NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was indicted this week on espionage charges, but there's a petition of over 100,000 at the White House website requesting that the President pardon him. Leo says he should because he's done the nation a great service without endangering anyone, unlike Bradley Manning, who put US spies in jeopardy.
It's no secret that the NSA is collecting communications data, including email messages. Fortunately, it is possible to make your email messages unreadable to anyone but the desired recipient using the OpenPGP encryption standard.
With the recent controversy that the NSA is data mining everyone in the country, and even watching what everyone is doing as they type it, Leo says that Steve Gibson has it figured out and Leo thinks he's right. The NSA doesn't need direct access to any servers. They can tap just outside the servers where the Internet comes in, and that's where the vulnerabilities are.
Andrew first has a couple of things to say on the PRISM subject. Andrew says it's not that the government has been doing this, he's seen it for years. It's that they've been so secret about it. Leo calls it a lack of transparency, and that means there hasn't been a debate over it. He also says that the US isn't stopping with its citizens. In fact, Glenn Greenwald says that Boundless Informant is a program that seeks to filter the entire world's communications!
Word broke this week by Greg Greenwald that the NSA was spying on all Americans by combing through all emails, phone conversations, text messages and more, searching for keywords that could lead to terrorism. Some feared that it means the government has a 'back door' to companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and others. Leo says that isn't really what is happening. What is being set up is a secure server with which the Feds can access data in a 'dropbox' fashion that has been provided by court order and by law.
Lane listens to a lot of conservative talk radio and he hears a lot of outrage over the PRISM story. What he finds interesting is who's 'ox is being gored'. It's not everyone. It's been a one-sided focus. Leo says even so, there are ways you can encrypt your data and secure yourself. The question is, will encrypting your data and securing yourself actually be a red flag?
News came out this week that the US government has a back door to major technology companies that allow them to data mine email, text messages, and other data from Americans for national security. Leo says it's important to know the facts before judging, though. First, how deep and wide does the data mining go? According to the NSAs charter, they can't spy on citizens inside the United States -- only the FBI can do that.