snowden and the RF so far. And given that Podesta was throwing the primary to Hillary and using DNC resources to actively sabotage Sanders' candidacy, the idea that the info was leaked by a DNC insider is just as plausible.

        • I meant between Wikileaks and RF, but Slashdot won't let you edit your comments.
          • by fnj ( 64210 )

            Slashdot won't let you edit your comments

            Bullshit. You can edit them to your heart's content while composing them, and then you get a chance to Continue Editing after hitting Preview. Once you are satisfied and you hit Submit, the paper goes to press. Do you think you can magically "edit" your column in a newspaper after it has been rolled out? Do you think you can "unsay" something after you have delivered a speech? Look, I know it takes a little discipline, and yes, I have embarrassed myself more than onc

            • Slashdot isn't a printed periodical. It is pretty much the only online forum that doesn't let you edit comments.

              • Re:Extra confusing.. (Score:4, Informative)

                by Swave An deBwoner ( 907414 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @10:23PM (#53541237)
                I've read through comment sections on forums that did allow editing after the fact and there is the potential for dishonesty there (e.g., "Disqus").

                Commenter A: Santa Claus does not exist!
                Commenter B: You are a cad! Santa Claus most definitely does exist!
                Commenter A: [after changing his post] Idiot! When did I ever say otherwise! Can't you read?!
                • Places that do it properly, mark the post as edited, and provide a way to access the edit history.

            • Well, as the other comment pointed out, Slashdot isn't a paper. But if you insist on treating it as such, consider my reply to my comment to be tantamount to a paper issuing a "correction" to what it previously printed. But, in general, yeah, papers only issued corrections because after they are printed, they couldn't fix what they printed while providing a clear history of edits. Many online forums do provide that functionality. Certainly one of the oldest tech-oriented forums should as well.
              • by epine ( 68316 )

                Certainly one of the oldest tech-oriented forums should as well.

                "Certainly, these are not the droids you are looking for."

                And it almost works, but the spell snaps.

                "No—wait just a minute!—actually, the arrow of tradition usually points the other direction.

                Which reminds me, I just knew there was something funny about the 107-year-old man standing at the head of the overnight line to be the first person in his retirement home to get an iPhone 7.

                Someone summon the Men in Black. The old guy in the r

        • Re:Extra confusing.. (Score:4, Informative)

          by Xenographic ( 557057 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @06:33PM (#53540145) Journal

          > purportedly phished

          At least for the Podesta emails, we have good reason to believe that. I've covered this several times previously in comments, but we have some pretty good evidence when you line things up with the timing of it:

          * A spear phishing email to Podesta [wikileaks.org] conveniently dated not long before the dump ends.
          * The stats page for the bit.ly phishing link [bitly.com] says the link was used twice in the right time frame.

          Slashdot finally covered this story [slashdot.org] via thehill.com, some weeks after I had already dissected it in comments and in that they appear to admit to getting phished, blaming it on a "typo" (which is highly suspect, but whatever).

          I'd write more submissions about this sort of thing, but there appears to be an organized effort going around marking anything they don't like as "SPAM" in the firehose (like this [slashdot.org]), as I've also seen happen abusively to other submissions on this site. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm tagging herbal viagra ads as 'binspam', not stories I disagree with. I'd much rather disagree with someone openly than sneak around and try to hide inconvenient facts. If the facts stop agreeing with me, I'd much rather start rethinking my positions than playing blame games.

          Finally, for those having trouble keeping all the dumps straight, I left this comment [slashdot.org] some time ago that will help to clarify. There have been a lot of dumps and there are some people who like to confuse and conflate these issues.

          • I just noticed your clarification below. On that, I agree--there's no good evidence regarding who performed the phishing attack on Podesta.

            The domain of the phishing link is obscure, the fake phishing email itself claims there's hacking from the Ukraine, etc. I doubt that any of that information is true and you'll end up like Vizzini [youtube.com] if you decide whether or not the phishing emails claims regarding its own origin are factual or counter-factual.

        • I think it's likely that Podesta fell for a phishing scam. If I remember correctly basically his entire gmail account was leaked. That's not the sort of thing multiple people would have access to. Who knows who was responsible for the phishing attack. The DNC on the other hand seems to me to be much more likely to be an inside leaker who had legal access to all the info.

      • Exactly what does Snowden have to do with Wikileaks

        The comment you replied to doesn't mention Wikileaks.

        The article summary doesn't mention Wikileaks.

        The article doesn't mention Wikileaks.

        Why are you talking about Wikileaks?

        which released the emails leaked to them by the DNC insider

        Ahh, because you're trying to start a fight about Clinton and the DNC again.

    • Spot on sir... It was to be expected when they came after him like they did. Funny thing is that I would bet good hard currency that the Russians already knew about the programs in great detail from their hacking of the assets that Snowden and other admins were working on. Two admin types, those that know they have been hacked and those that think that they haven't.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @04:50PM (#53539537)
    I'm trying to figure out how this is news. Snowden was granted asylum by the Russian Government. Naturally there will be some kind of interview process that includes intelligence officials even if such interviews are conducted in the least confrontational way possible.

    The more telling part is that if it's true that the CIA actively refused to grant him access to information (ie, evaluated and made a choice, versus simply not granting access as the default policy) and he was later granted that access by the NSA as a different employer, then perhaps there needs to be better protocols for how the various agencies determine risk.
    • My thoughts as well. Of course he's talking to their intelligence people, that's why he's allowed to stay.
    • When Russian intelligence says, "You will meet with us on Tuesday at 11 AM", Snowden says, "No, I have to get my pedicure then."

    • by whit3 ( 318913 )
      Exactly correct. If a Russian 'intelligence official' knows that Snowden is in town, he'll drop by and get a selfie with the celebrity. Maybe, he'll even make some ambiguous comments about how important their meeting was.

      Then, American 'intelligence officials' will take note, and feel duty-bound to suggest that there should be further investigation. Reporters, also taking notes, and Congressional investigators, ditto.

      In other quasi-news, scientists say 'we need more research'. Details at eleven!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      >Snowden was granted asylum by the Russian Government.

      Not quite.
      http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-russia-snowden-asylum-20140807-story.html

      Accordingly, from Aug. 1, 2014, Edward Snowden has received a residency permit in Russia for three years,” he added. Under the terms of the permit, Snowden can move around Russia and pay visits of up to three months to other countries, "depending how he plans his time," Kucherena told reporters in Moscow.

      The document carries a three-year extension option. However, Snowden had not been granted political asylum that would allow him to stay in Russia indefinitely.

      Political asylum could only be granted by presidential decree and was a "completely different procedure," Kucherena said. Russia’s decision to give refuge to Snowden strained relations with the United States.

      Unless Russia grants him another extension, he has a little over 7 months before his temporary residency permit is up and he has to leave the country.

    • I'm trying to figure out how this is news. Snowden was granted asylum by the Russian Government. Naturally there will be some kind of interview process that includes intelligence officials even if such interviews are conducted in the least confrontational way possible. The more telling part is that if it's true that the CIA actively refused to grant him access to information (ie, evaluated and made a choice, versus simply not granting access as the default policy) and he was later granted that access by the NSA as a different employer, then perhaps there needs to be better protocols for how the various agencies determine risk.

      Precisely. He lives in Russia, which hasn't been much of a free society since Putin took over, so it's obvious that he would be in contact w/ Russian intelligence.

      Guess this is what passes for Congressional Intelligence these days. Trump would do well to conduct a purge of both the CIA and the FBI, and school the Congressional 'Intelligence' experts on the analysis of the obvious

      • I'd expect he's been few a few weeks of grilling to extract every bit of information they can, including the things he doesn't know he knows. But it would probably be a polite grilling: Russian officials know that he is much more valuable to them if they treat him well, because by demonstrating their gratitude and willingness to shelter him they increase the temptation for any future leakers to follow in his footsteps, and he in turn must know this and recognise that full cooperation will lead to the best o

    • It's not even news. In his interview with John Oliver, he mentioned that Russian Intelligence was watching who came to meet with him. It's not like he's been trying to pretend that this isn't happening, and he knew it would happen which is why he didn't take any of the data with him to Russia.
  • This is why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @04:51PM (#53539547)

    we will never be rid of fake news.

    It's far too useful to some folks when they need to sway public opinion on something. The truth be damned.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      But this isn't fake, it's just "What kind of idiot didn't know he would be forced into contact with Russian Intelligence if he wanted to stay there?".

      I'll agree, however, that this is published because "It's far too useful to some folks when they need to sway public opinion on something."

      • Forced into contact?
        Name one person with a still functioning and non-undead brain who wasn't pretty sure the moment snowden was in russia there was somebody cozied up and standing in his undies with him. Come on, there's no way any country would pass up that opportunity to get info from somebody, it's only how public will they be about it.
    • we will never be rid of fake news.

      It's far too useful to some folks when they need to sway public opinion on something. The truth be damned.

      fake news [google.com]... What is it?

      Is it a new thing entirely? Is it just a new word for propaganda or is it simply lies? Could it just be a more extreme form of the baseless "opinion piece"?

      Whatever it is, I'm already getting sick about hearing it. If someone doesn't like a news story they label it as "fake news" regardless of whether it is or not. Once that happens, we're all fucked because nothing is true any more [theguardian.com]. As that writer succinctly points out — don't play chess with pigeons: even if you win the

      • It's a PR campaign.

        Sadly they'll get less easy to spot as they learn from their mistakes here.

      • Pretty much as described: News that is fake. It includes, but is not limited to, propaganda. It usually refers to completely fabricated or distorted beyond recognition stories written to maximise revenue by drawing in readers - what happens when clickbait drops any attempt at honesty. It's been around forever (Feddie Starr ate my hamster!), but the internet made it a lot more common as such stories can go viral easily and cost almost nothing to produce. It doesn't have to be for political purposes, and even

  • Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by klingens ( 147173 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @04:51PM (#53539549)

    Any soviet defector will be in contact with US intelligence aka FBI until the rest of his life, even if he never ever sees them or speaks to them
    That's their fscking JOB to monitor former agents of another country. So Snowden has no influence whatsoever that he is under permanent surveillance of a counterintelligence agency. Snowden telling them "I was subcontracted to the NSA" is "intelligence", nothing surprising about that.

    • In Soviet Russia, KGB is in contact with YOU!

      I completely agree, there's very little difference between "having contact with" and "being interrogated by" intelligence agencies.

    • Only in America do we allow foreign nationals with questionable pedigrees to run free throughout our country without oversight. Pretty much all other countries have rational and sane intelligence oversight of foreign nationals in their country.

  • by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Thursday December 22, 2016 @04:53PM (#53539555)

    Were they thinking that Russian intelligence agencies would forget Snowden was in their country, or that they wouldn't keep tabs on him.

    Or were they thinking that someone granted asylum would casually blow off representatives of the country giving him asylum?

    Or do they just think people are so stupid that they'll think this was somehow a shocking revelation?

  • by negRo_slim ( 636783 ) <mils_orgen@hotmail.com> on Thursday December 22, 2016 @04:56PM (#53539577) Homepage
    I know the red scare is back in vogue with the powers that be but all I see here is a convenient smear against a man who has acted in good faith every step of the way.
  • who else? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xfizik ( 3491039 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @04:58PM (#53539597)
    Who else could guarantee his safety? If it wasn't for Russian intelligence he would probably have been kidnapped and taken back to the US in the trunk of a foreign diplomat's car. In one piece if he's lucky.
    • Yeah, if he was spilling his guts to Russia, you could hardly blame the guy since they are keeping him alive. If the US had any vestigial brains left they would give Snowden a pardon, even if only to shut him up.

  • Continued Smear (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2016 @05:01PM (#53539615)

    This is more from the smear report they released a few months ago.
    Barton Gellman (one of the reporters that received the full Snowden Archive) investigated the report the first time and concluded it's full of provable lies and smears.
    https://tcf.org/content/commentary/house-intelligence-committees-terrible-horrible-bad-snowden-report/

  • by Revek ( 133289 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @05:01PM (#53539619) Homepage

    First you decided the outcome then you sculpt the investigation to match all preconceptions.

  • In fact, he's even retweeting RT tweets from Putin right now.

    So?

  • by Khopesh ( 112447 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @05:20PM (#53539715) Homepage Journal
    @Snowden just tweeted [twitter.com]:

    "Mistakes were made:" Less than 24 hours after releasing report claiming I lied, HPSCI is walking back its report. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-12-22/in-declassified-edward-snowden-report-committee-walks-back-claims-about-intentional-lying [usnews.com]

    From that link:

    In Declassified Edward Snowden Report, Committee Walks Back Claims About 'Intentional Lying'

    The House Intelligence Committee in September issued a three-page document alerting the public that information from its two-year investigation of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden had turned up evidence that Snowden was a “serial exaggerator and fabricator” who exhibited a “pattern of intentional lying.”

  • When a Republican [smh.com.au] benefits from Russian intelligence exposure everything is cool.

    It's not like Snowden can tell the Russians to go fuck themselves.
  • ...What news worthy story is Washington trying to distract us from this time? Maybe Washington doesn't like being left out of the negotiations for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria. Seems that things work better when Washington's left out, don't they?
  • Mostly the text appears to be an attempt to smear Snowden, although who knows what's in the redacted bits. He may have been in contact with Russian intelligence (they'd be stupid not to try), but he claims he got rid of his own ability to access the documents before going there, leaving that all in the hands of journalists.
  • I believe it completely. We all know that Obama has done all that he could to keep Snowden in Russia where he could reveal American secrets (such as we spy on our own citizens and ignore our constitution) in order to further harm this country rather than pardoning him and welcoming him back as a hero.
  • Is he the same one who worked for the US intelligence and was forced to seek political asylum elsewhere after revealing that the US intelligence services may have overstepped their legal boundaries? The man who was bestowed the "privilege" of personally asking the President of the Russian Federation (not to be confused with "Russia") a question about mass surveillance on TV is in contact with RF's intelligence services? Shocking. Do they file Congressional reports with their breakfast menus, too?
  • I have a feeling that from now on no one gets promoted or any type of access until they do at least 5 illegal things themselves. The more of a company man you prove yourself the higher you go. Further the NSA actively works with other agencies to leverage(blackmail) people into being their spies. But I think we can assume from now on they will blackmail their own recruits to compel them into breaking the law as a way of initiation. Further they will engineer multiple scenarios where you must break the espi

  • by alexo ( 9335 ) on Thursday December 22, 2016 @06:52PM (#53540251) Journal

    He is also a terrorist, a pedophile, a pirate, a Muslim and a Mexican.

    (Did I miss anything?)

  • Besides the initial interview, half of everyone he interacts with on a daily basis probably works for the intelligence service in some form or another.

    I mean, it's not like he's Joe nobody.

    He's a smart guy and probably knows that everyone he interacts with is working for someone or another. The $64k question is "is he actively working for and/or providing information to the Russians." There's no evidence that he's released anything to Russia that he hasn't released to anyone else, but you never know.

    The goo

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