The title of this article comes from "The Atlantic" as they discuss how Snowden managed to leak all that info, what the consequences of the leak were, how it affected both the nation and individuals, plus a lot more stuff. (All this renewed attention is no doubt because of the release of the movie "Snowden" this weekend. While the U.S. government considers Snowden a traitor, filmmaker Oliver Stone and a good chunk of the American population considers him a hero!)
In June 2014, after a stint working counterespionage with the CIA, William Evanina came to direct the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, or NCSC, which is part of the Office of National Intelligence. He found the intelligence community scrambling to understand what had just happened, how Snowden’s data dump might affect everything from agents in the field to national-level operations. “At the time, my predecessor was busy working on ‘Oh my God, what’s out there, what’s been released, what’s been touched,’” he said.SO, to get back to the original question: "Can the NSA stop the next Snowden?"
Figuring out “What’s out there? What’s been released? What’s been touched?” means constructing an inventory of the tactics, techniques, procedures, and operations that Snowden damaged through his disclosure, what Evanina calls the “equities.” It’s a huge part of his job to this day.
The Snowden dump disclosed a wide list of expensive and sophisticated espionage techniques. Among them were the ability of U.S. spies to break into common webcams, target individuals for drone strikes based on cellphone SIM cards, collect internet communications, and, of course, store telephony metadata in bulk.
(The intelligence community has always maintained that its personnel have used such tools, which have names like Optic Nerve, Gilgamesh, and Xkeyscore, in accordance with U.S. law. After a New York federal appeals court ruled the practice of storing bulk metadata on Americans to be illegal, the government ended the practice.)
LET'S HOPE NOT!
This whole thing reminds me of the time when Farley Mowat got himself in trouble with U.S. authorities:
In a country that is definitely on the short end of a sibling rivalry — the Frank Stallone of the Western world — a little resentment is
inevitable. Farley Mowat would be considered a Canadian national
treasure just for the frequent kicks he delivers to the American shin
and the official enmity he has earned in return. “We Canadians are
hardly more than house slaves of the American empire,” he wrote in the 1985 book “My Discovery of America.” “Of course, we are better off than the field slaves of South America.”That’s the book Mowat wrote after he was included on a U.S. government list of undesirables and was subsequently refused entry into the States for a lecture tour.
Yup! Seems a lot of people are pissing off the U.S. government!You can hardly blame them — Mowat once claimed to have fired his .22 at U.S. Strategic Air Command planes flying over his home in Newfoundland.No surprise then that Mowat is prominently featured at a Web site called Canadian World Domination HQ. (Of course, the CWD Web
site is only mock-belligerent. As a world threat, Canadian jingoism ranks right up there with Tibetan soccer hooliganism.)