Edward Snowden exposes National Security Agency domestic surveillance

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by The Wrong Guy, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. ThothIsAngry Member

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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Supreme Court passes on NSA bulk phone surveillance case | Ars Technica

    The Supreme Court declined Monday to resolve the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's bulk telephone metadata surveillance program, leaving intact what a lower-court judge described as an "almost-Orwellian" surveillance effort in which the metadata from every phone call to and from the United States is catalogued by US spies.

    The move by the justices comes as the Obama administration and Congress consider dramatically revamping the spy program disclosed in June by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    The petition before the justices, brought by political activist Larry Klayman, concerned a December decision by US District Judge Richard Leon, who wrote in an opinion that America's founders would be "aghast" (PDF) at the spying. The President George W. Bush appointee stayed his decision, which concluded that the program infringes the Fourth Amendment, pending appeal because of the case's national security implications.

    Klayman bypassed a federal appeals court and went directly to the high court, which rarely plucks cases from district courts before they're heard at the federal appellate level. In urging the high court to decide the issue, Klayman argued in his petition that the "case is of such imperative public importance that it justifies deviation from normal appellate practice and requires immediate consideration and determination in the Supreme Court" (PDF).

    Legal scholars had predicted that, because the case was not ripe, the high court would turn a deaf ear to Klayman's petition. Still, there was a glimmer of a chance that the justices would have accepted Klayman's case and decided the outcome of what is likely the biggest constitutional crisis the Supreme Court has been presented with in the digital age.

    That's because the Supreme Court has taken cases before they went to the federal appellate level. Those disputes, which seemingly pale in comparison to the NSA surveillance at issue, involved the constitutionality of the US Sentencing Commission, the value of a floundering railroad, a coal strike, and the eviction of an Ohio tenant from a housing rental.

    The high court's inaction Monday means the future of the phone surveillance program will most likely play itself out in the political theater before the judicial arena. Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the stated provision allowing the bulk collection, expires June 1, 2015.

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  3. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why Fusion Centers Matter: FAQ | Electronic Frontier Foundation

    While NSA surveillance has been front and center in the news recently, fusion centers are a part of the surveillance state that deserve close scrutiny.

    Fusion centers are a local arm of the so-called "intelligence community," the 17 intelligence agencies coordinated by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). The government documentation around fusion centers is entirely focused on breaking down barriers between the various government agencies that collect and maintain criminal intelligence information.

    Barriers between local law enforcement and the NSA are already weak. We know that the Drug Enforcement Agency gets intelligence tips from the NSA which are used in criminal investigations and prosecutions. To make matters worse, the source of these tips is camouflaged using “parallel construction,” meaning that a different source for the intelligence is created to mask its classified source.

    This story demonstrates what we called “one of the biggest dangers of the surveillance state: the unquenchable thirst for access to the NSA's trove of information by other law enforcement agencies.” This is particularly concerning when NSA information is used domestically. Fusion centers are no different.

    In fact, in early 2012, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved the sharing of raw NSA data with the NCTC. The intelligence community overseen by the NCTC includes the Department of Homeland Security and FBI, the main federal fusion center partners. Thus, fusion centers — and even local law enforcement — could potentially be receiving unminimized NSA data. This runs counter to the distant image many people have of the NSA, and it's why focusing on fusion centers as part of the recently invigorated conversation around surveillance is important.

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  5. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    This is what it looks like in government-ese. The private security piece is an easy way to get around civil rights and the Constitution.
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  6. Quentinanon Member

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Cookies that give you away: The surveillance implications of web tracking

    Over the past three months we’ve learnt that NSA uses third-party tracking cookies for surveillance (1, 2). These cookies, provided by a third-party advertising or analytics network (e.g.,, are ubiquitous on the web, and tag users’ browsers with unique pseudonymous IDs. In a new paper, we study just how big a privacy problem this is. We quantify what an observer can learn about a user’s web traffic by purely passively eavesdropping on the network, and arrive at surprising answers.

    Browser cookies: How they could be undermining your privacy

    Through the eyes of an online advertising network, I'm not Dan Misener. Rather, I'm 002113fd47dacc02c64de16f75.

    That's just one of the unique IDs assigned to me by an online ad company. It's stored in a cookie on my computer, and according to new research from Princeton University it's part of what makes it surprisingly easy to piece together a fairly complete picture of my web browsing history.

    In a new paper called "Cookies that give you away," researchers describe how an eavesdropper could use cookies from advertising and tracking companies to "reliably link 90 per cent of a user's web page visits to the same pseudonymous ID."
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  8. rof Member

  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Electronic Frontier Foundation is Expanding into Student and Community Organizing, and We Need Your Help

    Recent events have shown us more than ever that the technologies we use and create every day have astonishing implications on our basic, most cherished rights. Tens of thousands more people have joined us in the past year alone. Together, we're building a movement. But we need your help.

    Today, we at EFF are unveiling new tools for student and community activists to engage in campaigns to defend our digital rights.

    We want you to bring the fight to protect online civil liberties to cities, towns, and campuses across the country. We invite you — whether you're a newly minted activist or an experienced community organizer — to join our growing team of driven individuals and organizations actively working make sure that our rights are not left behind as we develop and adopt new technologies.
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  10. rof Member


    Why didnt we think of that earlier!?

    ok, we exist.

    Bring them to us.
  11. Andy Downs Member

    The Battle Over Snowden Takes Interesting Turn in Germany

    BERLIN - The chairman of a new German parliamentary panel probing mass surveillance by the NSA abruptly quit on Wednesday, rejecting opposition demands that the body question fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
    Lawmakers from the opposition Greens and far-left Linke parties had demanded that the committee seek testimony from Snowden, the former contractor with the US National Security Agency (NSA) now living in Moscow.
    However, its conservative chairman Clemens Binninger rejected the idea and unexpectedly quit his post less than a week after the body was established, claiming the different parties were unable to work constructively together.
    Binninger accused the left-leaning opposition members of a "one-sided fixation" with Snowden and said "a committee of inquiry should not primarily serve to help political parties score points".
    He also said in a statement that he "remains sceptical that Snowden, given his own public statements, can be of any help to us as a witness".
    The Linke party's lawmaker Andre Hahn called Binninger's reasoning absurd and said "it goes without saying that the opposition wants to hear Snowden", speaking to the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung daily.
    Snowden, regarded as a traitor by the administration of US President Barack Obama, has spoken via video link on several occasions to other bodies, including to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg this week.
    The eight-member German committee of inquiry was set up last Thursday to assess the extent of US spying, especially by the NSA, on German citizens and politicians, and whether German intelligence had knowledge of, or aided, its activities.
    Binninger is set to be replaced by lawmaker Patrick Sensburg, also of the Christian Democrats party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose mobile phone was allegedly surveilled by the NSA.
    Green party veteran lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele, who has visited Snowden in Moscow, has demanded that the fugitive be allowed to enter Germany as a protected witness.
    "He wants to testify here, and he would like to stay here," Stroebele said on ARD public television. "The government must create the conditions to allow him to make his statement."
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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    What the NSA Knew About Heartbleed Bug

    Published by Bloomberg News on April 11, 2014

    Ghostery Senior Director of Research Andy Kahl and Bloomberg's Michael Riley discuss the NSA's knowledge of the Heartbleed bug on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart."
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  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Bleeding Hearts Club: Heartbleed Recovery for System Administrators | Electronic Frontier Foundation

    The Heartbleed SSL vulnerability presents significant concerns for users and major challenges for site operators. This article presents a series of steps server and site owners should carry out as soon as possible to help protect the public. We acknowledge that some steps might not be feasible, important, or even relevant for every site, so the steps are given in order both of their importance and the order they should be carried out.
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  14. Andy Downs Member

    Didn't Alexander tout in Congressional hearing how these programs helped stop these evil exploits along with financial collapses, and the cure for cancer last year
    HA !
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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Feds Cut a Deal With In-Flight Wi-Fi Providers, and Privacy Groups Are Worried | Wired

    Gogo, the inflight Wi-Fi provider, is used by millions of airline passengers each year to stay connected while flying the friendly skies. But if you think the long arm of government surveillance doesn’t have a vertical reach, think again.

    Gogo and others that provide Wi-Fi aboard aircraft must follow the same wiretap provisions that require telecoms and terrestrial ISPs to assist U.S. law enforcement and the NSA in tracking users when so ordered. But they may be doing more than the law requires.

    According to a letter Gogo submitted to the Federal Communications Commission, the company voluntarily exceeded the requirements of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, by adding capabilities to its service at the request of law enforcement. The revelation alarms civil liberties groups, which say companies should not be cutting deals with the government that may enhance the ability to monitor or track users.

    “CALEA itself is a massive infringement on user’s rights,” says Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Having ISP’s [now] that say that CALEA isn’t enough, we’re going to be even more intrusive in what we collect on people is, honestly, scandalous.”

    Gogo provides inflight Wi-Fi and digital entertainment to Delta, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, US Airways and others using a dedicated air-to-ground network that GoGo says it designed in consultation with law enforcement.

    The disclosure that GoGo voluntarily exceeded the requirements of CALEA appears in a letter to the FCC (.pdf) the company wrote in 2012. “In designing its existing network, Gogo worked closely with law enforcement to incorporate functionalities and protections that would serve public safety and national security interests,” Gogo attorney Karis Hastings wrote.

    Although FCC rules “do not require licensees to implement capabilities to support law enforcement beyond those outlined in CALEA…,” Hastings noted, “nevertheless, Gogo worked with federal agencies to reach agreement regarding a set of additional capabilities to accommodate law enforcement interests. Gogo then implemented those functionalities into its system design.”

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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    How to mitigate tracking risks: wrap your phone in tinfoil, quit Google | Ars Technica

    In new book, Julia Angwin wants to live a modern life while frustrating the NSA.

    When author Julia Angwin has to post a photo of herself online, she now prefers to use a stencil image of her face in order to avoid detection by facial recognition software. Welcome to her paranoid world of trying to frustrate increasingly sophisticated snoops.

    In conducting research for her impressive new book, Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance, the investigative reporter delved deep into the current state of ubiquitous online surveillance and data mining by corporate and government actors. Speaking at the New America Foundation in the nation's capitol on Wednesday afternoon, Angwin described how, in the year leading up to the book’s publication, she decided to internalize the focus of her inquiry. She used her own attempts to “reclaim her privacy” as a case study for the challenges in eluding the digital dragnets.

    As any number of articles from the last year may indicate, privacy in a post-Snowden culture is extremely difficult to attain. Angwin’s book describes the current dragnets as “indiscriminate” and “vast in scope,” explaining that the East German secret police, known as the Stasi—described by some as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies to ever have existed—would have been in awe of the National Security Agency’s current capabilities. "The Stasi managed to generate fear with a fraction of the tools we currently have,” she explained in her talk.

    But Angwin is no newcomer to the game of tracking the trackers. Prior to undertaking her personal quest to elude the dragnets, she spearheaded the Wall Street Journal’s celebrated “What they Know” series, documenting how cutting edge uses of tracking technologies work and considering what ubiquitous surveillance has meant for consumers and society.

    Ground rules

    Early in her book, Angwin describes some limits she set for herself. First, as a self-described “technologist,” she would not live like a cave-person. As she later told National Public Radio, “I want all the benefits of the information society—all I was trying to do is mitigate some of the risks.”

    Second, she would do nothing that violated the letter of the law. Yet at the talk, she argued that laws like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) have resulted in what she called a “crisis for journalism.” Angwin described how, under the CFAA, an overzealous prosecutor could consider some of her research for the “What You Know” series criminally actionable. (Many believe that information activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide as a result of being prosecuted under this federal law).

    Absent those limits, however, her book chronicles some of the drastic (and at times expensive) measures she took in her journey to protect herself. At the talk, she noted that she spent over $2,200 and countless hours trying to evade the dragnets and erase her digital footprint.

    Lines of defense

    To understand how far Angwin went in her crusade to avoid detection and eliminate her tracks, some of her efforts are listed below.

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  17. MORON!

    Messengers should not be killed or arrested, as per ancient practices.The United Nations,should be giving Edward Snowden,global dipolmatic immunity.In so much that he can travel freely,to produce the evidence,to the global communty.Without having to fear for his life.
  18. Andy Downs Member

  19. The Internet Member

    TBH, a little spying on Malaysia is okay with me.
  20. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    I think he strings random words together and calls it policy.
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  21. Andy Downs Member

    I would say, since it's the week of Easter, "Forgive them they know not what they do..."

    However I think 'ole JC knows the deal, as do the NSA
  22. DeathHamster Member

    I hope they get to the bottom of this. A crack of PGP would be a problem.
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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Reuters, Guardian US, Washington Post, Boston Globe win Pulitzer prizes | Reuters


    The Guardian US and The Washington Post were each awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service for their coverage of secret surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency. Their reporting was based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed details of global electronic surveillance by the U.S. spy agency.

    The board said the Guardian US' reporting helped to spark debate about the relationship between the U.S. government and the public over issues of security and privacy and the Post's reporting explained how the disclosures fit into a larger framework of national security.

    Reporting on the leaks, which began last June, sparked international debate over the limits of government surveillance and prompted President Barack Obama to introduce curbs on the spying powers of the National Security Agency earlier this year.

    "We are particularly grateful for our colleagues across the world who supported the Guardian in circumstances which threatened to stifle our reporting," Guardian Editor in Chief Alan Rusbridger said in a statement.

    "And we share this honor, not only with our colleagues at The Washington Post, but also with Edward Snowden, who risked so much in the cause of the public service which has today been acknowledged by the award of this prestigious prize," he said.
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  24. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    National Security and Medical Information | Electronic Frontier Foundation

    When exploring medical privacy issues, it's very useful to have an overview of the laws that affect control and privacy of medical information. We encourage you to read our legal overview.

    The government has many options for obtaining your medical records on the grounds of national security. And if your medical records are swept up in a national security investigation, you likely won't be asked to consent and potentially won't ever know your medical records were accessed.

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule that went into effect in 2003 included a national security exception that permits doctors, hospitals, and any other "covered entity" to disclose individual health information "to authorized federal officials for the conduct of lawful intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by the National Security Act."1 This exception overrides the normal requirement that your authorization is needed before your medical information can be disclosed for anything other than your treatment, bill payment, or your health care provider’s business operations.2

    This national security exception appears to allow covered entities to disclose health records, at their own discretion, to any federal agency that plays a role in intelligence, counter-intelligence, and national security activities. This includes but isn't limited to the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA.

    For example, a hospital could disclose any or all of the patient medical records in its possession to the NSA on the hospital’s own initiative, and could even allow the NSA or other federal agencies to access the hospital’s health record system on a permanent, ongoing basis. This could be done without a court order, without any procedural or substantive protections or barriers, and even without any request from the agency.

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  26. nevarmore Member

    Your name, contact information, date you had medical care or procedure, where you had it at, is all provided TO an independant research company, by the care provider, in order that they may give the information to the government. They call you on the phone and try to get you to perticipate in a survey. The results of that survey are pooled with other surveys, to provide date to the care provider (hospital, doctor, dentist, etc), Medicaid, Medicare, the US government, under the "protection" of HIPPA, so that they can graph and rank the data. That data determines funding, and national rankings are published on the internet. This is done over the phone, by a call center and it's personnel, that are contracted for the purpose of the data collection. If hospitals, and doctors fail to meet certain performance standards, they lose rank, which results in less government funding and payments for Medicare patients. The guy who gives the spiel on the phone, when you answer it, is just a lowly phone rep earning a buck, reading the information off a computer screen. And signs a confidentiality agreement to get the job. But mind you, he's covered under HIPPA.. and will tell you that in the spiel. He knows your name, your doctors name, the date you went to get your "procedure" done, and the date you were discharged. What he doesn't know is what you thought of the whole thing, were you satisfied, did you like it, etc.

    There is nothing confidential .. and so many opportunities to leak this information, it's not even funny. That's not even considering the tinfoil crap regarding NSA... This is a surveying process that involves virtually hundreds of people, that have NO need to know your personal or medical information... but they do. It's under the umbrella of HIPPA, by virtue of the "research" aspect, and the fact the goverment mandates these surveys be conducted either by the care provider, or their agent (the research firm). But if you think your information is safe, guess again. ha.

    They sell it as "improving the patient experience, and giving the patient a voice." Whatever. It's a damn survey the goverment writes. >> These are being conducted in real time, on the phone, from a call center... by more than one company.

    My point is, nothing done over an open phone line is ever completely , guarranteed secure. EVER. One research firm alone has 160 people in the room, working 10 hour shifts, making back to back calls, discussing your "protected information" on the phone, and telling you it's "pretected by health care privacy laws , so let me ask you a few questions. This will only take about 10 minutes. " oh yeah, it's also being recorded, and listened to by a whole bunch of other people, either with the government or the research company. And as an added bonus, some of the questions what is your race, whether or not you are of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin, and what language you speak, what the highest grade you completed in school, and whether or not you live alone. When you go to the hospital, emergency room, doctor, dentist, or have home health care, or lab work, or tests done, somewhere in all that bullshit you sign, you permit the health org. to give your infomration to whoever they deem their research agent, to call you and try to get you to take the survey. Which they then pass along to the government (this is just in the US as far as I know) who does whatever the fuck they want with it.
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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Is the SEC Obtaining Emails Without a Warrant? | Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Updates to the email privacy law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) are long overdue. It's common sense that emails and other online private messages (like Twitter direct messages) are protected by the Fourth Amendment. But for a long time, the Department of Justice (DOJ) argued ECPA allowed it to circumvent the Fourth Amendment and access much of your email without a warrant. Thankfully, last year it finally gave up on that stance.

    But now it appears that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the civil agency in charge of protecting investors and ensuring orderly markets, may be doing the same exact thing: it is trying to use ECPA to force service providers to hand over email without a warrant, in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

    EFF and the Digital Due Process Coalition, a diverse coalition of privacy advocates and major companies, are fighting hard to push a common sense reform to ECPA. The law, passed in the 1980s before the existence of webmail, has been used to argue that emails older than 180 days may be accessed without a warrant based on probable cause. Instead, the agencies send a mere subpoena, which means that the agency does not have to involve a judge or show that the emails will provide evidence of a crime.

    Contrary to the position taken by the DOJ, the courts, the public at-large, and EFF, the SEC asserted last week that it can obtain emails with simple subpoenas, issued under ECPA. The Chair of the SEC, Mary Jo White, tried to reassure Rep. Kevin Yoder that the SEC's "built-in privacy protections" make it ok. Unfortunately, Chair White wouldn't explain what are the exact "privacy protections." Rep. Yoder, the sponsor of HR 1852, The Email Privacy Act — a bill with over 200 cosponsors that updates ECPA — was rightfully dubious and tried to no avail to get the Chair to explain why the SEC thinks it can use ECPA to get around the Fourth Amendment.

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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

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  29. Andy Downs Member

    I do not write there any place for someone like me?
    If so, I'm in
  30. rof Member

    I make websites that make fun of Congress.

    I can do it in French if you want.
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

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  32. rof Member

    Hello, Congress?

    It's rof. Eat a bowl of dicks, ok?
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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Exposing the NSA: A Public Service Worthy of a Pulitzer Prize | The Atlantic

    The national-security state and its apologists don't see it that way — which is why we have the First Amendment.

    By Conor Friedersdorf

    Earlier this week, journalism's most prestigious award, the Pulitzer Prize for public serice, was given to two newspapers for their exposés of mass surveillance by the U.S. government. The award citation praised the Washington Post for "its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.” The Guardian was recognized for "aggressive reporting" that helped "to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.”

    Edward Snowden, who supplied the leaked documents that enabled the reporting, characterized the award as "a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government," and praised "the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop."


    As a direct result of articles written by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, and others, President Obama and multiple members of Congress have changed their positions on surveillance policy. Expert executive-branch panels have criticized the status quo. The White House and legislators have suggested multiple reforms. Article III judges have concluded the NSA's behavior is needless and illegal. That these significant actions occurred only after the Snowden leaks is evidence that prior secrecy retarded the whole civic process.

    More at

    The author on Twitter:
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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

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  35. laughingsock Member

  36. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  37. The Internet Member

    Oh there you go, Ed you naive sod. You got the “no,” the only answer Mr. Putin can give. I think we already know Russia is not storing everyone’s electronic correspondence because that’s an insanely expensive proposal. However, you also got outed as a Russian spy.

    For about five minutes I had some hope you’d come home, after the newspapers got Pulitzers for their reporting on the leaks which are clearly in the public interest. Having Putin tell everyone you were an “agent” and a “spy” kinda leaves you a man without a country.
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  38. The Internet Member

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  39. rof Member

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  40. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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