The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Edward Snowden And Manipulated Co-Workers! INTEL Secrets Harvested Like Ripe Grapes...

Edward Snowden: SPY!
A matter of definition

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
: the things that are done to find out secrets from enemies or competitors : the activity of spying

Full Definition of 
: the practice of spying or using spies to obtain information about the plans and activities especially of a foreign government or a competing company espionage

WIKI (Espionage)
Espionage or spying involves a government or individual obtaining information considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information.[1] Espionage is inherently clandestine, as it is taken for granted that it is unwelcome and, in many cases illegal and punishable by law. It is a subset of intelligence gathering, which otherwise may be conducted from public sources and using perfectly legal and ethical means. It is crucial to distinguish espionage from intelligence gathering, as the latter does not necessarily involve espionage, but often collates open-source information.

Espionage is often part of an institutional effort by a government or commercial concern. However, the term is generally associated with state spying on potential or actual enemies primarily for military purposes. Spying involving corporations is known as industrial espionage.

One of the most effective ways to gather data and information about the enemy (or potential enemy) is by infiltrating the enemy's ranks. This is the job of the spy (espionage agent).

18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(b) Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense; or

Regardless of your affinity or lack there of for Edward Snowden, it is fruitless to argue the merits of his espionage. Fruitless because those who feel he is a hero will not budge in from their opinion. On the other end of the void, those who feel Snowden practiced espionage and is a patriot will not budge from their positions. I used the word void for purpose of delineation. There is no continuum or spectrum from which two opposites can sit and LOB (line of bearing) point and counter point arguments.  And there is no middle ground.  

I am a stuck-like glue denizen in the camp Snowden practiced surreptitious espionage and by default has harmed national security.


Well, yes if I actually felt the NSA and CIA had my phone tapped (I would still have no worries, but would be major irritated), or if collecting of Meta-data was not at the root of the NSA mission I would be concerned. In fact, my level of irritation with the USA Today's 2006 revelations about AT&T/NSA phone monitoring left me with a degree of angst. My concern did not boil-over to the point of rationalizing the need for anyone to steal states technology secrets, as did Snowden. As I read the article (linked above), my mind wandered back to 2001 when the monitoring programs first came to our national security defense arsenal. It took a nano-second thereafter to reflect back on the morning of 9/11. We do not live in the same world as our successes in WW II.  And, we damned well do not live in the same world as those who crafted a document framing the development of a nation and revolt against England. And, defense security involves a lot more than Paul Revere's too late warning of the "British are coming."

We live in a world where a narrow technological edge can make all the difference should our leaders fail humanity and go to world war or large scale war. Only our defense security professionals know the capability of the Chinese, Russian, Iranians and North Koreans. As I read reports of the NSA monitoring 35 world leaders, the words in those articles fell on disinterested brain cells.  Last week's revelation of what appeared a Russian release of a private conversation among US diplomatic staff placed INTEL in true perspective. A release for the sole purpose of embarrassing the US. Critical issues, but small fish when compared to this: Iinked.

You might think the former Navy INTEL guy giving secrets to Russia is not an apple to apple comparison to Snowden's misdeeds.  I would ask you to pick up both apples and look a little closer. INTEL is at the heart of all military victories (thus national security). Any information an adversary nation can dollop from Snowden's espionage, will be used against the US. A fact impossible to refute.

While the ultimate fault (s) regarding Snowden's escapades lie with federal government dependence on contractors, buddyism, and lax contractor security background checks, there is more than enough blame to spread to Snowden and his self-centered ideology.

I find Snowden a mixed bag of ingredients that have turned the nation into a shameful place. Snowden seems to have an affinity for Libertarianism and he seems to relish the limelight of both small and large arenas.    He has expressed an affinity for Ron Paul (A dire situation to say the least) and he apparently experienced an INTEL about-face after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008/09. As of today, we have more revelations about a character I find much like the former Navy INTEL guy referenced in the BBC article (linked above). 

Snowden addressed a TV camera with an English audience this past Christmas with declarations of "I have won," within two months we see reports of self-centeredness characteristic of and pre-requisite to any espionage agent.
"I have won!"  Snowden relished in self-aggrandizing glee  on a worldwide scale. Today we read that as many as 25 co-workers may have stupidly allowed the espionage agent access to passwords by signing him on with their access.  Snowden, the crafty 007 like-thief, was able to retrieve the passwords of his gullible co-workers and had a  picnic securing secrets to which he did not have access.

The question of how Snowden was able to obtain as much classified material as he did while working at a remote NSA station in Hawaii has been the subject of intensive investigation by the U.S. intelligence community for months. 
Reuters reporters Mark Hosenball and Warren Strobel reported in November that Snowden used login credential and passwords provided “unwittingly” by colleagues at the Hawaii spy base. The Reuters report said Snowden “may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers” to give him their passwords. But the NSA never publicly commented on that report and Snowden appeared to deny it during a public Google chat on Jan. 23. 
“Was the privacy of your co-workers considered while you were stealing their log-in and password information?” Snowden was asked during the chat. 
“With all due respect to Mark Hosenball, the Reuters report that put this out there was simply wrong,” Snowden replied. “I never stole any passwords, nor did I trick an army of co-workers.”
Think of the person who would toss the careers of 20 to 25 cohorts into the trash as a by-product of his quest for , "I have won." 

Edward Snowden is far, far from a hero in my mind. Obviously, he revealed truths regarding the NSA, but his motive seems as flawed as any US spy caught and now serving prison time. And, I can only see advantage to  adversary nation's INTEL operations

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