Yeah, wow, interesting read. I noted four or five times that Snowden basically said, "I can't answer that entirely, but just wait, news of something along those lines is coming down the pike". Scary stuff.
As was pointed out following several of the major corporate infiltration revelations (Google, Target, etc.), where was the NSA then? Or as other BB posters have acknowledged, if the NSA is so awfully great at what it does, then why the hell are botnets still a problem?
Mr Snowden addresses the nominal reason for unlimited world surveillance (terrorism). But the usefulness of being able to look at anything anywhere is terribly valuable to Law Enforcement, the Military, and to the State Department. The government is reluctant to give up their illegal programs because it means giving up power. Terrorism is just a fig leaf.
I would wager, the way things have been going, that the answer to that query will be a sticky one, like the answer to the age old question "If chocolate is so great, then why do we still have peanut butter?"
The NSA's job isn't to shut down botnets.
Granted, but considering how much economic damage they do (or are capable of doing), and also considering that the NSA is involved in buttressing the economic affairs of the USA, why not?
Well, TECHNICALLY, No Such Agency's job is Making Codes and Breaking Codes. Not stopping code.
However, as a Security Geek, I can see them wanting to CONTROL a botnet or three. . . . all the better to surveil you by. . .
Probably because they've compromised the botnets too and are using them to snarf even more data.
I really doubt Andorra has its own secret service. Its defense is handled jointly by Spain and France, so any spy-type stuff certainly is too.
Perhaps they benefit in some way...
I hesitate to believe that even the most jaded NSA spook would be cool with getting data from a botnet service or administrator, but then I've got a conscience and a heartbeat so there's that. In fact, I'm racking my brain to consider reasons the NSA would overlook botnets and their almost certain infiltration of the US government in some way.
Given that most malware opens a door to the compromised system I suppose there could be interest in exploiting those particular holes for intelligence gathering. Of the subset of people the NSA is really interested in (and I hope they are of a particularly nasty strain of homicidal maniac even though I know they're likely not), I would assume that there is a subset of that population that is similarly bad at computer security as a subset of any other computer-using-human population, statistically speaking. So computer gets infected and put under control by botnet, compromised machine allows for other players to walk in and look around, and NSA finds these machines as easier targets that could be used in tangential attacks to other compromised/uncompromised machines, or they could be put to use for other nefarious purposes (DDOS attacks against foreign C3 systems and that sort of thing). I don't know as I'm no security expert (except for my own house--walk through my door for malicious purposes and you'll be getting carried out and leaking a lot of claret while it happens).
As for Snowden, I wish him luck and I hope to hell that he doesn't develop some sort of savior mentality in the long term. To my own west-centric thought, I see a 5% chance of some western politicians heeding his thought and changing or curbing the global security apparatus, but I seriously doubt Russia, China, or any other large autocratic governmental bodies of coming around to his thinking.
When cops who kill innocent people are called Heroes, the word has lost it's meaning.
Is there a way we can start using the word "Snowden" to mean a true hero?
Just one note regarding this not-at-all magnificent testimony from Edward Snowden (although more could be said: see link at the bottom).
"I will leave the public interest determinations as to which of these may be safely disclosed to responsible journalists in coordination with government stakeholders."
So great of Snowden to remind us that he's comfortable with established journalists and government peeps decide what should be revealed to us, the plebs, regarding all this mass surveillance thingy.
So far, those two classes of superior citizens have done such a marvelous job at working for the common good, including making sure that less than 5% of all the data he amassed before flying off to Hong-Kong is ever released/revealed.
So thanks for all the state-sponsored whistle-blowing, friend.
Be further educated here: http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/edward-snowden-tattletale.html
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