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What Edward Snowden Taught Us

Contrary to various Government and media sources, Edward Snowden did not reveal any "NSA secrets." Back in 2008, an unclassified National Bestseller, "the Shadow Factory" by James Bamford revealed all the programs and shenanigans Snowden is being vilified for. Unfortunately most of our leaders seemed unaware of Bamford's book which was exhaustively researched using the Freedom of Information Act. However, Snowden, via prize winning journalists, was able to capture the public's attention, force Congressional Hearings and solicit unfounded Administrative comments condemning him as a traitor supposedly "endangering us all."

In addition to bringing to light NSA's 10 Billion/year, 40,000 employee operation, Snowden's actions have taught us of many deficiencies in our Federal Government which is currently effectively controlled by private corporations such as Booz Allen. Snowden who was previously an NSA employee left NSA to work as a private contractor for Booz Allen. Apparently whereas NSA employees are limited to the software areas they can access; this is not the case for contractors. The idea that a young non government "systems administrator" had access to the CONTENTS of the computer files he was responsible for is unbelievable! Granted he needed to know the properties of the files but he certainly should not have had access to their contents. Simple encryption and restricted software passwords would have prevented him from reading sensitive NSA files. Technological ignorance of NSA Directors (General Alexander et al) and the reliance on private contractors, BoozAllen et al, to specify and design NSA's software permitted a "hacker" like Snowden to "steal the keys of their kingdom." Apparently, according to "60 Minutes," NSA officials still do not know what sites and files Snowden accessed. Even Google keeps better records of users key strokes. Bottom line is that the Government should swallow its "pride" and now grant Snowden "limited immunity." Perhaps they can even offer him a job, as has been done with other reformed hackers. We certainly need more technically competent government employees to design and run NSA as well as "ObamaCare.."

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