More On Greenwald’s Book, First Chapter (and Snowden/Anon108/GPG video, Snowden/Cryptoparties)

The ‘Anon108’ GPG for Journalists video I linked to yesterday was indeed real. [1] And, the person who originally discovered it has also found more signs of ‘Cincinnatus’ participating in the Honolulu cryptoparties [2].

Anyway, a couple of remarkable quotes from the Greenwald book (“No Place to Hide”) as posted on his website [3]. First of all, this one made me laugh out loud… but not in a good way. It is however a good reminder that for all those people who cry, “you’re endangering people’s lives!” to bad communications security… well, smarter adversaries usually don’t strike immediately with black-bag teams, since that would reveal how and where they’re watching.

The correct way of noticing ‘leaks’ in your security is therefore not, “well, we’re not in Guantanamo, so we must be safe!” — it’s the adversary letting you go through with your plan which then, mysteriously, doesn’t quite work out.

Since the plan did work in this case despite the best efforts of Greenwald’s internal demons is a testament to Snowden’s skill.

“Using Skype, I called Janine Gibson, the British editor in chief of the US edition of the Guardian.[…]

“Janine, I have a huge story,” I plunged in. “I have a source who has access to what seems to be a large amount of top secret documents from the NSA. He’s given me a few already, and they’re shocking. But he says he has many, many more. For some reason, he’s in Hong Kong, I have no idea why yet, and he wants me to go there to meet him and get the rest. What he’s given me, what I just looked at, show some pretty shocking—”

Gibson interrupted. “How are you calling me?”

“By Skype.”

“I don’t think we should talk about this on the phone, and definitely not by Skype,” she wisely said, and she proposed that I get on a plane to New York immediately so that we could discuss the story in person.”

This is also interesting — remember, Miranda was the one that got involved with all the occult stuff when he was younger:

“David is a person of powerful intuition, and he was weirdly certain. “It’s real. He’s real. It’s going to happen,” he declared. “And it’s going to be huge.””

Now, as to Snowden’s motivations, two interesting quotes. Doubly interesting in light of the observation that he may not fully trust the cryptosystems which are commonly used by the public.

“In the end, we must enforce a principle whereby the only way the powerful may enjoy privacy is when it is the same kind shared by the ordinary: one enforced by the laws of nature, rather than the policies of man.”

Similarly, much ado has been made in the Twittersphere about Snowden’s “chains of cryptography” quote. More than just a new kink for the mathematically inclined, it’s driven by his observation that people-in-charge systems tend to corrupt themselves on the ‘all power corrupts’ principle… so let’s replace them by mechanical systems?

I am… extraordinarily skeptical… here. To be sure I am all in favor of communications which can’t be read by The Powers That Be.

Still, you can view the history of civilization as the history of man deciding he is irreparably unworthy and creating gods to rule him. Then, tearing down those gods and dreaming up better types when the last ones proved themselves unworthy too. But more on this some other time (as with so many things).

” On the day of this writing, all new communications records that can be ingested and catalogued by this system are intended to be held for [] years, and new “Massive Data Repositories” (or euphemistically “Mission” Data Repositories) are being built and deployed worldwide, with the largest at the new data center in Utah. While I pray that public awareness and debate will lead to reform, bear in mind that the policies of men change in time, and even the Constitution is subverted when the appetites of power demand it. In words from history: Let us speak no more of faith in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of cryptography.”

The Five Eyes as US client states. Now that’s an unusual perspective.

“The U.S. government, in conspiracy with client states, chiefest among them the Five Eyes…”

Snowden’s views on the duties of citizenship. I do believe he just got himself kicked out of “Team America, World Police”…!

“citizenship carries with it a duty to first police one’s own government before seeking to correct others”

PAGING JULIAN ASSANGE. Right here there’s some PRIME t-shirt-making material. Yes indeed! “I have been to the darkest corners of government, and what they fear is light.”

Lastly, a REALLY interesting way of presenting himself… Snowden viewed himself as an NSA/DIA employee “under corporate cover” — is that part of American operational security these days, using contractors to hide true employment numbers and payroll payments…?

“Former Senior Advisor | United States National Security Agency, under corporate cover

Former Field Officer | United States Central Intelligence Agency, under diplomatic cover

Former Lecturer | United States Defense Intelligence Agency, under corporate cover”




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