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New Snowden Interview Footage: “NSA lied about existence of Boundless Informant tool”

New Snowden Interview Footage: “NSA lied about existence of Boundless Informant tool”

The Guardian today released a second part of its exclusive video interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, purportedly recorded on June 6th, as a follow-up to the initial interview released on June 9th.

A couple highlights, transcribed from today’s video release:

“We were actually involved in misleading the public, and misleading all publics, not just the American public”

Glenn Greenwald: “When you decided to enter this world, did you do so with the intention of weaseling your way in and becoming a mole so that you could one day undermine it with disclosures, or what was your perspective and mindset about it at the time that you first sort of got into this whole realm?”

Edward Snowden:  “No, I joined the intelligence community when I was very young, uh sort of the government as whole.  I enlisted in the army, shortly after the invasion of Iraq and I believed in the goodness of what we were doing, I believed in the nobility of our intentions to free oppressed people overseas.  But over time, over the length of my career, as I watched the news and I increasingly was exposed to true information that had not been propagandized in the media, that we were actually involved in misleading the public, and misleading all publics, not just the American public, in order to create a certain mindset in the global consciousness and I was actually a victim of that.  America is a fundamentally good country, we have good people with good values who want to do the right thing, but the structures of power that exist are working to their own ends to extend their capability at the expense of the freedom of all publics.”

“The NSA lied about the existence of this tool [Boundless Informant] to Congress and to specific Congressmen in response to previous inquiries about their surveillance activities”

[Presumably] Laura Poitras: “Can you talk about what you think some of the most important primary documents are and what they reveal?”

Edward Snowden: “The primary disclosures are the fact that the NSA doesn’t limit itself to foreign intelligence.  It collects all communications that transit the United States.  There are literally no ingress or egress points anywhere in the [inaudible] of the United States where communication there enter or exit without being monitored and collected and analyzed.  The Verizon document speaks highly to this because it literally lays out they’re using an authority that was intended to be used to seek warrants against individuals and they’re applying it to the whole society by basically subverting a corporate partnership through major telecommunications providers and they’re getting everyone’s calls, everyone’s call records. Everyone’s internet traffic as well.”

“On top of that you’ve got Boundless Informant, which is sort of a global auditing system for the NSA’s intercept and collection system that lets us track how much we’re collecting, where we’re collecting, by which authorities and so forth. The NSA lied about the existence of this tool to Congress and to specific Congressmen in response to previous inquiries about their surveillance activities.  Beyond that we’ve got PRISM, which is a demonstration of how the US government co-opts US corporate power to its own ends.  Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, they all get together with the NSA and provide the NSA direct access to the back-ends of all of the systems you use to communicate, to store data, to put things in the cloud, and even just to send birthday wishes and keep a record of your life.  And they give NSA direct access that they don’t need to oversee so they can’t be held liable for it.  I think that’s a dangerous capability for anybody to have but particularly in an organization that’s demonstrated time and time again that they’ll work to shield themselves from oversight.”

Watch the full video interview at The Guardian.

Given that several of the details in these claims have been the subject of much back and forth discussion, debate, dispute and denials, I expect that there will be more of the same that results from this interview.  We’ll try to bring you some of that coverage and analysis.

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Comments

Spiny Norman | July 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I enlisted in the army, shortly after the invasion of Iraq and I believed in the goodness of what we were doing, I believed in the nobility of our intentions to free oppressed people overseas. But over time, over the length of my career, as I watched the news and I increasingly was exposed to true information that had not been propagandized in the media, that we were actually involved in misleading the public, and misleading all publics, not just the American public, in order to create a certain mindset in the global consciousness and I was actually a victim of that.

BUSH LIED, PEOPLE DIED!

Oh, goody. I suppose we should be grateful he didn’t tell the interviewer to go to infowars.com for more of the “real truth”…

If you don’t know your government lies to you, you’re not paying attention.

It seems the population in general isn’t really concerned that the government is collecting bulk data on American citizens that they promise not to misuse. I guess as along as the goodies keep flowing, the government will be allowed to do pretty much whatever it wants.

I am not sure we were watching the same interview, Snowden has laid down the gauntlet in this interview. He has specifically laid out the charge that the US government is has built or is building a system that is or will be capturing each packet of information transmitted over the internet. He has connected all the dots. What is going on here is highly illegal. He has uncovered the greatest conspiracy ever in our history, a systematic violation of our individual liberties.

Obama just hung himself over the past couple of weeks by saying that what is being revealed today was in fact illegal and the program was much more limited than it actually is. All of this makes perfect sense, because you wouldn’t need Yottabyte datacenters unless you were planning on wiretapping the whole country at once!

These are shocking allegations and people who have doubted Snowden need to reevaluate their positions. The very lifeblood of our republic is ion the balance here.

    walls in reply to imfine. | July 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Agree with you 100%. Snowden is a hero and deserves the Nobel … not the jug-earred fool at 1600. Every time I think of the Kenyan’s graduation speech at Ohio State … “you’ve got to trust your government” … I shake my head in disbelief. And I wonder when, and if, the sheeple will wake up and realize what’s happening.

[…] New Snowden Interview Footage: “NSA lied about existence of Boundless …legal Insurrection (blog)“On top of that you’ve got Boundless Informant, which is sort of a global auditing system for the NSA’s intercept and collection system that lets us track how much we’re collecting, where we’re collecting, by which authorities and so forth. The NSA …Snowden insists NSA overstepping boundsSalon‘US will say I aided our enemies,’ says NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in …The IndependentVideo: Snowden claims NSA spying on US emails, phone calls despite US denialsMinneapolis Star TribuneTelegraph.co.ukall 152 news articles » […]

Intelligence agencies lie, obfuscate and deny all the time as it is part of how they do their task.

If the “old” CIA was still around, he would have simply disappeared that that would be that.

If you want a “transparent” intelligence community, you also will get a severely handicapped defense community.

You cannot have it both ways…

    Sanddog in reply to GrumpyOne. | July 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I expect the NSA to spy outside our borders. Scooping up data on American citizens within the USA is not and has never been their job. The FBI is tasked with internal surveillance with the appropriate court approved warrants that are supposed to protect us from broad based spying on citizens.

      Spiny Norman in reply to Sanddog. | July 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      I expect the NSA to spy outside our borders. Scooping up data on American citizens within the USA is not and has never been their job.

      Exactly right. Foreign intelligence is their mandate, with the emphasis on “foreign”! That is why damn near the whole country reacted with a collective shrug over reports of the so-called “warrantless wiretaps” of communications going out of and coming into the country. “Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?” Had we known they were monitoring everything, as we do now, things might have been different.

Christopher John Boyce redux?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Boyce

And, Boyce has a book ready. . . . . Cha-Ching!

Say what you will concerning Snowden, but his intelligence ain’t to damn bad for a GED, if in fact he has that.

May have stated this before but, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The fella’ that gave that speech, didn’t have a wealth of formal education either and damn it, does our nation need him now..

MarlaHughes | July 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Snowden apparently bases his allegations on the NSA spying on ‘all Americans’ on the Verizon FISA court order. However, from what I can tell, the order is not for all Verizon clients, but for a subsidiary of the parent Verizon company: Verizon Business Solutions. While I am not educated on how dba’s are listed in court orders, this division was specifically targeted by Chinese hackers earlier this year.
Note the date on the FISA order: 4/25/2013.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/06/verizon-telephone-data-court-order
The escalation of Chinese hacking of Verizon Business Solutions accounts broke nationally and internationally around 4/23/2013 although Verizon clients were looking for solutions for years previous to that in the Verizon and tech forums.
If Verizon REQUESTED NSA assistance in blocking/stopping Chinese hackers from stealing data from it’s business clients, many of whom have government contracts, neither Verizon nor the NSA could reveal it due to legal constrictions.
It’s partially speculation on my part because of that secrecy law, but IMO it is a rational explanation.
If anyone can decipher the business structure of Verizon better, feel free to show me.

    Sanddog in reply to MarlaHughes. | July 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Marla, the NSA is tasked with gathering foreign intelligence. If verizon is hacked, it’s the FBI’s responsibility to investigate within the USA.

    I mean it was a nice try, but it doesn’t square with little inconvenient truths like Clapper apologizing for lying when he told the Congress the NSA isn’t collecting data on Americans.

I think Snowden and Greenwald are playing us. Is this whistleblowing, or Wikileaks-II: “Look at Me!” The NSA domestic collection revelations are valid whistleblowing. But the rest is treason and a notoriety game.

First, Snowden gives the Chicoms and Ruskies sensitive information. Now, he and Greenwald leak about Stuxnet, a brilliant counter-terrorism operation. This makes me mad.

I now think Snowden is a traitor who deserves to be hung. I think Greenwald should be ashamed for going along with, or orchestrating, this soap opera.

    imfine in reply to JerryB. | July 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Specifically what information did Snowden give the Chicoms or the Ruskies that was not whistleblowing?

      fulldroolcup in reply to imfine. | July 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      imfine, pls clarify: are you saying that giving our intelligence secrets to foreign powers is a “whistleblower” activity?

      I certainly hope not. If you are, you will have to explain the difference between “whistleblowing” and industrial-strength espionage.

      You know, like Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg.

        Sanddog in reply to fulldroolcup. | July 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        To be honest, at this point I don’t care what Snowden says. Spying on your own citizens is much, much worse than any other information he’s throwing out there. I’m not sure why more people don’t understand that.

          JerryB in reply to Sanddog. | July 8, 2013 at 11:05 pm

          Spying on your own citizens is much, much worse than any other information he’s throwing out there.

          That’s illogical. The NSA’s crimes neither diminish nor justify Snowden’s crimes of giving sensitive information to our enemies. Divulging our means and tactics and more could ruin advantages we have and put Americans at risk.

          Sanddog in reply to Sanddog. | July 8, 2013 at 11:48 pm

          JerryB, I guess my problem is the outrage over Snowden’s disclosures seem to be focused more on disclosures about the NSA’s spying on foreign countries rather than their spying on US citizens withing the USA. Let’s focus a bit more on that, shall we? That is the REAL damage done to this country.

        imfine in reply to fulldroolcup. | July 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm

        I think Snowden got it right on the money. If the Government is doing legal spying and illegal spying using the same tool set, then how in the world can he whistle blow without being called a traitor? All one has to do keep criminal activity legally secret, one just need commit the crimes in the same way you do the legal activities. That is the conundrum we find ourselves in. The NSA says it’s trying to protect us from foreigners, but its most likely that these tools are going to be used against us. This is the same government that uses the IRS, EPA, ATF, OSHA, FBI, etc to persecute the foes of its political leaders on masse. What makes the NSA technology so special that keeps it from being used against any of US?

        That database they are compiling is a threat to every man woman and child in this country. With it they can arrest and destroy anyone. It doesn’t need to be true, they can do partial disclosures, or mix in fact and fiction. hack anyone’s accounts. Don’t tell me for a moment that they have to do this to protect us from terrorists, they won’t search more than 3 muslims on any flight, they won’t go into and bug any mosque even if they know that they are inciting violence and treason. They even went after the NYPD for doing that, you know the city that has suffered more deaths to terrorist attacks than all the other US cities combined.

        Yet again they have no problems asking for in-depth details on exactly which social policies regular christian churches are making under the threat of jail and loss of their tax benefits. I guess maybe the difference there, the terrorists just kill run of the mill Average Joe Americans, those Traditional Value christian churches kill the careers of aspiring egotistical politicians. When they are willing to go into those mosques, when they are willing to stop this fantasy that a 100 year old wheel chair granny is the same kind of threat as some stupid young muslim, then yeah maybe we can talk about collecting everyone’s data, but NOT BEFORE THEN. Before then, and after THEN, I expect them to follow the Constitution. Every goda dam last word, like its a bible with commandments sent down by God, or Shivah or Dawkins. Whomever they believe, I don’t care, just as long as they don’t break it.

        Now as for the legitimacy of f you use your home to sell illegal drugs and to raise your family, the government has no qualms about taking the whole house away even if your selling activities constitute just 1% of its use. They have no grounds to complain. Forfeiture is Forfeiture. What can I say, I’m a strong law and order type.

    imfine in reply to JerryB. | July 8, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Still waiting for that concrete, national security destroying, non-whistling blowing secrets disclosed to the Chicoms or Ruskies.

      JerryB in reply to imfine. | July 9, 2013 at 12:23 am

      Stuxnet was highly classified. That’s a fact, jack. It don’t matter if you think it’s done and therefore fair game for disclosure. That’s not your call or mine. Understand that China, Russia, and the whole world are now cognizant. They know more about us.

      Or, do you think it was wrong for us to run Stuxnet? Whose side are you on?

      The fact that the NSA spys on US citizens is one thing, but their brilliance in developing Stuxnet is entirely another. Snowden is a criminal.

        imfine in reply to JerryB. | July 9, 2013 at 2:02 am

        Everyone and their grandmother knew stuxnet was the work of the Israelis and the Americans. The thing targeted siemans/SAP in a windows hosted environment with signed certs. If that doesn’t say government Enterprise programming what does? The absurdity that Snowden “Revealed” this is rediculous. I should also point out it was the NYT that over a year ago broke the story, not Snowden.

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet

        I guess since your anti-traitor, your going to be for closing the NYT and hanging the editors for this “damaging revelation”

          JerryB in reply to imfine. | July 9, 2013 at 7:45 am

          You do not understand classified information, nor the damage that can be done by revealing it. “Everyone knew” is not the same as revealing source information. You can’t say what the damage is, nor how Snowden’s USB drive has or hasn’t helped our enemies. (And I’ll repeat, because you appear unable to have a calm discussion, that I’m not talking about domestic NSA surveillance.) It’s probably best that you not have access to classified information.

          Yup. Being a techie I was interested in the technical details. I was discussing this on a board not long after the news of the “virus” came out. Within 6 months (maybe less) we had it scoped out.

          Centrifuge enrichment was also discussed. And how to construct a nuclear weapon. All from open sources.

          I guess that makes me another enemy of the state.

          imfine in reply to imfine. | July 9, 2013 at 9:37 am

          As you pointed out, he “confirmed” something everyone knew. It came out of the nyt, and given the design of the virus it would be completely incredible to think that some random hacker has a thing for disrupting high speed centerfudge controllers made by Siemans. So given what we knew already about stuxnet, how in the world did Snowden compromise National Security by just confirming to the American people what was public information?

[…] to hang himself with, in the form of additional video interview excerpts, some of which have been transcribed by Mandy Nagy at Legal Insurrection. Snowden says he enlisted in the Army in 2003 because he “believed in the nobility of our […]

[…] to hang himself with, in the form of additional video interview excerpts, some of which have been transcribed by Mandy Nagy at Legal Insurrection. . . […]

BannedbytheGuardian | July 9, 2013 at 3:36 am

I still do not believe this is Snowden talking. People just do not answer questions with these long a la carte replies. If they are quick thinkers they will be rushing through many thoughts – because let’s face it – we are not always composed when we talk about something that really matters to us . for Snowden this is life or death.

When I talk to people – including Iraquis that were there & soldiers their replies are either formulated that rhey don’t go places in their minds ( understandably ) or all over the place. Because the whole thing has not been settled. And Snowden wasn’t anywhere near to deploying.

Notice no one has actually spotted Snowden – not even in the Aeroflot plane – at least who lived to tell the story.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 9, 2013 at 3:47 am

.i am putting it in The DaVinci Code bin along with Chariots of The Gods.

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