I think Glenn Greenwald might find himself in a lot of trouble this morning. David Barrett - correspondent with The Daily Telegraph - was at London's High Court this morning (EST) to witness the hearing for David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald’s partner who was detained two weeks ago in Heathrow Airport
. Freelance Journalist Joshua Foust complied the tweets from reporter Barret
. All of it is interesting, but this portion is key:
• Police who seized documents from #miranda found among them a piece of paper with the decryption password, the statement says
• The material contains personal information that would allow British intelligence staff to be identified, inc some overseas, it adds
• The Govt has had to assume Snowden data is now in the hands of foreign governments, since his travel abroad (to HK and Russia)
• Statement specifically says UK but they haven’t finish decrypting yet
• It is “impossible” for Glenn Greenwald or any other journalist to determine which info could damage UK national security: Robbins statement
• The "claimant & his associates have demonstrated very poor judgment in their security arrangements with respect to the material rendering the appropriation of the material, or at least access to it by other, non-State actors, a real possibility”
It "would allow British intelligence staff to be identified, inc some overseas
" Does the CIA outing of Valerie Plame come to mind at this point? How about the document grab that Bradley/Chelsea Manning is going to jail for? These are very real comparisons.
All of this comes on the heels of Mr. Greenwald stating to various outlets, that he wasn't concerned about Britain getting info from the devices taken at the airport
“We both now typically and automatically encrypt all documents and work we carry – not just for the NSA stories,” says Greenwald via email. “So everything he had – for his personal use and everything else – was heavily encrypted, and I’m not worried at all that they can break that.”
back in June, Mr. Greenwald said
Greenwald added that the people in possession of these files “cannot access them yet because they are highly encrypted and they do not have the passwords.” But, Greenwald said, “if anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives.”
The bigger story here is that a Government now appears to have a chunk of what Edward Snowden stole while working as an NSA contractor at BAH. Britain is going to share the information with “foreign third parties” . They are not saying what foreign parties will be privy to the data but I believe it is safe to assume that the USA is one party.
In the past few days, we've learned a lot more about Mr. Snowden . Snowden stayed at the Russian consulate while in China
. In 2011, he made a trip to india that he didn't report on his Sec Clearance update review
CIA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked some of America's most closely guarded secrets, had travelled to India before 2011 but did not report the trip during his background-check process.
"The background checkers failed to verify Snowden's account of a past security violation and his work for the CIA, they didn't thoroughly probe an apparent trip to India that he had failed to report," the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting a review after leaks of classified documents by him.
This explains it a little more
Snowden started out in the US army, leaving in 2004, to work as a security guard at one of NSA's facilities. He joined the CIA in 2007, working on IT security.
After leaving the CIA in 2009, Snowden worked for several of NSA's private contractors. His last stint was with Booz Allen, which, he has said he joined to access the programmes he leaked. It's not clear if he went to India while working for the CIA or one of the NSA's private contractors he worked with or as a tourist.
Snowden impersonated NSA officials, sources say
Edward Snowden accessed some secret national security documents by assuming the electronic identities of top NSA officials, said intelligence sources.
The NSA has already identified several instances where Snowden borrowed someone else's user profile to access documents, said the official.
Each user profile on NSAnet includes a level of security clearance that determines what files the user can access. Like most NSA employees and contractors, Snowden had a "top secret" security clearance, meaning that under his own user profile he could access many classified documents. But some higher level NSA officials have higher levels of clearance that give them access to the most sensitive documents.
As a system administrator, according to intelligence officials, Snowden had the ability to create and modify user profiles for employees and contractors. He also had the ability to access NSAnet using those user profiles, meaning he could impersonate other users in order to access files. He borrowed the identities of users with higher level security clearances to grab sensitive documents.
Once Snowden had collected documents, his job description also gave him a right forbidden to other NSA employees the right to download files from his computer to an external storage device. Snowden downloaded a reported 20,000 documents onto thumb drives before leaving Hawaii for Hong Kong on May 20.
Snowden has been indicted for Espionage
- The first charge is an embezzlement charge: theft of government property under section 641 of the United State Code. Snowden faces a maximum of 10 years in jail and a fine.
- The other charges fall under sections 793 and 798 under the United State Code as part of laws commonly called the Espionage Act.
- The charge under section 793(d) is unauthorized communication of national defense information. It also carries of maximum of 10 years in jail and a fine.
- The charge under section 798(a)(3) is willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.
When these charges were brought by the United States, many were outraged at the severity of such charges. Greenwald was one of the most vociferous of them. Today we learned that British Law enforcement are looking at the documents seized to see if David Miranda broke Official Secrets Acts
is denying that the British government got any information, as of approximately 8 am this morning:
Yes: "incredible details" as claimed by the UK government, as filtered by a virulent NSA defender/govt contractor
UK Govt: their op-sec was sloppy, but we can't get access to their docs because they're all "heavy encrypted" #GlaringContradictions
One of the biggest problems with this entire saga is that the Greenwald Camp -- as I'll broadly call the characters involved -- has decided to make sure that no government should be trusted, especially when a spy agency is, well, spying. The documents the Court is talking about aren't about the NSA spying on its own citizens, they are talking about wholesale document grab, not unlike what Bradley/Chelsea Manning did. British Law enforcement was able to decrypt a small portion the information and this is what they found. Snowden appears to have given them to not just the reporters involved, but to Russia and possibly China. We are told time and time again that "government is lying to us, don't trust them" and yet were are to trust a man that impersonated Top NSA officials, and his surrogate who continues to lie about his involvement.
Are we supposed to keep celebrating this as shining a light on the "lack of Government transparency" when we it appears that Snowden also stole personal information?... information allowing British intelligence staff to be identified, including people overseas? Would it be safe to assume that personal information of American intelligence officers were stolen as well? You'll recall this article (bylined by Laura Poitras, btw) in Der Spiegel
SPIEGEL has decided not to publish details it has seen about secret operations that could endanger the lives of NSA workers. Nor is it publishing the related internal code words. However, this does not apply to information about the general surveillance of communications.
I don't think its unrealistic to say that lives could very well be put in danger. You see that is what is real here. It was real when Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA operative and it is real now.
It's amazing to me that Snowden did this for all the world to see. I actually hope that some players in this game prove to be useful idiots in over their heads as opposed to being active accomplices. It's indeed a very fine line and as of this morning we are seeing the tip of a very ugly iceberg.