back to article Snowden shoots back: 'So you DO have my emails, after all'

Edward Snowden says the US National Security Agency is lying when it says it has no record of his emails to supervisors raising concerns about NSA surveillance programs, and that the release of one of his emails on Thursday proves it. The NSA has long maintained that Snowden never voiced his concerns through proper channels …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Article correction

    It is not the National Security Administration, it is the National Security Agency.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Article correction

      I thought it stood for:

      Not

      Sayin'

      Anything

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: Article correction

        Or maybe No, Stop Asking.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Article correction

          It's actually : 'No Such Agency'

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Article correction

      Nosy, secretive assholes.

      1. king of foo

        Re: Article correction

        Aha, I've found the potential source of my thumbs downers!

        There are 4 or 5 commentards that apparently don't like the slightest hint of profanity and thumb it down.

        The above comment was actually rather witty - here, have an anti-prude thumbs up from me!

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: king of fools Re: Article correction

          There are 4 or 5 commentards that apparently don't like the slightest hint of crass stupidity. Seriously, you thought that comment was witty?

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: king of fools Article correction

            And an anti-grump upvote from me.

          2. king of foo

            Re: king of fools Article correction

            Naturally, Surly Antagonist.

            Now fare thee well, loyal subject; thou mayest return to thine fluffing duties.

          3. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: king of fools Article correction

            There are 4 or 5 commentards that apparently don't like the slightest hint of crass stupidity.

            Says the guy who is king of profanity and crass stupidity.

            And not to forget the ad hominems.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There are 4 or 5 commentards

            Be quiet Mr Clapper

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: king of fools Article correction

            Look out folks, the grinch is in.

        2. Oh Homer
          Headmaster

          Re: "the potential source of my thumbs downers"

          No actually that's just Steve Knox and Matt Bryant, the NSA's fascist little fan club.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Oh Boner Re: "the potential source of my thumbs downers"

            "..... the NSA's fascist little fan club." Ah, it's that typical response from the sheeple when you don't agree with their spoonfed viewpoints, and when they don't have the intellectual capabilities to form an actual argument - 'you're a fascist!' Maybe Boner can try again when he graduates kindergarten.

            Of course, the fact that Leftie regimes have ALWAYS had far more repressive eavesdropping is simply ignored by these cretinous sheeple, but then their education is usually totally lacking in any grasp of history.

            1. Graham Marsden
              Facepalm

              Re: Oh Boner "the potential source of my thumbs downers"

              Ah, once again Matt Bryant goes for the man instead of the argument as if calling people names and insulting their intelligence because they don't agree with him is some sort of credible debating technique.

              And then he tries to move the goalposts by making sweeping generalisations about "Leftie regimes" to try to divert attention.

              Still, please, Matt, feel free to call me "Marsbar brain" again (who was it who just said: "Seriously, you thought that comment was witty?") if it makes you feel any better. It won't make your arguments any more convincing, though.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Marsbarbrain Re: Oh Boner "the potential source of my thumbs downers"

                ".....once again Matt Bryant goes for the man instead of the argument....." Truly ironic given that you have - yet again, again - posted another whining bleat about name calling and NO ARGUMENT related to the topic. Your constant failure is truly amusing.

                1. Sir Runcible Spoon

                  Re: Marsbarbrain Oh Boner "the potential source of my thumbs downers"

                  "and NO ARGUMENT related to the topic"

                  Seriously, what the fuck are you on about? You were responding to a throw-away comment in response to a throw-away joke.

                  What was the argument again and what was your stunning contribution? Your patterns of evasion are starting to wear very thin as you've used them far, far too often.

                  Remind me to post the link to the fundamentals of propeganda techniques in re-framing, it reads like a check-list of your posts.

                  1. g e

                    Re: Marsbarbrain Oh Boner "the potential source of my thumbs downers"

                    Downvote for profanity

                    </irony>

                    (Note: Secretly Awarding +20, though - see what I did there?)

                  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: Sir Rediculous Loon Re: Marsbarbrain Oh Boner "the potential source...."

                    ".....What was the argument again and what was your stunning contribution?....." My contribution was when I pointed put to Steve Knox that, whilst he was quite right to point out the massive inconsistencies in Snowjob's claims, that it was pointless to do so with you sheeple as you are simply don't want a discussion, you simply want everyone else to unthinkingly swallow the same ideas you have been spoonfed as The Truth. It is blatantly clear that Snowjob is at least massively exaggerating again, if not flat out lying, yet you unquestioningly insist that he must be telling the truth. Your failure is quite comic.

                    I could be generous and suggest Putin is making Snowjob exaggerate in return for letting him stay in Russia, especially as Putin's original terms were that Snowjob could only stay if he kept his gob shut. It seems the Ukrainian issue has made Putin forget that little promise to the US.

                    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

                      Re: Sir Rediculous Loon Marsbarbrain Oh Boner "the potential source...."

                      "My contribution was when I pointed put to Steve Knox"

                      Ah, your talking about a post that isn't in this particular thread. It's been pushed down the running order, I was assuming you were making reference to comments made in this thread, silly me.

                      "it was pointless to do so with you sheeple"

                      Ad hominem attack, assumption of herd-like mentality, assumption of inability to discuss - techniques used to belittle an opponent before any rebuff can be made - pure propaganda techniques.

                      " as you are simply don't want a discussion"

                      Not true. Quite happy to discuss the various possibilities thrown up by this particular piece of theater. However, it's hard to not to get annoyed when one of the most vocal protagonists insists on name-calling and childish propaganda.

                      "you simply want everyone else to unthinkingly swallow the same ideas you have been spoonfed as The Truth."

                      Assumption of attitude regarding attitude to others, assumption of being 'spoonfed' 'The Truth' - more propaganda techniques, no argument or content.

                      "It is blatantly clear that Snowjob is at least massively exaggerating again, if not flat out lying,"

                      I personally don't believe I have enough information to make an objective and accurate assessment yet. Both sides of the dispute have reputation issues. The NSA have been caught lying to congress and Snowden has asserted he was trained as a spy, which puts him at the same level of trust as far as I can see.

                      "yet you unquestioningly insist that he must be telling the truth."

                      More assumptions about what I think and question (or not) - propaganda.

                      "Your failure is quite comic."

                      I wasn't aware I was engaging in an activity which is measured in terms of success or failure, so your assertion is a little confusing without some form of context. Also, your sense of humour, whilst valid I'm sure, appears to me to be a little premeditated and immature.

                      "I could be generous and suggest Putin is making Snowjob exaggerate in return for letting him stay in Russia, especially as Putin's original terms were that Snowjob could only stay if he kept his gob shut. It seems the Ukrainian issue has made Putin forget that little promise to the US."

                      I thought that Putin wanted Snowden (ignoring 'Snowjob' childish ad-hominem as just more propaganda) to stop publishing more documents from the NSA, not that he should 'keep his gob shut'.

                      Oh, just noticed.."Sir Rediculous Loon" - Hmm, combination of 'ridiculous' and 'red' and 'crazy' - wow you are really pulling out the A material from your little bag of tricks eh?

                      So, aside from the (very small and incorrect) assertion about Putin, I could paraphrase your post as follows:

                      "I was making a pompous assertion that someone else was correct whilst at the same time insisting that anyone who doesn't agree with me has a herd mentality, unable to think for themselves, relying only on what the media suggests is 'The Truth'. Not only that, but the <insert derogative term de jour> side of the argument I don't agree with is clearly not telling the truth, even though I don't have any evidence. I'll sum up your argument for you now by telling you you have already failed and that you are ridiculous, have communist sympathies and are clearly crazy. I'm also going to lump you in with people with brains like mars-bars conjoined with an erect phallus to ensure that your opinion is further belittled before you even utter it. In fact, don't bother uttering it, I'll make my point, assign you an asinine argument of my choice and then deride you for it, which (by the way) I will find heeeee-lairy-arse"

                      If I were an uptight kind of person, you are exactly the kind of person who would get on my tits. As it is I just wish you would either

                      a) remove the cheap and repetitive repetitive repetitive repetitive repetitive repetitive repetitive repetitive repetitive name calling from your posts, or

                      b) pipe-down

                      Who knows what binary bollocks you will come up with next? I am confident that it will be equally asinine as compared to your body of contributions so far to this august forum.

                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                        FAIL

                        Re: Sir Rediculous Loon Marsbarbrain Oh Boner "the potential source...."

                        ".....I personally don't believe I have enough information to make an objective and accurate assessment yet....." Oh puh-lease, lie to yourself all you like, but don't try and peddle that pretence here. Every thread you post your drivel in you always come with your thoughts pre-formed for you.

                        ".....Quite happy to discuss the various possibilities thrown up by this particular piece of theater.....pipe-down...." So you are happy to have a discussion as long as all the participants agree with you and don't point out your moronicity? How open-minded of you! Tell you what, why don't YOU pipe-down or answer the inconsistencies I pointed out to bofh80. I'm not holding my breath, you seem much happier whining about name calling rather than actually discussing anything. You big baby.

                      2. Bernard M. Orwell

                        Re: Sir Rediculous Loon Marsbarbrain Oh Boner "the potential source...."

                        Good try, mr Spoon, but you half to remember you are dealing with a halfwit.

                        My advice is to not engage with a moron.

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                          FAIL

                          Re: Boring Bernie Re: Sir Rediculous Loon Marsbarbrain Oh Boner "the potential source...."

                          "....My advice is to not engage with a moron." I'm sure he wasn't talking to you.

            2. Oh Homer
              Facepalm

              @Matt Bryant, Re: "Boner ... kindergarten ... leftie" etc.

              See: irony.

            3. James Micallef Silver badge

              Re: Leftie regimes

              "Leftie" or "Righty" is a red herring, the terms have overly broad meaning.

              Traditionally 'left' means economically aligned with the poor, wanting higher taxes (on the rich) and better benefits (for the poor), while 'right' means economically aligned with the rich established interests, wanting lots of tax breaks (aka welfare for the rich) and less benefits for the poor*

              With regard to social policy, 'left' was for more innovation and quick change, 'right' was for conservatism and keeping the status quo.

              NONE of this has anything to do with how authoritarian/totalitarian a regime is, nor their spying habits on their own citizens. Saying Stalin and Mao were worse than Hitler and Saddam isn't really contributing anthing to the discussion.

              What IS relevant is that NSA is doing whatever it bloody well pleases without meaningful restriction. All those oversight commitees, secret courts etc that were supposed to keep it in check have failed because they signed off on the NSA collecting phone records of millions of US citizens who weren't even under suspicion of anything. Squabbling over whether some emails exist or not is kinda missing the point.

              *Wow colour me surprised, people want others to have less so they can have more, shocking I know.

      2. Snar

        Re: Article correction

        Beat me to it.....

        Nefarious secret arseholes.

  2. Steve Knox
    Facepalm

    Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

    Edward Snowden says the US National Security Administration is lying when it says it has no record of his emails to supervisors raising concerns about NSA surveillance programs, and that the release of one of his emails on Thursday proves it.

    Assertion [ES]: Edward Snowden did raise concerns about NSA surveillance via email, and the NSA has a record of it.

    Assertion [NSA]: Edward Snowden did not raise concerns about NSA surveillance via email.

    Evidence [ES]: -0-

    Evidence [NSA]: A single email from Edward Snowden that is irrelevant to the discussion.

    The existence of that single email has no bearing on the existence or non-existence of other emails.

    In order to believe that the release of that one email proves that the NSA has the other emails, you must first believe that the other emails exist, which is assuming ES's premise to be true without evidence. This is begging the question, and is a logical fallacy.

    In order to believe that the release of that one email proves that the NSA has no other Snowden emails, you must first believe that the NSA is a disinterested party. Since this is clearly false, this conclusion is also a logical fallacy.

    Since logic skills are a requirement for Information Security, the one conclusion which can logically be drawn from this evidence is that both the NSA and Edward Snowden are incompetent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

      My reading of what was said is different.

      NSA previously said that they had no record of Snowdon raising concerns to them. Now they release an email that contradicts this assertion.

      That there is a single email does not mean that there are necessarily any others. However, it does put into doubt the NSAs assertion that such emails don't exist.

      It's not really anything to do with logic. It is a question of one man's assertion against a contrary assertion by the NSA. The question is one of trust. Do we take the word of Snowdon against the word of the NSA?

      1. Steve Knox

        Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

        My reading of what was said is different.

        NSA previously said that they had no record of Snowdon raising concerns to them. Now they release an email that contradicts this assertion.

        No, the email they released has nothing to do with the concerns he claims to have raised. They released the email as the sole piece of email from him that they claim to still have.

        This is not unheard of.

        Many organizations in the US permanently delete any email older than some certain term. This is because (at least in the US) unless you can show that you have and follow such a retention policy, you can be required to search all of your storage for emails relevant to litigation.

        That there is a single email does not mean that there are necessarily any others. However, it does put into doubt the NSAs assertion that such emails don't exist.

        Why? The email presented wasn't relevant to the conversation Snowden purported to have. If the content of the email that was released even touched on Snowden's concerns, you'd have a point. But instead, "[t]hat email contained a seemingly innocuous question about a legal matter and did not raise any specific objections to any NSA programs."

        It's not really anything to do with logic.

        Well, then, purple unicorns: I win!

        It is a question of one man's assertion against a contrary assertion by the NSA. The question is one of trust. Do we take the word of Snowdon against the word of the NSA?

        There's a third option you're missing here, and that is that they're both trying to manipulate us. This is where logic is useful. We can analyze their statements (as I did) and determine if they are reasonable. In this case, both parties' statements are not rational, but as I showed, are clearly skewed to presume their side's version of events.

        Given the choice of trusting Snowden or the NSA, I choose neither, because that's the logical choice.

    2. Evil Auditor

      Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

      I have no reason not to believe Snowden. But couldn't he produce those e-mails himself? I mean, he took thousands of documents and not his own e-mails? (Well, maybe he did - I didn't really follow the case)

      1. Eguro

        Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

        Perhaps it was more likely to raise flags if he tried to store emails from his own account, so he chose other more ripe targets.

        Perhaps he thought that when he released evidence that the NSA has immense power, the conversation would be on that fact and on which course to take, and not about whether or not he followed appropriate channels, or if he had a horse as a child, or how his haircut is indicative of insanity, so it must all be crazy ramblings of a sick commie!

        1. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

          "more likely to raise flags if he tried to store emails from his own account"

          I call BS on this; it doesn't even approach beginning to make sense. Retaining copies of questions raised to management would not have drawn nearly as much attention as if he actually had sent the messages. NSA appears to use Outlook, so it probably would have been trivial for Snowden to copy all of his .pst files "for backup" and similarly would raise little or no suspicion.

      2. bigtimehustler

        Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

        Knowing the way most IT security works in an organisation, he probably had full access to download top secret info, but lots of access denied when he tries to export his own emails en masse.

      3. Ian 55

        Producing emails himself

        If he showed a printout saying it was an email dated prior to summer 2013 to the head of the NSA saying 'What we're doing is illegal, love Ed', would anyone believe he had sent it then, based on that?

        No.

        On the other hand, if the NSA deny that he ever did anything, then say that actually he did do something a bit like it, it becomes a lot more believable that he is telling the truth about having done so.

        (Oh, and 'ho ho ho' to the idea that the NSA was worried about being dragged into court about anything and so chucks internal emails away after a few weeks.)

      4. Ian.

        Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

        As far as I can tell, Snowden's never himself published any NSA material. He's given it to journalists and they've decided whether to publish it and in what detail. Journalists have protections (esp. in the USA) not afforded to ordinary citizens. Releasing any information he took from the NSA (including his own emails) would be crossing another line.

    3. PassingStrange

      Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

      No. The fact that the NSA have now produced an email, when they claimed to have been unable to find ANY such emails, is circumstantial evidence that their claim MAY not have not been truthful. But, equally, taken in isolation that evidence is extremely weak, and capable of other, quite innocent construction. Plus there is a huge difference between circumstantial evidence and proof.

      (Clearly it IS circumstantial evidence. though; it's specious to argue otherwise. If, hypothetically, the NSA were to produce another such email tomorrow, and further ones at regular intervals, always claiming to have no more, there would come a point at which even the most hardened but honest opponent of Snowden's actions would start to seriously question the truthfulness of the NSA's claim. So each individual, hypothetical such example would have a certain weight of evidence, and enough of those weights would combine to make someone take pause. The question then simply becomes one of how many such examples it would take to make a particular individual question the NSA's version of events. Depending on your viewpoint, it could take many. Or then again, it could take only one. But either way, a single email IS evidence. Just not necessarily strong evidence. As the old joke has it, "We've already established what kind of a girl you are. Now we're just haggling over the price.")

    4. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

      It's "he said" versus "they said", and I have way more reason to believe in "he", especially if he's a spy for another nation. Either "he" is a man of conscience, or he's the best goddamned group psychology operative that has ever existed. In either case, he would have worked the system internally before leaking, if for no other reason than doing so makes his case more powerful.

    5. ecofeco Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Edward Snowden isn't very good at logic (and neither is the NSA)

      You seriously want us to believe that an agency capable of slurping world wide private data to the tune of petabytes a day, using the most cutting edge technology ever created, has somehow magically lost his email?

      Go on, pull my other one. But don't insult us again like that.

  3. JassMan Silver badge
    WTF?

    It is inconceivable they don't have his emails

    They see their main task as capturing the emails of every citizen of every country in the world in order to track those pesky terrorists irespective of what they are legally authorised to do. Having grabbed the emails of every man and his dog, it is beyond belief that they haven't managed to grab everything one of their own contractors sent and received if only to have grounds to sack him if he looked like he wasn't doing his job 110%. Maybe they have magic software for correlating everything but are using Bing to search for the incriminating emails.

    Maybe their spam filters junked all Snowdens mails, in which case the terrists just need to include the word viagra in their emails and they can have NSA free conversations.

    1. Breen Whitman

      Re: It is inconceivable they don't have his emails

      No, Their main task is capturing the emails of every citizen in every country so that national interests are upheld. While that does include terrorism, that is not the primary reason. Its the sell-able reason only.

      One primary use of the NSA comms gathering comes at trade negotiation time with foreign govts, and also between US to foreign companies.

      The US movie studios are a classic situation. The NSA assists the MPAA's foreign pursuit of IP and copyright infringement for example.

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: It is inconceivable they don't have his emails

      It's a trap.

      ES: I raised my concerns about the legality of these programs with my supervisor.

      NSA: No, you did not. We have copies of every e-mail ever sent on this planet and we can find no such record.

      The World: Aha! Gotcha!

    3. Steve Knox

      Re: It is inconceivable they don't have his emails

      No, it's not.

      Many organizations in the US have retention schedules which require them to delete all but specific classes of emails after a short period of time (often less than a year). This is because in the US, if you have such a retention policy, you will not likely be required by a court to search back before that period in the case of litigation. If, on the other hand, you don't have such a retention schedule, or the other party to the litigation can show that you haven't been following it, you can be required to search all storage, and can even be found liable for things you did delete.

      And that's for non-spy-type organizations. I would expect the NSA to have a very short retention schedule for their emails.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is inconceivable they don't have his emails

        "I would expect the NSA to *claim* a very short retention schedule for their emails."

        FTFY.

        I would also expect the NSA and its supporters to be lying much of the time.

        I would also expect that even where the lies are blatantly obvious (e.g, cl*pper) there will be no question of accountability.

      2. Oh Homer
        Holmes

        Re: "I would expect the NSA..."

        ...to break the law then lie about it, as has already been proven.

      3. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: It is inconceivable they don't have his emails

        While government agencies, like private organizations, have retention policies, it is all but certain that NSA paused purging about June 2013 and extracted for indefinite retention anything they could reasonably associate with Edward Snowden including, amongst a great many other things, any email in which the metadata or content referred to him. How much of that they would be willing to release is uncertain, and Mr. Snowden should have had the presence of mind to retain his own copies of anything he might want to use later.

        As those who read the published email exchange will have noticed, Snowden (a) did not raise in it an objection to any NSA program, and (b) sent himself a copy.

      4. Alan_Peery

        Re: It is inconceivable they don't have his emails

        Why wouldn't you expect them to keep email for the longest possible interval instead? It would be a very good way of tracking who had what access to what information...

        I think your concept of short retention intervals at the NSA is absurd. Short retention in the email client with three separated levels of email archives with separate access control -- that would make sense.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is inconceivable they don't have his emails

      It's perfectly conceivable to not have the emails if he never sent them.

      Do you believe everything snowden says? Don't you think his claim to have worked under cover using a false identity is slightly iffy? I'm not saying he's Walter Mitty, just suggesting that you don't take everything he says as gospel truth.

      Let the down votes begin because snowden denial on The Register seems to be a crime

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    awaiting the flames and downvotes....

    So.... if he was smart enough to download a gazillion damning documents about the NSA and hand them over to a journalist because people in power were ignoring him.... why exactly did he not include in that massive amount of paper he turned over evidence of the fact that people in power were ignoring him?

    Why did he choose to not include proof of why he had to take this exceptional action?

    Not saying he didn't make those attempts, but Occam's razor suggests either he is a complete idiot, or he really didn't make a real attempt to work within the system.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: awaiting the flames and downvotes....

      Their actions towards one person is less a concern than towards all other people. If you had limited time and resources, what is most important? The file saying "this group was mistreated" or the file saying "I was mistreated"?

      It's an email saying "I've got some concerns here", I doubt anyone considers/ed it important. Though it may be needed for his personal defence, in hindsight.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: awaiting the flames and downvotes....

        Has anyone asked him if all the data he has concerns operations for did he just do a data slurp and thus suck up lots of irrelevant stuff?

        Either way to not have his own emails when he must have known this was going to happen stinks of something.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least one of the parties is lying glibly. Pick one. Maybe everyone involved is lying.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Have an upvote as you beat me to it. I would assume everyone is lying since both sides have had something to lose. For my money, both already have lost though and probably just don't know it.

      NSA has lost the confidence and credibility they had from the people of the US (and elsewhere). Snowden has lost any hope of ever having a normal type of life. I suspect his days are numbered.

      1. Ashton Black
        Joke

        DD/MM/YYYY

        Aren't everyone's days numbered?, I think it's called a date... or some-such. ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DD/MM/YYYY

          Why yes, all of us are mortal. But if death comes near me, I'll rip his tits off.

        2. Scroticus Canis
          Headmaster

          Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

          .. it's America so it would be the very logical MM/DD/YYYY format!

          (Yes I was lying about the logical bit)

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

            I prefer YYYY/MM/DD - gets rid of annoying ambiguities and is easily sortable without much brain power (should these noodles go behind or in front of this other pack?).

            1. DropBear

              Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

              I prefer YYYY/MM/DD

              By all means, please do. There's no shame in being big-endian... ;)

              1. 's water music

                Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

                By all means, please do. There's no shame in being big-endian... ;)

                I like YYYY/MM/DD and I can not lie

                You other brothers can't deny...

            2. Adam 1

              Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

              What bothers me about dd/mm/yyyy is that we go all little endian on the date part and then switch to big endian for HH:MM:SS. (not even going to attempt to defend the brain fart that is mm/dd/yyyy).

            3. etimbo
              Headmaster

              Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

              ISO date format is YYYY-MM-DD. Just sayin'.

              1. heyrick Silver badge

                Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

                If you code your parser decently, it can be YYYY<symbol>MM<symbol>DD and then you can use whatever as a separator. YYYY.MM.DD anybody? ;-)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

                  I've really taken to YYYY-MM-DD ISO but now I find myself working for someone who insists it looks better without separators... how 20140531 can look clearer to him than 2014-05-31 I will never know.

                  *sigh*

                  1. Scroticus Canis
                    Happy

                    Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

                    I see my little quip generated a mini debate. All 'us' old COBOLers would have coded dates as YYYYMMDD as a PIC 9 (8), for sorting reasons, with redefines for the individual elements, but printout would have been in the preferred local format.

                    All rendered obsolete by the current date-time data type binary count in milliseconds from the start of 1900 and converted each time it is displayed (UNIX assumption).

                    OK some didn't code YYYY but YY which did result in a few profitable years prior to Y2K.

                    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

                      Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

                      I started using yyyymmdd_nn in dating repeatable files ever since I was a hostmaster for an ISP :)

                      It comes in very handy when taking copies of cisco firewall configs for storage in crimson editor folders (before and after etc.).

                    2. tom dial Silver badge

                      Re: DD/MM/YYYY - Um....

                      The IBM mainframe clocks from the 360 through at least the 3090 was a 64 bit binary number in which bit 56 was incremented every microsecond. If I recall correctly, they provided no guarantee about bits 57-63, but in any single system two successive reads were guaranteed to produce distinct values for bits 0-56 irrespective of the number of CPUs, and I believe this could be extended across all members of a sysplex. When set properly, a clock value of zero corresponded to the beginning of the 20th century. Any date produced internally was (or should have been) derived from this.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know what's coming next... it's the bit where the NSA says that the fact that they only managed to find the one email (probably in the sent mail folder of the respondent to Mr Snowden), proves beyond any doubt that they're not capturing the emails of Americans... just as that lovely Mr Clapper guy told everyone all them many months ago...

    ... and there will be some who believe it...

  7. PCS

    Backups?

    Given the data he released I presume he was sensible enough to make copies of any emails he sent & received during his time at the NSA relating to the data released?

    (From someone who lives in Moscow and has seen Mr S shopping in a супермаркет)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Backups?

      One would have to assume he has copies of everything that crossed his desk and more from the first 'raisings of doubt' and rebuff to his final exit.

      If you see him shopping in the supermarket again then please respectfully pass along my thanks and support, he is one very brave individual in a sea of cowards.

  8. Drivel

    Still sitting in Drafts?

    That's where all my "concerns" are...

  9. Daniel B.
    Boffin

    Heh.

    But there's a catch with Snowden's claims. Where did he send those emails from?

    If it was from Lavabit or another public webmail service, he's spot on with this proving that they are in fact snooping on everyone's emails.

    However, if he sent it from his NSA organizational email system, there's a good chance the NSA is already storing a copy of every single email sent by anyone inside the NSA. Why? Because companies have this right, and I'm sure as hell the NSA has it as well. Especially for "national security", as someone might leak state secrets using email.

  10. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Steve Knox - good try but you're wasting your time.

    The NSA spokesperson said the NSA could not find any emails in which Snowjob SPECIFICALLY raised any such concerns OTHER than the one email with an unrelated legal query. The fact that Snowjob is unable to provide copies of emails that were always in his possession, despite being able to smuggle out plenty if documents he claimed were not under his control but insists are authentic, just floats right over the heads of the sheeple. The NSA also should have stated that they had no email records of Snowjob's claimed relationships with Solange Dimitrios or Vesper Lynd, but his supporters will still want to baaaaah-lieve in that too. And that is the crux of the matter - they want to baaaah-lieve, it's a religion to them, so trying to demonstrate the logical fallacies of doing so is a waste of time.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: Steve Knox - good try but you're wasting your time.

      I regret my earlier upvote. Someone who uses 'baaaah-lieve' can't be taken as someone adhering to disinterested logic. You beg your own question, as it were, with your language.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Steve Knox - good try but you're wasting your time.

        @Hollerith 1 - fyi you can change your vote anytime you like just by re-voting.

        "The NSA also should have stated that they had no email records of Snowjob's claimed relationships with Solange Dimitrios or Vesper Lynd, but his supporters will still want to baaaaah-lieve in that too."

        Should they? Not something I'm aware of but the logical failing in that statement should be obvious.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon

            Re: Loon Steve Knox - good try but you're wasting your time.

            " I forgot you have your head so far up Snowjob's arse you probably couldn't see the joke. Question is, when did you move it from A$$nut's, or has he been dropped by the Fashionably Outraged as 'so last year' now?"

            Ad hominem attack for questioning your logic.

            Assumption of attitude/sympathies towards Edward Snowden.

            Assumption of attitude/sympathies towards Julian Assange.

            Assumption of general attitude towards security theatre (implication of herd-like mentality)

            Use of childish adjectives to describe people who don't follow your own outlook.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Loon Steve Knox - good try but you're wasting your time.

              ".....Use of childish adjectives....." All your posts are simply childish, so it would seem perfectly fitting to use adjectives of such a level. Prose of a more esoteric form would probably be far beyond both your reading level and understanding. BTW, would you like to try answering the queries regarding the many inconsistencies in Snowjobs stories that I posed to bofh80? Thought not.

  11. Grubby

    Reasonable doubt?

    The NSA said a few months ago, to the press and made it very public that there had been no emails to the higher ups, none at all, only to then release a single email which they feel strengthens their case. But in fact they have contradicted their original statement which was that there were none, not some, or one, or the ones we have selected that we think are good.

    The defendant now has reasonable grounds to assume, and any court should also assume, that the company which controls all the communications has either a) deliberately withheld information or b) are not aware of what information they hold, and so any statements they make cannot possibly be valid. This will drag on for years and destroy a man and family, because the little guy cannot win.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe he took his emails with him...

    ...but doesn't want to render the current discussion into a battle over whether or not these emails existed, because by their nature they are a lot easier to falsify than electronically stored photo copies, for example.

    Having the NSA argue that in the meantime could be a distraction. Gain some public moment again, keep their spin doctors busy, then drop the real bomb (more serious evidence for what that bunch of liars were up to).

    After watching the interview on NBC, I think Ed has a lot more things in store, due to be released soon.

    He has used the media exceptionally well for his cause. Small bits here and there... keeping himself and -more importantly- the wrong-doings of NSA and government in the spotlight for over a year now.

    On a side note, I'd really like to see evidence for his claim that he had been a trained spy "working directly for the CIA, undercover, oversees" and later "working directly for the NSA, undercover, oversees" (source: NBC interview), and was not the low level analyst the US of A said he was... or the 20-something year old hacker that Obama doesn't want to chase after (as he said when the NSA's lid started floating in a stream of turd-generated hot steam).

  13. ecofeco Silver badge

    The NSA are proven liars

    The NSA are proven liars and thieves, yet some here would defend them?

    Seriously?

    ...and we wonder what's wrong with the world today.

    1. Number6
      Coat

      Re: The NSA are proven liars

      Don't be too hard on them, they're the only part of the government that listens to us.

  14. iRadiate

    just a single email?

    Forget the content of emails for a moment. Is the NSA saying that in all the time Snowdon worked for them he only ever sent a single email? No emails arranging to meet up with a colleague for a drink or discussing a sports results or anything trivial? Or is the NSA saying that the one email they released is the closest they have to him raising any concerns?

  15. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Cheyenne Autumn

    I was 13 and still playing cowboys and indians in an era when children stepped very slowly into adulthood. There was no such thing as international communication outside of what the TV and newspapers chose to tell us and what came out of Hollywood.

    I was totally mind wiped by the idea the indians were the good guys after all. I still resented incoming opinion about the USA's role in Vietnam. That would take me a decade of immature innocence to learn the truth of. And I thought Black Power was bad at first -though of course I couldn't understand what was going on with the buses and schools in that very unknown country we now love and hate.

    What Edward Snowden has revealed came as history not news -only the unimaginable scale was breathtaking. For me the secret polce were not just the German SS of the Third Reich and the Stazi but the FBI and our own beloved secret services. And what they were doing was always very murky. Only now I realise it was and is also extremely mucky.

    I was pretty certain that when all the undersea pipelines to the USA from lines of communication that went through the middle east were sabotaged by accidents in or near busy seaports not long before the Chimpanzee instigated modern Victorian wars on peaceful Moslem countries once more, where supposedly metal thieves and careless navigation chopped into them was the actual work of the US navy/CIA.

    Bit of a mouthful that last sentence but what has Mr Snowden on that?

    It would clear up the haves from the have nots in most people's minds. All except for those who are in the employ of said nefarious industries.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cheyenne Autumn

      Loss of innocence is hard.

      It takes a special type of stubbornness to insist that proven liars are not lying and are actually the good guys regardless of how much they spy on you and how many foreign people they kill to make a politician look good or a multinational make more money, or both.

      Especially when you discover that the foreign people are just the only ones you know about - the deaths don't stop at any borders.

      But there are people who are proud of that kind of creationist stubbornness. And here we see them again.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just curious, here's a chap who managed to download a shit load of 'secrets'; did it not occur to him to keep a record of his emails too?

    No? Prat!

  17. korgri

    Fooled us all?

    The first presumption made is that none of us ever in our lives saw HItchcock's "North By Northwest", ergo no one could possibly come to the conclusion that we recognize George Kaplan.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Matt Bryant

    Matt

    Fascism is Left Wing (the socialist melding of Corporatism and the State)

    The vast majority of NSA employees are just part of the bureaucracy, they have no knowledge of what their employer is up to (although they are grateful for their mediocre paychecks). Those at the top have no idea what those at the coalface do for a living other than when they say 'can it do this' the answer is always, 'yes but it will need more funding'. (those at the top really like their big paychecks)

    Those doing the actual work of Intelligence gathering are mightily pissed off that they are tasked with the grunt work of information gathering. (though their paychecks are nice, this isn't what they signed up for)

    That is why Snowden left.

    Information <> Intelligence

    Information = Snooping (and that is un-constitutional as well as immoral)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Asking the wrong people

    Of course the NSA can't find the emails, those at the top ordered them deleted. He should be asking GCHQ who were tasked with spying on Americans on their own soil to get around Constitutional sensitivities, GCHQ have a record.

    Just like GCHQ have a record of all the transactions that went through the Tehran Strip Club.

    Just like GCHQ have copies of the FIFA emails regarding the successful Qatari bid for the World Cup (including Swift transfer records)

    Agency for Good/Agency for Evil, (AfGAfE), just what is the taxpayer benefit of these agencies since it is the taxpayer who pays the bill ?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Today's release is incomplete..."

    That's what she said... (runs for me coat!)

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: bofh80 Re: Are you sure?

      ".....You think they chased him around the planet because he was just a little lying scumbug with no proof to back up his claims?....." The 'chase' for Snowjob was actually quite minor. Just looking at the limited legal actions taken, the US could have gone even further with sanctions against those giving him sanctuary, let alone the insistence of the sheeple that Snowjob was bound to be assassinated every five minutes. What is amusing is the way you insist everything Snowjob says HAS to be true simply because you want it to be so, you are completely unable to deal with any inconsistencies in his stories. Please do explain how Snowjob could steal so many secrets but be unable to even copy off his own emails?

      Or how he could have been trained by the NSA or CIA for foreign work as a spy when all his foreign engagements, apart from a stint as a sysadmins in Geneva, were with contractors? Are we to believe that Dell undertake training on advanced spying techniques? The idea is too laughable for words!

      He has already claimed to have been an active Special Forces soldier, only for that to have turned out to be a lie - he was a Reservist and never even completed training. Then we have his bizarre story of witnessing the CIA getting a Swiss banker drunk, getting him stopped by the local cops for drink driving, and then somehow turning that into a blackmail issue to recruit the banker? He makes Walter Mitty look like a beginner.

      Frankly, I think a lot of the documents Snowjob has released are real, much of it has been public conjecture for decades, though some (such as the backdoored-to-order network kit) sound more than a bit unlikely. The stories where we have nothing other than Snowjob's word sound pure fantasist. The insistence that Snowjob was constantly arguing with management over security and ethical issues, even without his lack of email evidence, sounds bogus as it would be far more likely he would be trying not to draw attention to himself. But you carry on baaaah-lieving what you want if it helps you sleep at nights.

  22. jonathan1

    The comments are interesting...

    Personally, I'm skeptical of both parties as mentioned by many others here..as I should be I wasn't there.

    However, food for thought,

    When you don't have complete trust in one person...you can move on through life without them.

    When you don't have complete trust in a powerful institution of state which you can't vote for...what do you do then?

    Interesting times.

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