Risk
6/12/2013
11:56 AM
50%
50%

NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal

Without Snowden's leaks, we wouldn't be pursuing rational, democratic debates on the government's post-Sept. 11 balance between security and civil liberties.

Without Snowden's leaks, however, we wouldn't be having this debate. Furthermore, by bringing the surveillance programs to public attention, Snowden has put himself at personal risk, and not just of incarceration. "In Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker & reporter on #NSA stuff should be disappeared," tweeted Atlantic foreign reporter Steve Clemons.

To decide where Snowden falls in the spectrum between altruistic whistleblower and dangerous criminal, it helps to put the leaks into perspective. "In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material -- and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago," Daniel Ellsberg wrote Monday. Ellsberg is a former military analyst and RAND employee who in 1971 leaked to The New York Times the secret history of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers, which showed how four successive presidential administrations lied to the public about Vietnam policies.

Whistleblowers are vital to the health of a democracy. "Whistleblowing is the moral response to immoral activity by those in power," said information security guru Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer of BT, in a blog post, in which he lauded Snowden as "an American hero."

Schneier argued that we need more people like Edward Snowden who, when they see evidence of wrongdoing, release information on "government programs and methods, not data about individuals," which alludes to Snowden saying he carefully selected leaked data so it wouldn't put intelligence agents or overseas operations at risk.

"I understand I am asking for people to engage in illegal and dangerous behavior," Schneier said. "Do it carefully and do it safely, but -- and I am talking directly to you, person working on one of these secret and probably illegal programs -- do it."

For the rest of us, should whistle-blowers who bring to light "illegal and dangerous behavior" get a "stay out of jail free" card? When leaks are done in a manner that doesn't put lives at risk, that does seem to be the appropriate, democratic response.

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
lacertosus
50%
50%
lacertosus,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2013 | 11:17:33 PM
re: NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal
It's simple. Americans just simply don't care and that's why the majority of us are not moved by the story which is sad. In retrospect, J.E. Hoover is responsible for what can be categorized as the greatest spying violation on Americans privacy. Even then no one cared. We tend to brush off these types of violations as with the analogy of 'Well I have not thing to hide".

Perhaps there might have been a better route for Snowden to take than divulging state secrets on foreign land. Noot sure that that it though
Truthsmith
50%
50%
Truthsmith,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2013 | 5:55:28 PM
re: NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal
AP isn't getting credibility with me in the protestations of its CEO on CSPAN as I write this. Their complicity with Hugo Chavez' attacks on the press in Venezuela and his actions in trying to subvert Honduras with puppet Zelaya.
Truthsmith
50%
50%
Truthsmith,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2013 | 5:45:09 PM
re: NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal
Snowden did a hero thing, in view of what has happened to other whistleblowers, some of whom we no doubt haven't heard about. Like what happened to the retired military intelligence officer that was found professionally whacked in a garbage dump?

As recently as a year ago, this was the stuff that when we warned about it, people called "conspiracy theory" and paranoid.

NOW GET THIS: The Plutocracy Media is trying to divert attention to the reassurances from the government itself (No problem, nothing to see here...)

Oh, but now AP of the Rulers Media got hit too. That's a diversion too. We need respect for natural rights.
Charles Leach
50%
50%
Charles Leach,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/15/2013 | 12:46:01 PM
re: NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal
When will these people running 'National security' in ALL countries realise that in this modern internet time, there is no such thing as 'secret'. The USA NSA pursuit of Snowden seems just vindictive, and is similar to North Korea's imprisonment of 'dissenters'.
PS Will the NSA try to get me extradited to face 10 to 20 years in prison for not bowing down to their bully-boy tactics? .....Time will tell.
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
6/14/2013 | 4:56:11 PM
re: NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal
He's a common criminal with delusions of grandeur.
RonK476
50%
50%
RonK476,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2013 | 12:52:02 PM
re: NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal
Snowden has revealed no new facts regarding electronic data gathering. Carnivore has been around for decades plus he is obviously a fan of the Hollywood B movies "The Net" and "Enemy of the State".

I truly believe he's been co-opted by another agency to embarrass the NSA or more likely the Chicoms to embarrass the US.
xBaja
50%
50%
xBaja,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/12/2013 | 11:39:04 PM
re: NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal
This is nothing new and it didn't start with the Patriot Act. The FBI had the Carnivore sniffer platform during the Clinton years.
Drew Conry-Murray
50%
50%
Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2013 | 10:33:04 PM
re: NSA Prism Whistleblower Snowden Deserves A Medal
I think Snowden did a brave thing. We need to have a public debate about the extent of data gathering and surveillance that's conducted in the name of security.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "Why else would HR ask me if I have a handicap?"
Current Issue
The Changing Face of Identity Management
Mobility and cloud services are altering the concept of user identity. Here are some ways to keep up.
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio

The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.