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Edward Snowden: It was worth it

TCF fellow, Barton Gellman has been mentioned in a Politico article about the Edward Snowden leaks.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden on Saturday defended his disclosure of reams of classified information and said his actions were worth fleeing his seemingly idyllic life in Hawaii and ending up in hiding in Russia, where he was joined by his girlfriend in July.
“It was about getting the information back to people so they could decide if they cared about it, and on that account … I could not have been more wrong in thinking that people wouldn’t care,” he told a New Yorker Festival audience Saturday afternoon via webcast from an undisclosed location in Moscow.

Read the full article.

Tags: snowden nsa, snowden leaks, snowden, nsa leaks, edward snowden and the nsa, edward snowden

U.S. firm helped the spyware industry build a potent digital weapon for sale overseas

August 18, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF fellow, Barton Gellman has written a piece for The Washington Post about a U.S. company that helped helped build a digital weapon for sale overseas.

CloudShield Technologies, a California defense contractor, dispatched a senior engineer to Munich in the early fall of 2009. His instructions were unusually opaque.

As he boarded the flight, the engineer told confidants later, he knew only that he should visit a German national who awaited him with an off-the-books assignment. There would be no written contract, and on no account was the engineer to send reports back to CloudShield headquarters.

Read the full article.

Tags: privacy, national security agency, digital, computer hacking

Ferguson Could Happen Anywhere

August 15, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: Jacob Anbinder TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

Yes, the police crackdown in Ferguson, Missouri, was about racial tension. But TCF policy associate Jake Anbinder reminds us that federal criminal justice policy made this week’s excesses possible. “The federal bureaucracy,” Anbinder writes, “would much rather arm local police to the teeth than help them improve the way they serve their communities.”

Tags: police, militarized police, ferguson, dod 1033, community policing

Looking back in anger: One year of Snowden’s leaks

July 31, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF fellow, Barton Gellman, has been quoted in an AlJazeera America article about the Snowden leaks.

One year ago, Russia granted Edward Snowden temporary asylum after a 39-day stay for the NSA whistleblower in the transit zone at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. Snowden had become stranded there while trying to flee to Latin America, where several countries had offered permanent asylum after the U.S. government filed charges against him for making off with thousands of classified documents about its surveillance programs.

Since then, the Snowden story has unfolded in dramatic ways for a nonstop 12 months — as the world reacted to the vast amount of information that his files contained — sparking revelation after revelation about some of the nation's most cherished secrets. It has also sparked a fierce policy debate over how to make intelligence organizations more accountable.

Read the full article.

Tags: whistleblower, nsa leaks, leaking classified information, edward snowden

How 160,000 Intercepted Communications Led to Our Latest NSA Story

July 14, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman publised a new piece at The Washington Post discussing how his story with Julie Tate and Ashkan Soltani about National Security Agency surveillance came about.


NSA surveillance is a complex subject — legally, technically and operationally. We drafted the story carefully and stand by all of it. I want to unpack some of the main points and controversies, sprinkling in new material for context. In this format, I can offer more technical detail about the data set that Snowden provided and the methods we used to analyze it. I will also address some ethical and national security issues we faced. Along the way, I will explain why our story actually understated its findings, clear up speculation about spying on President Obama and fact-check a recent CIA tweet about lost passwords.

Read more here.

Tags: nsa leaks, edward snowden, barton gellman, bart gellman

The CIA Might Have Your Password After All

July 14, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

MSN News mentions TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman in an article discussing how the CIA may have access to passwords.


In a lengthy article Friday, Washington Post journalist Barton Gellman attempted to answer some questions that have surfaced since he reported on a new Snowden leak last week. Buried deep in the report is a two-paragraph gem that says the CIA's Twitter, while funny, is also propagating misinformation.
The CIA opened a Twitter account last month and has used cheeky humor to win a large following in a short time. On Monday, the account sent out this announcement: "No, we don't know your password, so we can't send it to you." It went viral, with more than 12,000 retweets.
As it happens, the [National Security Agency] files we examined included 1,152 "minimized U.S. passwords," meaning passwords to American e-mail and chat accounts intercepted from U.S. data links. Don't expect tech support from Langley, but the CIA does have access to that raw traffic.

Read the article here.

Tags: cia twitter account, cia twitter, barton gellman, bart gellman


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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