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Tag: Edward Snowden

Former FBI Director Mueller Hired to Conduct Security Review of Booz Allen

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been hired by Booz Allan Hamilton, a firm whose employee was charged with stealing classified data from the NSA.

“We take the trust clients place in us seriously and are proud to support our country’s important national security missions,” Craig Veith, Booz Allen’s vice president for external relations, said in a statement, the Washington Post reports. “We are committed to doing our part to detect potential insider threats, which are complex and constantly evolving.”

The employee, Harold T. Martin, is accused of one of the largest thefts of classified material in U.S. history, allegedly stealing at least 50 terabytes of digital data – the equivalent of 500 million pages of information.

Mueller is tasked with reviewing the firm’s security processes.

Booz Allan is the same firm where Edward Snowden worked when he took sensitive information.

NSA Whistleblower Snowden Said FBI’s Claim That Only Apple Can Unlock iPhone Is ‘Bulls—‘

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said the FBI could have easily unlocked an iPhone and called the bureau’s fight with Apple a sham, CNBC reports. 

“The FBI says Apple has the ‘exclusive technical means’,” to unlock the phone, Snowden said during a discussion at Common Cause’s Blueprint for Democracy conference in Washington on Wednesday.

“Respectfully, that’s bullshit,” Snowden said.

Snowden explained that the FBI could have bypassed the iPhone’s auto-erase function but failed to do so.

Other technology experts backed up those claims, but said the FBI made a big error by trying to reset the iCloud password.

CNBC wrote:

Even so, security researchers say there are other options, like “de-capping” the phone’s memory chip to access it outside the phone (which Snowden has also mentioned), or resetting the phone’s internal counter so that you can guess the passwords as many times as you want. Those techniques are hard and expensive and could destroy the phone, experts say — but have worked in the past.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: U.S. Should Offer Snowden Deal to Come Home

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Editorial Board
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 

The European Parliament has urged its member states to embrace American fugitive Edward Snowden as a “whistle-blower and international human rights defender.” The former National Security Agency contractor remains in Russia, and the Justice Department has ignored his public entreaties for a plea deal that would allow him to return to the United States and face charges.

Alternately hailed as a hero and traitor, Mr. Snowden has said he is willing to go to jail in order to return home. The United States should offer him a deal. As other countries move to protect him, the Justice Department looks vindictive in its refusal to negotiate, and Mr. Snowden’s status as a heroic figure grows the longer he remains on foreign soil, tweeting about privacy abuses.

Mr. Snowden fled to Hong Kong in 2013, before the United States charged him with theft and espionage for releasing millions of classified documents about government surveillance. Now living in Russia, he has amassed 1.6 million followers on Twitter, appeared live via video at conferences and posed for the cover of Wired magazine wrapped in an American flag.

In March, Mr. Snowden’s attorney said his client wants to come home if he can be assured of a fair trial. Although former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hinted in July of a “resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with,” none has been forthcoming, and a spokesman for the National Security Council said after the European Parliament vote that “our position has not changed” on the felony charges Mr. Snowden faces.

Other Stories of Interest

Eric Holder: Plea Deal Possible to Bring Back NSA Leaker Snowden

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department could make a deal to convince NSA leaker Edward Snowden to return to the U.S. after he fled in 2013 following the shocking release of secret surveillance documents.

That’s according to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who spoke to Yahoo News about the issue.

Holder said the U.S. likely would be interested in striking a deal with the whistleblower and even conceded that Snowden’s document leak “spurred a necessary debate” on surveillance.

“I certainly think there could be a basis for a resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with. I think the possibility exists.”

But current AG Loretta Lynch didn’t seem as open to a deal.

“This is an ongoing case so I am not going to get into specific details but I can say our position regarding bringing Edward Snowden back to the United States to face charges has not changed,” Lynch spokeswoman Melanie Newman said in an email.

Forget Edward Snowden; FBI Investigating Second Leaker Accused of Providing Security Info to Media

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Edward Snowden has become a household name after leaking eye-opening information to the media.

Now the FBI is investigating a second suspected leaker who also was government contractor, Yahoo News reports.

Agents have searched the Northern Virginia home of Michael Isikoff, who is accused of disclosing details of the government’s terrorist watch list.

The leak went to the Intercept, which reported in August that about half of the 680,000 people on the terrorist database kept by the U.S. “are not connected to any known terrorist group.”

The source was “in the intelligence community,” Intercept reported.

“Without commenting on any purported sources: Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux’s reporting for The Intercept on the federal watchlisting program brought crucial information about this preposterously overbroad and inefficient system to light, and has been repeatedly cited by civil liberties groups and civil rights attorneys who are seeking the intervention of federal courts to reign in its excesses,” Intercept editor-in-chief John Cook said in a statement.

FBI, NSA Has Been Spying on Innocent Muslim Americans Since 9/11

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government has been spying on law-abiding Muslim Americans, according to the latest documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The Intercept reports that new documents show the targets of the surveillance included lawyers, academics, civil rights activists, and a political candidate who “have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives.”

“I just don’t know why,” said Faisal Gill, whose email accounts were monitored while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. “I’ve done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my community—I’ve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.”

It remains unclear whether the federal government even received warrants.

Jim Gilmore: Balancing Challenges of Homeland Security And Civil Liberities

By Jim Gilmore
The Washington Times

Our country is currently in a struggle between the need to protect our citizens from terrorism and the need to protect the civil liberties of our citizens. How can we do both while not sacrificing either?

During my five years as chairman of the National Commission on Homeland Security, we analyzed and debated issues of national security and presented our finding to the president and Congress, which became the framework for the Department of Homeland Security.

America must never make the mistake of sacrificing liberty for security. However, an equally severe mistake would be to give up the ability to track the enemy because of a fear of government. This duality of purpose demands oversight, not dismantling.

While our security focus has been primarily on non-state entities such as al Qaeda, the past several weeks in Ukraine have been a sobering reminder of the threat we face from state actors as well. The easiest way for such entities to circumvent our security is by revealing the tools we use in order to protect our country.

A perfect example of this are the crimes committed by Edward Snowden. Some would argue he is a patriot. I can tell you those people are dead wrong. Mr. Snowden swore an oath to protect his country and, in turn, was given the trust of America.

Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, said it best: “Edward Snowden is not a whistleblower worthy of protection, but a fugitive deserving of prosecution. He violated his sworn pledge to protect classified information. He jeopardized our national security. And he betrayed the trust of the American people. This man is no hero.”

Mr. Snowden’s traitorous act is a perfect example of the dual threat we face from state and non-state actors. His actions helped al Qaeda by revealing a program used to track terrorists, while at the same time giving the world’s largest bully a propaganda tool used to legitimize its actions.

Click here to read more.

Snowden Says U.S. Authorities Want to Kill Him After Their Anonymous Remarks in Media

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leaker Edward Snowden claimed Sunday that U.S. officials “want to kill me,” the Daily Mail reports.

In an interview with a German TV station, Snowden cited an anonymous Pentagon official quoted as saying, “I would love to put a bullet in his head.” An NSA analyst was quoted as saying he would kill Snowden.

The 30-year-old, who took refuge in Moscow to avoid treason charges, said he does not want to return to the U.S. because he wouldn’t receive a fair trial.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST