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CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying 504

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-did-he-get? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This week CBS New's 60 Minutes program had a broadcast segment devoted to the NSA, and additional online features. It revealed that the first secret Snowden stole was the test and answers for a technical examination to get a job at NSA. When working at home, Snowden covered his head and screen with a hood so that his girlfriend couldn't see what he was doing. NSA considered the possibility that Snowden left malicious software behind and removed every computer and cable that Snowden had access to from its classified network, costing tens of millions of dollars. Snowden took approximately 1.7 million classified documents. Snowden never approached any of multiple Inspectors General, supervisors, or Congressional oversight committee members about his concerns. Snowden's activity caught the notice of other System Administrators. There were also other interesting details, such as the NSA has a highly competitive intern program for High School students that are given a Top Secret clearance and a chance to break codes that have resisted the efforts of NSA's analysts — some succeed. The NSA is only targeting the communications, as opposed to metadata, of less than 60 Americans. Targeting the actual communications of Americans, rather than metadata, requires a probable cause finding and a specific court order. NSA analysts working with metadata don't have access to the name, and can't listen to the call. The NSA's work is driven by requests for information by other parts of the government, and there are about 31,000 requests. Snowden apparently managed to steal a copy of that document, the 'crown jewels' of the intelligence world. With that information, foreign nations would know what the US does and doesn't know, and how to exploit it."

Comment: Re: We vote on leaders not lightbulbs (Score 1) 1146

by vijayiyer (#45699981) Attached to: US Light Bulb Phase-Out's Next Step Begins Next Month

Many incandescent lightbulbs aren't used for hours a day, which is what the break even price calculations are based on. My bedroom lights maybe get 45 minutes a day, and my guest bedroom perhaps 45 minutes a week. In my garage, it's 45 minutes a month. CFLs will never break even there.

Comment: Re:Scary (Score 4, Insightful) 447

by vijayiyer (#39415675) Attached to: Sweden Moving Towards Cashless Economy

Why not just track us all, because it's not fair to anyone when people commit crimes? Once we lose an underlying presumption of innocence, any invasion of our privacy or erosion of personal liberties seems to make sense.
It's not my job to help the government do theirs. They can catch tax cheats with good, old fashioned detective work. To presume that my heavy use of cash is somehow illegal or fraudulent is ridiculous.

Comment: Re:Shareholders want to buy... (Score 1) 408

by vijayiyer (#39340617) Attached to: Google 'Wasting' $16 Billion On Projects Headed Nowhere

The point is that the shareholders, to the extent that they have votes, control the company. There's no issue of "being held captive", because it is theirs. If you don't like that, you don't sell shares to the shareholders. Nobody forces that. Heck, you can take a public company private by buying it out if that's what you want.
I don't understand all this angst towards shareholders - it's not like anyone forces a company to issue stock.
That's real-life. Textbook is the fantasy that you take money from someone without them owning you.

Comment: Re:killed? (Score 2, Interesting) 408

by vijayiyer (#39340479) Attached to: Google 'Wasting' $16 Billion On Projects Headed Nowhere

The difference is that Bell Labs did pure research. While Google may be doing pure research, it isn't evident based upon the projects that are publicly visible. Pure research is what yields the long term society–changing breakthroughs, whereas R&D on fantasy projects often have higher capital expenses with nothing to show for it even if the project succeeds.

Comment: Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (Score 1) 334

by vijayiyer (#39032477) Attached to: Apple-Approved Fair Labor Inspections Begin At Foxconn

You can skew the number all you want. Facts are facts, and the fact is that the conditions at Foxconn are bad. So bad that this year 150 workers threatened mass suicide in protest. They where all fired and forcibly removed. To me, that does not sound like a content work force.

Nowadays, people don't seem to even understand the definition of a fact...

Comment: More feel good legislation. (Score 1) 473

by vijayiyer (#38552066) Attached to: Edison Would Have Loved New Light Bulb Law, Says His Great-Grandson

Let's say you save 200w for 6 hours per day by using a more efficient lightbulb. That's 1.2 kw hr per day, or roughly 4mJ.
Given that a gallon of gas weighs about 3 kg and therefore has about 120mJ of heating value, this saves the equivalent of about 4 oz of gasoline per day assuming 50% efficiency. Is legislation for is really warranted?
If they would fix the awful public transit in the SF bay area, we'd be saving something significant instead. Or if we had diesel cars, or stopped drinking bottled tap water.

Comment: Re:Apple basically is the tablet market. (Score 3, Informative) 320

by vijayiyer (#38494986) Attached to: i-Device Manufacturing Unprofitable To China

There is no substitute for ForeFlight on an iPad. I'm not carrying a laptop in the cockpit to view charts, and it saves me hundreds of dollars a year compared to paper charts. You go fly a plane with a smart phone and a netbook in your lap and tell me that it's better.

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