Edward Snowden Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Edward Snowden College Essay Examples

Title: Using Argument to Decide About Ethics

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 935
  • References:0
  • Citation Style: None
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Task 5 (40 marks)
WorldConnectionsUK collaborates with partners across the globe. Some of these partners are located in conflict zones. To maintain the trust of these partners, WorldConnectionsUK would like the communications with these partners to be secure; WorldConnectionsUK must be seen as impartial party. After the revelations by Edward Snowden of mass surveillance by security agencies in the US and other countries, it is concerned that its data is intercepted by intelligence agencies.
We want you to use the argument mapping technique described in detail in Part 5 of Block 5 to explore some of the arguments for and against the surveillance activities undertaken by the intelligence agencies.

In the next three parts of this task, you are going to analyse three brief argumentative texts. The texts are edited extracts from a discussion that featured on the opinion pages of The New York Times in June 2013. You do not need to read the original article. If you are unfamiliar with the Snowden revelations, you may, however, want to consult the Wikipedia article on Edward Snowden (http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Edward_Snowden [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ).
Each of your analyses of the three texts must follow the following format:
1. A copy of the text that you are going to analyse.
2. Underline any connecting words or phrases in your copy of the text.
3. An analysis of the text using the ?Algorithm for constructing argument maps?, as found in Part 5 of Block 5. Describe your analysis level by level.
As in Activities 28 and 33 of Part 5 of Block 5, your analysis must consist of sections with the titles Level 0, Level 1, etc. (using as many sections as required for the analysis).
If there is more than one statement at a particular level, give your reasons for whether they are included as a group or separately (see Activities 20 and 21).
There is no single correct answer: focus on demonstrating your understanding of the points that the author of the text is trying to make.
4. The argument map for the text. You may use any of the following methods to create your map:
o using Freemind, as in Block 5 Part 5
o using other argument mapping software to produce equivalent results
o producing a text based map similar to that demonstrated in the long description of Figure 4 in Block 5 Part 5, Section 2.1
o producing a hand drawn map scanned in.
Whichever method you use, the map must be legible and follow the conventions you were introduced to in Part 5 of Block 5
Each of the three texts has already been divided into claims ? you must not divide it into any further or different claims. The beginning and the end of a claim are marked by ?[? and ?]X? respectively. You can use the subscript to refer to the claim. For example, if the text contains [Bla bla bla]C, You may want to write ?C is the main claim?.
i. [Surveillance is a necessary evil to prevent terrorist attacks from happening.]A [For example, the secret ?PRISM? effort saved New York City?s subways from a 2009 terrorist plot led by a young Afghan-American, Najibullah Zazi.]B

ii. [Surveillance violates the right to privacy by citizens worldwide.]A [Of course, citizens already release their private data to government and companies alike, whether it be the tax office, health services or banks.]B [However, in all those cases, we can decide for ourselves which information is shared, so our privacy is not violated, whereas the government surveillance schemes sweep up information without our explicit permission.]C

iii. [Surveillance on the scale revealed by Snowden should be stopped.]A [Surveillance should be stopped because it can be abused by government to get back at its critics.]B [Given the past track record of US Government, this is not entirely unlikely. For example:]C [Firstly, the department of Homeland Security did conduct in the past inappropriate surveillance of protesters associated with Occupy Wall Street.]D [Also, the Justice Department?s inspector general found that the F.B.I. monitored a political group because of its anti-war views.]E [Finally, a former C.I.A. official says that the agency gathered information about a prominent war critic in order to discredit him.]F [Then again, potential abuse would probably stifle any government initiative.]G

In Activity 38 of Block 5 Part 5, you learned about IMMI, the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, through interviews with Birgitta J?nsd?ttir and J?n ??risson. ??risson contrasts whistleblowing with leaking. He describes whistleblowing as
?? about going to the proper authorities when you find out about illegal conduct within your company, within the civil service whether it be the government or municipalities.?
In this description ??risson proposes two particular properties of whistleblowing:
1. going to the proper authorities
2. reporting of illegal conduct.
Discuss these in three paragraphs:
o a paragraph on whether the first property of whistleblowing applies to the Snowden revelations, including one reference to support your view
o a paragraph on whether the second property applies to the Snowden revelations, including a different reference to support your view
o a final paragraph in which you argue either for or against ??risson?s description of whistleblowing. If you argue against the description, you must show that it is either too narrow or too broad. If you argue in favour, you must show that it is neither too narrow, nor too broad.
Your answer to Task 5(b) must be no more than 400 words.

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In January 2014, Snowden claimed to have "made tremendous efforts to report these programs to co-workers, supervisors, and anyone with the proper clearance who would listen" (Cassidy, 2014). Snowden further stated that reactions to his disclosure varied widely but no one was willing to take any action. In March 2014, Snowden reiterated his early testimony saying that he had reported "clearly problematic programs" to ten officials (Cassidy, 2014).

Cassidy, J. (2014, January 23). A vindicated Snowden says he'd like to come home. The New Yorker. Web. 27 May 2014.

I consider Thorisson's description of whistleblowing to be an apt description of the necessary and pivotal actions that must be taken in order to bring illegal activities into the light. It is not enough to tell people about the problem who have no authority to take action toward fixing the problem or making the appropriate changes to labor, practice, or policy. Typically, those people who may be sympathetic by don't have official duties and responsibilities in the relevant realm can put their own career in jeopardy by trying to take action or pass the message up the chain. It is important that those who are given the information not be on parity with the whistleblower. Someone in a position of authority needs to be made aware of the problem, and that receiving person needs to take steps to bring the problem to the correct person, and to standby in order to be certain that the proper steps are being taken. It is often the case that he act of reporting is also the act of informing the proper authorities about the illegal action. While this may seem narrow in focus, it is sufficient in effect. For instance, while it might be within the spirit of the policy, but not the letter to, say, drop a note onto the desk of the proper authority, this would not be sufficient. This is an act of reporting and not of seeking out the appropriate party necessarily, but it is not talking (or reporting) truth to power, which is a necessary aspect of reporting to the proper authorities.

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Title: Social Engineering

  • Total Pages: 18
  • Words: 5828
  • Works Cited:12
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: The subject is social engineering as it applies to the security of information systems. Examples of historical failures in policies that lead to loss of control through social engineering would be great, for example how did Edward Snowden get his access to the NSA files, or any other hacking through social engineering.

Cover proven policies to negate social engineering as a way to gain access to a computer system.

Must have at least 8 sources cited through out the paper. Journals, magazines, books and internet are acceptable.

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Works Cited:


Allen, Malcolm. "Social Engineering: A Means To Violate A Computer System," SANS Institute, 2006, available online at https://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/engineering/social-engineering-means-violate-computer-system-529

Dimension Research. "The Risk Of Social Engineering On Information Security:

A Survey Of It Professionals" in Dimension Research, Sept. 2011, available online at http://www.checkpoint.com/press/downloads/social-engineering-survey.pdf

Honan, Mat. "How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking" in Wired. 8 June 2012, available at http://www.wired.com/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/

Harper, Allen et al. "Grey Hat Hacker: the Ethical Hacker's handbook." 2011, Ebook, available online at http://mirror.ebooks-it.org/e-books/mcgraw-hill/McGraw.Hill.Gray.Hat.Hacking.The.Ethical.Hackers.Handbook.3rd.Edition.Jan.2011.ISBN.0071742557.pdf

Kabay, M. "Social engineering in penetration testing: Cases

Merriam -- Webster. "Engineering." N.d. available online at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engineering

Microsoft. "How to Protect Insiders from Social Engineering Threats." 2006. Available online at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc875841.aspx

Penetration tests with a social-engineering angle" in Network World, October 25, 2007, available online at http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/2007/1022sec2.html

Perrin, Chad. "Mitigating the social engineering threat" in IT Security, 2010, available online at TechRepublic, http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-security/mitigating-the-social-engineering-threat/#.

SANS Institute. "Social Engineering Awareness: Employee Front Desk Communication & Awareness Policy." N.d.

Schneier, Bruce. "Social Engineering: People Hacking" in Enterprise Risk Management, 2009, available online at http://www.emrisk.com/knowledge-center/newsletters/social-engineering-people-hacking

Symantec. Francophoned. August 2013, available online at http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/francophoned-sophisticated-social-engineering-attack)

Winkler, Ira. "Security Tips: Social Engineering The Non-Technical Threat to Computing Systems" in Computing Systems, Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 1996, available online at https://www.utdallas.edu/infosecurity/STsocial.html

Appendix 1 Complete Security Response Symantec


Risk Level 2: Low

Discovered: February 22, 2011

Updated: February 22, 2011 2:17:39 PM

Type: Trojan, Worm

Infection Length: Varies

Systems Affected: Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Me, Windows Vista, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000


W32.Shadesrat is a worm that attempts to spread through instant messaging applications and file-sharing programs. It also opens a back door on the compromised computer.

Threat Assessment


Wild Level: Low

Number of Infections: 0-49

Number of Sites: 0-2

Geographical Distribution: Low

Threat Containment: Easy

Removal: Easy


Damage Level: Medium

Payload: Opens a back door.

Performs DDoS attacks.

Download files on to the computer.

Releases Confidential Info: Steals passwords for certain applications.

Records keystrokes.


Distribution Level: Medium

Target of Infection: May spread through file-sharing applications, instant messaging applications, and its own BitTorrent application.


This worm may arrive on the computer at a location and using a file name specified by the attacker, for example:

%CurrentFolder%[THREAT FILE NAME].exe

When the worm executes, it creates the following registry subkey:


Next, it modifies the following registry entry in order to add itself to the list of applications authorized by the Windows firewall:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesSharedAccessParametersFirewallPolicyStandardProfileAuthorizedApplicationsList"%CurrentFolder%[THREAT FILE NAME].exe" = "%CurrentFolder%[THREAT FILE NAME].exe:*:Enabled:Windows Messanger"

The worm then connects to a remote location allowing an attacker to perform the following commands on the compromised computer:

Hijack the audio or video on the compromised computer

Inject itself into other running executable files

Perform DDOS attacks through UDP flooding

Record all keystrokes

Run as a proxy, redirecting an attackers traffic

Sniff network traffic

Upload or download files through HTTP and FTP

Next, the worm may steal passwords from the following applications:

Microsoft Outlook

Mozilla Firefox


It may then search through the registry for a number of installed applications and steal passwords from these as well.

The remote attacker may attempt to spread the worm through the following file-sharing applications, if installed on the compromised computer:




The worm may also be instructed by the remote attacker to install its own BitTorrent application in order to spread to other computers.

It may also attempt to spread through instant messaging applications by dropping a link to itself in any active windows.

Writeup By: Gavin O'Gorman

Appendix 2 -- Spear phishing attack email

Source: Symantec

Appendix 3 -- Industries targeted by Operation Francophoned

Source: Symantec

Appendix 4 -- Operation Francophoned detections worldwide

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