Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Fraction Of His Credibility Left

Glenn Greenwald's PRISM story is rapidly crumbling on all fronts.  Now we find out that his claim that the NSA has "direct access" to the servers of America's major social media and tech companies is not only bogus, what access they do have is narrow in scope and specific in having to be requested.  These companies are coming clean on numbers that Greenwald and others screamed that America needed to know.  The truth shall set you free.


Earlier this week, along with others in the industry, we called for greater transparency about the volume and scope of the national security orders, including FISA orders, which require the disclosure of some customer content. We believe this would help the community understand and debate these important issues. Since then, we have worked with the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice to try and secure permission to do this.
This afternoon, the FBI and DOJ have given us permission to publish some additional data, and we are publishing it straight away. However, we continue to believe that what we are permitted to publish continues to fall short of what is needed to help the community understand and debate these issues.
Here is what the data shows: For the six months ended December 31, 2012, Microsoft received between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal). This only impacts a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base.

And Facebook:

For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000. These requests run the gamut – from things like a local sheriff trying to find a missing child, to a federal marshal tracking a fugitive, to a police department investigating an assault, to a national security official investigating a terrorist threat. The total number of Facebook user accounts for which data was requested pursuant to the entirety of those 9-10 thousand requests was between 18,000 and 19,000 accounts.
With more than 1.1 billion monthly active users worldwide, this means that a tiny fraction of one percent of our user accounts were the subject of any kind of U.S. state, local, or federal U.S. government request (including criminal and national security-related requests) in the past six months.

Several thousand accounts out of billions.   That's not anywhere near the level that Greenwald purported.  Nor is the information anything new:  the NSA has been picking up a firehose of data from the main internet backbones of America for years, at least when Bush was in charge.

Despite that prohibition, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the NSA to plug into the fiber optic cables that enter and leave the United States, knowing it would give the government unprecedented, warrantless access to Americans' private conversations.

Tapping into those cables allows the NSA access to monitor emails, telephone calls, video chats, websites, bank transactions and more. It takes powerful computers to decrypt, store and analyze all this information, but the information is all there, zipping by at the speed of light.

"You have to assume everything is being collected," said Bruce Schneier, who has been studying and writing about cryptography and computer security for two decades.

The New York Times disclosed the existence of this effort in 2005. In 2006, former AT&T technician Mark Klein revealed that the company had allowed the NSA to install a computer at its San Francisco switching center, a key hub for fiber optic cables.

In other words, just because you forgot this was happening doesn't mean it wasn't happening.  This has been public knowledge for eight years now.

So how is this Obama's fault again?  And how is Greenwald's story a "revelation" again?


drouse said...

You know what? You and your spittle flecked posts attacking Greenwald have become today's version of a typewriter font expert. Attacking the details and distracting from the larger point I'm glad you consider my rights and privacy a sacrifice you're willing to make.

Fuck You.


Maxwell Smarter said...

The best part is how the first two links prove that the NSA, Obama, and tech companies lied about companies like Facebook and Microsoft not cooperating, and the last one proves Obama lied about wiretapping all internet communications.

So really, thanks fuckbrain, you just proved Greenwald 100% right. Americans are only free because the fascist-in-chief hasn't decided you're worth execution.

Maxwell Smarter said...

Oh and P.S. your fascist government is still wiretapping without warrants and has been since Obama took office.

Zandar said...

You come at me with Declan McCullogh?

He's as big of a liar as Greenwald.

Try again.

Maxwell Smarter said...

I feel sorry for you.

You are still not smart enough to figure out there is no difference between Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama. Syria will be Obama's war just as surely as Iraq belonged to the Bushes and Bosnia belonged to Clinton. It will drag on for years.

The next prez will promise to get us out of Syria. They won't. Trillions will vanish down that hole too. I know you are capable of comprehending that, but I guess your type isn't so bright, after all...

Zandar said...

And finally, CNET pulled that Declan McCullogh story you linked because of its obvious falsehoods. He's a liar. He materially misrepresented Rep. Nadler's statements, and Rep. Nadler debunked them.

You lose.

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