Edward Snowden is now officially a criminal on the run from the law, but the US extradition effort just became slightly more challenging. Despite having a canceled US passport, Snowden managed to legally secure transport to Moscow, and WikiLeaks is claiming they are behind the move. Lawyers for the controversial non-profit organization report they were approached by Snowden who requested their assistance, and they seem more than willing to take on the case once he reaches safe harbor. Presumably these are the same lawyers that have shielded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Swedish authorities for the past several years, so the chances are high this saga will take a very long time to fully play out if he reaches a country such as Ecuador where extradition can be tricky.
The source of the NSA leaks have finally been identified, and 29 year old Edward Snowden has come forward as the man responsible. Snowden went on record during an interview with The Guardian, and he answered several questions to help us understand his motivation behind the leaks, and what he hopes it will accomplish.
Hot on the heels of LulzSec and Anonymous joining their havoc-wreaking forces to bring Operation Anti-Security (#AntiSec) to an Internet near you – "we encourage any vessel, large or small, to open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path" – comes news that the US, at least, doesn't plan on taking the DDoS shots in stride. DARPA, the cutting edge defense agency that helped spark the creation of the Internet we know and love, is putting the finishing touches on a mock Internet called the National Cyber Range that US cyberwarriors will use as a training ground in future Web-based wars.
Even at the risk of political party mud slinging that typically accompany these kinds of stories, there's definitely something here worth discussing, and that's what kind of punishment should be levied for abusive emails. Let's back up a moment.
Luke Angel, a 17-year-old British teenager, is now permanently banned from ever setting foot on U.S. soil. What did he do to warrant such a punishment? He fired off an inebriated email to the White House in which he called President Barack Obama the "P" word (and he wasn't talking about felines), among other things, Sky News Online reports.
The FBI intercepted the message and then contacted U.K. police.
"The police who came around took my picture and told me I was banned from America forever," Angel said.
According to the local police, "the individual sent an email to the White House full of abusive and threatening language. We were informed by the Metropolitan Police and went to see him. he said, 'Oh dear, it was me.'"
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wasn't willing to discusses specifics in this particular case, but did say that there are about 60 reasons a person can be banned from the U.S.
So what do you think, was the punishment too harsh or right on the money?
Being geek may not be cool, but it has become important enough to a national security concern. In particular, the upcoming shortage of American geeks has the Defense Department concerned that a ‘geek-gap’ will emerge that will pose a distinct national security risk for the U.S. Bottom line: pocket protectors are vital for the front lines in a cyber-conflict.
This might seem counter-intuitive, given more and more of us are immersed in technology. But the Pentagon wants real, honest-to-goodness, bona fide geeks, not geek-wannabes. Were talking here people with computer science degrees, who are capable of working the cutting edge and beyond.
According to DARPA, the Defense Departments research cabal, the “ability to compete in the increasingly internationalized stage will be hindered without college graduates with the ability to understand and innovate cutting edge technologies in the decades to come...Finding the right people with increasingly specialized talent is becoming more difficult and will continue to add risk to a wide range of DoD [Department of Defense] systems that include software development.”
The Defense Department is now on the hunt for a ‘few good geeks’ to supplement the machismo of the regular services. DARPA has started programs, targeted a middle and high schools students, to convince them there is a future in being geek.