Called a traitor by the U.S. government authorities and seen as a true modern hero to others, Edward Snowden has recently expressed strong criticism regarding the practices of members of the United States military working with the NSA. New revelations from Snowden surrounding the actions of the NSA evoke shameful practices from U.S. military personnel as well as the British government. According to a July 21 report from the Bayou Buzz, Snowden claims that agents would exchange the images caught by surveillance programs, especially if they were of a sexually explicit nature.
In an interview with The Guardian, Edward Snowden continues to disclose information about the U.S. monitoring program. Snowden explained that racy photos intercepted by the NSA are routinely shared among intelligence workers. He said NSA analysts searching for signals intelligence were examining mostly mundane - but sometimes intimate - messages and photographs sent online or through cellphones by "ordinary citizens."
The NSA workers in question are said to be males mainly between the ages of 18-22. Snowden argues that this is not just one unfortunate episode, but a common practice. The behavior is considered "routine" and a "fringe benefit" related to their monitoring work.
Snowden says that because the young workers were suddenly immersed in such a unique position, this may have contributed to their actions. During their work, they often came across something that is completely unrelated to their work, for example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation. So what do they do?
According to his statement, they turn their chairs around and show their colleague who then sends it to another and so on. Snowden said that type of sharing occurred once every couple of months and he said that this was never reported because the system for auditing surveillance programs was “incredibly weak.”
“Now while people may say that it’s an innocent harm — this person doesn’t even know that their image was viewed — it represents a fundamental principle, which is that we don’t have to see individual instances of abuse,” he said.