Permanent Record, by Edward Snowden

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  • #192854

    Ohio Barbarian
    • Total Posts: 12,750

    I just finished Ed Snowden’s book. I checked it out of the public library, so at least I didn’t freak out at all with his comment at the end:

    Congrats, you’re in the system; a victim of your own curiosity.

    His point was if you read the book on Kindle or any other electronic format, or bought it with a credit card at any brick and mortar bookstore, then the NSA may know you read it. I obviously don’t care about that. As the song says, Paranoia may destroy ya. Besides, they already have all of my info. And yours.

    This is a very good, well-written, easy to read book. Snowden describes his family history, one of service to the American Republic from the Revolutionary War on. His mom’s ancestor came over on the Mayflower, and his dad’s helped found Maryland. His mom worked for the NSA, managing their pensions, and his dad was a career Coast Guardsman who rose through the ranks and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer. It sounds like the latter was an electronics technician, which happens to be my own rating in the Navy.

    Born in 1983, Snowden is one of the first of the millennial generation. He describes growing up in North Carolina and on Fort Meade, home of the NSA, a scion of the professional government class. I thought his recollection of 9/11, recalling how both the NSA and CIA panicked and evacuated nearly their entire staffs because they really didn’t know WTF was going on, was a nice, if unintentional, debunking of the 9/11 Truther nonsense.

    While working for the NSA, in the convenient guise of private contractors most of the time but really for the NSA, Snowden got a top flight security clearance as a systems administrator. @deadpool @sffh , if you read the book you’ll see it was not so different from what you guys do, just with a different system. Snowden uses good analogies to make all the technological stuff understandable to a layman such as myself–the only time he lost me was in his detailed description of stealing files and smuggling them to Hong Kong so he could give them to Glenn Greenwald and others without immediate detection.

    He had access to damned near everything, and actually helped the NSA set up their digital storage system so they would have a permanent record of all the data they scooped up, which is how he figured out what they were really doing. He published the material because he took his oath to the Constitution seriously, which is not a surprise given his family heritage.

    A couple of jewels from his book: Yes, men really did land on the moon, and No, space aliens never visited Earth, at least not to the NSA’s or CIA’s knowledge.

    In short, this is the story of a deeply patriotic young man who risked everything because of his own deeply held convictions of duty, honor, and loyalty.

    And his girlfriend, now wife, Lindsay, was never a stripper or a whore. She did do pole-dancing as a form of exercise, nothing more. There are some excerpts from her diary from the days after Ed’s disappearance, with details of her interrogations at the hands of the FBI, and her horror to see her picture on a TV in a retail store being described as a stripper and a whore. No wonder she joined Ed in Moscow.

    Anyway, I highly recommend Ed Snowden’s book.

    It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

    If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

  • #192933

    • Total Posts: 788

    I bought the book but I paid cash. When I purchase a product with my credit or debit card, in about a week I start seeing ads on Facebook for the product I bought or a similar product. It’s amazing. Now I pay cash as often as I can.

    I’ve just begun reading it.

    • #192939

      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 12,750

      Snowden talks about Facebook and how they sell our data as well, even describes how their algorithms work. Very informative. Enjoy.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

  • #192949

    • Total Posts: 2,722


    Hi ob,

    Good to see one becoming better informed.  As a former military officer stationed at NSA, everything Snowden said rang true to these eyes and ears.  With the Snowden insights in hand, one might like the recent documentary about Cambridge Analytica (CA) called “The Great Hack”.  It exposes the people behind CA and how they used Facebook data to sway conservative voters around the world to include Brexit and the 2016 US election.  The trailer is linked below and the movie can be found on Netflix.


    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
    - John F. Kennedy

    "In a Time of Universal Deceit - Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act."
    - George Orwell

    "They must find it difficult ... Those who have taken authority as the truth,
    Rather than truth as the authority."
    - Gerald Massey

    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
    - Jiddu Krishnamurti

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