NSA leaker Edward Snowden has brought yet another frightening story of government invasion of privacy to light. The New York Times reported on Sunday that Snowden described a common situation where National Security Agency (NSA) employees were passing around nude, intimate or compromising photos of unknowing Americans in a voyeuristic fashion. He released the latest information in an interview on Sunday with The Guardian.
Snowden was interviewed from Russia where he is currently in a sort of exile from the United States after he released thousands of classified documents he took from the NSA. He has been there over a year, and, so far, no agreements have been made public that would arrange for his return. His actions have been labelled as both traitorous and heroic.
The Independent Journal Review reports that Edward Snowden describes himself as much more than just a low-level NSA contract employee. He claims to actually have been in charge of determining which individuals were being targeted. He describes an almost frat-house-environment where many of the employees were between ages of 18 and 22 and did not always respect privacy issues.
It is quite disconcerting to realize that government employees are sifting and sorting through personal documents and photos of any kinds. It is, however, downright frightening to realize that they might be passing around sensitive photos like kids with their father’s Playboy magazine. The response of the government to these accusations is less than reassuring, according to The Independent Journal Review:
Asked to comment, an N.S.A. spokeswoman, Vaneé Vines, said that the agency had zero tolerance for willful violations of authority or professional standards, and that it would respond as appropriate to any credible allegations of misconduct.
The more information that Snowden divulges, the more it becomes apparent that Americans had no idea of the amount of surveillance being conducted on their wireless communication. It is now a pure fact that wise people are tempering what they post on the Internet. Of course, it is difficult to understand why anyone would post racy photos of themselves that could be used as leverage against them under any scenario. Even private messages have been intercepted.