Snowden: NSA Employees Are Passing Around Nude Photos

“Regardless of what happens, if I end up in chains in Guantanamo, I can live with that,” the 31-year-old former NSA contractor said.

Activists protest the surveillance of U.S. citizens by the NSA outside the Justice Department where President Barack Obama gave a major speech on reforming the NSA January 17, 2014.
National Journal
Dustin Volz
July 17, 2014, 8:11 a.m.

Ana­lysts work­ing for the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency routinely pass around private, in­tim­ate pho­tos found in the stream of com­mu­nic­a­tions data in­ter­cep­ted, ac­cord­ing to Ed­ward Snowden.

In a new, ex­tens­ive video in­ter­view, the fu­git­ive leak­er said the frat­ern­iz­ing prac­tice is seen as a “fringe be­ne­fit” of work­ing for the in­tel­li­gence agency.

“You got young en­lis­ted guys, 18-to-22 years old — they’ve sud­denly been thrust in­to a situ­ation with ex­traordin­ary re­spons­ib­il­ity where they now have ac­cess to all of your private re­cords,” Snowden told The Guard­i­an. “Now, in the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is com­pletely un­re­lated to their work in any sort of ne­ces­sary sense, for ex­ample, an in­tim­ate nude photo of someone in a sexu­ally com­prom­ising situ­ation, but they’re ex­tremely at­tract­ive.”

Snowden, speak­ing on cam­era from Rus­sia, where he is liv­ing un­der tem­por­ary asylum, con­tin­ued:

So what do they do, they turn around in their chair and show their cowork­er. And their cowork­er says, “Oh, hey, that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.” And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom. Soon­er or later, this per­son’s whole life has been seen by all of these oth­er people. It’s nev­er re­por­ted, nobody ever knows about it be­cause the audit­ing of these sys­tems is very weak. The fact that your private im­ages, re­cords of your private lives, re­cords of your in­tim­ate mo­ments have been taken from your private com­mu­nic­a­tions stream, from the in­ten­ded re­cip­i­ent, and giv­en to the gov­ern­ment without any spe­cif­ic au­thor­iz­a­tion, without any spe­cif­ic need, is in it­self a vi­ol­a­tion of your rights? Why is that in a gov­ern­ment data­base?

When pushed back on the scen­ario, Snowden said such be­ha­vi­or is “routine enough, de­pend­ing on the com­pany you keep.”

Dur­ing a sev­en-hour dis­cus­sion with The Guard­i­an taped last week, Snowden also said he could tol­er­ate liv­ing in a U.S. pris­on.

“Re­gard­less of what hap­pens, if I end up in chains in Guantanamo, I can live with that,” the 31-year-old former NSA con­tract­or said.

Snowden has in­sisted he would prefer to come home rather than live in Rus­sia, where he just ap­plied for an­oth­er year of asylum — a re­quest likely to be gran­ted. But fears of an un­fair tri­al have kept him abroad since his jet-set­ting flight from the U.S. last sum­mer.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Snowden said he didn’t trust the se­cur­ity of pop­u­lar on­line com­mu­nic­a­tion ser­vices such as Google and Skype. While he has used both to com­mu­nic­ate his anti-sur­veil­lance mes­sage to audi­ences around the world, he “wouldn’t use it for per­son­al com­mu­nic­a­tions,” Snowden said.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 5103) }}

What We're Following See More »
AT LEAST NOT YET
Paul Ryan Can’t Get Behind Trump
14 hours ago
THE LATEST

Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Trump Roadmapped His Candidacy in 2000
16 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"

Source:
‘NO MORAL OR ETHICAL GROUNDING’
Sen. Murphy: Trump Shouldn’t Get Classified Briefigs
16 hours ago
THE LATEST
JOINS BUSHES, MCCAIN
Romney to Skip Convention
17 hours ago
THE LATEST

An aide to Mitt Romney confirmed to the Washington Post that the 2102 GOP nominee will not attend the Republican convention this year. He joins the two living Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, as well as 2008 nominee John McCain in skipping the event. Even among living Republican nominees, that leaves only Bob Dole who could conceivably show up. Dole did say in January that he'd prefer Trump to Ted Cruz, but his age (92) could keep him from attending.

Source:
#NEVERTRUMP
Sen. Sasse Calls for a Third Candidate
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

Sen. Ben Sasse, the most prominent elected official to declare that he's #NeverTrump, wrote an open letter on Facebook to the "majority of Americans who wonder why the nation that put a man on the moon can’t find a healthy leader who can take us forward together." Calling to mind recent conversations at a Fremont, Neb., Walmart, the senator pitted the presumptive general election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as such a "terrible choice" that there would be an appetite for another candidate to emerge. In a parenthetical aside to reporters, Sasse ruled himself out. "Such a leader should be able to campaign 24/7 for the next six months," he wrote. "Therefore he/she likely can’t be an engaged parent with little kids." Meanwhile, his colleague Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) admitted in a private recording obtained by Politico that Trump hurts his reelection chances.

Source:
×