Coding (intro to my in-depth)

Allrighty, so first things first, my indepth for this year will be Coding.

I want to learn how to code. I will be working with Mr. Findley. We will work together one lunch time a week learning how to use some of the different coding languages. As of right now I zero coding knowledge, I do not understand even the fundamentals of coding. It is something my dad studied in college so if I have any problems I could talk to him and there are also lots of tutorials on the internet. I don’t know what my goal is because I don’t understand enough about it to know what is reasonable.

The biggest reason I want to learn how to code is because I think it is one of the most useful skills I could have as an entrepreneur. It has been predicted that coding is the next big career. Anyone with the ability to code will be significantly more qualified for most jobs, especially in the line of work I am looking to get into. While it might not help with whatever business I start up it will certainly open up a lot of doors to possibilities in the future.

I have so many things to learn, I have so many questions that I don’t even know that I have unanswered. I haven’t come up with any specific questions yet other than “How do I code?”. There are questions I have never considered I needed to ask before I started this Study Contract like, “What is a reasonable end product for me to have”

I mainly I want to have a broad scale understanding of the major coding languages. I think it would be interesting to code some small scale games or programs. Or copy some existing games and see if I can do that through coding. My main objective, regardless of how good of a coder I am after I am done in-depth is that I want to have the knowledge to continue learning. I want to be able to teach myself how to code either by using the internet or just fiddling with a coding language.

I want to work once a week at lunch with one of the Info Tech teachers at Gleneagle. I want them to give me ways to learn on my own and to go to them with questions and for advice. There are lots of tutorials online, but there is a lot more to becoming a good coder then looking on the internet and I want my mentor to guide me along that process but not ‘hold my hand’. I think a lot of it will be watching other people’s tutorials online and trial and error on my own time.

I have two goals over the next five months

  1. Become ready am I to continue to learn how to code indefinitely, mostly on my own?
  2. Drastically improve my understanding of coding as a whole?

I am really looking forward to the next five months and I think I will learn a skill that will help me out for the rest of my life!



Interview With Alexi Zawadzki. Leadership 11

Leadership in the community

For this leadership project I got the opportunity to interview Alexi Zawadzki. Alexi is an entrepreneur currently employed as the VP Business Development for Pure Energy Minerals. He studied Water Resources at Wilfrid Laurier University. Alexi has started his own company called Swift Power Corp. It focused on creating a more environmentally friendly alternative to hydroelectricity in BC. Two years later he sold the company for approximately 5 times the amount invested. Alexi’s life has been very heavily focused on making the place he lives a better place, that doesn’t stop at his career.

Outside of work Alexi has been a very strong advocate for biking in the Tri Cities, he was involved with a committee called the Vancouver Cycling Coalition or VACC (Also known as HUB). As Alexi has a strong passion for biking he has dedicated time to making biking a more feasible alternative to driving in the tri cities. Alexi has played a key role in helping the city of Coquitlam improve their cycling infrastructure over the last ten years.

Alexi has also been a soccer coach for the last 7 years for his kid’s teams for ‘Coquitlam Metro Ford Soccer Club’ coaching his son and daughter for last few years. As well as founding a biking club at his sons school, Ranch Park Elementary. All in all Alexi has done his fair share of giving back to the community in several ways making him an impactful leader in the community.

I really enjoyed talking to Alexi, it was interesting to hear about the volunteer work he has done in the community, what I think I took the most out of was his motivation for wanting to help others. While he was talking to me about coaching his soccer teams and working towards setting up the bike routes, it was clear that it was not a chore or task that he had to complete. It was a passion and an activity that he took part in because he enjoyed it.

That idea is something that I try to incorporate into my daily life and I think the community as a whole would benefit from doing the same. Volunteering and helping other people can be super intriguing as long as you do it in an area that you are passionate about. For me that’s cooking, volunteering my time in the cafeteria at lunch. Or the time I spent the last few summers at Pedalheads, teaching kids how to bike. Those are good uses of my free time because I am doing things that interest me, they are things I enjoy doing.

I think there is a looming shadow being cast on volunteer work by people who think that they have to take time out of their day to do things that don’t interest them to help other people. But in fact there will always be something you can find that interests you and plays to your personal strengths and passions.

Another thing that I took out of the interview process with Alexi, as this was the first time I have taken part in an interview, where I was the ‘interviewer’. That was a completely different experience then being the ‘interviewee’ and I felt kind of shaky and awkward in the first couple minutes, blanking out on the questions I was going to ask and not speaking as clearly as I normally do. But I felt myself get more comfortable as the interview went on, I still don’t think I would be totally ready to conduct an interview in a real job situation but at least now I have realised that.


To set up this interview I reached Alexi by phone and he agreed to meet with me, then I googled his name and got a sense of some of the things that I could ask him about. I looked through his linked-in profile that shed some light on the biking component. So I googled his name again with the word “biking” in the search and I found lots of articles where he had been mentioned, as well as lots of information about his role with the VACC. Such as this one.

I am glad I got to shed some light on this community leader and learn a few things about myself throughout this project. Interviewing Alexi was really interesting as he is someone I can relate to as we have some similar interests through biking and soccer. Alexi is also an entrepreneur so that was also really interesting to learn about. Overall I think this was a project that I took something out of as well as getting to know a leader in my community.

Here is a the full interview



Document that I had at my learning center

I just though I should include the document I had attached to my learning center


Bulk phone metadata collection program

A secret court order obtained by Snowden revealed the existence of an NSA program for collecting daily phone metadata records from U.S. phone companies.

Under the program, the NSA collects records such as the originating and called numbers, call time and duration, location data, calling card numbers, International Mobile Station Equipment Identity numbers and other data pertaining to all domestic and international calls made from within the U.S. The government says the data it is collects helps U.S. intelligence keep track of the communications of known or suspected terrorists.

Concerns over the program prompted President Barack Obama to announcechanges aimed at restricting the data collected and the manner in which collected data is stored.




NSA documents obtained by Snowden described Prism as a program for collecting user data from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Skype and several other major Internet companies. It allows analysts from the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit and the NSA’s Special Source Operations group to search for and inspect specific items of interest flowing through the data streams of each of the companies.

Under the program, the NSA purportedly collects audio, video, email, photographs, documents and connection logs to help counterterrorism analysts track the movements and interactions of foreign nationals of interest. In PowerPoint slides leaked by Snowden, NSA officials described Prism as the single biggest source of information used to prepare intelligence reports, including those prepared for White House daily briefings.





Documents and presentation slides obtained by The Guardian described Xkeyscore as a program that lets the NSA collect virtually any information about an individual’s Internet activity anywhere in the world. The program purportedly lets NSA analysts sift through enormous databases to gather data on emails, browsing and search histories, online chats and other online activity of any Internet user anywhere in the world.

The XKeyscore system collects so much data that the vast majority of it can only be stored a few days at a time. NSA officials have strongly denied many of the claims pertaining to the program’s purported capabilities and the manner in which it is allegedly used.






The secret surveillance programs revealed by Snowden included a massive data collection program named Tempora, which is run by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in cooperation with the NSA.

Under the program, the GCHQ collects petabytes worth of information daily from data interceptors placed directly on regional and transatlantic fiber-optic cables carrying huge volumes of Internet data into and outside the U.K. from exchanges and Internet servers in North America and elsewhere. Data intercepted under the program include email content, records of phone calls, Facebook entries and Internet browsing histories.

The leaked documents showed that as of May 2012, the NSA had assigned 250 analysts — and the GCHQ had 300 — to pore over data gathered under Tempora.


Efforts to weaken data encryption

One of Snowden’s most controversial leaks involved apparent efforts by the NSA and GCHQ to systematically weaken the commercial encryption tools designed to protect everything from emails to highly sensitive documents. The methods included building backdoors into technology projects, using sophisticated supercomputers to crack encryption algorithms and forcing vendors to hand decryption keys using secret court orders.

Documents obtained from Snowden showed the U.S. intelligence community reportedly spending 20% of its nearly $53 billion annual budget on cryptographic projects and operations. The NSA spends $250 million a year on a program under which it tries to work with vendors of encryption technologies to allegedly make the products more easily exploitable.



Tapping smartphones

The Snowden leaks showed that in addition to collecting phone metadata and Internet data, the NSA and the GCHQ are also capable of harvesting data directly from BlackBerrys, iPhones, Android-powered phones and other smartphones.

Der Spiegel, which was one of the first to break the story, noted that the agencies have the ability to tap a lot of smartphone data, including contact lists, location information, SMS traffic and notes. The NSA apparently has set up separate teams that specialize in gathering information from specific mobile operating systems. It also has the ability to read messages sent via BackBerry’s Enterprise Server, the publication said, quoting documents obtained from Snowden.





NSA hacked 50,000 computers worldwide

An elite NSA hacking united known as Tailored Access Operations has infected at least 50,000 computers worldwide with specialized malware referred to as “implants” by the agency, a leaked Snowden slide revealed. The implants were likened to sleeper cells that could be activated at any time with a single click.

The slide showed that in addition to the 50,000 implants, the NSA’s Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) unit also has dozens of special data collection facilities spread out across the globe for collecting Internet data and foreign satellite communications.






Role of private companies in NSA data collection

Snowden’s leaks raised several questions about the role private companies played in helping the NSA collect data. The concerns peaked last December, whenReuters revealed that EMC Corp.’s security division, RSA, might have enabled a backdoor in one of its encryption technologies at the behest of the NSA.

Companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook have all vehemently denied that they have voluntarily given customer data to the NSA or any other intelligence agency. They have claimed that the only circumstances under which they might have provided data is when compelled to do so via court order.






NSA spies on world leaders

A document leaked by Snowden showed that the U.S. secretly monitors the phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders. Though the document did not identify the leaders being monitored, it lent credibility to claims by various world leaders that the NSA was monitoring their phones. Among those who claimed they were spied on were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Mexico’s former president Felipe Calderon.

Meanwhile, in a report that the NSA denied, French newspaper Le Monde claimed that the NSA had gathered data on millions of French citizens by spying on French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent.




NSA tracks and hacks systems administrators

The Intercepta publication co-founded by Glen Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who first broke the story on the Snowden leaks, in March claimed that a document provided by Snowden shows the NSA infiltrates computers belonging to systems administrators who work for foreign telecommunications and Internet companies.

The documents show that the NSA aspired to build an international hit list of system administrators to target as part of its surveillance effort. In addition to trying to get system administrator passwords, the agency also tries to obtain network maps and other data from targeted systems administrators outside the U.S., the publication claimed.






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.


There are two parts to my interview:

Seperated into two blog posts…have-the-other/

For the other part of my interview, I used a website called Quora, to ask questions to people online. Quora sells itself as “A place to get answers”

This blurb is attached to the main page of the site:

Questions you ask on Quora are distributed to a vast network of people, from experts and authorities to regular folks with relevant knowledge. The answers are then archived and organized so they can be accessed by anyone else with the same question. Quora is the best place to find the answer to anything you want to know.


I thought about interviewing my dad as he is obviously knowledgeable on the topic, but the reason I decided to do it this way is for a few reasons, 1) One of the questions I focused my whole project around is, “Do you support what Snowden?” As that is an opinionated question I thought Quora would be the best place to find exactly that. The reason being it is a place where any one can contribute but the answers seem to be very well educated and detailed.

2) I was tweeting and direct messaging Shawn Fanning and later Edward Snowden and people that surround him, nonstop in the hopes that I would get some sort of response… I didn’t. The dream was that Ed would say anything at all, because even if it was something insignificant, how COOL WOULD THAT BE!!!

Anyways, he didn’t. So I went to my backup plan. I asked 5 questions 2 of them got answered, the other questions have just been picked out from the feed on Quora

First off here are the questions that I asked and the answers that were written

As to the five questions I asked

Only two of them got answered

What effect did Snowden’s leaks have on Canada?

Canadian Immigration Law, Focused on Canada-USA border issues + Skilled Worker immigration (Express Entry)


When it comes to security, Canada and USA are brothers in arms.  Canada’s security strategy is tightly integrated with the United States to protect North America.  Our security agencies, CSIS and the RCMP, work extremely closely with their American counterparts, and consequently the damage Snowden’s leaks have to American intelligence directly damages Canada’s intelligence as well.

How much jurisdiction does the US have over Snowden?

Stephen Haban


Technically none. At this point snowdan is a fugitive being saught by the us for crimes of treason. However he is in a mother country where the us has no jurisdiction and snowdan will not be transfered back. So short of the us invading to get him or he walks onto a us embassy there really isn’t anything that the us can legally do

What would it be like to be on the NSA’s watch list?


Lassor Feasley, Mildly obsessed with media perceptions of Snowden.


It would be like making a phone call.

or making friends on Facebook.
or sending a text message.
or reading a political text online.
or traveling while carrying a digital device.
or communicating via e-mail.

The NSA is very serious about its internal motto: Collect it all, Know it all. Thats the great thing about NSA surveillance, there is no need for list keeping when everybody is a target. According to ex-NSA analyst Edward Snowden, using the XKeystore surveillance platform, NSA analysts have access to real time information on virtually any internet traffic:

You could read anyone’s email in the world, anybody you’ve got an email address for. Any website: You can watch traffic to and from it. Any computer that an individual sits at: You can watch it. Any laptop that you’re tracking: you can follow it as it moves from place to place throughout the world. It’s a one-stop-shop for access to the NSA’s information.


Here are the questions that I thought were insightful:



Is Edward Snowden an American hero or a traitor?

(I have included both an answer from both perspectives)

Paul Denlinger, Have lived in US, Asia, Europe and am interested in the field

5.1k Views • Upvoted by Chris Schrader, Business Intelligence Consultant

Paul has 240+ answers in International Relations.

Henry Blodget says that it’s too early to call him a hero, and I agree. See his article here:

It Seems A Bit Early To Call Edward Snowden A ‘Hero’

Arguing about whether Edward Snowden is or isn’t is a distraction and would really bring the discussion back to the level of US partisan politics, and I don’t think that is what an intelligent discussion should be about.

(Even though my question has been flagged by Quora mods as needing improvement, I consider this to be a sign of the normal US political partisanship which Quora likes to promote, and refuse to take sides. I refuse to take sides on whether Edward Snowden is a hero, though you can infer my position.)

Instead, the question Americans should ask are:

  • How did government representatives elected by the American people (Congress) basically create a system which has no oversight?
  • Why has the US president sided with the intelligence and business community against greater oversight of the intelligence services?
  • How did the US government become unaccountable to the people?
  • Can the system be corrected, or should the American people give up hope of having an accountable government?


For me this is the question of interest: Is he a traitor or a hero?

There are 47 awnesers to question as of right now I have included 2 I thought where of intrest but I encourage you to go read some of the opinions.

Nate Anderson, CEO of ClaritySpring, hedge fund transparency


Absolutely yes.

Many will say that Edward Snowden is a traitor whose leak jeopardizes our national security. They will say that he illegally broke an oath to his government to protect classified information, and that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They will say that our elected leaders should make national security decisions, not a 29 year old who acts on his own authority.

The truth is that Edward Snowden’s leak has made us a profoundly safer nation. Our leaders were elected on promises of transparency, and they swore oaths to uphold the constitution. The shame rests solely on our representatives, not on the individual who stepped forward to fulfill the oaths and promises that they violated.

Edward Snowden could have just followed orders. Instead he risked great personal safety to expose that our government is secretly spying on all of its own citizens. He has given us a chance to debate the issue openly. He recognized that the ease which this program can be abused is absolutely startling. The government has the power to track details of every citizen’s private email, physical letters, and phone calls.

Now we can finally ask ourselves, as a nation:

  • Do we feel comfortable giving our government this kind of incredible power?
  • If a self-serving leader steps into power, does this infrastructure lay the foundation for abuse and totalitarianism?
  • Would Stalin have wet himself with excitement if he stepped into a leadership position with this kind of information at his disposal?

The elected representatives who lied to us with promises of transparency are the same leaders who will demand that this young man be imprisoned. They are backed into a corner, and must defend this short-sighted, despicable program by denouncing him for its exposure. Don’t fall for it. Edward Snowden is a hero.

Written 9 Jun 2013 • View Upvotes

L (Luis) Figueroa, Technology Consultant; Aerospace & Defense Industry R&D Manager & Researcher;…


There is no rational way to characterize Snowden a hero, especially if as a nation we are to be guided by the rule of law!

One could also argue that from a moral perspective Snowden’s actions were inappropriate and irrational. For example if one is morally guided using a Kantian Categorical Imperative framework, then one cannot rationally justify Snowden’s actions since we do not want to have a universal law that would morally permit everyone to release national security secrets!

For those who might want to compare Snowden’s actions to those carried out by Ellsberg back in the 1970s, you may want to read an insightful piece in the Atlantic Magazine (link below). A recent Washington Post argues why Snowden is no hero (link below).

More recently CBS news (a generally liberal news organization) Bob Schieffer’s perspective on Snowden identified his narcism, and cowardice actions compared to previous folks (Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Daniel Ellsberg, etc.) who violated questionable laws , but took the blows by not skipping town and into the hands of US enemies. He is certainly no hero in Schieffer’s eyes.……

Snowden more than likely self-righteously broke laws that explicitly prohibited him from revealing classified information, including naming of companies involved in the programs he disclosed. He then paradoxically travelled to Hong Kong, a city under the Chinese umbrella, and onward to Russia. Both of these countries are symbols of repressive and extreme government intrusion. Now, it seems he is actually seeking asylum in Russia, a country with a long history of authoritarian government.

Much of the information disclosed thus far was not terribly revealing, given that many of the programs have been in place since 9/11, and have been approved by not only by members of both national parties but also a court of law. Many members of Congress, with few exceptions, are highly critical of the Snowden’s release of classified information.

Laws protecting classified information have been in place for a long time in the US and have been repeatedly ratified by Congress (also upheld by the Supreme Court), which represent the will of the people. Individuals which knowingly break laws related to national security and are convicted need to pay a price. In some cases breaking of these laws can lead to naming of valuable sources, compromising of techniques used and possibly loss of life, which would in turn have the tendency to reduce our overall national security infrastructure.

Lastly, I would like to refer readers to a recent article (and related book) on the damage Snowden’s actions have had on national security and the possibility that Snowden might be associated with Russia’s intelligence service, which if proved true would be the ultimate irony for those folks who continue to support his actions. It seems that Snowden instead of being an American hero might best be categorized as one of the most notorious and damaging foreign agent/spy our nation has encountered and those who view him as a hero (apparently that applies to many Quorans ) are naive beyond imagination.……

Snowden’s actions reveal extreme callousness, deceit, lawlessness, and hubris, which in the end might come back to haunt him.



Edward Snowden Leaks & NSA Surveillance & Privacy Scandals (2013): Does Quora participate in the PRISM program?


Stan Hanks, I love this place. TW ’14, ’15

309 Views • Stan has 60+ answers in Quora.

Stan is a Most Viewed Writer in PRISM (NSA Surveillance Program).

You clearly mis-understand PRISM, the NSA, and how the whole process works.

So, here’s the deal: if Quora happened to get a National Security Letter, they would be, under penalty of law, prohibited from discussing the fact that they had received it, the terms of the letter, the information requested, or how they had complied.

It’s a big hairy fucking deal.

“Participate” is not really the right word. That’s like playing on the playground and someone says “Hey, let’s play football!” and if you want to, you divide up into teams.

This is some asshat with a gun pointed at your head saying “And this is what you’re going to do”.

If Quora had an NSL, and opted to NOT comply, their only recourse would be to immediately and completely stop operations. And there is some chance that federal obstruction of justice charges would be brought against the people responsible for that decision.


Is Putin more paranoid since Snowden came forward?


Om Bee, Two M.S., one Ph.D. in unrelated fields.


Putin is not more paranoid since Snowden came forward. Actually, Putin allowed Snowden to stay for one reason and one reason only: he did it out of spite. If Snowden wasn’t American, Putin wouldn’t keep him in Russia. If a Russian person did what Snowden has done, he would be killed off by now by FSB.

Putin is not technology-savvy. He has no Twitter account (he probably doesn’t even know what Twitter is), no social networks where he would post himself. He doesn’t use the Internet. He gets all the info in paper form, from the folders his assistants hand to him.

Putin never trusted technology to begin with. Plus he is a former KGB officer, so he knows that everybody spies on everybody.

But he is very scared of Russian people. His residence in Novo-Ogarevo was surrounded by forest. All the forest has been cut down, because Putin was paranoid that someone would use that forest for cover.

Who is a threat to your internet privacy? Is your answer limited to just a hacker?


Shava Nerad, former Tor Project exec dir, privacy policy professional

437 Views • Shava is a Most Viewed Writer in National Security Agency with 40+ answers.

When you consider that employers, universities, banks and other people who govern our everyday financial, educational, employment, and other administrivia are looking for you online just as much as hackers and governments, we are all subject to having our privacy violated.

When we consider that if those authorities are allowed, by law, to act on speculation that information they find is about you and not some other John Doe or Arvind Ananda, then we might understand that online privacy is more of an articulated issue than whether spies are lurking under our bed (or desk) or if we have anything to hide.

We need to educate, and if required legislate, that people with authority or power over our lives can not take lazy and inaccurate information and use it  as “business intelligence” that is unvetted and unverified.

Already there are consulting firms out there that are promising dossiers on prospective employee information that are being found to have high rates of false positive information.  But even the normal information people self-publish in the US at least leads to many people being rejected from job offers.

To Snoop or Not to Snoop: Privacy Rights of Applicants and Potential Employees

At this time, this is completely legal, and makes ordinary social media sharing without tight privacy settings questionably wise.

Where a person with a common name is the target, an HR professional has very little way to know who precisely they are finding bragging about their drunken conquests on a Saturday night on Facebook.  Is it you?  Your cousin?  Or that idiot who is no relation at all?

So long as this is socially acceptable business practice, this person is as much or more of a threat to many ordinary persons than a hacker, although hackers may sound much more romantic and scary.

Can Americans trust the government not to abuse information it collects on its citizens?

John Colagioia, Software Guy, and a Little of This and That

745 Views • John is a Most Viewed Writer in Edward Snowden Leaks & NSA Surveillance & Privacy Scandals (2013).

They’re secret programs, right?  What is it that they keep telling us?  If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide.


More seriously, it’s already been revealed that information has been used unconstitutionally in drug investigations with special rules to hide the origin of the evidence.  It’s been revealed that people with access have used it to spy on their significant others.

Oh, and Edward Snowden showed that a contractor can walk out of the office with millions of records.  Snowden gave the documents to the press, but who knows how much has been (or could be) leaked to organized crime, abusive companies, foreign governments, or terrorist organizations.

In the end, collected private information will be abused, no matter who collects it.  It’s too easy to abuse and too easy to leak to people who’ll be thrilled to abuse it.

Strictly-enforced laws limiting collection, retention, usage, and distribution is about the only path that works.











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.