First and foremost I would like to thank my dad for helping me out with this project. He helped me with research and provided an interesting perspective on Snowden, as it was a polar opposite as my opinion.

The main three pieces that I think everyone should watch, even if you don’t really know too much about Edward Snowden or my project. If you haven’t seen any of the three watch them! It will be worth it!

John Oliver on government surveillance. This is by far the most engaging and entertaining perspective on the Edward Snowden story that you can find. Oliver interviewed Snowden in Russia and I feel did a good job of shedding light on the situation.

That is a link to one of the first interviews he did and in my opinion one of the best. It was conducted with a German reporter and it was a really interesting interview (really hard to find though)

Citizenfour directed by Laura Poitras

Theatrical release poster via Wikipedia

This is a documentary made on Snowden, it is almost two hours but paints a very clear picture of who Snowden is and what he did. There is lots of very raw footage of Snowden in the hours after the leak. If you have a couple hours to spare this will not be a waste of time!

This is the page to the feed on Quora on Edward Snowden. It has a lot of really interesting questions and answers from very educated people.

Here is a database of all of the leaks Snowden ever realised, it is interesting to look through to show just how many documents were leaked

Something I have to include is a link to Snowden’s wikipedia page, it was a starting point and good for facts about Snowden as a person



TALONS reflection

Night of the notables

As I stood behind the curtain listening to Mr. Jackson talk about how the night was going to go, then the MC’s came out and introduced the first half of the speeches, or at least that’s what I assume they were talking about. To be honest I have no idea, they could have been talking about anything and I wouldn’t have been listening, I was too enthralled in going over the key points in my speech. One more time before I went on stage: Sacrifice, lying to my friends and family, 2013, my name, traitor, educate yourself, pros/cons, gave up everything, don’t let it go to waste.

That probably mean nothing to you but they were the key words that I ran through in order as I was talking that would prompt me into the point I was about to make. Then all of a sudden there was silence on stage, crap the MC’s are done I didn’t even realise, I look back and people are gesturing for me to get onstage. I part the curtains and walk out onstage, scan the audience and launch into my speech. The first 20 seconds I was nervous, then I got into the rhythm of my speech and it was smooth sailing from there.

Then I went backstage, while people were patting me on the back I let myself (for the first time) think about exactly what I just did. That was my eminent speech, something I watched 15 of the biggest role models in my high school career complete the year before, and something I worked at for a combined 8 hours to polish and rehearse. Then performed in front of 250+ people

And it was over


I watched the second half of the speeches, then it was time for learning centers. For my learning center I set up a sort of home office for Snowden, I thought about the sort of things that he might have. I included pens paper, laptop, NSA documents (that were mostly symbolic), and a photo of him and his girlfriend.

The desk portion of my learning center

The main thing in my learning center was I engaged people in conversation (something I consider myself to be pretty good at). I talked to them, asking them what they knew about Snowden, got opinions, shared opinions. It was one of the highlights of TALONS, as it was something that I was passionate about and I talked to anyone and everyone that would listen.

Me at my learning center

The standpoint that a shared from the perspective of Snowden was that he wanted the public to be educated. If people thought the government should be allowed to monitor internet activity as long as it was an educated opinion. As long as they understood what the NSA is doing and the NSA was not acting above the law.

Some leaks I used to spark interest at my learning center

Something I have stated so many times about Snowden is how interesting he is. It is very rare that I find a project that I go into and really get into it, like I will go home and willingly want to research the project, but that’s how it was with Snowden.

Now to talk about switching from Fanning to Snowden.

The main reason I did was because Fanning was honestly really boring, I didn’t find the things he did relatable, or even interesting for that matter. Then I was in math and Emma turned to me and was like “Connor you should have been Edward Snowden for eminent” and I sat and thought huh I totally should have, so I went home and watched the documentary and decided, okay I’m doing this. I did and didn’t look back. Obviously 10 days isn’t really enough time to do an effective eminent project, but it all ended up working in the end.

Document of Learning

My speech, something I wanted to be great this year. As I look back I think was something I’m really proud of. Snowden was a super interesting person as I have stated quite a few times before. But I felt my speech was the spot where I really got to convey that. Originally my plan was to get on stage and unveil that I had gone under cover as Connor Attridge and “leak” my blog posts. But as I got writing that seemed too complicated, so I just tried to express the emotion behind Snowden’s situation and some backstory into who Snowden is. I also thought I did a good job of making the audience want to learn more about my person.

One of the goals in my IEP is that I want to practice for the Berry Sulivan Law Cup. My speech and eminent project in general did a really good job in preparing me for it. I got in contact with Sandy Pang who placed second last year and got to read through her speech. I also looked into last year’s topic in depth (“Personal Privacy vs National Security. What would you give up to have the other?” ) as it related really well to my eminent person. So you could view my entire project as prep for the Berry Sulivan Law Cup. The speech especially because that contributes to my actual public speaking skills.

I have included my final copy of my speech

I sacrificed my career, my safety, and the safety of my friends and family.

I have lied to my closest friends and family telling them I am someone I am not, keeping them in the dark from my true intentions. I stand here today telling you this and they’re hearing this for the first time. Even people sitting in these seats right now know me as someone else. That’s the hardest part, doing all these things making these life altering decisions for not only myself but also the people I love, without them. Even look at your brochure, I had to lie in the brochure even here and now, for my safety.

In 2013 I gathered over 20,000 documents from the National Security Agency, and released them to the public through numerous media outlets. I did this to educate the public on government surveillance.

My name is Edward Joseph Snowden.

I am still considered a traitor by many and the United States is trying me for theft of government property under the espionage act.

I have provided you with the opportunity to educate yourself. The NSA, has the technology to track everything, that doesn’t stop at what you do online and on your cell phone. They have the technology to take your phone,*gesture with cellphone* even when it’s just sitting there, and use it to pick up information. They have the ability to take your webcam on your laptop and look through it without you knowing.

Think about that, weigh the Pro’s and Con’s carefully and establish an opinion.

I gave up everything I had and am now living in an unknown location in Russia while I seek asylum elsewhere. I did it for a reason, I knew what I gotten myself into.

Don’t let that go to waste.


For interest I also included some previous drafts of my speech:

Some of you know me as Shawn Fanning or even Connor Attridge, but I have had to lie to my friends and family for a long time for my own safety. My name is Edward Joseph Snowden, I have assumed the role of a high school student without telling others of my location for my own safety. I assumed the role of Connor in 2013

This is going to be a different speech then you are going to see tonight. I am talking to you as my audience, I am here now November 18th.  Talking to you

For those of you who don’t know who I am, I worked as a contractor for the NSA and found that the government is invading our personal privacy and lying about it to the Public. They are taking information from everywhere on the internet. That snapchat you just sent to your bestfriend, that emotional conversation that you had with you parents, or that picture that was only sent to one person, even small things that what you type into google. They have it saved in a database, for up to a month. 100 Gigabites a second, are saved. Then they turn around and tell the public that they are not monitoring anything without suspicion.

I felt that this had to be shared with the world. The NSA is not above the law, they do not get to do whatever they want without explination or even permission. So I realised over 150 NSA documents, mostly powerpoint slides and word documents. Showing the actions of the NSA.

I obviously have a very strong opinion on this. But the biggest thing for me is that I don’t want my opinion to be what you take out of this. Im not standing up here right, preaching my opinion. I think the public needs to be informed and make a decision for themselves. This is a debate we need to have.

Are you comfortable with the government going over everything you do: your calls, your internet useage, your text messages.

“Personal Privacy vs National Security. What would you give up to have the other?”

If you sit back in your chiar and go, yea that’s fair, the government has the right to go collect data on what we do. And it is worth giving up privacy for National Security.

I am fine if that’s the case, if you understand what is being monitored, and you have formed an educated opinion and you feel like your privacy is worth giving up to an extent to protect the secutrity of the country.

But if your reading about this and

(At this point I started a blank document and started again)


Interview part 2-Personal Privacy versus National Security: What would you be prepared to give up of one to have the other?

This is the second part of my Interview

This is a speech that was sent to me by the wonderful Sandy Pang. Sandy placed second in the Berry Sulivan Law Cup last year and I introduced myself to her on Facebook. I asked her for a copy of her speech to read though and she agreed.

A conversation where I reached out to Sandy on Facebook

I thought it was really good and she gave me permission to share it, I thought it was really insightful and worth a read to anyone interested in Snowden or anything he works with

Here is Sandy’s speech

Personal Privacy versus National Security: What would you be prepared to give up of one to have the other?

Without a doubt, in this day and age, we are more interconnected with one another than we have ever before.  Take Facebook’s slogan, for example: “Be Connected. Be Discovered. Be on Facebook.” It really encompasses the lifestyles that have built the social foundation we live on today. Tech Giants have transformed the ways we interact with each other.  In fact, corporations such as Facebook and Google have made it impossible for us not to share our information.  However, as we are enjoying the free services that these tech corporations provide, we are also unknowingly providing them immense sets of data to sell to generate company revenue.

And while all of this is happening, intelligence agencies from all over the world are also happily harvesting large amounts of data from laptops, tablets, cellphones from millions of people.  The very technology that we benefit from using is also making us vulnerable.  Way back when technology was not at the centre of our lives, we choose who we want to share our information with. Now, that is not the case.  Privacy is not guaranteed, we have a lot less privacy than we think we do and a lot of it goes in the name of national security.

In 1945, when Igor Gouzenko, a clerk for the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, handed 109 documents on Soviet spy rings to the Canadian government, North

America was exposed to a new magnitude of danger.   Responding to the threat, Canada deported communists, denied entry to potential immigrants and carried out a massive investigation that resulted in the arrest of 13 people.  What became known as the “Gouzenko Affair” marked the beginning of the Cold War.

Canada was instantaneously propelled to a modern era of national security. Since then, we have encountered many breaches of national security that strongly reinforced the dire need of an effective security system.

Our neighbour, Alberta, 2 months ago received a video from Somalia-based terror group Al-Shabab, the same group responsible for the gruesome attack on an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya that left 60 people dead.  In this video, a masked man encourages Muslims to attack Western shopping centres, specifically mentioning the West Edmonton Mall.   Situations like this has become a big push for proactive government action.   Canada can’t possibly sit still while the nature of our national security is being compromised. With the innovations that the ever-changing digital age has brought forth,  actions and strategies that the government adopt become vital.  There is no way that privacy can be guaranteed in the face of great peril.

As much as the appalling actions of terrorists groups and the threat of cyberwarfare scare me, I also feel uncomfortable thinking about the quick and quiet erosion of my privacy.  How much more of my privacy must be undermined for surveillance purposes? Although I can’t pinpoint the exact amount of data Communications Security Establishment Canada needs in order to to maximize both my safety and my privacy, I know that nothing is keeping intelligence agencies from simply collecting everything from everyone. They certainly have the capacities to do so.

Without the leaks and disclosures from individuals such as Edward Snowden, we wouldn’t have found out about the extent of spying being done.  I understand that the government has a duty to protect us but I also believe that the government has a responsibility to respect us.  Unless I know how effective these agencies are, I am not willing to blindly hand over my personal information.

I want to live in a country where I can unleash my full potential without the fear of national threats and unnecessary instability. But I also want to live in a country where I feel secure from state intrusion.  Privacy is a fundamental right; it should not be taken lightly as the shadow of national security.  Effective security does not have to result in less privacy.   While I am more prepared to partially give up my rights, Canada certainly has enough resources, intelligence, and ingenuity to find the right balance. Google’s slogan effectively addresses the concerns of domestic spying.  The slogan is: “Don’t be evil.”  Sometimes, the most purest intentions can have the most evil consequences.


Thank you.

Edward Snowden Briefing

This is NOT my own work I was sent this document from a person that would like to stay anonymous. I got this document as a starting point on my project and it helped me out a lot along the way

Edward Snowden Briefing

October 21, 2014

The author of this work would like to remain anonymous

Teenage Years and Education

Edward Joseph Snowden was born on 21 June 1983. His father Lonnie and mother Elizabeth – known as Wendy – were high-school sweethearts who married at 18. Lon was an officer in the US coastguard; Snowden spent his early years in Elizabeth City, on North Carolina’s coast. He has an older sister, Jessica. When Snowden was small – a boy with thick blond hair and a toothy smile – he and his family moved to Maryland, within DC’s commuter belt.

As his father recalls, Snowden’s education went wrong when he got ill, probably with glandular fever. He missed “four or five months” of class in his mid-teens. Another factor hurt his studies: his parents were drifting apart. He failed to finish high school. In 1999, aged 16, Snowden enrolled at Anne Arundel community college, where he took computer courses.

In the aftermath of his parents’ divorce, Snowden lived with a roommate, and then with his mother, in Ellicott City, just west of Baltimore. He grew up under the giant shadow of the NSA building. From his mother’s front door, it takes 15 minutes to drive there. Half-hidden by trees is the big, green, cube-shaped building.


Professional Life – from Military to Intelligence Community

The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq prompted Snowden to think seriously about a career in the military. “I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression,” he has said.

The military offered what seemed, on the face of it, an attractive scheme, whereby recruits with no prior experience could try out to become elite soldiers. In May 2004, Snowden took the plunge and enlisted, reporting to Fort Benning in Georgia. It was a disaster. He was in good physical shape but an improbable soldier, short-sighted and with unusually narrow feet. During infantry training, he broke both his legs. After more than a month’s uncertainty, the army finally discharged him.

Back in Maryland, he got a job as a “security specialist” at the University for Maryland’s Centre for Advanced Study of Language. It was 2005. (He appears to have begun as a security guard, but then moved back into IT.) Snowden was working at a covert NSA facility on the university’s campus. Thanks perhaps to his brief military history, he had broken into the world of US intelligence, albeit on a low rung. The centre worked closely with the US intelligence community, providing advanced language training.

In mid-2006, Snowden landed a job in IT at the CIA. He was rapidly learning that his exceptional IT skills opened all kinds of interesting government doors. “First off, the degree thing is crap, at least domestically. If you ‘really’ have 10 years of solid, provable IT experience… you CAN get a very well-paying IT job,” he wrote online in July 2006.


Awakening – Snowden Turns Rogue

In 2007, the CIA sent Snowden to Geneva on his first foreign tour. Switzerland was an awakening and an adventure. He was 24. His job was to maintain security for the CIA’s computer network and look after computer security for US diplomats. He was a telecommunications information systems officer. He also had to maintain the heating and air-con.

Once Obama became president, Snowden came to dislike him intensely. He criticised the White House’s attempts to ban assault weapons. He was unimpressed by affirmative action. Another topic made him even angrier. The Snowden of 2009 inveighed against government officials who leaked classified information to newspapers – the worst crime conceivable, in Snowden’s apoplectic view. In January of that year, the New York Times published a report on a secret Israeli plan to attack Iran. The Times said its story was based on 15 months’ worth of interviews with current and former US officials, European and Israeli officials, other experts and international nuclear inspectors.

TheTrueHOOHA’s (Snowden’s online handle) response, published by Ars Technica, is revealing. In a long conversation with another user, he wrote the following messages:

“WTF NYTIMES. Are they TRYING to start a war?”

“They’re reporting classified shit”

“Moreover, who the fuck are the anonymous sources telling them this? Those people should be shot in the balls”

“That shit is classified for a reason”

“It’s not because ‘oh we hope our citizens don’t find out’ it’s because ‘this shit won’t work if Iran knows what we’re doing'”

Snowden’s anti-leaking invective seems stunningly at odds with his own later behaviour, but he would trace the beginning of his own disillusionment with government spying to this time. “Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world. I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good,” he later said.

In February 2009, Snowden resigned from the CIA. Now he was to work as a contractor at an NSA facility on a US military base in Japan. The opportunities for contractors had boomed as the burgeoning US security state outsourced intelligence tasks to private companies. Snowden was on the payroll of Dell, the computer firm. The early lacunae in his CV were by this stage pretty much irrelevant. He had top-secret clearance and outstanding computer skills. He had felt passionately about Japan from his early teens and had spent a year and a half studying Japanese. He sometimes used the Japanese pronunciation of his name – “E-do-waa-do” – and wrote in 2001: “I’ve always dreamed of being able to ‘make it’ in Japan. I’d love a cushy .gov job over there.”

Japan marked a turning point, the period when Snowden became more than a disillusioned technician: “I watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in.” Between 2009 and 2012, he says he found out just how all-consuming the NSA’s surveillance activities are: “They are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them.” He also realised that the mechanisms built into the US system and designed to keep the NSA in check had failed. “You can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act.” He left Japan for Hawaii in 2012, a whistleblower-in-waiting.


The NSA and Snowden

Snowden’s new job was at the NSA’s regional cryptological centre (the Central Security Service) on the main island of Oahu, near Honolulu. He was still a Dell contractor, working at one of the 13 NSA hubs devoted to spying on foreign interests, particularly the Chinese. He arrived with an audacious plan to make contact anonymously with journalists interested in civil liberties and to leak to them stolen top-secret documents. His aim was not to spill state secrets wholesale. Rather, he wanted to turn over a selection of material to reporters and let them exercise their own editorial judgment.

According to an NSA staffer who worked with him in Hawaii and who later talked to Forbes magazine, Snowden was a principled and ultra-competent if somewhat eccentric colleague. He wore a hoodie featuring a parody NSA logo. Instead of a key in an eagle’s claws, it had a pair of eavesdropping headphones, covering the bird’s ears. He kept a copy of the constitution on his desk and wandered the halls carrying a Rubik’s cube. He left small gifts on colleagues’ desks. He almost lost his job sticking up for one co-worker who was being disciplined.

In Hawaii, by early 2013, Snowden’s sense of outrage was still growing. But his plan to leak appeared to have stalled. He faced too many obstacles. He took a new job with the private contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, yielding him access to a fresh trove of information. According to the NSA staffer who spoke to Forbes, Snowden turned down an offer to join the agency’s tailored access operations, a group of elite hackers.


On 30 March, in the evening, Snowden flew to the US mainland to attend training sessions at Booz Allen Hamilton’s office near Fort Meade. His new salary was $122,000 (£74,000) a year, plus a housing allowance. On 4 April, he had dinner with his father. Lon Snowden says he found his son preoccupied and nursing a burden. “We hugged as we always do. He said: ‘I love you, Dad.’ I said: ‘I love you, Ed.'”

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world [that] the NSA hacked,” Snowden told the South China Morning Post, adding that this was exactly why he’d accepted it. He was one of around 1,000 NSA “sysadmins” allowed to look at many parts of this system. (Other users with top-secret clearance weren’t allowed to see all classified files.) He could open a file without leaving an electronic trace. He was, in the words of one intelligence source, a “ghost user”, able to haunt the agency’s hallowed places. He may also have used his administrator status to persuade others to entrust their login details to him.

Although we don’t know exactly how he harvested the material, it appears Snowden downloaded NSA documents on to thumbnail drives. Thumb drives are forbidden to most staff, but a system administrator could argue that he or she was repairing a corrupted user profile and needed a backup. Sitting back in Hawaii, Snowden could remotely reach into the NSA’s servers. Most staff had already gone home for the night when he logged on, six time zones away. After four weeks in his new job, Snowden told his bosses at Booz that he was unwell. He wanted some time off and requested unpaid leave. When they checked back with him, he told them he had epilepsy (a condition that affects his mother).

And then, on May 20, 2013, he vanished.




Timeline of Snowden Leaks


With a top-secret court order, the NSA collected the telephone records from millions of Verizon customers. — June 5, 2013


  • The NSA accessed and collected data through backdoors into U.S. internet companies, such as Google and Facebook, with a program called Prism. — June 6, 2013
  • An 18-page presidential memo shows Obama ordering intelligence officials to draw up a list of overseas targets for cyber-attacks. — June 7, 2013
  • Documents reveal the NSA’s Boundless Informant program, which gives the agency near real-time ability to understand how much intelligence coverage there is on certain areas through use of a “heat map.” — June 8, 2013
  • The NSA was hacking computers in Hong Kong and mainland China, little of which were military systems. — June 13, 2013
  • Britain’s GCHQ(its intelligence agency) intercepted phone and internet communications of foreign politicians attending two G20 meetings in London in 2009.  — June 16, 2013
  • Top-secret procedures show steps the NSA must take to target and collect data from “non-U.S. persons” and how it must minimize data collected on U.S. citizens. — June 20, 2013
  • Britain’s GCHQ taps fiber-optic cables to collect and store global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and then shares the data with the NSA. — June 21, 2013
  • The NSA has a program codenamed EvilOlive that collects and stores large quantities of Americans’ internet metadata, which contains only certain information about online content. Email metadata, for example, reveals sender and recipient address and time but not content or subject. — June 27, 2013
  • Until 2011, the Obama administration permitted the NSA’s continued collection of vast amounts of Americans’ email and internet metadata under a Bush-era program called Stellar Wind. — June 27, 2013
  • The U.S. government bugged the offices of the European Union in New York, Washington, D.C., and Brussels. — June 29, 2013
  • The U.S. government spies on at least 38 foreign embassies and missions, using a variety of electronic surveillance methods. — June 30, 2013
  • The NSA spies on millions of phone calls, emails, and text messages of ordinary German citizens. — June 30, 2013
  • Using a program called Fairview, the NSA intercepts internet and phone call data of Brazilian citizens. — July 6, 2013
  • Monitoring stations set up in Australia and New Zealand help feed data back to NSA’s XKeyscore program. — July 6, 2013
  • The NSA conducts surveillance on citizens in a number of Latin American countries, including Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and others. The agency also sought information on oil, energy, and trade. — July 9, 2013
  • The Washington Post publishes a new slide detailing NSA’s “Upstream” program of collecting communications from tech companies through fiber-optic cables to then feed into its Prism database. — July 10, 2013
  • Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) help contribute data to the NSA’s XKeyscore program. — July 20, 2013
  • NSA analysts, using the XKeyscore program, can search through enormous databases of emails, online chats, and browsing histories of targets. — July 31, 2013
  • The U.S. government paid Britain’s GCHQ roughly $155 million over three years to gain access and influence over its spying programs. — Aug. 1, 2013
  • Seven of the world’s leading telecommunications companies provide GCHQ with secret, unlimited access to their network of undersea cables. — Aug. 2, 2013
  • The NSA provided surveillance to U.S. diplomats in order to give them the upper hand in negotiations at the U.N. Summit of the Americas. — Aug. 2, 2013
  • The NSA sifts through vast amounts of Americans’ email and text communications going in and out of the country. — Aug. 8, 2013
  • Internal NSA document reveals an agency “loophole” that allows a secret backdoor for the agency to search its databases for U.S. citizens’ email and phone calls without a warrant. — Aug. 9, 2013
  • NSA collection on Japan is reportedly maintained at the same priority as France and Germany. — Aug. 12, 2013
  • The NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, according to an internal audit. — Aug. 15, 2013
  • NSA analysts revealed to have sometimes spied on love interests, with the practice common enough to have coined the term LOVEINT, or love intercepts. (It was unclear whether this report came from Snowden docs.) — Aug. 23, 2013
  • Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept emails, telephone calls, and web traffic, The Independent reports, citing Snowden documents. Snowden denies giving the paperany documents, alleging the U.K. government leaked them in an attempt to discredit him. — Aug. 23, 2013





  • The top-secret U.S. intelligence “black budget” is revealed for 2013, with 16 spy agencies having a budget of $52.6 billion. — Aug 29, 2013


  • Expanding upon data gleaned from the “black budget,” the NSA is found to be paying hundreds of millions of dollars each year to U.S. companies for access to their networks. — Aug. 29, 2013
  • The U.S. carried out 231 offensive cyber-attacks in 2011. — Aug. 30, 2013
  • The NSA hacked into Qatar-based media network Al Jazeera’s internal communications system. — Aug. 31, 2013
  • The NSA spied on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (then a candidate). — Sept. 1, 2013
  • Using a “man-in-the-middle” attack, NSA spied on Google, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), and Brazilian oil company Petrobras. — Sept. 2, 2013
  • A US Intelligence “black budget” reveals Al Qaeda’s effort to jam, hack, and/or shoot down U.S. surveillance drones. — Sept. 3, 2013
  • A joint investigation by ProPublica, The New York Times, and The Guardian finds the NSA is winning its war against internet encryption with supercomputers, technical know-how, and court orders. — Sept. 5, 2013
  • The NSA has the ability to access user data for most major smartphones on the market, including Apple iPhones, Blackberries, and Google Android phones. — Sept. 7, 2013
  • The NSA shares raw intelligence data (minus information about American citizens) to Israel with an information-sharing agreement. — Sept. 11, 2013
  • The NSA monitors banks and credit institutions for a comprehensive database that can track the global flow of money. — Sept. 16, 2013
  • Britain’s GCHQ launched a cyberattack against Belgacom, a partly state-owned Belgian telecommunications company. — Sept. 20, 2013
  • The NSA spies on Indian diplomats and other officials in an effort to gain insight into the country’s nuclear and space programs. — Sept. 23, 2013
  • The NSA’s internal “wiki” website characterizes political and legal opposition to drone attacks as part of “propaganda campaigns” from America’s “adversaries.” — Sept. 25, 2013
  • Since 2010, the NSA has used metadata augmented with other data from public, commercial, and other sources to create sophisticated graphs that map Americans’ social connections — Sept. 28, 2013
  • The NSA stores a massive amount of internet metadata from internet users, regardless of whether they are being targeted, for up to one year in a database called Marina. — Sept. 30, 2013
  • The NSA and GCHQ worked together to compromise the anonymous web browsing Tor network. — Oct. 4, 2013
  • Canada’s signals intelligence agency (CSEC) spied on phone and computer networks of Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and shared the information with the “Five Eyes” intelligence services of the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. — Oct. 7, 2013
  • The NSA collected more than 250 million email contact lists from services such as Yahoo and Gmail. — Oct. 14, 2013
  • NSA surveillance was revealed to play a key role in targeting for overseas drone strikes. — Oct. 16, 2013
  • The NSA spied on French citizens, companies, and diplomats, and monitored communications at France’s embassy in Washington, D.C. and its U.N. office in New York. — Oct. 21, 2013
  • The NSA tapped the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. — Oct. 23, 2013
  • The NSA monitored the phone calls of 35 world leaders and encouraged other government agencies to share their “rolodexes” of foreign politicians so it could monitor them. — Oct. 24, 2013
  • The NSA spied on Italian citizens, companies, and government officials. — Oct. 24, 2013
  • The NSA spied on Spanish leaders and citizens. — Oct. 25, 2013
  • The NSA stations surveillance teams at 80 U.S. embassies around the world. — Oct. 27, 2013
  • A joint program between the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ called Muscular infiltrates and copies data flowing out of Yahoo and Google’s overseas data centers. One slide boasted of “SSL added and removed here!” with a smiley face. — Oct. 30, 2013
  • The NSA spied on the Vatican (the Panorama website did not cite Snowden as the source). — Oct. 30, 2013
  • Australia’s intelligence service has surveillance teams stationed in Australian embassies around Asia and the Pacific. — Oct. 31, 2013
  • One document reveals tech companies play a key role in NSA intelligence reports and data collection. — Nov. 1, 2013
  • Britain’s GCHQ and other European spy agencies work together to conduct mass surveillance. — Nov. 1, 2013
  • Strategic missions of the NSA are revealed, which include combatting terrorism and nuclear proliferation, as well as pursuing U.S. diplomatic and economic advantage. — Nov. 2, 2013
  • Australia’s Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) and the NSA worked together to spy on Indonesia during a U.N. climate change conference in 2007. — Nov. 2, 2013
  • The NSA spied on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). — Nov. 11, 2013
  • Britain’s GCHQ monitored the booking systems of 350 high-end hotels with a program called Royal Concierge, which sniffed for booking confirmations sent to diplomatic email addresses, which would be flagged for further surveillance. — Nov. 17, 2013
  • Australia’s DSD spied on the cell phones of top Indonesian officials, including the president, first lady, and several cabinet ministers. — Nov. 17, 2013
  • The NSA spied on millions of cellphone calls in Norway in one 30-day period. — Nov. 19, 2013
  • The British government struck a secret deal to share phone, internet, and email records of U.K. citizens with the NSA. — Nov. 20, 2013
  • A NSA strategy document reveals the agency’s goal to acquire data from “anyone, anytime, anywhere” and expand its already broad legal powers. — Nov. 22, 2013
  • The NSA infected more than 50,000 computer networks worldwide with malware designed to steal sensitive information. — Nov. 23, 2013
  • The NSA gathers evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a plan to discredit Muslim jihadists. — Nov. 26, 2013
  • Working with Canadian intelligence, the NSA spied on foreign diplomats at the G8 and G20 summits in Toronto in 2010. — Nov. 28, 2013
  • Netherlands’ intelligence service gathers data on web forum users and shares it with the NSA. — Nov. 30, 2013
  • A draft document reveals Australia offered to share information collected on ordinary Australian citizens with the NSA and other “Five Eyes” partners. — Dec. 1, 2013
  • The NSA siphons billions of foreign cellphone location records into its database. — Dec. 4, 2013
  • Widespread spying is revealed in Italy, with the NSA spying on ordinary Italians, as well as diplomats and political leaders. — Dec. 5, 2013
  • Swedish intelligence was revealed to be spying on Russian leaders, then passing it on to the NSA. — Dec. 5, 2013
  • A document reveals the extent of the relationship between NSA and Canadian counterparts, which includes information-sharing and Canada allowing NSA analysts access to covert sites it sets up. — Dec. 9, 2013
  • Intelligence operatives with NSA and GCHQ infiltrate online video games such as “World of Warcraft” in an effort to catch and stop terrorist plots. — Dec. 9, 2013
  • Piggybacking on online “cookies” acquired by Google that advertisers use to track consumer preferences, the NSA is able to locate new targets for hacking. — Dec. 10, 2013
  • The NSA has the ability to decrypt the common A5/1 cellphone encryption cipher. — Dec. 13, 2013
  • The NSA secretly paid computer security firm RSA $10 million to implement a “back door” into its encryption. — Dec. 20, 2013
  • A document reveals how Britain’s GCHQ spied on Germany, Israel, the European Union, and several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) — Dec. 20, 2013
  • With a $79.7 million research program, the NSA is working on a quantum computer that would be able to crack most types of encryption. — Jan. 2, 2014
  • Using radio transmitters on tiny circuit boards or USB drives, the NSA can gain access to computers not connected to the internet. — Jan. 14, 2014
  • The NSA scoops “pretty much everything it can” in untargeted collection of foreign text messages for its Dishfire database. — Jan. 16, 2014
  • The NSA scoops up personal data mined from smartphone apps such as “Angry Birds.” — Jan. 27, 2014
  • A program called Squeaky Dolphin by Britain’s GCHQ monitors YouTube, Facebook, and Blogger for “broad real-time monitoring of online activity.” — Jan. 27, 2014
  • The NSA spied on negotiators during the 2009 U.N. Climate Change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. — Jan. 29, 2014
  • Canada’s CSEC (the country’s national cryptologic agency) tested a pilot program with the NSA that captured metadata from users who had logged into free airport WiFi. — Jan. 30, 2014
  • Britain’s GCHQ waged war on hacker groups such as Anonymous and Lulzsec, mounting Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks and infiltrating their chat rooms. — Feb. 4, 2014
  • The NSA reportedly monitored former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in the run-up to the Iraq war. — Feb. 5, 2014
  • Britain’s GCHQ used “dirty tricks” such as computer viruses and sexual “honey pots” to target adversaries. — Feb. 7, 2014
  • The U.S.’s “targeted killing” program of drone strikes relies mostly on cellphone metadata and geolocation, rather than on-the-ground human intelligence. — Feb. 10, 2014
  • An American law firm was monitored by the Australian Signals Directorate while representing the government of Indonesia during a trade dispute. — Feb. 15, 2014
  • The NSA and Britain’s GCHQ reportedly monitored traffic to the Wikileaks website and considered a move to monitor communications going to or from Wikileaks and the Pirate Bay. — Feb. 18, 2014
  • Britain’s GCHQ conducts covert operations to disrupt and shape online discourse. — Feb. 24, 2014
  • Britain’s GCHQ, using a program called Optic Nerve, intercepted and stored webcam images from millions of Yahoo users, then passed them on to the NSA’s XKeyscore database. — Feb. 27, 2014
  • The NSA shared intelligence that helped the Dutch navy capture a ship hijacked by pirates off Somalia, and the Netherlands regularly shares information with the NSA regarding Somalia and Afghanistan. — March 5, 2014
  • The NSA has an advice columnist similar to “Dear Abby” who writes an “Ask Zelda!” column distributed on the agency’s internal network. — March 7, 2014
  • NSA developed sophisticated malware “implants” to infect millions of computers worldwide. In one example, the NSA posed as a fake Facebook server to infect a target’s computer and steal files. — March 12, 2014
  • Document reveals that, while many foreign governments share information with NSA, few senior officials outside of the intelligence or defense sphere have any knowledge of it. — March 13, 2014
  • The NSA built a system capable of recording “100%” of a foreign country’s telephone calls with a voice intercept program called Mystic.The Washington Post did not name the countries where the program was used. — March 18, 2014
  • The NSA specifically targets foreign systems administrators in order to gain access to their networks. — March 20, 2014
  • The NSA closely monitored Chinese technology firm Huawei in attempt to reveal ties between the company and the Chinese military. The agency also spied on Chinese banks and other companies, as well as former President Hu Jintao. — March 22, 2014
  • Malaysia’s political leadership is a high-priority intelligence target for the U.S. and Australia — March 30, 2014
  • NSA and Britain’s GCHQ discussed various methods of deception, use of propaganda, mass messaging, and pushing stories on social media sites — April 4, 2014
  • The Norwegian Intelligence Service is developing a super computer, called Steel Winter, to decrypt and analyze data from Afghanistan, Russia, and elsewhere. — April 26, 2013


  • Britain’s GCHQ asked the NSA for “unsupervised access” to the NSA’s vast databases. It was unclear whether the request was granted. — April 30, 2014
  • The NSA physically intercepts routers, servers, and other computer networking equipment before it’s exported outside the U.S., implants “back door” surveillance tools, then repackages them with a factory seal and ships them out. — May 13, 2014
  • The NSA is intercepting, recording, and archiving virtually every cellphone call in the Bahamas and one other country, which The Intercept redacts. It also reveals metadata collection on Mexico, Kenya, and the Philippines  — May 19, 2014
  • After giving journalist Glenn Greenwald a 72-hour warning to reveal the nation redacted from his previous report on mass surveillance of an entire country, Wikileaks reveals the country in question is Afghanistan. — May 23, 2014
  • The NSA harvests millions of faces from web images for use in a previously undisclosed facial recognition database — May 31, 2014







Mr. Edward Snowden (intro post)

You know me as Mr. Shawn Fanning that was a mere distraction. I am now coming forward with the information that my name is Mr. Edward Snowden. The president of the United States has openly called me a traitor. I have been charged for violating the Espionage Act on multiple counts and theft of government property. In 2013 I made Time Magazine’s short list for ‘Person of the Year’. For the few of you that don’t know who I am or why I am seeking international asylum trying to escape the reach of the U.S government, I worked for the NSA and before that the CIA. While I was at the NSA I learned that they were monitoring U.S. citizens online and hacking into social media companies like Facebook and Google. It didn’t stop there they were spying on world leaders and many countries including China, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. I gathered this information and contacted journalists internationally and shared with them what I think the world deserves to know.

I am coming forward because I know I didn’t do anything wrong and I want to get my side of the story heard. I am not a traitor, a leaker, or even for that matter a hero. I consider myself a patriot and a whistle blower, I saw something that I felt was unconstitutional and went against the morals and values of my country and I told people what I felt they deserved to know.



From my point of view (as Connor Attridge) I think Edward Snowden is more interesting and even a more eminent person to explore. Because there isn’t much about his personality on the internet I don’t know if we are similar on a personal level, but there is one big personality trait that he does possess, he will stand up for what he believes in regardless of the consequences. That is a trait I think I have, I hope I would have the moral compass to do something like that if the situation were to arise, but there is undoubtedly a great amount of reflection, confidence, and belief in yourself to go against you’re company, not to mention your ENTIRE CONTRY. Something me and Snowden do have in common is visual appearance.

The classic Snowden picture via

A Picture of me as comparison

I first started considering Edward Snowden as an eminent person when I started my English “ZAP” project, I was going to write a speech for a provincial competition and the topic of the speech was “Personal privacy vs National security, what you give up to have the other”. I read that and I was intrigued so I started researching the topic and obviously you can’t read too far into that topic before you come across Edward Snowden. I started writing the speech and realised that it is something that interests me and that I was developing a passion for and becoming increasingly educated and opinionated about. In the end I realised that the topic was actually for this past year and they haven’t come with out for the topic for 2016, so the speech never ended up having any impact anywhere. When it came to eminent I honestly never really thought about being Edward Snowden, until Emma MacDonald suggested it to me on Thursday in math (Nov 5th). The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea of it. At this point (Nov 7th) I am exploring how I can execute a dramatic speech as Edward Snowden if I don’t tell anyone about my plan. I am going to save these eminent posts and ‘leak’ them right after my speech. But that’s just an idea I have only the day after I started seriously considering it so we will see how it goes.


Vancouver Library

Looking back on the Library field trip, I really enjoyed it! To be 100% honest I didn’t do a lot of ‘work’ on the trip. It was a lot more about exploring the culture of downtown and getting closer to the grade 9’s. Even coming into the trip I wasn’t completely sure who I was even going to study for eminent, at that point in time I was still zeroing in on Richard Branson.

It was still a great day, the solo was interesting, I enjoy people watching so that’s what I did. I remembered walking past the same street corner I was sitting on for the solo spot a couple weeks earlier to go to a whitecaps game in the ‘southsiders march’. It looked much different without the chanting and blue smoke. Seeing the morning commute, people in very formal attire walking, biking and even one guy who rode a Razor scooter to work.

The view from where I sat on my City Solo

The view I had in almost the same spot a few weeks earlier. To contrast

The walk to the bookstore made for one of the highlights of my day, I crossed Dunsmuir just as the light changed and we left half the group behind so we stopped to wait. I realised that we has stopped at the foot of the building where my dad worked. So I gave him a call and got him to come to the window where he found 35 TALONS kids waving up at him. Once we got to the bookstore I was amazed at how many books were there! It seemed like every shelf was crammed floor to ceiling, overflowing with books. I found this one copy of a Christmas Carol for $50 that was the most satisfying thing to pick up and flip through, it was the kind of thing that I want to come back and purchase and read to my children in the future.

A blurry picture of Nazle reading in the book store

Then we headed back and went for lunch, I went for sushi ordered 4 rolls then went for pizza and it only cost me like $25, I was impressed. The food was okay, it was representative for the price I paid. During lunch I chatted to Nathan and Francisco, meeting my goal of interacting with nines. They both are super great guys and I’m glad I got to know them. Then came my afternoon in the library where I was supposed to be suuper productive and find books on my eminent person…

I didn’t I walked around, checked things out, talked to people, and enjoyed myself. But to be honest not a whole lot of learning happened in the library section. I could make up things about how “even though I couldn’t find a book I searched high and low” but to tell the truth even from the get go my focus was more social and about my surroundings then actually making serious project on my eminent person study. On the same token I think that’s arguably just as valuable, making connections with the nines (that I don’t get many chances to bond with) and just checking out somewhere I don’t go all that often made it worth missing a day of school to do.

First Speech draft

My eminent person is Shawn Fanning and here is a speech draft I have written. It is from the perspective of him giving a testimony at the trial where his company was tried for copyright infringement.

Please give me any feedback

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I have been called to the stand today to get the input from the creator. I Shawn Fanning the creator of Napster am being charged for copyright infringement.

I would like to argue the claim made by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),—Sony, Bertelsmann, Universal, EMI, and Warner. Of “not of violating copyright itself but of contributing to and facilitating other people’s infringement”

The argument I would like to make is that society today has benefited from having Napster and the economy has been stimulated as a result.

Firstly, while it is true Napster provides the platform for people to share and download copyrighted material. The music industry over the last 8 years since the company has been created, CD sales have gone up considerably. Before Napster buying a CD was taking a risk, you had no idea if you liked what is on the CD because you had only heard a couple songs on the radio. Napster provides a sample, a taste of what is going to be on the CD making buyers more comfortable purchasing the CD.

Secondly it takes 25-30 minutes to download each and every audio file, if an album has 10 songs that 10 hours that users are giving up their time and access to their phone lines. Most people value their free time and would rather download one or two, to insure that they would enjoy the artist’s album, then spend $10 and buy it.

Peter Fader, a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that most all Napsterites download MP3s to sample songs and then go out and buy the CDs

Also with technology progressing the way it has over the last 10 years it is extremely likely that the web will have grown into an everyday thing and services like this will be available and exchanging things like entire movies or even games. Instead of trying to outlaw Peer to peer platforms, embrace the change and use it to your advantage.

Lastly Napster has brought attention to over 17,000 undiscovered artist’s who’s purchases are skyrocketing since the introduction of Napster.

In conclusion Napster contributes to the economy, it has boosted CD sales by almost 8% and is one of the only things on the internet today that brings light to emerging artists. It is for that reason that we at napster are so irrepressibly set on making sure this resolution falls. Napster is helping these companies and economy as a whole not taking away from it. Thank you

Library Post

Looking back on the Library field trip, I really enjoyed it! To be 100% honest I didn’t do a lot of ‘work’ on the trip. It was a lot more about exploring the culture of downtown and getting closer to the grade 9’s. Even coming into the trip I wasn’t completely sure who I was even going to study for eminent, at that point in time I was still zeroing in on Richard Branson.

It was still a great day, the solo was interesting, I enjoy people watching so that’s what I did. I remembered walking past the same street corner I was sitting on for the solo spot a couple weeks earlier to go to a whitecaps game in the ‘southsiders march’. It looked much different without the chanting and blue smoke. Seeing the morning commute, people in very formal attire walking, biking and even one guy who rode a Razor scooter to work.

View post on


View post on

The walk to the bookstore made for one of the highlights of my day, I crossed Dunsmuir just as the light changed and we left half the group behind so we stopped to wait. I realised that we has stopped at the foot of the building where my dad worked. So I gave him a call and got him to come to the window where he found 35 TALONS kids waving up at him. Once we got to the bookstore I was amazed at how many books were there! It seemed like every shelf was crammed floor to ceiling, overflowing with books. I found this one copy of a Christmas Carol for $50 that was the most satisfying thing to pick up and flip through, it was the kind of thing that I want to come back and purchase and read to my children in the future.

View post on

Then we headed back and went for lunch, I went for sushi ordered 4 rolls then went for pizza and it only cost me like $25, I was impressed. The food was okay, it was representative for the price I paid. During lunch I chatted to Nathan and Francisco, meeting my goal of interacting with nines. They both are super great guys and I’m glad I got to know them. Then came my afternoon in the library where I was supposed to be suuper productive and find books on my eminent person…

I didn’t I walked around, checked things out, talked to people, and enjoyed myself. But to be honest not a whole lot of learning happened in the library section. I could make up things about how “even though I couldn’t find a book I searched high and low” but to tell the truth even from the get go my focus was more social and about my surroundings then actually making serious project on my eminent person study. On the same token I think that’s arguably just as valuable, making connections with the nines (that I don’t get many chances to bond with) and just checking out somewhere I don’t go all that often made it worth missing a day of school to do.

Intro Post (Fanning)

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH 17 days till eminent night. I can feel the procrastination in my bones as I sit down to start writing my intro post.

Alrighty, my eminent person for this year is going to be Shawn Fanning. I would say Shawn Fanning was a name that most people knew or at least would recognise back in 2001 but now he seems to not be as prominent in everyone’s mind. For those reading this who don’t know who he is, Shawn Fanning is an American computer programmer/ entrepreneur, he created his company called ‘Napster’ in 1998 when he was only 18 years old. Napster was something the world had never seen before, it was a peer to peer system, what is a peer to peer sharing platform? Glad you asked! Peer to Peer or P2P is sharing files from one computer to another. Some examples that are more prominent now-a-days are things like kickasstorrents and thepiratebay. So Napster was created by Fanning to share music and the site spread like wildfire, mostly among college students. Obviously the music companies were less then pleased that their music was being shared for free and they were losing business, so they took Fanning and Napster to court and eventually shut it down in 2001. Fanning went on create other tech companies, such as Snocap, Rupture, Path, and Airtime but Napster was by far his most successful.

Shawn Fanning at a conference in Chicago talking about Napser -Courtesy of NBC Chicago

Up until about Thursday I thought I was going to do Henry Ford who revolutionised the assembly line and changed the motor industry, I realised pretty quickly that I really couldn’t relate with him. He lived over 100 years ago and I realised that it would more likely than not turn into something I had to get done rather then something I really cared about. The thing I really feel I can relate to about Shawn is after my in-depth study on business and economics last year and I feel like he’s a lot more ‘real’ if that makes any sense. I can do more to understand his business sense: his morals and values and how he lives his life. I also really respect how he started a business at the age of 18 as that is something I hope to accomplish as well. I learned last year in my in-depth that if there is someone that has what you want, convince them to teach you how to do it, so that’s my plan. While I realise it may be hard to get in contact with him, I’ll try and even if I can’t I’ll get to know him to the best of my ability though whatever means I can. In fact I tweeted him and I’ll keep nagging him to try to steal some of his time, though it was super hard figuring out how to ask to talk to him in 200 characters.

I think me and Shawn have some similarities, mainly in the way we think: I think we both think the way of an entrepreneur. That’s a pretty cliché thing to say that Fanning and I “Think the same”. But I honestly think it has some truth to it, we both have a knack for problem-solving and have problems staying motivated when we don’t see results. When I read that these were some defining character traits I was honestly shocked because I have people describe in exactly that way almost word for word.

Anyways some of the things I hope to get done for the eminent person study are to really make sure my speech is something that I am proud of. I really was proud of my last year’s speech and I think I am up to challenge of 1-up-ing that performance this year, especially because we are performing in front of an audience. One thing I was disappointed in last year was my learning center. I think this year I should make it more memorable and relatable to passers-by.