June 25th, 2013
06:27 PM ET

Terrorists try changes after Snowden leaks, official says

By Barbara Starr

The U.S. intelligence community says terrorists are trying to change the way they communicate because of what they learned from Edward Snowden's admitted leaks of classified information about government surveillance programs.

"We can confirm we are seeing indications that several terrorist groups are in fact attempting to change their communications behaviors based specifically on what they are reading about our surveillance programs in the media," a U.S. intelligence official told CNN.

He emphasized these are terrorist groups operating outside the United States and are not limited to al Qaeda affiliates.

Intelligence has been gathered on both Sunni and Shia groups, he said, noting the risk to national security is that the groups "go dark" in terms of the U.S. ability to listen to them and watch them until it can "reacquire them" through new means.

As for whether that poses an immediate threat to national security, "I am not telling you people are dying, I am telling you terrorists are already trying to change their behavior," he said.

As the U.S. intelligence community tries to determine what damage Snowden may have caused national security, one assumption is underpinning the US analysis: The belief that China copied and read whatever documents he had in Hong Kong.

"That's a safe assumption. That's where people are starting on this," said one administration official with knowledge of the "damage assessment" review. "Given his stay in Hong Kong and the number of days he was there, the assumption has to be everything he had was compromised."

The official didn't dismiss the notion that Russia may have done the same thing.

But it's not clear what material from the leaks of classified information about National Security Agency telephone and e-mail surveillance programs Snowden may have taken from Hong Kong to Moscow, or what he may have been forced to leave behind.

U.S. and Russian intelligence services are communicating on the Snowden matter, but the official declined to offer any details.

The assessment on how much damage Snowden's leaks of information, including leaks to the Guardian and the Washington Post this month could last for months, the official said.

"We may not have a full handle yet on everything he has," he said.

Separately, a second, senior U.S. intelligence official agreed.

"We are trying to figure out the totality of what may have been compromised," that official said.

He said the United States is "highly concerned that sources and methods could have been compromised" by Snowden based on his public statement he could access the names of U.S. intelligence personnel.

"It could lead to potentially grave damage," he said.

The United States is continuing to assess what documents he could have accessed and what he downloaded.

Beyond that, officials need to determine how many computers Snowden may have traveled with, the size of hard drives, and how much material they could handle.

They also are still trying to determine if some material was handed off to news media without Snowden keeping copies with him in Hong Kong.

"The greatest concern now is the unknown," the administration official told CNN. "What else might he have had access to, is there another shoe to drop?"

The worry is that Snowden, who was a contract NSA computer systems administrator, may have been able to access a wide range of material beyond that of his immediate job responsibilities.

The administration official also said the U.S. intelligence community is concerned Snowden may have established some type of "doomsday insurance," threatening to publicize an online link to all his material that everyone could access if he is taken into custody.

For each step of the assessment, the United States also has to determine further what the disclosures may have on the ability of terrorists to change tactics.

The administration official offered an example of one concern: Terrorists may be less inclined to communicate via "clean" e-mail accounts that have no links to them because they believe the U.S. government can track those.

When Snowden first admitted he was responsible for leaking information about the surveillance programs, he denied his motive was to harm the United States or aid China or an enemy of the United States.

"Anyone in the positions of access with the technical capabilities that I had could suck out secrets, pass them on the open market to Russia; they always have an open door as we do. I had access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all over the world. The locations of every station, we have what their missions are and so forth," he said.

"If I had just wanted to harm the U.S. You could shut down the surveillance system in an afternoon. But that's not my intention," he said.

soundoff (137 Responses)
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  5. David

    Well, let's assume these government sources are correct and terrorist are now all using secure methods of communications ... I guess that means the NSA PRISM program, and any other program that relied on monitoring normally unsecured data, is now useless and can be shut down.

    No need to keep an organization that relied on monitoring stupid terrorists using insecure communications now that they no longer use those insecure old methods ... right?

    Barbara, why don't you be a real journalist and go ask your sources when we can expect the NSA to be finally wound down? A month? 3 Months maybe?

    June 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  6. angelina

    For sure those intelligent community afraid they will lost their job so they come up with a scary story and CNN stupid enough to believe their fairy tell story. Of course all people that has gmail or yahoo or facebook will change their habit on how to communicate and they assume all people are terrorist. American should aware that US government use a scary word "terrorist" as their scare tactic so half of public will approve their NSA program, the fact they spoof all people they can think of, may be someone they crush on or ex wife or ex girlfriend to see how far they goes. May be Barbara is CIA agent and CNN correspondence at the same time. I can't believe this well known CNN has to believe this thought easily.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:46 am | Reply
  7. bosamber - Amber van den Bos

    As a Western European I am happy to see the comments on this blog being critical. The privacy laws are stricter over here than in the US, but just as easily ignored or brushed aside and a majority of the population doesn't seem to care. As long as they're told their privacy has to be invaded for their safety, they nod and accept it has to be so.

    It is frustrating to see people give up freedom so easily, as if they don't understand what it means to be free or how it feels to lose freedom. Sometimes I think mankind needs a time without freedom to value it for what it's worth again, but that is a cynical thought and not a course of action I would advocate.

    We live in interesting times.

    BTW Did anyone release info on the parallel networks used by terrorists? So we can listen in on those, get together with the secret services as one big happy family to analyse and discuss the findings. Maybe the information on these networks is included in the Snowden-files but somehow I don't think the NSA had all the details.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:36 am | Reply
  8. Guildenstern

    Doesn't CNN have a cruise ship line to smear?

    Anyway, how is Barbara Starr still working as a "journalist"? Isn't she the one that ignored the Abu Ghraib torture situation? Oh yes, she was.

    Here's a little reminder,

    "The photos from Abu Ghraib may have only recently been published but many in the American media have known of their existence for months. Barbara Starr of CNN's Washington Bureau wrote a news report about the photos four months ago, on 21 January. She reported that a source from inside the Pentagon had told CNN that US military command's investigation of abuse was 'focused on Abu Ghraib', and that 'US soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners', photographs 'which may depict male and female soldiers' (9). Why didn't CNN pursue the story further, and try to get hold of the photos that its rivals CBS would eventually unveil 100 days later on 29 April? Both Barbara Starr and CNN's PR spokesperson decline to comment on how CNN appears to have lost such a big story."

    From: http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA521.htm

    June 27, 2013 at 3:43 am | Reply
    • JCDavis

      Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa: “They’ve managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that ‘support’ him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced, The world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,”

      June 27, 2013 at 6:02 am | Reply
  9. NumbNutts McGoo

    I thought Sally Jesse Raphael retired?

    June 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • Jrock

      Writer ignores or doesnt even know that reports indicate that people we are seeking are ALREADY using methods outside of normal communications. Who doesnt use encrypted text, email and phone?? The American people!!!

      Rob of us of our rights before the terrorists take those rights? ? huh?

      June 27, 2013 at 1:06 am | Reply
  10. nkitson

    I heard Barbara Starr said the only scandal at Abu Ghraib was who leaked the pictures. That true?

    June 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  11. Dan

    CNN...Cracksmokin Nuerotic Nincompoops...i only read this because a real journalist called you out on Twitter. Anyone with half a brain can view and read what Snowden actually said. Spinning it for the corporate dollars does not make it true. Karma's gonna get you at some point...

    June 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  12. Zempoh

    Would it kill this 'journalist' to ask for proof of these broad claims? Or do you simply believe everything that comes out of a source's mouth? Shotty journalism.

    June 26, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  13. Boondawgle

    Nothing but insinuating speculation and conjecture from unnamed sources. Every single word of it supportive of the narrative being put out by the government. Not a shred of actual evidence – not one single shred. Welcome to our American Pravda.

    June 26, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  14. Marvin

    Penguins again instead of journalism? Where are you heading, CNN?

    June 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  15. CynicalLiberal

    The article is blatantly wrong in a few ways that anyone who's been following this case can see. We know Snowden took four laptops and used a thumb drive, possibly other removable media, to transport the information, and select members of the Senate have stated they've been briefed on what Snowden got his hands on, and that "it's a lot more than the public knows about" via the news media. So they already know what he's got, making this article an obvious lie even to people who don't have specialized knowledge on the case.

    And Bloomberg is running an article saying that PRISM sweeps Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Verizon, and other big consumer service providers...that real terrorist threats don't use. They use heavy-duty encryption, not just McAfee firewalls, and they hang out in the Deep Web that most Americans don't even know about. The PRISM program isn't an anti-terrorism measure at all, it is actually designed for spying on Americans. Unless Al-Qaeda is recruiting through Facebook pages, these leaks are irrelevant to them.

    We get it, Snowden is bad and scary and blah blah blah...can we get back to the part about how the government is using dragnet surveillance without warrants against it's own citizens?

    June 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • JCDavis

      Then there's Russ Tice's claim that NSA was listening in to Obama and a bunch of Senators and Congressmen as far back as 2004. And not only them, but generals, people in the White House, and a least one Supreme Court justice. You get dirt on all those guys and you own the US government.

      June 26, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • CynicalLiberal

        They say the NSA are kind of laws unto themselves. Hate to drop a pop culture reference here, but it brings up a very good "Who watches the Watchmen?" argument. If what you say is true, and I'm sure it is, Washington is only just now realizing that they aren't the ones commanding the NSA, it's the other way around...and people who get to that level of office tend to have a quite over-developed sense of themselves, and a lot of things they don't want aired. You don't want all of Washington feeling threatened by you. No wonder Snowden's in trouble; the NSA will have been revealed to be that quiet friend who witnesses all the popular kid drama...and takes notes for later! I'm sure they don't want the big players realizing that, and Snowden's just pointed it out in a big way–makes you see why they're calling him "reckless", they thought he was one of their own and he's brought the ire of Washington down on them...maybe the real threat to the current balance of power isn't that citizens now know that the government is spying on them, but that Congress and the executive branch now know the NSA has all their dirt!

        June 27, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Dutch

      A great write! Bad things are happening. A stop will come sooner or later. Snowden, Manning, Assange absolutely help. You think Boston was a booster shot?

      June 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Reply
      • CynicalLiberal

        A booster shot in what sense?

        June 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
  16. Fripp

    Right, 'assumptions', 'concerns', 'possibilities' – and not one shred of proof, dear 'journalist'.
    You should change your URL to cnn.gov to more accurately reflect where you stand.

    June 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • miketherevelator

      You should change your URL to cnn.gov

      beautiful! so true.

      June 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  17. Dave Stein

    … and then people wonder why no one trusts CNN anymore.

    Dear CNN, quit being propagandists and people will come back.

    June 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  18. state wookie

    I like how Barbara Starr goes from first identifying her source as a "senior US Intelligence official," and by the end of the article the same source becomes "an Administration official." Guess the editor didn't catch that one. LOL!!

    Thanks, Barbara, the next time we want to read a White House press release we'll just go to their website. In the meantime just do the world a favor and stop calling yourself a "journalist."

    June 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • Bobby FC

      Starr is the world's most overpaid stenographer and a lazy, crap one at that.

      June 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  19. Dgtn

    This is why I stopped watching CNN. Saw this tweeted and decided to watch it. Too much BS.. Why do they have these damn jobs??? There's better journalists out there for crying out loud!!

    June 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  20. SWEJ

    Since SCOTUS has ruled the Congress must update its criteria for voting abuses it only seems fair that the intelligence communities update their sources and methods to keep up with the times.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • Austin

      Congratulations! That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard all day!

      June 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  21. Kyle Granger

    This is the stupidist thing I've read all week. But it figures : CNN + TV + USG = some negtive quanity that makes ones life worse, and advertisers' lives better.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  22. Tyler Durden

    A perfect example of American mainstream journalism. Anyone can do this. How much do you get paid for copying off a Govt approved cue card.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  23. WolfgangPauli

    First class chumpbait article. Zero factual contents, just speculation and innuendo a la "Official says". Note that not a single "official" is named or otherwise identified. For all we know the "reporter" that wrote this piece pulled it out of her, whatever. No discussion of the implications of the NSA domestic spying and offensive cyber-warfare program that seemed to catch many congressional representatives by surprise. Otherwise an excellent piece of propaganda.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • eyesockers

      The abuse of granting anonymity to the source is so egregious here because, for one, the editors don't even acknowledge that anonymity was granted. They just don't name the source. Generally there's a standard "according to the government official, *who was granted anonymity in order to speak about confidential meetings.*" This piece doesn't even do that. Secondly, there really appears no reason WHY the government official should be granted anonymity. Like, they're basically just saying the government line. Why not identify the official so that we can(since this psuedo-journalist obviously won't) ask crucial questions about what evidence they have to support this assertion. Eh. Just another day at CNN, folks.

      June 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  24. Robert

    If anyone ever asks you what is meant by "mindless, government-subservient stenographic journalism," show them this article from CNN. Thanks, CNN!

    June 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  25. Jean

    Dear CNN, so do those US intelligence/administration officials who talked to you get in trouble for leaking? Oh, I forgot, when the government tells the media what it wants the public to think, that's the good kind of leak. Otherwise known as government propaganda. And you are playing the role of stenographers for passing it on. No wonder you have no credibility.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  26. Dan Linder

    This reported by Barbara Starr, the same CNN correspondent who declared the real scandal of Abu Ghraib to be the leaking of the photos, not the heinous acts of the jailers. A reminder, from CNN's own transcript archives: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0602/15/ltm.04.html

    June 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • Austin

      I just read that after Scahill tweeted his old article just now. He called her cnn darling/pentagon spokesperson! Baha. Yeah her whole thing was the soldiers weren't supposed to be taking pictures, and that was the real scandal. Because soldiers and Marines never take pictures....duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

      June 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Reply
      • Dan Linder

        Another transcript of a slightly different report has better quotes: http://www.studentnews.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0602/15/lt.01.html

        June 26, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  27. Mike

    So-and-so says this. So-and-so says that. Stenography, not journalism.

    Put this gossip in the entertainment section, for god's sake.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • AlbuterolGonzales

      Glad to see someone is doing the exact same parrot-and-mimic except in Greenwald's terms.

      June 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  28. A Real American

    Terrorists can get high quality off the shelf computer data encryption for under $70, and VOiP phone scramblers for a few hundred that have sufficient encryption to keep a super computer busy for over a month trying to decipher. All Snowden did was expose the illegal activity the US government is currently engaged in against US citizens. Not all terrorists were born in the desert and have no educations. Many in fact are highly educated and keep abreast of changing technologies to stay ahead of those who are listening. I say that in part because I used to be one of those listeners while in the military, and our data was utilized by the No Such Agency. It's nothing more than political embarrassment and egg on the face that is driving this strong desire for retribution. Snowden showed that the old addage Meet the new boss, same as the old boss still holds true today.

    June 26, 2013 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Austin

      I agree totally! and so does: Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 6m

      If anyone ever asks you what is meant by "mindless, government-subservient stenographic journalism," show them this http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/25/terrorists-try-changes-after-snowden-leaks-official-says/ …

      Oh snap, CNN!

      June 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  29. bour3

    They can confirm terrorist groups are changing based on what they are reading in the media but still gives no specifics to us.

    at all.

    And that is why we don't trust you, there is nothing here to trust.

    The vast NSA snooping directed at us and managed by political operatives within unaccountable Departments is more dangerous to us than outside threats. We cannot trust ourselves with that much information. This year, right now, we are shown repeatedly we cannot trust ourselves within those Departments that have that much responsibility that much power and that much information. It is just flat not possible.

    June 26, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Robert Wrong

      Oh – so sorry you're not being informed about all our active surveillance techniques . I suppose you would have been complaining that citizens weren't warned about D-Day on the nightly news, before it happened!

      June 26, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • A Real American

        Mr. Wrong, you are exactly that. Wrong. We're not talking about a pure blood military operation with set objectives and targets against a foreign aggressor on foreign soil. We are talking about the US intelligence gathering apparatus that was originally intended to be used against foreign agencies and militaries being turned on it's own citizens on a broad sweeping level with no specific target in sight, just the possibility of a potential target, maybe. In recent months we've already seen abuses of power by the IRS, Homeland Security, ATF, and Justice Department. Our own government utilizing one of the most secretive agencies in the history of man against it's own people with no clear target parameters or objective simply smacks of the potential for political exploitation and abuse. Elections are less than a year away, and it sure would be helpful if we knew what the electorate in a given red or blue state were thinking. Better yet, If we had candidate A in position to win the next election instead of candidate B, we would be mush better poised to win the White House for another democrat again in 2016. So, lets see what kind of dirt we've exposed on candidate A in the recent months. The undeniable potential for abuses, let alone the wholesale violation of our implied rights as previously argued numerous times in the US Supreme court under the 8th amendment all in the name of terrorism are enough. Have a nice day.

        June 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  30. RLTJ's

    Throw the sinker overboard. Or the whole ship sinks.

    June 26, 2013 at 11:23 am | Reply
  31. RLTJ's

    I have posted this somewhere and I really feel to copy paste part of it here:

    I've been doing some imagining what could be real-new and real-scary that Snowden might have in his hands. And here is the only product of my imagination that i think scares some:

    Real information: names, addresses, personal information, communications, of American citizens who have no business to be spied on. That could be real trouble.

    Frankly I feel the sense of being lead away to other issues which I think are non-issue. NSA against terrorism is non-issuel. NSA spying on all is an issue. Did they or did not they?

    June 26, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
  32. RLTJ's

    Damn, I keep tacking my comments all over the net, myself. Everybody could see all of them as they were public. The new format by Disqus made me lose all them. So I stopped commenting in many sites as i cannot sign in, and I refuse to make a new account. Damn who's worried about being listened.

    June 26, 2013 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • RLTJ's

      And who is worried about going anywhere in the net. I remember registering against blocking the net, once. I don't have secrets. But if I have things I really feel private, nobody would see that in the net. And I am not a terrorist.

      June 26, 2013 at 11:20 am | Reply
  33. Richard

    If you know for sure that they are terrorists, and if you can monitor them as you have indicated, pls go and catch them nod prosecute them, without any further delays. Do t waste your time talking! Thanks heaps!

    June 26, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply
  34. matt

    Bin Laden avoided detection for over a decade because he avoided electronic communications. I doubt any terrorist changed tactics because they already know better. These articles sound made up to sway public opinion and distract from the fact that the fourth amendment was violated

    June 26, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • RLTJ's

      When one has been spotted, he might not be pounced at once. He becomes an unwitting mole. He secretly leads to some who also lead to others and possibly bigger fishes. That's nothing new or those terrorists are in business that they don't know.

      I guess its the same system employed with electronic surveillance

      It looks like Bin laden had been pinpointed for a ling while. Apparently the Pakistani doctor-spy only confirmed the accuracy of electronic surveillance.

      June 26, 2013 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • david7134

      Like you, I was under the impression that we had freedom in this country. Then I listened to a few lectures by attorneys and found that the fourth amendment only pertains to papers in your home. This is backed by the Federal Papers that explain the action. In fact, we have no personal autonomy in this country. Witness the depredations of the TSA and any other government authority. That is why many of us are proposing a different country and emphasizing the secession of the South. This is the real reason the South left in 1860.

      Now, if the government really wanted to find the terrorist, they would profile Muslims.

      June 26, 2013 at 10:43 am | Reply
  35. Ned

    well this just proves that terrorists are idiots. If they didn't strongly suspect this program existed they have not been paying attention.

    June 26, 2013 at 9:39 am | Reply
  36. Powder

    I suspect at the moment Snowden must be regretting the way he released the information on NSA activities. Why didn't he go to Sweden, a descent humble country known for its commitment to human rights rather than run to Countries that the US sometimes classifies as possible foes. What about alerting the terrorists who want America dead and buried! People who have professed that they will inherit western wealth, Women and Children!
    Personally i do not have the totality of wisdom nor do i want Snowden to be lynched for his actions, but i believe he went about it in a reckless way.
    I sense emotional immaturity.

    June 26, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • angela

      You are too naive to believe what this official said. This official just make this statement so public has more blame to snowdan and justify their accusation toward him. The government just use "terrorist" as a reason to get this program public approval. If public demand more investigation it will shows most of the program to read private citizen and other countries politicians. Terrorists are not stupid to use Google mails to communicate that's why they can't prove any catch to any terrorist from this program.

      June 26, 2013 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • ignatiusloyola2

      You're falling into the trap of talking about Snowden instead of his revelations. Just what they want you to do.

      June 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  37. swej-kcuf

    This means the government must monitor every human behavior possible to include all of the modern evolutionary methods.

    If we gonna have laws for this soon we be in a free police state.. !!!!

    June 26, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
  38. Jere K

    I think US gov is just trying to get sympathy with this news. I doubt any seriously taken terrorist group would already use encrypted communications as easy at it is these days. And I will watch with interest how foreign leaders will use their mobile phones at the next G20 summitt ;) How embarrassing it is to get caught, after being accusing others about same things first. Let's just wish that mr Snowden really has patience to NOT to release damaging info but rather just expose the questionable methods of US intelligence community. It is never good to have these rogue organisations like NSA doing anything they want without having to answer publicly ever. Control is always good, man cannot be trusted – it goes both ways.

    June 26, 2013 at 6:59 am | Reply
    • Outrage 400

      Hey, I don't want some megalomaniac like Snowden deciding on what is vital for the defense of the United States and what is not. The man's a traitor no matter what he does now. These posts claiming that he is a hero are from people who have no sense of reality.

      June 26, 2013 at 7:55 am | Reply
      • swej-kcuf

        Hay .. Jonathan Pollard linked to Ben-ami Kadish, worked many years selling information for money..
        Snowden, got in. couldn't be silent. got out and no monetary benefits sought ..

        Who is the traitor in your opinion?

        June 26, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  39. thiagan

    Sure, it is raining here and the umbrellas are seen on the streets. What is new?

    June 26, 2013 at 3:53 am | Reply
  40. markjuliansmith

    ""...several terrorist groups are in fact attempting to change their communications behaviors based specifically on what they are reading about our surveillance programs in the media,"

    I simply cannot believe terrorist groups believed utilisation of public media connections did not in anyway compromise their security. Keystone terrorists who set fire to their pants and run into walls maybe.

    Any avenue to stop terror is good but the really lethal varieties being dependent on such information may be a hinderance rather than a help – one has to wonder if this massive information pile and the massive resources having to be directed to make sense of such data does not tend to bury such as the Boston bombers.

    June 26, 2013 at 3:52 am | Reply
  41. Powder

    Although not a citizen of the U.S , i think what Snowden did has endangered U.S citizens even those who support him as having done the right thing. You just don't do such things to your country and others who are protecting you to the best of their knowledge! Snowden has aided terrorists and U.S enemies who don't give a damn about freedom and wish Americans all kinds of misfortunes and death.

    June 26, 2013 at 3:47 am | Reply
    • Ivo

      Who told you and explained you,who is a terrorist and who is the saviour of the world?usa is the greatest terrorist and mass murderer.anyone support inm this criminal structure,called usa must be treated as war criminal

      June 26, 2013 at 4:06 am | Reply
      • Outrage 400

        Then I must be a war criminal because I wholehearted support America's efforts to save the lives of innocent citizens. To my mind, people who PURPOSELY target innocent civilians are the terrorist and must be stopped. Therefore, use your warped justice to hang me.

        June 26, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • Jim

        "To my mind, people who PURPOSELY target innocent civilians are the terrorist (sic) and must be stopped."

        – During the Vietnam war, the Nixon administration purposefully targeted "anything that moves" and dropped bombs on dams to flood civilian populations. US troops butchered over 500 women, children and old men in the town of My Lai.

        – The Reagan administration ordered the CIA to train death squads throughout South America – which killed, tortured and terrorized civilians – in an attempt to overthrow democratically elected left-wing governments who opposed American corporations.

        – The Obama administration has been carrying out "Signature Strikes" which target groups of civilians based on gender, age and "life patterns."

        So in your mind, the United States must be stopped by any means necessary.

        June 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • weels

      thats a shallow anaysis of the situation. whos is terrorist what right does america have to spy on the world on the internet calm all because of their national security so the rest of the world don\'t have national security to protect too. imagine every control decide to impelement such a program what will become of the world and how will usa react?

      June 26, 2013 at 5:21 am | Reply
    • mdcambridge

      History is behind Liberty being the strongest foundation to America, not a police state.

      Ben Franklin said (paraphrased) "Those who would give up Liberty for Security deserve neither."

      As evidenced by the US's arrogant response to all countries that might be helping Snowden, it is the US that needs to learn to get along in this world.

      June 26, 2013 at 6:33 am | Reply
    • Frank

      You're being suckered by the slander.

      The NSA cannot classify as Top Secret their willful violations of the Fourth Amendment. Snowden didn't break any laws at all – he did exactly what thousands of people who knew about this were obligated to do – blow the whistle on it. Why CNN journalists can't seem to report on any aspect of the massive NSA scandal other than focusing on Snowden himself is beyond me. Maybe they'e afraid of losing their jobs..?

      June 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  42. USMC1371

    Jim,
    First thank you for your family's service. Like yours mine has also fought and died for this country. But their is a big difference between stepping on a battle field and gathering information. During all of the major conflicts the US has gathered info on citizens from nazi simpathisers, Vietnam war proteters, to today's terrorists that are both foreign and domestic.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:59 am | Reply
  43. Kent Phan

    My country always do the similar way – thro main media sending out such message to people for coveraging goverment's wrongdoings. Now, I realize that all countries are the same. So happy to know that US main medias are so naive as my country main medias did.

    June 26, 2013 at 12:28 am | Reply
  44. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    June 26, 2013 at 12:20 am | Reply
    • bobby

      Yeah, over 60 countries invaded since WWII, fake john smith who doesnt know the difference between invaded and support. You focussed on Iran alone out of over 60 countries, It shows how fake and delusioned u are. So, going by your definition of 'invade' the Iran has invaded over 100 countries. From hezebollah support in lebanon, Assad support in Syria, Fighting in Iraq, Killing Jews in Argentina and Bulgaria, Supporting terrorist cells in Niger, Sudan and Nigeria. The list is endless. At least I did better with 8 examples than 1 u are able to muster. Get a Life GIt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 26, 2013 at 4:12 am | Reply
    • DaveD

      The USA had a hand in the overthrow of Mosadeggh. However, the Shah was a popular figure in Iran at the time and fled Iran when the coup failed. Mosadeggh became progressively unpopular as he became more authoritarian and the Shah was welcomed back with open arms by the Iranians. A couple of decades later the Shah was not so popular and the rest is history as they say.

      June 26, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
  45. Steve1949

    Looks like the White House is desperate. Do you actually think that terrorist didn't know before the Snowden issue that they were being tracked. The government just keeps making themselves look like even bigger fools.

    June 26, 2013 at 12:19 am | Reply
  46. THB

    Who cares what happens with Snowden. Our government wasn't supposed to be spying on us in the first place.

    June 26, 2013 at 12:17 am | Reply
  47. Defash

    NSA is trying to nail this guy at all cost as a deterrent for others with similar attention, also Obama has successfully diverted US attention away from his administration's performance.

    June 25, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
    • Rick Sanchez

      If the only agenda Snowden had was to expose the NSA monitoring emails and phone calls, that is one thing. But for Snowden to admit the only reason he took the job was to access national security information, including the names and locations of U.S. intelligence personnel and copy sensitive information to be used against the U.S.,then that is treason. Snowden is clearly no hero, rather he should be labeled as the next level of terrorist!

      June 26, 2013 at 12:01 am | Reply
    • dalepearl

      Where is Obama in all of this? I haven't heard his voice reach out to any nation specifically. He is having John Kerry appear to be the failure here. If this was so important to get this guy the US would put 10 million dollars on his head. That is probably Cuba's or Ecudor's entire GDP. Stop playing games as if you care US. Send a drone, a nucleaur strike, MI6, the Navy Seals, Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey. You have options and if this guy is really a threat.... take him out now before he yaps again, otherwise just be quiet and let this guy play "Where in the World is Carmen San Deigo?" all by himself.

      June 26, 2013 at 12:20 am | Reply
    • bobby

      Have u ask yourself the real intention of Snowden?? He is just an high-school grader so he is not intellectual savvy to know how much jeopardy he his doing to people and his country. I appreciate his whistleblowing but if he really feels he is on the side of the populace here u do nt need to realease US info to our enemies. There are loads of independent ways within this country he can do it. He can never be like Manning bcos manning decided to whistleblow and face the consequence. Running to the chineese and Russians wud nt be a classic example of who want to leave his six figure salary for the sake of liberty. He will be relasing classify info bits by bits for life of comfort abroad. That does not tells me he is a defender but a traitor.

      June 26, 2013 at 4:19 am | Reply
  48. Rembrant

    Now, the CIA, etc needs to build entirely new methods to watch terrorists. This took decades to develop, and cost billions $. This guy should be publicly shot, not just for treason but also for what he has cost the American taxpayer.

    June 25, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  49. Carmen Chung

    Cross checked with BBC news in the local English channel of HKSAR news: no update release from the HKSAR government in this matter and reported the update from the government of Russia only in the whole morning news session in Hong Kong time before 11am, expected more or less the same by noon news newsline. Because HKSAR was busy in the morning to deal with the legislature of the landfill matter of the garbage of Hong Kong in "Cheung Kwun O" area, not in Tuen Mun nor in Da Koo Liang suburb of Hong Kong. And the result of the legislature debate of today's morning was rejected the motion in the government of HKSAR. Report by Carmen Chung, freelance photojournalist of NPPA and IFPO, associate member of CAJ.

    June 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  50. avoice

    WHAT RUBBISH! They already KNOW everything that can be done, terrorists are not stupid, and the lazy intelligence community should stop using some blunt net of digital network surveillance to take place of good, hard work, old fashioned REAL spying anyway. Like infiltrating. Being TRULY smart in how you do it.

    Lazy slobs...

    And shame on CNN for being a mouthpiece of the NSA and US government with all this, its see-through-ness is blinding.

    June 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  51. Carmen Chung

    The updated local news from the local government of HKSAR in Chinese version's interview stated that not related to the government to release the intelligent fugitive, Mr. Edward Snowndon. Confirmed with the current bureau of the legal department by the chief in Legal Bureau of HKSAR in the late evening news last night that the HKSAR government worked closely with the Judiciary Department of the United States on this issue. Report by Carmen Chung, Freelance Photojournalist of NPPA and IFPO. CAJ associate member.

    June 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  52. tony

    oday I ask the US Government to bring Mr Snowden back to the US to face charges of selling Top Secret government files. Mr. Snowden admitted to reports that he only applied for his job to get information and download it. Now Mr. Snowden is using that information to secure his freedom. Mr. Snowden has four computers with information from the US Government that he stole. Mr. Snowden motions are that he was protecting the American people. But what he has done has in endangered more than millions of US citizen lives by releasing information that he had no legal right to do under US law. We ask that the United States Government to extract Mr. Snowden from whatever country he may go or use any other means necessary that will stop Mr. Snowden from sharing Government Secrets with other countries
    http://wh.gov/lOAW7

    June 25, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Reply
    • Alexander

      Oh My god shut up, no one is going to attack America they're the most powerful nation on the world, stop believing the lies.

      June 26, 2013 at 12:21 am | Reply
  53. Jim Edge

    Only stupid terrorists were using google, yahoo, Microsoft and apple anyway... UBL used hand written notes and messengers for their most important work. That part has already been shown, and proven... so now it might be harder to catch the stupid terrorists, but easy to steal my grandma's chocolate chip cookie recipe....

    June 25, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  54. RLTJ's

    But maybe yes if those terrorists never have watched Hollywood films. Movie people have already imagined them all. Nothing new to what Snowden is spilling.

    June 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  55. RLTJ's

    "The U.S. intelligence community says terrorists are trying to change the way they communicate because of what they learned from Edward Snowden's admitted leaks of classified information about government surveillance programs."

    Frankly I see that as something to project the defector as a big criminal.

    Terrorists know they risk spied on when communicating by radio and cellphones. They know they risk their locations pinpointed by electronic spying, with those. The ones who got the drones and the rockets simply tried to ignore them.

    Nothing is new.

    June 25, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  56. Stephanie

    If Snowden gets to Latin America, the Government. has no chance of getting him back on American soil. Its going to be WW3.

    June 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • Portland tony

      If Snowden had "secrets" that would bring down this nation, he would have been silenced (eliminated) along with anyone in possession of the "secret" data no matter where they were!

      June 25, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • RLTJ's

      Frankly, to hostile people WW3 you are saying was already there since long time ago. They see themselves living in U.S. disfavor for a long time that explains their not too friendly stance. Lets admit it. U.S. see the world as good and bad, is following the policy of rewarding who they see is good and punishes who they see is bad.

      Reality of life.

      This is a free world and that is rightly American business.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  57. snoop

    call jack bauer..problem solved..

    June 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  58. mdcambridge

    If the program is secret, why is the NSA telling us that they have detected terrorists going dark after the Snowden incident? If the terrorists know who they are, the NSA just told them that the NSA knows they are terrorists by making this public.

    This too should be a violation of releasing classified information.

    OH! It's OK when Obama leaks it to make his point, but not OK if they are just doing something illegal.

    ....

    June 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
    • David

      Yes, and now that they know even the 'stupid terrorist's are switching to secure communications, what purpose does the NSA serve now? The only thing left for them to do is shut down all their questionable monitoring, or just admit that they are keeping a program going, whose only ability and purpose now is to spy on normal citizens.

      These NSA 'sources' just admitted their spy program no longer is effective against terrorists ... they've just 'scare-mongered' themselves out of a job.

      June 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  59. John C

    This is a joke, he didn't compromise anything but the reputations of the criminals running our country. Why is Snowden being treated like the criminal here? Last I checked, it's the US government that is guilty of stealing our civil liberties.

    June 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      We had a way of catching terrorists that they didn't know about. They did not change their ways because they didn't know how they were being caught. Now they can change their tactics, potentially communicating in such a way that we cannot stop them. We had a secret weapon now it's gone. You're worried about what the government is going to do to YOU, a citizen, meanwhile there are terrorists who know of our secret weapon who are a threat to us all. Do you not understand the problem here?

      June 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
      • USMC1371

        No Chris he doesn't understand at all him and the cowards like him do not have a clue what it takes to keep others safe from harm. Their are some things that the general public doesn't need to know just enjoy the comfort others give.

        June 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • Bishop

        The terrorists are not complete idiots. Anyone can setup an anonymous email account that will expire in a set amount of time in under a minute on the internet. Google anonymous email.

        Don't drink the koolade. The only people who have been made safe by these programs are the people that are running them.

        June 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • Portland tony

        There may be a secret weapon as discussed but for damn sure it hasn't been revealed. It appears the NSA has complex data mining algorithms and so far the "terrorists" have neither the resources or the time to defeat them. It would be naive to believe that major powers such as Israel, Germany, Russia, China Britain etc.... don't have similar "secret" electronic surveillance systems in place too!

        June 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
      • Jim Edge

        USArmy1945: 'Do you not understand the problem here?'.. Apparently USMC doesn't understand the problem either.... My father fought against ideas like illegal search and seizure in WW2. His father fought against these ideas in WW1... I fought against these ideas in Vietnam.... but USMC and you think we should just sell our rights down the river for a 'false' sense of security.... I don't understand this mentality.
        Realize that the people of Germany 'elected' Adolf Hitler. His legislature passed all those laws, making it legal to search any house in Germany for Jews, because they were thought of as a terror against the nation.... This is where we are headed, and all my forefathers who fought for 'freedom' are ashamed.....

        June 25, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
      • Steve1949

        Yes, because on Snowden the terrorists will have to switch to carrier pigeons to avoid being spied on by the NSA.

        June 26, 2013 at 12:27 am |
      • USMC1371

        Jim,
        First thank you for your family's service. Like yours mine has also fought and died for this country. But their is a big difference between stepping on a battle field and gathering information. During all of the major conflicts the US has gathered info on citizens from nazi simpathisers, Vietnam war proteters, to today's terrorists that are both foreign and domestic.

        June 26, 2013 at 12:43 am |
      • John C

        Thank you Jim, for being one of the few who see the real issue here. It's a very scary path that we're headed down.

        June 26, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Stephanie

      Exactly! The government should get mad at themselves for hiding info.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • dalepearl

      He physically stole 4 computers. Last I checked that is a pretty serious crime against anyone much less the government.

      June 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  60. Ibrahim George

    Obama Government wants to blame every thing on Snowden now
    After 9/11 during Bush there were no terrorist attack on American Soil
    Now with Obama there were 5 Terror attacks the last one was Boston
    Obama with his Muslim Brother Hood advisers in USA are sure of more dangerous attacks on American Soil
    They will never call Islamic terror by name so what else to expect.
    Blame it on Snowden Obama for all your future problem

    June 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • John C

      Really man? Wake up and smell the truth. Bush was no better than Obama, they are the same. I know you want to believe the Republicans are better than the Democrats, but the truth is they are all working together to chip away at our rights as American citizens.

      June 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • Disgusted

      Excuse me, but I do believe that 9/11, which you so casually dismissed, occurred during Bush and that it was the largest loss of life to a terrorist attack in the US. Not only that, but Bush then used it as an excuse to start a war we are STILL fighting. Also, the Oklahoma bombing in which most of the dead were children, a previous attempt to bomb the Twin Towers,etc, all of which occurred years before Obama took office. You want to call a pathetic coward who's looking for his 15 minutes of fame a hero, be my guest but when the very terrorist he's helped by his actions are able to commit even more destruction because of it I bet you'll be the first to scream " Why didn't the government know about it to stop them." and never once think it's because a selfish coward wanted to make a name for himself and destroyed our best means of gathering information

      June 25, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Reply
      • Jim Edge

        hey disgusted: If these spying programs are so wonderful, why didn't the NSA stop the Boston Marathon bombers ? ?
        Why didn't they stop that US Army Major down at Ft. Hood.... Yeah ? ? ? WHY ?

        June 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
      • Jim Edge

        BTW: as retired US Army, I don't need NSA or anyone else to provide security for me.... I can handle that all by myself....

        June 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
      • John C

        To call him a coward and say he is motivated by fame says that you haven't actually read or haven't comprehended what he has done. Your interpretation couldn't be more wrong. It takes a very brave man to give up his own life in attempt to protect the liberties of the American people. I suppose you'll be happy when you wake up one day in a total police state, because then you'll be nice and "safe".

        June 26, 2013 at 1:45 am |
      • Hector

        No, no, no,he would have never been silenced because it is illegal for the CIA & NSA to neutralize a subject – as he still has rights. The CIA & NSA are not in the business of murdering people, those are civil & uneducated opinions. The JFK incident is an example as the GWF was under no direct order. It is called electronic surveillance Marine of which is a spy technique. The reason the pres. administration has had 5 terrorists attacks compared to 1 for Bush is because Obama was a civilian before taking office & has a weak defense system. He is a Democrat, not Republican & is not used to protocol or terminology. He doesn't have the kind of training Bush does...and your failure to vote for McCain resulted in a weak Eastern Front of which you should have seen it coming. Remember what I say from now on – & you will learn, McCain was an Eastern Shore Captain of the US Navy. This means he protected the Eastern Shore – The Boston marathon bombing is an example. So, you traded Obama for all of the terrorist attacks. You did that as voters, you traded lives mainland for your president of choice. This mans you don't belong running for mayor, Congress, presidential seats or anything. – later, Hector

        August 20, 2013 at 2:41 am |
  61. Zen

    Really? You really believe all this and then think you can regurgitate it back out and have us believe it? Everyone with two brain cells to rub together knew the government was listening and reading electronic communication. I seriously doubt this has changed anything of any significance, although I'm sure the next time there is a terrorist attack, it will all be blamed on Snowden.

    June 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  62. Portland tony

    So the information provided by Snowden and subsequently.released in the "press" have allowed some small time "terrorists groups" to realize that someone could be possibly monitoring their Internet and cell phone communications. Jeez. I, as a rather novice computer and cell phone user know that any decent hacker or communications company can monitor any of my boring electronic conversations and know my exact location when communicating. Even Google "asks" me for my location........so these "terrorists" apparently know less than I about electronic monitoring? For god sake, does our government really think we citizens are so stupid as to believe this is secret stuff?

    June 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  63. danRR

    Response doesn't get posted.

    June 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply

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