Posts Tagged ‘Edward Snowden’

Tinker, hacker, Snowden spy

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Edward Jay Epstein writes on Revisiting Snowden’s Hong Kong Getaway
A year after the intelligence thief landed in Moscow, many questions remain about how he ended up in Putin’s hands.

While important details about Edward Snowden’s activities in Hong Kong remain shrouded in secrecy, the conventional portrait of his stay there and in Russia as one of improvisation and serendipity is at odds with the precision of his well-planned thefts.

Until March 15, 2013, Mr. Snowden worked at the NSA base in Honolulu for Dell, the outside contractor which supplied technicians to work on the NSA’s backup system. From this vantage point, he had access to the NSA Net, from which he pilfered most of the documents he later gave to journalists including the ones about NSA domestic operations that have preoccupied the world’s media.

But he quit Dell and moved to Booz Allen Hamilton, the outside contractor that ran the computer systems in the NSA’s Threat Operations Center. Here he could get access to the crown jewels, the lists of computers in four adversary nations—Russia, China, North Korea and Iran—that the agency had penetrated. He later told the South China Morning Post that his whole reason for making the job switch was to get “access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked.”

He carried out that theft, which included stealing passwords that gave him access to secret files, with great precision. There is no reason to assume that his getaway was any less deliberately planned.

I’ve also read Edward Lucas’s The Snowden Operation: Inside the West’s Greatest Intelligence Disaster. Lucas makes a convincing case that Snowden had to have help inside Booz Allen and/or the NSA. Who are those people?

The leakers: Who’s to gain?

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Princeton University professor Sean Wilentz, contributing editor of The New Republic, asks, Would You Feel Differently About Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange If You Knew What They Really Thought? 

The payoff of the Snowden affair for Putin and the Russians thus far has been substantial. Just as the Kremlin’s human rights reputation, already woeful under Putin, has spiraled downward, it is able to swoop in to rescue an American political outlaw, supposedly persecuted by the Obama administration. The dissident journalist Masha Gessen has observed, “The Russian propaganda machine has not gotten this much mileage out of a U.S. citizen since Angela Davis’s murder trial in 1971.”

Go read the whole thing.

Ecuador: Cléver Jiménez, accused of hacking, gets raided. Assange & Snowden could not be reached for comment.

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Ecuadorian Assemblyman Cléver Jiménez claims to have documentation of corruption in high places, which has displeased president Rafael Correa.

Correa’s been tweeting about it, in a 4-part tweet, which started with:
Months-long hacking of the accounts of the President and high officials. Investigations lead to Cléver Jiménez and his “advisor” Fernando . . .

Now Jiménez is under investigation for espionage, and yesterday his home was raided in his absence by a SWAT team, 3 criminologists, a prosecutor from Pichincha and a number of his aides. Jiménez’s attorney stated the raid was carried out without a warrant. Additionally, Jiménez’s office at the National Assembly was raided and his computer and documents were removed.

I could not reach Julian Assange in London for his reaction to the warrantless raid by the government of his patron Correa, who claims ‘Britain is violating Julian Assange’s human rights,’ while Correa persecutes an elected official for hacking.

Likewise, Edward Snowden, who, when asking for asylum, praised Correa,

who would risk standing for the human rights of an individual against the most powerful government on earth, and the bravery of Ecuador and its people is an example to the world

ought to come out of his Russian hidey-hole and stand for Jiménez’s rights.

Brazil: Snowden not in asylum

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Not a mental asylum, but political asylum:

Brazil uninterested in giving Edward Snowden asylum: report
An unnamed Brazilian government officials said the nation wasn’t keen on investigating NSA spying in the country, potentially endangering vital ties with the U.S.

The facts so far: Snowden has not submitted an official request for asylum. A Brazilian government spokesman said that without a formal request, asylum will not be considered.

Related:
Brazil: Edward Snowden asks for asylum

And Silvio Canto and I discussed the Snowden case in last night’s podcast.


At Da Tech Guy, Brazil: Edward Snowden asks for asylum

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Read my article, Brazil: Edward Snowden asks for asylum, and hit Da Tip Jar.
Thanks!

Among the Snowden headlines,

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Say again?

The Russian military recently dispatched a guided-missile warship to Cuba as part of what U.S. officials say are growing military, intelligence and economic ties between Moscow and Havana.

And after that, it’s heading to Venezuela, Nicaragua, and the Cape Verde Islands off eastern Africa.

Nothing to see here . . . move right along.

The maggot Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 29th, 2013

LatinAmerNo, not maggot Anthony Weiner (with apologies to any soft limbless larva of dipterous insects who may be reading this blog). The catchy headline is not from a Star Trek movie, but from another trek . . . to Peru,

A British woman returned from a holiday in Peru hearing scratching noises inside her head to be told she was being attacked by flesh-eating maggots living inside her ear.

Now that I have your attention, here’s the news from our hemisphere:
ARGENTINA
Sure this is the real thing? GREEN Coke launched in Argentina with natural sweetener and fully recyclable bottle

BOLIVIA
Evo says the continent must cease to depend on foreign companies for its large-scale industrial projects: Bolivia’s Morales Calls for South America’s “Technological Liberation”

BRAZIL
Pope Warns of Drug Scourge as Latin America Moves to Legalize

Papal Visit a Mixed Blessing for Rio
Mishaps at a papal event are raising doubts about Rio de Janeiro hosting the upcoming Olympics and the World Cup.

Pope urges talks in divided Brazil
Pope Francis urges Brazil’s government and civil society leaders to use dialogue as an alternative to violent protest and “selfish indifference”.

CHILE
‘Murder’ claim roils Chile campaign
A Chilean lawyer wants charges against the father of the conservative presidential candidate for the murder of her rival’s father.

Some final thoughts on Capriles in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia civil conflict has killed ‘nearly a quarter of a million’: study
Almost a quarter of a million Colombians have been killed in the country’s bloody half-century conflict, most of them civilians, a government-funded report revealed on Wednesday, providing fresh evidence of the vast scale of human rights violations since hostilities began.

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica Aims for Zoos without Cages. [Insert NJ Turnpike joke here]

CUBA
The Castro Brothers Get Caught in the Act News of arms shipments to North Korea rudely interrupts the happy talk about reforms in Cuba.

The Cuban Cargo Caper

In the spirit of rock and roll and freedom, Cuban heavy metal band Hipnosis defects

ECUADOR
U.S. Aims to Resume Bilateral Talks With Ecuador Before Year-End

Chevron’s latest headache in $19 billion lawsuit
A federal appeals court is weighing a sixth attempt by representatives of the Amazon Defense Front to toss the judge hearing the oil giant’s RICO case.

HAITI
Haiti cholera epidemic caused by UN, say experts

HONDURAS
UNREAL! Chicago Teachers Union Officials Travel to Honduras to Discuss “Revolution” With Former Tyrant

LATIN AMERICA
FDA set to overhaul food safety rules for imported fruits, veggies

Latin America and Edward Snowden
South Americans in glasshouses

MEXICO
WSJ letter to the editor: Mexico Needs Big Oil-Policy Change
Pemex’s freedom of maneuver has been held hostage for a half-century by a national narrative that misunderstands the global dynamic of the oil industry

NICARAGUA
Chinese Businessman Seeks to Build Nicaraguan Canal

PERU
More than 100 bodies exhumed in Peru

PUERTO RICO
Luis Gutierrez Asks Congress To Oppose Puerto Rico Statehood Resolution In Joint Letter With Nydia Velazquez

SURINAME
Suriname wants Dutch compensation for slave trade (h/t Gates of Vienna)

VENEZUELA
Apocalyptic South American fuck-up nudges up fund manager’s alpha

In Venezuela, the only fully-stocked supermarket belongs to the government: Caracas’s only fully-stocked supermarket and its one-in one-out policy
Demand at Caracas’s only fully-stocked supermarket – the government-run Bicentenario – is so high that it is now operating a “one-in, one-out” policy.

The week’s posts:
Brazil: 3 million expected at Copacabana today

Latin America and the China bubble

Cuba: A grim anniversary

Venezuela: Maduro gets hacked

Habemus Papam, habemus tango

Cuba: Civility, schmivility

Brazil: The Pope in a pickle

UNESCO self-ridicules UPDATED

Puerto Rico: Wind farm fiasco


I guess they don’t have smart phones in Russia?

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Russian guard service reverts to typewriters after NSA leaks
Leaks by US whistleblower Edward Snowden have fuelled Russian suspicions over electronic communications
.

And no one would photograph or scan & email it?

In other Russian news,

SNOWDEN EMERGES: Accuses U.S. officials of ‘threatening behavior’…

REPORT: Has received asylum offers from Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador – and Russia…

Commercial flight ‘best bet for ticket to asylum’…

US intel braces for more NSA exposure…

Officials fear Snowden gained access to files on spying…

Secret files show scale of Silicon Valley co-operation on Prism…

Venezuela: Runaway inflation, runaway asylum

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The economy gets worse by the day:
Venezuelan Inflation Surges
Inflation in Venezuela reached a new milestone Tuesday: Prices measured on a yearly basis are now rising at the fastest rate since the late President Hugo Chávez took power in 1999.

The annual inflation rate in June registered at 39.6%, the highest 12-month figure since the central bank introduced a new methodology for its Consumer Price Index in 2008.

That’s the official rate; Johns Hopkins economics professor Steve Hanke has inaugurated The Troubled Currencies Project,

For various reasons — ranging from political mismanagement, to civil war, to economic sanctions — some countries are unable to maintain a stable domestic currency. These “troubled” currencies are associated with elevated rates of inflation, and in some extreme cases, hyperinflation. Often, it is difficult to obtain timely, reliable exchange-rate and inflation data for countries with troubled currencies.

To address this, the Troubled Currencies Project collects black-market exchange-rate data for these troubled currencies and estimates the implied inflation rates for each country. The data and estimates will be updated on a regular basis. A current snapshot is presented in the table below. A time series of these data can also be viewed in graphical form by clicking on the corresponding tab for each country at the bottom of this page.

As you can see at the Project table, Venezuela’s implied annual inflation rate tops 240%, and the value of the Bolivar has gone off the cliff. Additionally,

The central bank’s scarcity index, a measure of products missing from store shelves, eased in June, registering at 19.3%, after hitting record levels in recent months. The scarcity index soared to its highest levels in April at 21.3%, before declining to 20.5% in May.

Which brings us to the subject of runaway spy Edward Snowden, who clearly hasn’t been reading professor Hanke’s work. Just yesterday Glenn Greenwald reported that

Nicaragua and Bolivia have also said they would accept Snowden but Venezuela is better poised “to get him safely from Moscow to Latin America and to protect him once he’s there,” Greenwald told Reuters. “They’re a bigger country, a stronger country and a richer country with more leverage in international affairs.”

On their part,

The Venezuelan Embassy in Moscow said it had no information on whether the fugitive NSA leaker had completed a deal that would allow him to leave the transit area of an airport in the Russian capital.

I guess Putin hasn’t put the finishing touches on getting Snowden out of the country.


Snowden’s asylum and Maduro’s message to Iran

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Mary O’Grady explains Why Venezuela Offers Asylum to Snowden
President Nicólas Maduro sends a message of his loyalty to Iran.

Venezuela has reason to fear increasing irrelevance as North America becomes more energy independent. This makes Iran crucial. Mr. Maduro may be trying to establish himself as a leader as committed to the anti-American cause as was his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, who had a strong personal bond with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He also needs to establish his own place in South American politics.

Reaching out to Mr. Snowden is a way to send a message to the world that notwithstanding Secretary of State John Kerry’s feeble attempt at rapprochement with Caracas last month, post-Chávez Venezuela has no intention of changing the course of the Bolivarian revolution. Rather, as the economy of the once-wealthy oil nation deteriorates, Mr. Maduro is signaling that Venezuela wants to become an even more loyal geopolitical ally and strategic partner of Russia and Iran.

While the U. S. State Department ignores Iran’s allies in our hemisphere, Iran has, for nearly two decades, assiduously cultivated terror and crime networks in LAtin America. Read this report, AMIA CASE: ARGENTINIAN PROSECUTOR ALBERTO NISMAN ACCUSED THE IRANIAN REGIME, AND MOHSEN RABBANI IN PARTICULAR, OF INFILTRATING LATIN-AMERICAN COUNTRIES, BUILDING LOCAL CLANDESTINE INTELLIGENCE STATIONS DESIGNED TO SPONSOR, FOSTER AND EXECUTE TERRORIST ATTACKS, WITHIN THE PRINCIPLES TO EXPORT THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION; it’s worth your time.