LMTV Sharkfest | TRANSUM How-To Part 1 - Troubleshooting Network and Application Performance Problems (by Paul Offord)
Dealing With the Data Deluge: Accelerating Packet Capture (by Dan Joe Barry)

The Snowden Effect! (by Casey Mullis)

We love to have a reason or justification for what we do or say. In many cases if we told the truth, it boils down to who we are, not who or what others are. We like to blame a flag because humans have hate in their own heart. We like to blame guns for killing. We like to blame McDonalds because we are overweight. Now the federal government wants to blame Snowden because they can’t do their job. What does this all say?... “It is not my fault, don’t blame me, blame him, and them or that group!”

Snowden-sxsw-2014

No matter your point of view on what Snowden did or didn’t do when releasing the information about the USA government spying on everyone in the world. Now for an American to be spied on by its own government without just cause is an atrocity. No matter if you live out west, up north, or down south; we are all covered under the Constitution of the United States of America.

If you are a friend to the USA and you to were spied on then we apologies for our leader’s actions. If you have been placed in the non-friend list then we cannot apologies as we expect our leaders to take actions to protect us and our interest. Many issues have been raised due to Snowden’s release of what the NSA was doing to all.

We have seen many things come to light that is now causing our leaders or people in power to ask for back door(s) in hardware and or software. This is what we in part call the “Snowden Effect”. Asking me to lock my front door but leave the back door unlocked, does me no good to secure my home. Granted we can lock all door’s and window’s, but if a criminal wants in, he or she will break in either way. By securing my home I keep honest people honest and force the criminal to work a little harder to get to what he or she wants.

Now we have seen the head of FBI asking for back door’s to be put in to technology as this video here.

 

At what point did this sound like a good idea? The Snowden effect is more and more people are using better passwords and better security for their data. Not enough are doing it and that is why we still have the number one growing crime in the WORLD is identity theft and credit card theft. If we go by the way of the government’s thought process, we might as well just put all our data out there with no security.

If you notice the biggest complainers about the use of encryption and or security for our data is government entities. One must stop and ask why is this? If I am a suspect in a crime, my data may be a piece of the puzzle but it is not the main piece. Can you get a conviction of murder, without the murder weapon? Can you get a conviction of burglary without the goods that was stolen? The point is governments do not have to have complete and utter access to all of our data to prove a case or crime. Most importantly we are protected under the Constitution and Bill of Rights for unwarranted search and seizures.

What this means is unless a government entity has articulable reasonable suspicion (ARS) or probable cause (PC); you are free from unwarranted search and seizures.  We are to be secure in our person and personal effects. Thanks to the Snowden effect, we now know that our own government was doing mass data collection on all citizens, not just suspected terrorists. One must ask under what authority does a government act to violate the rights of citizens? Then we will get the Patriot Act, but does it give unfettered access to our person and or personal effects?

In the end no one group or entity can guarantee you safety. Security and or safety is in each one of our hands. When a group asks you to give up your rights for some alleged form of safety, beware. Why, because they cannot guarantee this but will, to trick us. If your neighbor plans to attack you, guess what they will and you will either fight, flight, or stand there and become a victim. Even if you called for help, it would take time for help to get there. Most crimes happen in under a couple minutes. You can pay all your money to taxes or governments but it will still not guarantee your safety. The same goes for your data. No matter how much you secure it on your end, how do you control what other entities do with it? You cannot!

We have seen time and time again that companies and our own federal government get hacked. So if this keeps occurring, what is it that they can do to protect you by collecting your data? Use just a little common sense and ask, if you are not participating in terror or threats or any other illegal activity; why are they collecting your data? Please don’t be that one that sits there and says “I have nothing to hide!” You are protected no matter if you have or do not have anything to hide. Many have died for our rights through time and so many so easily give it away.

Your personal safety is your responsibility, not others. Your data and or personal effects are yours to protect. Do not be fooled as easily as so many others. Stand for what is right and fight for each other as we are seeing a change in the way governments do things. We are also seeing how they justify things they do. The Snowden effect is not a bad thing; unless that is the way you perceive it.

The Snowden effect brings to light what many use to call conspiracies. It is no longer a conspiracy, it is fact; our government is spying on us and collecting our information for unknown reasons. Yes, they claim it is for security but again one must ask if I am not doing anything wrong, then how is my information or data going to do anything to help.

Steps to keep prying eyes out of your information;

  1. Use good passwords (aka: u?@kL023Q-<}dAc+)
  2. Do not store passwords where they can easily be found
  3. Do not store passwords in any file on line
  4. Do not store passwords on sticky notes at the computer
  5. Do not give passwords out to anyone
  6. Use full hard drive encryption
  7. Use full cell phone encryption
  8. Do not use common passwords for unlock
  9. Encrypt data backups with rule 1
  10. Check your system for Intel vPro activation (Ask Tim O bout this)
  11. Never open or click on a link you know nothing about
  12. Never run system as administrator
  13. Backup, your backup
  14. Computers are man-made; if man can make it, man can break it

Remember you will never stop them all. Your job is to do the best you can. You are locking the doors and windows to keep the honest man honest. If a criminal wants in, they will over time find a way in. Take the tinfoil off your head and rest assured someone is watching you no matter what you are doing.

Stand for what is right and know there is good and evil in the world. All we can do is choose which one we are going to be. We can choose which one we are going to side with. Just know we all answer for our choices no matter what. The good Lord did not say you have to choose him, he said be hot or cold for lukewarm he will spew you out, for he never knew you.

So what is the Snowden effect? Too many it is an eye opener, to others it was treason, to others it was confirmation. Remember your history my friends. Even the ones who threw the tea in the harbor were labeled terrorists. If they had been caught, they would have been hung for treason. We all must stand for what we believe in and so to me the Snowden effect was an eye opener and confirmation. I served in the military and will stand for the constitution of this great nation until the day I die.

What is the Snowden Effect to you?

Thank you for stopping by and we look forward to hearing back from you.

 

Casey

Author - Emory Mullis has been in Law Enforcement for roughly 19 years including military and civilian law enforcement. He started learning about computers back when Gateway 266 MHz was the top of the line and cost about $2000.00.Right out the box, I was compelled to take my new found 266 apart. Why I have no idea other than pure curiosity. Once I had the computer out the box and on the floor in pieces, my wife walked in. Trust me people; this was not a good thing! Either way I got a good understanding at this point on how a computer is put together and / or the components inside. This was my starting point with computers and I still hear my wife in the back ground “It better work when you put it back together!” That was my humble beginnings as a Cyber Investigator. Now with many Cyber cases under my belt, I have learned that you must question, challenge and test almost daily to keep up with all the new tools, software, computers and cell phone formats to be able to forensically acquire evidence and it is a real challenge. I enjoy the challenge and look forward to learning more every day!

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