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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:54 AM

Snowden alone in calling out Empire as naked, things can come crashing down quicker than you think

Snowden alone in calling out Empire as naked

Rick Falkvinge is the founder of the first Pirate Party and campaigns for sensible information policy.

Published time: June 27, 2013 10:11

...

Most people in the United States aren't aware that their country is acting like their hated high school bully to most of the rest of the world. The few who do tend to take it with humor: bumper stickers have been seen satirizing this as "Be nice to America, or we'll bring democracy to your country", playing on the media spin that every war of aggression to maintain Pax Americana is about "bringing democracy" somewhere.

So when one man, Edward Snowden, reveals to the world that the Empire stands naked and that it really has been behaving like a bully, wiretapping everybody wholesale, there are shockwaves. But that's where the similarities with the folklore tale ends. Where the naked emperor cringed and realized the game was up, the naked Empire instead chooses to keep rewarding sucking up, pretending that nothing has been revealed at all, and to punish the whistleblower at all costs as a warning to others.

...

Take Microsoft software as an important example. As part of the NSA unravelings, it was uncovered that Microsoft gives security holes to the National Security Agency for exploiting before it sends out security repair patches to its users and customers - essentially betraying the trust of every customer worldwide, and making sure that no government, corporation, or media outlet can ever trust Microsoft products again: for Microsoft gave the master key to every customers' operations to the NSA.

Without Snowden setting the ball rolling, we would not have known this, and we would continue to have been owned - in the hacker and literal sense of the word - by the United States. Now, we can at least see that any Microsoft-developed software, and probably any closed US-developed software, is a huge security risk that no nation outside the United States can afford to take.

...

If the doubts in creditworthiness take hold, things can come crashing down quicker than you would expect.

...
http://rt.com/op-edge/snowden-us-secrets-truth-317/

Great article.

37 replies, 2636 views

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Snowden alone in calling out Empire as naked, things can come crashing down quicker than you think (Original post)
Catherina Jun 2013 OP
Catherina Jun 2013 #1
marions ghost Jun 2013 #2
byeya Jun 2013 #4
L0oniX Jun 2013 #7
marions ghost Jun 2013 #17
Recursion Jun 2013 #12
marions ghost Jun 2013 #16
Recursion Jun 2013 #18
marions ghost Jun 2013 #19
ljm2002 Jun 2013 #31
Recursion Jun 2013 #33
ljm2002 Jun 2013 #34
WovenGems Jun 2013 #26
marions ghost Jun 2013 #27
HiPointDem Jun 2013 #29
byeya Jun 2013 #3
hfojvt Jun 2013 #5
Orsino Jun 2013 #25
gordianot Jun 2013 #6
L0oniX Jun 2013 #9
Recursion Jun 2013 #11
L0oniX Jun 2013 #13
mwooldri Jun 2013 #24
cali Jun 2013 #8
Catherina Jun 2013 #15
marions ghost Jun 2013 #20
Recursion Jun 2013 #10
ljm2002 Jun 2013 #32
ucrdem Jun 2013 #14
Romulus Quirinus Jun 2013 #22
Politicub Jun 2013 #21
zeemike Jun 2013 #23
pnwmom Jun 2013 #28
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #30
WillyT Jun 2013 #35
woo me with science Jun 2013 #36
sibelian Jun 2013 #37

Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:59 AM

1. In related news, Switzerland wants more answers

14:55 GMT: Switzerland says it has received answers from US on Snowden’s activities for the CIA in Geneva, Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said. He added that Switzerland wants to discuss it further, Reuters reports. On June 12 the Swiss government formally asked the US for "clarification" on a claim from Snowden that CIA agents in Geneva pushed a banker to drink and drive as part of a dangerous recruitment ploy.

http://rt.com/usa/nsa-leak-snowden-live-updates-482/

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:59 AM

2. Thanks for the article

Take Microsoft software as an important example. As part of the NSA unravelings, it was uncovered that Microsoft gives security holes to the National Security Agency for exploiting before it sends out security repair patches to its users and customers - essentially betraying the trust of every customer worldwide, and making sure that no government, corporation, or media outlet can ever trust Microsoft products again: for Microsoft gave the master key to every customers' operations to the NSA.

How can anyone NOT see this as betrayal?


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Response to marions ghost (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:25 AM

4. I hate to say it but I think we'll have posters here sticking up for Microsoft and saying

 

this is no big deal.

It is a big deal if the Constitution and Declaration of Independence mean anything to you.

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Response to byeya (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:34 AM

7. +1 ...and cops, military, CIA, FBI and NSA ...maybe the SS too.

 

Agent Mike ...is not just a joke.

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Response to byeya (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:15 PM

17. Damage control

is in full swing.

But there's not much of a way to repair a complete lack of trust.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:40 AM

12. Mostly because it's complete BS

Windows includes a certificate that allows classified secure software to run if it's installed on Windows. It doesn't give anybody access to anything. That's not how certificates work. The certificate tells software "you can trust this OS"; it doesn't tell the OS to trust software.

Hint: if somebody's putting malware on your computer, they won't make the malware require a client-side certificate.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:13 PM

16. A certificate

oh well, everything's OK then

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:15 PM

18. Yes. The NSA uses computers too.

They need to be able to run software. The article forgot to mention that hundreds of organizations have added their certificates to Windows.

Hell, the NSA contributed actual code to the Linux Kernel 10 years ago.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #18)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:23 PM

19. The NSA uses computers too

um........................................really?

Sorry, the NSA doesn't have much cred in this direction you're trying to argue.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:32 PM

31. Who's blowing smoke here?

"Microsoft gives security holes to the National Security Agency for exploiting before it sends out security repair patches to its users and customers"

These are the so-called "zero day exploits" and have nothing whatsoever to do with certificates or running classified secure software.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #31)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:08 PM

33. your usage suggests you don't know what that means

A zero day exploit is a security or programming error that gets "announced" by an active compromise.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #33)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:14 PM

34. Please see my reply to you downthread (#32)

It's from a Bloomberg article:

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:19 PM

26. And yet

How many hackers have been busted using this NSA program? Why are viruses still released into the virtual world? Why the child porn? If the spying was oh so complete evidence would be all around. But it isn't, why?

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Response to WovenGems (Reply #26)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:45 PM

27. I don't think we have the answers to those questions

but if we were not being treated like children who don't need to know, maybe we would have some answers.

Here's a link from today--read about how the systems are tightening down as we speak, and the plans for the future.
They are working on using the most sophisticated technology to make the spying very "complete"....you may be sure...

This technology is at a level that most users of computers cannot comprehend. And the NSA (& surveillance ops in general) are taking every advantage of that fact. The technology is beyond the understanding of most reps in congress. They are just told that we need it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3110981

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Response to WovenGems (Reply #26)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:58 PM

29. same reasons drugs are still around despite billions being spent on the wod.

 

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:22 AM

3. Many thanks - great and timely post

 

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:31 AM

5. so we are hoping "that things come crashing down"?

the hated high school bully isn't generally spying on the rest of the school.

Although I don't really remember bullies from high school. Seems like that was more of a middle school/grade school phenomenon.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:03 PM

25. That part is fantasy.

America doesn't care enough to revamp anything.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:31 AM

6. Even if you are in favor of the NSA having a trap door in your software others can exploit data.

All it takes is one NSA leak we know how that works. So in order to make data secure you end up making it vulnerable to every potential hack and motivate spying by your enemies. Wanna bet that if not known already someone either has exploited these vulnerabilities or will in the near future?

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Response to gordianot (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:37 AM

9. Mean while Ubuntu is sneeking up on MS OS. OpenBSD or any BSD flavored OS is making headway as well.

 

Unless you are a gamer without a PS3 or use custom MS software there is no reason to use Winsux anymore.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:39 AM

11. And the PS4 is going to be BSD

Woohoo!

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Response to Recursion (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:40 AM

13. Yes indeedy.

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:02 PM

24. Even then.... Virtual Machine. Or Wine.

Some MS software can run on most linux distros through emulation (Wine). If that doesn't work, then a virtual machine can be run just for the MS software. I prefer the latter approach because there are incompatibility issues in Wine, and with the VM, if that gets hacked ... you've just lost the VM, not the whole computer.

Some computers though are better off running Windows XP, and some are better off with lubuntu. "Old" computers can still serve a nice purpose but with things going Win8, Ubuntu, Android, iOS/OSX these old machines just cannot keep up. For real safety purposes I would recommend the Sneaker Net - disconnected from the Internet but sharing files via DVD.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:36 AM

8. it's not factual to state that he stands alone

 

binney, wiebe, drake and others have all spoken out.

I have to say, I find this article disingenuous and it reads too much like straight out propaganda for me.

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Response to cali (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:52 AM

15. That part's not factual but unfortunately not enough people can see that

I wish the world knew that there are so many Americans who are just as appalled and aren't yawning this away. Or that quite a few other whistleblowers had come forward but I forgive them for not knowing because, even in our country, few average people knew.

I understand why it could seem disingenuous, I find it very honest for its expression of how many foreigners are viewing this and a reaction we should at least note. Our country has an attitude of "let's forget and move on" every 4-8 years, like in the case of Guatemala where 250,000 innocent people were murdered for US policy, or the wars we pushed on the world.

I had the same reaction you did and almost tweeted back, "he's not standing alone* lol.



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Response to cali (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:27 PM

20. He stands alone in the way that he did this

...the emperor has never been so naked to so many eyes.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:38 AM

10. The author needs to learn how certificates work

Take Microsoft software as an important example. As part of the NSA unravelings, it was uncovered that Microsoft gives security holes to the National Security Agency for exploiting before it sends out security repair patches to its users and customers

That sentence is so idiotically wrong I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:37 PM

32. Google "zero day exploits"...

...here's one result:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130614/02110223467/microsoft-said-to-give-zero-day-exploits-to-us-government-before-it-patches-them.shtml

Bloomberg came out with quite a bombshell last night, discussing how lots of tech companies apparently work with the NSA and other government agencies, not to pass data on users over to the government, but to share exploit information, sometimes before it's public or patched -- in some cases so it can be useful for the US government to use proactively. Last month, we had written about how the feds were certainly collecting hacks and vulnerabilities for offensive purposes, but it wasn't clear at the time that some of these exploits were coming directly from the companies themselves.

The report names one major participant: Microsoft:

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft (MSFT) and other software or Internet security companies have been aware that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments, according to two U.S. officials. Microsoft doesn’t ask and can’t be told how the government uses such tip-offs, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:47 AM

14. Translation: tax-cheat "libertarian" finds a hero.

Rick Falkvinge is the founder of the first Pirate Party and campaigns for sensible information policy.


This could come straight from the black heart of Orange County, CA.

Or any random CNN money show.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #14)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:17 PM

22. eeeeehhhhhh......I don't know about that. nt

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:06 PM

21. Sounds like something Glenn Beck would say

Hark and forsooth! The empire be naked!

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Response to Politicub (Reply #21)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:55 PM

23. Sounds like that Beck guy is firmly in control of what we say

Or cannot say.
Boy I would like to have that much power...to say something and have half the country not be able to say it.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:48 PM

28. Why do you keep Snowden at the center of attention

and then criticize other people for doing the same thing?

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:07 PM

30. naked Empire, cool

"Without Snowden setting the ball rolling, we would not have known this, and we would continue to have been owned - in the hacker and literal sense of the word - by the United States."

As a US citizen, most of whom work for corporations like Microsoft, I see nothing to gloat over. When our economy comes crashing down, I don't see how that makes things better.
I can see why a Russian news channel might be ready to gloat. I can't see why an American would.



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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:20 PM

35. K & R !!!

 


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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 08:12 PM

36. K&R

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 12:51 AM

37. K+R

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