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Edward Snowden - Will Russia ever let him leave?

Edward Snowden has released some remarkable information into the public domain such as conformation that the US and Israel wrote Stuxnet, the first known cyber weapon, which destroyed centrifuges in Iranian nuclear facilities. He has also revealed rootkit attacks on Russia and some previously very closely guarded stealth techniques, such as a checksum hack.

I was surprised that China let him go, but I cannot see Russia making the same mistake, he just knows too much. The poor man did not seem to understand his importance, or at least the importance of his knowledge on the cyber arms race.

Comments

  • Not sure he would want to be let go, depending on how he is kept. I would imagine there are a few US bullets with his anme on it and failing that a cell reserved and a nice orange jump suit.
  • Interesting program on the other night about hackers, which claimed that Stuxnet is now out in the open.
  • Great photographer, don't think the bloody Ruskies have any right to hold him.
  • Interesting program on the other night about hackers, which claimed that Stuxnet is now out in the open.

    I didn't see the programme you're referring to, but that's a bizarre claim for them to make, to say the least. Stuxnet has been 'in the open' for about three years, when it was first 'officially' discovered. It was patently obvious then that it was a joint US/Israeli effort. TBF, it wasn't particularly difficult to code in the first place, relying largely on the fact that all the control systems of the facilities infected used the same (hard-coded!) password. Someone at Siemens still needs shooting for that - along with the industry pricks that allowed them to get away with it in the first place.

    Most of what Snowden 'knows' is aleady known by the Russians. Just like other secret service moles before him (Shayler springs to mind) he's nothing more than an irritant to the yanks, knows nothing of any real, serious substance and has more than a little of the Walter Mitty about him. Trust me, if he actually knew anything of any worth, he would have been slotted a long, long time ago. The Russkies are parading him around for PR purposes, and nothing more.
  • Interesting program on the other night about hackers, which claimed that Stuxnet is now out in the open.

    I didn't see the programme you're referring to, but that's a bizarre claim for them to make, to say the least. Stuxnet has been 'in the open' for about three years, when it was first 'officially' discovered. It was patently obvious then that it was a joint US/Israeli effort. TBF, it wasn't particularly difficult to code in the first place, relying largely on the fact that all the control systems of the facilities infected used the same (hard-coded!) password. Someone at Siemens still needs shooting for that - along with the industry pricks that allowed them to get away with it in the first place.

    Most of what Snowden 'knows' is aleady known by the Russians. Just like other secret service moles before him (Shayler springs to mind) he's nothing more than an irritant to the yanks, knows nothing of any real, serious substance and has more than a little of the Walter Mitty about him. Trust me, if he actually knew anything of any worth, he would have been slotted a long, long time ago. The Russkies are parading him around for PR purposes, and nothing more.
    So why have they put a $1 billion bounty on his head?
  • For the exact same reason that Putin is parading him to the world. Publicity.
  • For the exact same reason that Putin is parading him to the world. Publicity.

    And if they don't, any idiot who thinks he has 'dangerous' knowledge will be selling 'secrets' left and right. If Leroy is right about how important Snowden's infor actually is, it probably won't matter much beyond embarrassment but no government would realistically let this kind of thing go unpunished. Politically it would show all kinds of weakness I would have thought.
  • Interesting program on the other night about hackers, which claimed that Stuxnet is now out in the open.

    I didn't see the programme you're referring to, but that's a bizarre claim for them to make, to say the least. Stuxnet has been 'in the open' for about three years, when it was first 'officially' discovered. It was patently obvious then that it was a joint US/Israeli effort. TBF, it wasn't particularly difficult to code in the first place, relying largely on the fact that all the control systems of the facilities infected used the same (hard-coded!) password. Someone at Siemens still needs shooting for that - along with the industry pricks that allowed them to get away with it in the first place.

    Most of what Snowden 'knows' is aleady known by the Russians. Just like other secret service moles before him (Shayler springs to mind) he's nothing more than an irritant to the yanks, knows nothing of any real, serious substance and has more than a little of the Walter Mitty about him. Trust me, if he actually knew anything of any worth, he would have been slotted a long, long time ago. The Russkies are parading him around for PR purposes, and nothing more.
    Just to pick up on a point there, if you watch the link below you will see an interview he did for the Guardian while in Hong Kong, in which he claims to have access to every undercover agent the US has around the world. I'm not sure the Russians have that information and bloody irresponsible of the Guardian to be running with a story like that not letting the authorities in on it.

    Maybe he wont be looking forward to going back to the US and wearing an orange jump suit for the remainder of his life but, I'm sure he'd rather be there than in Russia. The Russians will get all the information out of him that they can and by any means, which will not be comfortable for him.

    I really think this is a total disaster for the US, a huge story that is being played down and covered up by the Western media.

    By the way the programme about stuxnet was horizon and can be viewed on BBC iplayer (if you like science and techy stuff its well worth a look).



  • edited August 2013
    I'd take his claims with a pinch of salt. If (and its a big 'if') he has a list that contains information about sources/agents outside his immediate purview, the NSA will know this and have moved them out of harm's way - not for altruistic reasons, but because they don't want assets destroyed. Anyone in his immediate sphere will already have been pulled out of reach.

    The NSA is the most secretive organisation on earth. I think Snowden is trading on little more than the public's ignorance of IT in general and playing on the fear of being watched all the time. We're all being watched, all the time. Its naive to think otherwise.

    I'll check out the programme about Stuxnet - though usually I don't bother with programmes like this because they can get annoying when they give little of substance and just chuck lurid claims in for sensational value. With it being about my field as well, it's bound to get up my nose when they make factually incorrect statements, dumb down important points and flat out lie to make the story more interesting than it actually is :)
  • if anyone has a link to the iplayer thing wd be most grateful :)
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  • razil said:

    if anyone has a link to the iplayer thing wd be most grateful :)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0391z20/Horizon_20132014_Defeating_the_Hackers/

  • I'd take his claims with a pinch of salt. If (and its a big 'if') he has a list that contains information about sources/agents outside his immediate purview, the NSA will know this and have moved them out of harm's way - not for altruistic reasons, but because they don't want assets destroyed. Anyone in his immediate sphere will already have been pulled out of reach.

    The NSA is the most secretive organisation on earth. I think Snowden is trading on little more than the public's ignorance of IT in general and playing on the fear of being watched all the time. We're all being watched, all the time. Its naive to think otherwise.

    I'll check out the programme about Stuxnet - though usually I don't bother with programmes like this because they can get annoying when they give little of substance and just chuck lurid claims in for sensational value. With it being about my field as well, it's bound to get up my nose when they make factually incorrect statements, dumb down important points and flat out lie to make the story more interesting than it actually is :)

    The point is not that he accessed or has lists, it's that he may have. If you knew which (if any) he accessed then that's fine, you can control that, but if you don't then all your assets are potentially at risk and you have to act accordingly.
  • Loco said:

    razil said:

    if anyone has a link to the iplayer thing wd be most grateful :)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0391z20/Horizon_20132014_Defeating_the_Hackers/

    Cheers
  • Maybe in many years time he'll write a biography called the 100 year old man who jumped off a plane and disappeared....
  • Maybe in many years time he'll write a biography called the 100 year old man who jumped off a plane and disappeared....

    I don't think there will be. I think he wants to be a bird now.
  • Sorry wrong one. Edward Snowden is a bloke and always has been. The other grass Bradley Channing wants to be a bint.
  • I think you'll find he's been a transsexual since adolescence. Still, don't let that get in the way of your ignorance.
  • He definitely joined the army as a bloke.
    I have every sympathy for him.
    He/she has always believed he/she was a female.
    Likewise I have always believed that I'm a millionaire.
    He/she is lucky that his/her disorder is recognised and can be operated on by the NHS. I don't have that solace.
  • Maybe in many years time he'll write a biography called the 100 year old man who jumped off a plane and disappeared....

    Fantastic book
  • He definitely joined the army as a bloke.
    I have every sympathy for him.
    He/she has always believed he/she was a female.
    Likewise I have always believed that I'm a millionaire.
    He/she is lucky that his/her disorder is recognised and can be operated on by the NHS. I don't have that solace.

    Staggering. Not too likely that he'll get his sex change on the NHS though. Since he's American and all that.
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  • And none of that could possibly be a bit of pre-sentencing propaganda? Nar!
  • A good article on NSA over-reaches of snooping and some background to the Snowden leaks:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/aug/15/nsa-they-know-much-more-you-think/
  • Cheers for the link - just watched it. All in all, not too bad - bar the ridiculous and pointless piece about the journo being a victim of social engineering (which is about as much 'hacking' as someone guessing passwords).

    The Stuxnet part was actually a lot more detailed than I thought (and only had a couple of minor inaccuracies). There was the usual old self-perpetuating industry hyperbole about 'cyber weapons' being more dangerous than nuclear bombs and plenty of hi-tech looking touchscreen bollocks in that 'range' they were on about (newsflash - I have a 'range' at work. It's called a 'test lab'), but overall, I was pretty impressed.

    Where they let themselves down was in the bit about quantum computing. To be honest, it's never going to be that easy to explain the superposition theorem to non-physicists in a way that grabs the attention and educates at the same time, but the programme's attempt at it was laughable. For those interested, we are currently decades away from a real breakthrough in quantum computing - although the science is real enough.

    As a side note, I didn't know this was the programme that Barnaby Jack was going to be in - I knew he had been filmed for an upcoming documentary. He's a bit of a legend in the hacking community for a lot of things, not just the ATM flaws he exposed. He was working on exposing weaknesses in medical devices with wireless links - it was a sad loss. Predictable that the tinfoil hat brigade have been out in force spouting conspiracy theories about his death.
  • He definitely joined the army as a bloke.
    I have every sympathy for him.
    He/she has always believed he/she was a female.
    Likewise I have always believed that I'm a millionaire.
    He/she is lucky that his/her disorder is recognised and can be operated on by the NHS. I don't have that solace.

    Good God.
  • edited August 2013

    Interesting program on the other night about hackers, which claimed that Stuxnet is now out in the open.

    Most of what Snowden 'knows' is aleady known by the Russians. Just like other secret service moles before him (Shayler springs to mind) he's nothing more than an irritant to the yanks, knows nothing of any real, serious substance and has more than a little of the Walter Mitty about him. Trust me, if he actually knew anything of any worth, he would have been slotted a long, long time ago. The Russkies are parading him around for PR purposes, and nothing more.
    Hate to dig you out old chap, but you are pushing it a bit on this one. You say "trust me" in a kind of context where you're suggesting you're in the know. Do you work for MI6 because I thought you worked an IT help desk.

    Whether moles or other intelligence services knew of the existence of stuxnet or the mass-surveillance of civilians is irrelevant. It's like you're saying Manning was no threat to the U.S. because lots of army people must have already known about the horrors of war.

    These leaks have shaped, and will continue to shape, the relationship of the modern individual and their government. That is the result, and it's a huge one. What Snowden knew was of massive worth in that respect, and it's the only respect worth anything. It's of Joe McCarthy / Watergate proportions.

    The only mistake Snowden made was going public with his identity. That took the story away from the massive abuses of terrorism laws and the mass-surveillance of innocent citizens and moved it to the story of an informant. I understand he had to reveal his name, otherwise he might end up like Dr. Kelly, but the downside was that the story became all about him, and governments have been able to spin the story away from their crimes, and entice folk like you to consider the man instead.

    History will judge those who bought the spin and talked about the man, rather than realising exactly what had just been admitted by world leading governments.

  • If Russia do let him leave, on precedent, he faces 35 years in a high security US federal prison. If I were he, I'd be asking the Russians for a nice dacha out in the pine forests .. AND, a cossack bodyguard
  • Chunes said:

    Interesting program on the other night about hackers, which claimed that Stuxnet is now out in the open.

    Most of what Snowden 'knows' is aleady known by the Russians. Just like other secret service moles before him (Shayler springs to mind) he's nothing more than an irritant to the yanks, knows nothing of any real, serious substance and has more than a little of the Walter Mitty about him. Trust me, if he actually knew anything of any worth, he would have been slotted a long, long time ago. The Russkies are parading him around for PR purposes, and nothing more.
    Hate to dig you out old chap, but you are pushing it a bit on this one. You say "trust me" in a kind of context where you're suggesting you're in the know. Do you work for MI6 because I thought you worked an IT help desk.

    Whether moles or other intelligence services knew of the existence of stuxnet or the mass-surveillance of civilians is irrelevant. It's like you're saying Manning was no threat to the U.S. because lots of army people must have already known about the existence of atrocities of the war.

    These leaks have shaped, and will continue to shape, the relationship of the modern individual and their government. That is the result, and it's a huge one. What Snowden knew was of massive worth in that respect, and it's the only respect worth anything.

    The only mistake he made was going public with his identity. That took the story away from the massive abuses of terrorism laws and the mass-surveillance of innocent citizens and moved it to the story of an informant. I understand he had to reveal his name, otherwise he might end up like Dr. Kelly, but the downside was that the story became all about him, and governments have been able to spin the story away from their crimes, and entice gullible folk like you to consider the man instead.

    LOL @ 'IT help desk'. Nice try :)

    That's not what I was saying about Manning at all. Manning represents no threat to the US from an intelligence perspective. Ditto Snowden. The leaks that Manning and Snowden provided undoubtedly present an extremely relvant and dire threat to the US' public image, standing in the rest of the world and to the public perception of it in an increasingly paranoid population at home. Your last paragraph is exactly what I was getting at when I said Snowden was being used like a political football by the Russians and the Yanks. It's the same bullshit trick used every day to stop people questioning real problems in the world - force feed people a diet of celebrity culture, useless gadgets and sensationalised media scare stories to divert from the real truth.

    I don't think he needed to go public with his story at all. If the NSA knew what he was about to do he'd have been prevented from doing it, certainly. I suspect his conscience got the better of him - and bravo to him for that - but everyone already knows that every government in the world is already spying on its own citizens wholesale - we're probably even worse off for that here than the yanks are. He's not telling anyone anything they don't already know (even if they won't admit it to themselves).

    Do I think it's wrong that people have no privacy any more? Absolutely. Would I vote for anyone who made it a cornerstone of their policy programme to stop this from happening? Absolutely. Do I think Snowden actually knows anything of any real damaging intelligence value (other than the aforementioned PR disaster)? No.
  • I'm repeating things here! It does not matter what he knew or knows he had access to every live mission, every imbedded agent and the NSA roster. The fact is that they don't know what he knew so they have to assume he knew everything. He was a senior security consultant, he says his access was big, he had no reason to lie at that time.

    I say again, this is big, a massive hole in the USA security mission and whether he wants to or not I don't think the boy is coming home, the Ruskies have him and they will keep him and milk him.

    Initially I thought that he was very naïve but he has spent many years at the coal face, could that really be the case? The Chinese had him in an autonomous region and they have a lot to lose from this in trade terms, they may have traded him to the Russians for full access to everything he reveals. What pressure can the Americans bring to bear on the Russians, none....nada, neiti so why not pass him onto them.

    The Russians can now parade him on TV and let everyone know just how much we and the Yanks spy on our own citizens, let everyone know that they are not so bad after all and then he'll disappear into Siberia, where he'll tell them everything he knows. All this happens just weeks after the US point out the biggest threat to the internet coming from a building in China that Fox just happens to have a camera outside.

    Manning is now he's going to get buggered by everyone in every jail he goes to, I'm sure they think it's a shame they cant put it on TV. Prime time Fox news, Bradley gets it again, shame on you traitor Manning.
  • The NHS does offer treatment to non nationals.
  • The NHS does offer treatment to non nationals.

    But that's not what you meant now is it? Because it doesn't make sense in the context you put it.

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