As I write this, Twitter is being spammed with hundreds of users tweeting out the exact same message:
If you search for ‘NSA’ on Twitter now, you’ll face a wall of these EXACT SAME tweets, sent by different accounts of course.
Well, sort of . Variations on Google, Amazon and Ebay accounts have sent multiple copies of this same message:
There seem to be at least five dummy accounts for each company.
Other ‘identities’ that are heavily represented in this spam-tsunami feature 1) young men with Arabic sounding names like this chap:
2) young ladies with sultry avatars:
3) Beauty/Horoscope/Heath feeds that have suddenly developed an interest in Snowden:
Somebody called ‘Ehad’ has been really busy!
I’ll just go out and say it: an organization with hundreds of Twitter users at its beck and call has decided to push Tor, The Onion Router, and it’s software Tails as ‘the software Snowden uses to keep safe’. This organization doesn’t seem to worry that Amazon, Ebay or Google will get pissy about their logos being used in the operation. This organization decided to swamp Twitter in one big Tails ad after the close of business on April 15th, the day when US taxes are due. (At least that is what my Twitter stream is showing me.)
The article being pushed most is Joe Fingas’ “Here’s the software that helps Edward Snowden Avoid the NSA“. The piece is two paragraphs long– perfect for those of us with a short attention span:
Edward Snowden hasn’t escaped the NSA’s watchful eyes purely by exploiting lax security — he also uses the right software. We now know that he communicates with the media using Tails, a customized version of Linux that makes it easy to use Tor’s anonymity network and other tools that keep data private. The software loads from external drives and doesn’t store anything locally, so it’s relatively trivial for Snowden and his contacts to discuss leaks without leaving a trace.
The underlying technology isn’t completely original, and it’s not perfect; Tails’ open source code and anonymous developer base help resist pressure to include spy-friendly back doors, but there are still potential security holes. Users also have to be careful with their choices of internet services while using Tails, as the wrong ones could give the whole game away. Even with those concerns in mind, the software is a big help to Snowden, journalists and others that want to keep their conversations under wraps with a minimum of effort.
Now this will seem odd to people who watched Snowden’s SXSW talk a few weeks ago, where he stated that Tor was useful for blocking run-of-the-mill spybots, but not good for journalists or activists who might be targeted for NSA surveillance.
Do you think Snowden thought he might have been targeted for surveillance once he signed up to work with the CIA/NSA/BoozAllen? He certainly knew Laura Poitras was under surveillance. So why would he use TOR/Tails for ‘keeping safe’ when he clearly stated at SXSW that these tools are not good for targeted individuals?
The people who Twitter lets spam messages like the ones I’ve posted; the people who are trying to spin Snowden’s message; the people who keep hundreds of internet trolls on payroll to spin public discourse; these are the people who are promoting TOR.
You know, TOR– paid for by The Broadcasting Board of Governors, the same American Government outfit that spins for Carlos Garcia-Perez, director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) and Champion of ZunZuneo.
(ZunZuneo is the US government’s attempt to influence public discourse in Cuba and destabilize the country.)
TOR is an American intelligence asset paid for by one of Washington’s top propaganda outfits. Joe Fingas is either really stupid, ignorant or a cheap shill for the NSA. Klint Finley of WIRED is just as bad.
… and one message for the Associated Press: Twitter needs to be ‘outed’ as a spy tool, just as you claim to have done with ZunZuneo. Or is the AP just part of the problem? ;)
Internet community, you’ve been warned. If you want security, start thinking along these lines.