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Edward Snowden's New Job: Tech Support 328

Posted by timothy
from the honest-work dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Government whistleblower Edward Snowden, exiled in Russia after releasing top-secret documents about the National Security Agency's surveillance activities to the press, has a new job: tech support. Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told the Associated Press that his client starts work Nov. 1 for a "major" Russian Website, which he declined to name. In June, Snowden—a former CIA employee who worked as a contractor for the NSA—began feeding an enormous pile of classified charts and documents about federal surveillance programs to The Guardian and other newspapers. Many of those documents suggested that the NSA, ordinarily tasked with intercepting communications from terrorists and foreign governments, collects massive amounts of information on ordinary Americans, which in turn ignited a firestorm of controversy. The Snowden revelations have continued into this week, with The Washington Post reporting that the NSA has aggressively targeted Google and Yahoo servers. Snowden's documents suggest that the agency has figured out how to tap the links connecting the two tech giants' datacenters to the broader Web. Google told the Post that it was "troubled" by the report. A Yahoo spokesperson insisted that the company had "strict controls in place to protect the security of our datacenters" and that "we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.""
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Edward Snowden's New Job: Tech Support

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  • IT support (Score:5, Funny)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:39AM (#45289849)
    "IT support. Have you tried turning the NSA tapping device off and on again?"
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:52AM (#45289961)

      Dammit, it was working fine last week. I had Merkel's phone records, Calderón's e-mails, I even had Rousseff's contact list. Can't you IT people keep anything working!

        • News Flash! AP - (Moscow,Ru) Edward Snowden discovered that the Russian government has tapped into all phones, and internet traffic, globally; film at 11.
          • While you might have been joking, they have been caught trying. http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/29/5045076/russia-denies-using-poisoned-flash-drives-to-spy-on-g20-attendees [theverge.com]
            • Re:IT support (Score:5, Insightful)

              by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @11:22AM (#45290777)

              Much more likely it is an NSA/GCHQ malware USB stick given they have been caught red handed spying at the G20 [theguardian.com]. Even going as far as setting up dummy internet cafes which are a lot more expensive than distributing a few USB sticks.

              Accusing Russia at this point of a few malware USB sticks without presenting any hard evidence is really just lame and shows how desperate they are to divert media attention off their own despicable actions (i.e. spying for industrial and economic espionage purposes, G20 has nothing to do with terrorism).

              Step forward with the hard evidence if your trying to justify your own criminal actions by accusing others of what you have been caught doing... and even if true it hardly excuses the fact.

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by BitZtream (692029)

                Accusing Russia at this point of a few malware USB sticks without presenting any hard evidence is really just lame and shows how desperate they are to divert media attention off their own despicable actions (i.e. spying for industrial and economic espionage purposes, G20 has nothing to do with terrorism).

                Not nearly as lame as pretending Russia doesn't do it.

                Here's a hint guys ... our spy agencies ... SPY ON PEOPLE, ITS THEIR FUCKING JOB. Why the fuck do you guys act surprised or outraged? This has been going on for thousands of years, you're an idiot if Snowden has told you something you didn't know before.

                You should be pissed that the NSA is spying on Americans. But you should be more pissed if they weren't spying on leaders of other countries. That is their charter. EVERYONE KNOW IT except apparentl

    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @10:09AM (#45290115)

      "IT support?"
      "Yes."
      "I hear a strange noise on my phone."
      "It's... cosmic radiation. Yeah. That's it. A whole bunch of cosmic radiation."
      [long pause]
      "... Tovarisch, you know in this country we do study physics, right?"

    • Actual most likely job, from the BBC: "Pavel Durov, who founded VKontakte in 2006, invited Mr Snowden through a post on his own webpage to join the company's St Petersburg headquarters to work on data protection."

      VK would count as a major website, for sure.

    • the Bastard Operator From Hell at El Reg [theregister.co.uk] was looking for helldesk fodder... Coincidence? I think probably so.

    • by telchine (719345)

      "IT support. Have you tried turning the NSA tapping device off and on again?"

      "Hello my name's Edward Snowden. I can help you today. I can see you tried switching it off and switching it off again but the password you just entered is not the one we have on file."

  • permissions (Score:5, Funny)

    by schneidafunk (795759) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:41AM (#45289857)

    Don't give him root.

    • Root for Snoden. He's a hero.

  • Wow, harsh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by T.E.D. (34228) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:44AM (#45289881)
    So he hasn't even been arrested yet, and his punishement has already started?
  • He will be tech support for ... FSB
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:51AM (#45289949)

    He should've just let them shoot him.

  • A Yahoo spokesperson insisted that the company had "strict controls in place to protect the security of our datacenters" and that "we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency, unless Edward Snowden has evidence that we were cooperating the entire time at which point we will clam up and not be available for comment."

    There, fixed that for you unnamed Yahoo spokesperson.

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @11:42AM (#45291003)

      What I took away from the Yahoo comment was how it was worded vs the Snowden revelation. "We have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency." However, the Snowden leak said that the cables to the data centers were tapped. The NSA wouldn't need access to the physical servers if they could just grab a copy of all data heading into and out of the data center. Now, this could have been done without Yahoo knowing or it could have been done with their help (but without giving access to the data center to allow for plausible deniability should the story get out).

  • idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:57AM (#45289991)

    since the u.s. claims global jurisdiction over its citizens regardless of where they travel to or reside, and he is still one, now he's gonna have to file taxes.... that means if they don't know it yet, by april 15th, the feds will know his address... and if he doesn't file, he can then be arrested on tax evasion.. even if what he's done already ends up being legal whistleblowing.

    • The US claims global jurisdiction over its citizens, so what? You can't always get what you want, ya know?

    • Worked for Capone (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Overzeetop (214511)

      If the FBI can't get him, the IRS will. Nice.

    • by telchine (719345)

      if he doesn't file, he can then be arrested on tax evasion

      Yeah, he's wanted for international espionage. I'm sure a charge of tax evasion doesn't bother him! What are they going to threaten him with next? A speeding ticket? Jaywalking? Littering?

    • by romco (61131)

      since the u.s. claims global jurisdiction over its citizens regardless of where they travel to or reside, and he is still one, now he's gonna have to file taxes.... that means if they don't know it yet, by april 15th, the feds will know his address... and if he doesn't file, he can then be arrested on tax evasion.. even if what he's done already ends up being legal whistleblowing.

      Cant he just use a PO box for his address?

  • Whatever Snowden did to bottle up his stolen cache of documents, it has apparently kept the entire US security apparatus at bay.

    Now, THAT'S a project that would look good on an IT resume, anywhere.

    • He can outbid anyone on Ebay. Anyone.

    • by gmuslera (3436)

      The US plugged the leak, no new documents has been leaked lately, just been releasing the June documents in a timely rate. And while there are no new leakers, the government keep promising that they did not ever, is not doing, and will stop doing whatever is in this leaks, hoping that there are people with lower IQ than body temperature (in celsius) that believes them, while now there is no way to truly verify that (they probably will even release their own "leaks" to keep the illusion of that all will be l

    • by stiggle (649614)

      Snowden is no longer leaking docs, and hasn't since the original handover.
      Its the journalists (Glen Greenwald & Laura Poitras) he handed the docs to who have been trickling out the docs.

      They have stated that they have multiple copies in multiple locations and the intercept at Heathrow Airport of Glen Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, where the British confiscated USB drives containing copies of classifed materials did not hinder their access to the material.

      (Who gives their partner a bunch of classifi

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Whatever Snowden did to bottle up his stolen cache of documents, it has apparently kept the entire US security apparatus at bay.

      "US Security apparatus At bay"? How so?

      As I see it, they have stopped him from having access to any additional materials to leak, effectively confined him to living in Russian hands and although additional documents are trickling out, his time in the limelight is almost over. As I see it, he is alive today only because the US security apparatus decided to let him live for now, and the Russians are only going to be interested in him for as long as they can keep documents trickling out that they haven't ye

    • He's no longer in possession of them. He hasn't had his documents since he left the country. He also wouldn't have the means to protect them. The ONE smart thing he did was not taking the documents to China or Russia.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Document leaker provides IT support for YOU!

  • That's my guess. :)

  • Good life (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skaag (206358) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @10:06AM (#45290091) Homepage Journal

    After having lived in Russia for some 6 month cumulatively, I have this to say: Edward Snowden is going to love it.

    A few reasons:

    - Incredibly beautiful women
    - Incredibly cool clubs and bars
    - Awesome Moscow Ballet / Classical Music / Cultural Events / Arts / Museums
    - McDonalds has a whole wheat bun, need I say more?

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      So, he's going to be able to get into the cool clubs, pay for the beautiful women's drinks, take them to the ballet and then to McDonald's for a whole wheat bun Big Mac on a Tech Support Technician's pay?

      I don't think so... Unless tech support pays a LOT more there than it does here, only the trip to McDonald's will be happening, and I'm guessing he will be without an escort.

      • Not sure about Moscow (which apparently is one of the most expensive cities to live in), but I remember taking a girl out in st Petersburg for $40 for the both of us, a couple of years ago. Not to the hottest venues in town to be sure, but it got us good seats at world class ballet (the Kirov, who at the time outshone the Bolshoi company), a great dinner, and drinks and dancing into the wee hours. Damn, Russia was a fun place back then.
    • by isorox (205688)

      After having lived in Russia for some 6 month cumulatively, I have this to say: Edward Snowden is going to love it.

      A few reasons:

      - Incredibly beautiful women
      - Incredibly cool clubs and bars
      - Awesome Moscow Ballet / Classical Music / Cultural Events / Arts / Museums
      - McDonalds has a whole wheat bun, need I say more?

      It drops to -560 degrees in the winter. He used to live in Hawaii.

  • A Yahoo spokesperson insisted that the company had "strict controls in place to protect the security of our datacenters" and that "we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.""

    Yahoo may not have given it, but it sure sounds like the NSA has done it anyway.

  • If the NSA had actually tapped the fiber between Google and Yahoo's data centers and the internet without their knowledge and this actually turned out to be true after they investigated would either company actually publicly say "After an investigation we have found the NSA has been tapping our fiber without our knowledge and we are taking steps to stop this"? I think that highly unlikely and if anything even if this was true Google and Yahoo would continue to issue denials that this had ever happened or th

    • by Tokolosh (1256448)

      They are prohibited from telling us that they are sharing our data with the government.

      They are prohibited from telling us that they are prohibited from telling us.

      We cannot sue to ask, because we cannot demonstrate that our data have been shared, because we are not allowed to know or tell that our data have been shared.

  • I was hoping he was going to have to learn the Russian phrase for "Would you like fries with that comrade?" Not that tech support isn't punishment too, it just pays better.

    His English is likely pretty good, so maybe phone support would be a good gig for him.

  • Did he start to believe all those In Soviet Russia jokes??

  • You merkins. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When China wiretaps and cracks US systems, it's an act of war.

    When the USA wiretaps and cracks soverign states like Germany, it's "Well, they're spies! Whadayuhexpect?".

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      How you see it depends on what side of the firewall you are on.

      Generally, I figure that everybody that's thinking about the social and political world is going to be involved in collecting as much information as they can. They'd be stupid not too. If there is information you don't want others to know then it is YOUR responsibility to protect your information. If somebody manages to get such information from you, it's your fault.

      That the NSA monitors world leaders phone calls should come as no surprise t

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        How you see it depends on what side of the firewall you are on.

        But just one side has almost all the firewalls. Most of the world's communication infrastructure resides in the United States, across client states of the United States, or between client states of the United States in undersea cables.

        The problem with the "everybody does it" canard is that not everyone has the same capability to spy.

  • Ed - "Hello this Edward, how can I help you today."

    L User - "yes Comrad, my mouse appears not to be working anymore."

    Ed - " Ok" (.Clicky- clack- clack) "just let me get root access here on your PC"...

    L User- "Click"

    Ed - "Hello Comrad, are you still there? I seem to have lost you..."

  • He is a currently in a language & accent training class learning how to say 'This is Vladmir speaking. How may I help you?' in Russian.

  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @11:22AM (#45290773)

    The USSR often gives jobs, usually non-cushy ones, to defectors. Lee Harvey Oswald got a job in a radio factory assembly line. I guess IT support is the modern equivalent.

  • Google is "troubled" but I doubt they will raise a much bigger fuss than that. Why? Because they are competing for government contracts against Microsoft and other vendors for Cloud services etc. So while this deeply undermines the company, they probably won't get too loud about it until it starts to wreck their reputation too severely.

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