Saturday Jan 18th, 2020

The Edward Snowden case

Edward Joseph Snowden American technology consultant, private advisor, informant, former employee of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and the NSA (National Security Agency) did its own in 2013 by unveiling secret documents of mass surveillance of the NSA. These revelations generated unprecedented worldwide attention to privacy and digital security intrusions. An episode of the way of working in the US came to light and not in the best possible way.

Personal life

Snowden was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on June 21, 1983. In 1999 he moved to Ellicott City, Maryland, where he studied computing at the Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. After that in 2004 Snowden was ready to join the US Army in order to join the ranks of the US Special Forces, but his path was truncated due to the break in his leg in a training produced that same year. . Because of that he went on to work as a security guard for an NSA facility at the University of Maryland. After a few years he began working at the CIA, where he trained at the CTC (Cia Training Center), Virginia in 2006, in 2007 he was assigned to work in Geneva, Switzerland, assigned with diplomatic credentials in the mission of the UN to maintain the CIA safety net.


Initially it came under the pretext of building a program that would allow the government to back up all the critical data of the Middle East in an emergency, a program he called "Epic Shelter" (Epic Shelter). Snowden learns about the practices that the NSA and other US government agencies. UU. they are using not only in Japan, but in most of the countries with which the United States is currently allied, which include planting malware on different computers managed by the government, infrastructure and financial sectors so that, in case the allies turn against the US UU., That country can effectively close in retaliation. Three months later he leaves the NSA post in Japan and returns to Maryland, USA, his home country.


He arrived in Hawaii in 2012 with the intention of working in the infrastructure analyst program of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton of the NSA, a job obtained through his CTC professor. His task was to work in counterintelligence to the Chinese at the Hawaiian Cryptological Center (CHC), facilities that focus on receiving intercepted intelligence signals (SIGINT) from Asia, and there he realizes that his creation ( Epic Shelter) has been modified and used to provide real-time data that helps US drone pilots launch lethal attacks against terrorist suspects in Pakistan.

In short, he worked in several roles within the US intelligence community, providing one of the greatest improvements to the surveillance team as was his program against the alleged pretext of making software to store data in case the terrorists Usurp that information.


XkeyScore program

It is a secret complex computer system created and used for the first time by the United States National Security Agency, an automated interface for the search, collection and analysis of global Internet data, which is collected daily. That is, it is a system that allows almost unlimited surveillance of any person anywhere in the world.

The system consists of a series of user interfaces, backend databases, servers and software that selects certain types of data and metadata that the NSA has already collected using other methods.

This program shares similarity with many other global surveillance and call recording systems in smart cities, although the NSA has said or "confirmed" that this wide-range metadata program is limited and restricted. In an interview with the German broadcaster, the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR Northern German Broadcasting) he asked Edward Snowden What could he do if he used XkeyScore? To which he replied:

You can read the email of anyone in the world, anyone for whom you have an email address. Any website: you can see traffic to and from it. Any computer on which a person sits: You can see it. Any laptop you are tracking: you can follow it as it moves from one place to another worldwide. It is a one-stop shop to access NSA information.

PRISM Program

PRISM began in 2007 following the approval of the United States Protection Act under the Bush administration. The program is operated under the supervision of the United States Court of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA or FISC Court) in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

It is a program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects Internet communications from various US Internet companies. UU. The SIGAD US-984XN program also knows this program.

PRISM collects stored Internet communications according to claims made to Internet companies such as Google Inc. under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to deliver any information that matches the search terms approved by the court. The leaked information came a day after the disclosure, the FISA Court had been ordering a subsidiary of the Verizon Communications telecommunications company to deliver the NSA records that tracked all of its customers' phone calls.

After finishing one of his works he arrived in Hong Kong, the young Snowden decided to reveal documents of a kind "Government" attracting the attention of the public through various press releases such as The Guardian and The Washinton Post with the help of journalists Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald. The information is disseminated to the press on June 5, 2013, with additional leaks published in the following days, cataloging Snowden as a hero.

Anger in US intelligence communities. UU and the United Kingdom finished not only with what was published, but also extends to unpublished material. They were forced to work on the assumption that everything Snowden had access was compromised and had to be abandoned.

The revelations about the massive espionage of the US National Security Agency have been a shock to the international community.

Much of the community considers him a hero. Among his revelations were, the espionage carried out by the US to several European leaders through the NSA program (PRISM) before detailed.

The author of the leaks has been labeled as "traitor" in his country. The consequences of his revelations continued to develop during the following months of 2013, including a legal battle over the collection of telephone data by the NSA. Federal prosecutors accused Snowden of “government property theft","unauthorized communication of national defense information"And"Intentional communication of classified intelligence information to an unauthorized person"

President Obama tried to calm fears about government espionage in January 2014 and ordered U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to review the country's surveillance programs.

El The Washington Post He informed that the reason for the leaks was to uncover the existing surveillance state in the United States. To justify the leak, Snowden said he cannot "in conscience, allow the US government to destroy the privacy, freedom on the internet and the basic freedoms of people around the world with this gigantic surveillance machine that they are secretly building. »

“I don't want to live in a society that does this kind of thing… I don't want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. It is something I am not willing to support or admit. ”

- Edward Snowden, talking with The Guardian, 2013.

The exodus of a hero

Snowden is smuggled from Hong Kong on a flight to Latin America through Russia. However, the United States government revoked his passport and forced him to remain in Moscow indefinitely. On June 25, 2013, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, confirmed that Snowden was in the transit area of ​​the Moscow Sheremétyevo airport. In addition, Putin ruled out Snowden's delivery to the United States in the absence of a bilateral extradition treaty between the two countries.

On July 3, 2013 France, Portugal, Italy and Spain denied the landing of the Bolivian president's plane Evo Morales, which flew from Moscow to La Paz, suspecting that Snowden was traveling on board. Morales was delayed at the airport in Vienna, Austria, triggering a diplomatic conflict.

In July 2013, WikiLeaks He announced the list of countries to which Snowden has requested political asylum. The petitions have been submitted to the Republic of Austria, to the State of Bolivia, the Republic of Brazil, Cuba, France, Finland, among other countries. On August 1, 2013, Edward Snowden left the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow and formally entered Russian territory after receiving temporary asylum for one year from the government of Vladimir Putin. Julian Assange, refugee at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, also recommended Snowden to seek asylum in some Latin American country.

Article sent by Steven Mora C. To Wake Up Knowing.


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