New NSA Information from (and about) Snowden
Interesting article about the Snowden documents, including comments from former Guardian editor Ewen MacAskill.
MacAskill, who shared the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for their journalistic work on the Snowden files, retired from The Guardian in 2018. He told Computer Weekly that:
- As far as he knows, a copy of the documents is still locked in the New York Times office. Although the files are in the New York Times office, The Guardian retains responsibility for them.
- As to why the New York Times has not published them in a decade, MacAskill maintains “this is a complicated issue.” “There is, at the very least, a case to be made for keeping them for future generations of historians,” he said.
- Why was only 1% of the Snowden archive published by the journalists who had full access to it? Ewen MacAskill replied: “The main reason for only a small percentage—though, given the mass of documents, 1% is still a lot—was diminishing interest.”
The Guardian’s journalist did not recall seeing the three revelations published by Computer Weekly, summarized below:
- The NSA listed Cavium, an American semiconductor company marketing Central Processing Units (CPUs)—the main processor in a computer which runs the operating system and applications—as a successful example of a “SIGINT-enabled” CPU supplier. Cavium, now owned by Marvell, said it does not implement back doors for any government.
- The NSA compromised lawful Russian interception infrastructure, SORM. The NSA archive contains slides showing two Russian officers wearing jackets with a slogan written in Cyrillic: “You talk, we listen.” The NSA and/or GCHQ has also compromised key lawful interception systems.
- Among example targets of its mass-surveillance programme, PRISM, the NSA listed the Tibetan government in exile.
Those three pieces of info come from Jake Appelbaum’s PhD thesis.