Snowden's Box: the incredible, illuminating story of the journey of Snowden's hard drive

Originally published at:

Dale Maharidge is a journalist and J-school professor who is dear old friends with the muckracking, outstanding political documentarian Laura Poitras. Jessica Bruder (previously) is a a writer and J-school prof who’s best friends with Maharidge. When Laura Poitras was contacted by an NSA whistleblower who wanted to send her the leak of the century, she asked Maharidge for help finding a safe address for a postal delivery, and Maharidge gave her Bruder’s Brooklyn apartment address. A few weeks later, Bruder came home from a work-trip to discover a box on her doormat with the return address of “B. Manning, 94-1054 Eleu St, Waipau, HI 96797.” In it was a hard-drive. The story of what happened next is documented in a beautifully written, gripping new book: Snowden’s Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance.


The Snowden leaks are, at the end of the day, about trust: whether we can trust our government, whether it trusts us, and whether we can trust each other.

Answer: we can trust each other, then build a better Government…


I continue to be impressed by Snowden’s forward planning and tradecraft. This case is going to be studied by dissidents and by intelligence agencies for a long time.


Wait, who is included in this “each other” part? Because I’ve met a lot of people who have made our government worse, not better.


Then don’t trust them. Trial and error are all part of the fun…


Funnily enough the United States government was basically an experiment by a bunch of bastards who didn’t trust each other, and that paranoia is largely responsible for the checks and balances we do have.


I don’t agree with, apparently, 90% of persons in the media. Snowden’s leaks were devastating to National Security. That was our means of covertly identifying terrorist movement through social media and networking as well as methodology to prevent other nations agents from both socially engineering our people into disloyalty to governing agencies and producing government shutdown. I think that leaking our operations globally to ensure our survival was foolish.

Snowden was heavily democratic and operated through Republican channels and ended up in Russia, one of our most significant opponents. That is not coincidence. I think media intent to make him a hero and spread discontent towards governing authorities is indicative of a broader issue with regard to reporting in our country. He is a tragic case of purposeful and successful engineering by other agencies and is utilizing survivalist methods and media to protect himself. If he were a man about his mistake, he would turn himself in and take responsibility for his actions.

Lastly, if you are not a threat to your country, you shouldn’t have issue with being monitored by them. Odds are, if you are loyal it is for your protection. They are free to monitor my devices and life at will for any intent. If I formed a militia, as legally defined, it would be THEIR militia. I think people need a better understanding of the law and more common sense. They are not “out to get you”. That would not serve them or their intent. But most supporters of Snowden want a legal right to break the law. That is unfortunate to me. Honor the king. Since we don’t have one, it’s all of them. Thusly, as a Christian, “Honor the government.”

Leo Tolstoy strongly disagrees


I usually get stuff like this from the library for privacy reasons, but my local library is closed :frowning_face:

1 Like

That is heartbreakingly naive. We do not live in a dictatorship, and we have the right to privacy, for no other reason than that. That’s the definition of freedom. That freedom is essential for good democratic practices, to allow us to make choices for ourselves and our families as long as we’re not infringing on the rights of others. It also allows us to protest government overreach and head off a tyrannical goverment, in a far more effective way than through a militia. There is NO reason for the government to monitor you if you’re not breaking the law or accused of breaking the law.

I get that maybe not everyone is cut out for being an adult and not having someone watching everything you do to make sure you’re not committing thought-crimes. If you don’t want to live in a free country, I hear Hungary is making sure that their citizens don’t that, maybe you can move there if it makes you feel safe and comforted to have Big Brother looking over your shoulder all the time…

That seems directly at odds with Jesus being executed by the government for fomenting revolution… He literally opposed the leadership that was working along side the Romans and Roman rule in Jerusalem.


I don’t believe in Christian Anarchism because rebelling against the governing authorities is rebelling against God as it is His institution for punishing evil according to the Bible. That Christian’s believe is written by God. That makes the ideas not compatible together.

By this dictum you would support a woman’s right to reproductive freedom as defined under Roe v. Wade and would not challenge it as the law of the land, correct?

Chapter and verse, please.

1 Like

No, He did not.

He stated “Render unto Cesear what is Cesear’s and unto God what is God’s”. The Jews wanted to proclaim Him as king and He rejected it knowing what was in the heart of man.

He said “My kingdom is not of this Earth” to Pilot when the Pharisees and Sadducees and religious leaders accused Him of the same thing you just did. Pilot attempted to release Him finding no fault in Him according to Rome. They also “washed their hands” of it knowing it was not just, but crucified Him fearing a riot.

I think you should read the Bible more and websites less if you want a truthful perspective of God’s take on His institution for punishing evil.

These were all Bible verses with His statements and his apostles.

Really? The problem with “if you aren’t doing anything wrong” is that you might not be today, but tomorrow? What happens if you get a government that – for instance – bans religion? And here you’ve been legally posting about religion, letting them track you to church, discovering who all your fellow congregants are, everybody they talk to, etc. How long will it be before there is a knock on your door, and on your pastor’s door… and when I say knock, I mean battering ram.

Things like Auschwitz didn’t happen overnight. It built up slowly, people getting used to being surveilled, even though they did nothing wrong. Even as their neighbors slowly disappeared, people assumed that they must have done something, or why would the government come.

That’s the extreme. The truth is, we do illegal things every day. There are so many different laws, you can’t help but break one. Even if not illegal, there’s the embarassing: the time you helped out your coworker and lied to your spouse because your spouse can’t stand your coworker. The time you lost your temper and said that you wanted to throttle somebody.

Or maybe you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Your phone places you outside of an apartment complex where a drug dealer lives – you jog past there daily and regularly pause for a drink and to re-tie your shoes. You don’t know they live there. You aren’t dealing drugs or using. It’s all good, right? Until you piss off the wrong petty bureaucrat when you take the last of the good apples at the supermarket, and suddenly your innocent jog becomes a visit to the dealer. Even if you do eventually manage to prove yourself innocent (big if), your reputation is now damaged. Maybe you’re out of work due to all the court dates. Maybe you’ve lost your house because you couldn’t make rent/mortgage after losing your job.

“If you’re not doing anything wrong…” is the biggest fallacy in the book.


weird since the neoliberal media (CNN, MSNBC, etc) + Fox were both very harsh. Even if they imply bad things were done they emphasiae that “Snowden broke the law

Ah yes, Edward Snowden, noted survivalist who… *checks notes* failed out of the Army because he fucked up his leg on a training exercise

as someone who has studied “National Security” extensively, I think your word salad of a post lacks a grasp of the facts, and possibly reality itself.

Just him, or all the Ron Paul types? (He’s on record as having liked Paul, though later endorsed Bernie, a journey many extremely online young men of a certain age have made)

the 4th and 5th amendment disagree

I think the quote you’re looking for is “render unto caesar”, and as I pointed out earlier, the constitution explicitly says we are NOT expected to blindly submit ourselves to the government.

and so does the NSA. your point being?

1 Like

Yes. It is legal to perform, thusly I would not interfere. Would I choose it, no. I am Christian. Would I break the law to prevent it? No. That would be to disobey governing authorities which the Bible says would cause me to be judged. I don’t judge, lest I am judged.

1 Like

Thanks. That’s a refreshing change from the usual Xtianist hypocrisy on these matters.


Judges 21:25

25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

1 Samuel 8

Israel Asks for a King

8 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders.[a] 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.”

6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said,“This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

Why do you want a king? Why do you raise the government to the level of a king?


but there are hundreds of governments, are you saying there are hundreds of gods? very sinful IMO

1 Like

why do you support roe v wade but not the 4th amendment?