NSA leaker Edward Snowden agreed to an in-depth interview with James Bamford of Wired Magazine. The interview, which took place over a few weeks, was published on Wednesday. Bamford is an NSA expert and former NSA employee, so his grasp of Snowden's position was enhanced. Coupled with the compelling photography, the seven-page article is the most comprehensive story of Snowden published thus far. His actual degree of importance and access within the government’s highest halls of information are explained in more accurate detail.
There were also some new bits of information, such as the fact that Snowden left some clues for the NSA tech people so that they could minimize damage and secure passwords, etc... He seemed amazed that the NSA experts had missed these simple clues that the system had been compromised. At times in this article, the reader gets the image that the government’s top security information is being handled by two guys in a dark, damp basement somewhere. Snowden has stressed that our technology for guarding data is not as safe as it should be.
The interview also touched on other whistle-blowers allegedly coming out in the NSA. It appears that information is being leaked that cannot be traced to the documents that Snowden provided, although he indicated more information was going to be forthcoming. His stolen information is now out of his hands. Wired describes who has custody of the information:
“Copies are now in the hands of three groups: First Look Media, set up by journalist Glenn Greenwald and American documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, the two original recipients of the documents; The Guardian newspaper, which also received copies before the British government pressured it into transferring physical custody (but not ownership) to The New York Times; and Barton Gellman, a writer for The Washington Post.”
ZDnet reports that Edward Snowden was granted three years residency in Russia, and it appears he is going on with his life. The official source, his Russian lawyer, says he is working “within his profession.” He is also accompanied by a Russian security detail everywhere he goes. The Wired interview indicated that he lived his life on New York time so that he could communicate and stay current with the media in the West.
Also, much ado was made of the security for the interview. Snowden removed his battery from his cell phone, indicating that it could be used as a spying device even if it was off. Bamford, a security expert, seems to concur with the overall idea that cell phones can be utilized in this fashion; he adds that he did not even bring his to the interview. It is odd that the nose piece on Snowden’s glasses is broken and has not been fixed. Perhaps he is afraid operatives will install some type of micro-chip or device if he takes the glasses to be repaired.