Tag Archives: snowden

What The US, Russia Are Really Quarreling Over: Pipelines

21 Aug

For both countries, the Snowden affair is just another ho-hum spat in the greater imperial rivalry.

by Steve Horn / Mint Press News

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, listens to a translation as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to reporters during their meeting in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The much-discussed Snowden affair is only the latest surface-level event in a geopolitical standoff between the U.S. and Russa over natural gas. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, listens to a translation as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to reporters during their meeting in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The much-discussed Snowden affair is only the latest surface-level event in a geopolitical standoff between the U.S. and Russa over natural gas. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Nearly two months ago, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden handed smoking-gun documents on the international surveillance apparatus to The Guardian and The Washington Post in what’s become one of the most captivating stories in recent memory.

Snowden now lives in Russia after a Hollywood-like nearly six-week-long stint in a Moscow airport waiting for a country to grant him asylum.

Journalists and pundits have spent countless articles and news segments conveying the intrigue and intensity of the standoff that eventually resulted in Russia granting Snowden one year of asylum. Attention now has shifted to his father, Lon Snowden, and his announced visit of Edward in Russia.

Lost in the excitement of this “White Bronco Moment,” many have missed the elephant in the room: the “Great Game”-style geopolitical standoff between the U.S. and Russia underlying it all, and which may have served as the impetus for Russia to grant Snowden asylum to begin with. What’s at stake? Natural gas.

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NSA to Fire 90% of System Administrators to Eliminate Future Leaks

9 Aug

from Business Insider

nsa-35The National Security Agency, hit by disclosures of classified data by former contractor Edward Snowden, said Thursday it intends to eliminate about 90 percent of its system administrators to reduce the number of people with access to secret information.

Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, the U.S. spy agency charged with monitoring foreign electronic communications, told a cybersecurity conference in New York City that automating much of the work would improve security.

“What we’re in the process of doing – not fast enough – is reducing our system administrators by about 90 percent,” he said.

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Earth First!…even before Snowden

17 Jul

by Ishan Raval / TechnicianOnline

The Edward Snowden affair has become the event of our moment in history. I do not remember living through a single political saga that was so much of a spectacle — in terms of diplomatic sparring and the comedy of errors from governments, publics and media in the “Where is he?” wild goose chase — that it could well have come out of a Hollywood movie. I’ve seen people from normally politically apathetic youth in India to ordinary people in Austria talking about Snowden, and I, too, have contributed to this hullabaloo.

Some have pointed out that with the focus on Snowden, his asylum-seeking from the shadows, the U.S.’s search and the waltz of the international community around all of this, nothing substantial will happen in regard to the actual information he brought us about the National Security Agency and the PRISM surveillance program. That is a valid concern.

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