Edward Snowden has very sensitive ‘‘blueprints’’ detailing how the National Security Agency operates that would allow someone who read them to evade or even duplicate NSA surveillance, a journalist close to the intelligence leaker said Sunday.
Glenn Greenwald, a columnist with The Guardian newspaper who closely communicates with Snowden and first reported on his intelligence leaks, told The Associated Press that the former NSA systems analyst has ‘‘literally thousands of documents’’ that constitute ‘‘basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built.’’
‘In order to take documents with him that proved that what he was saying was true he had to take ones that included very sensitive, detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do,’’ Greenwald said in Brazil, adding that the interview was taking place about four hours after his last interaction with Snowden.
I swear in my nine years of writing for this blog I have NEVER run across a story for which it was so difficult to form a definite opinion. Is Edward Snowden a champion for the rights of citizens to resist the government's efforts to spy on them? Or is he a traitor to the country and ultimately a dangerous threat to our security?
The article up above certainly reinforces the latter interpretation. Clearly if this "blueprint" falls into the hands of those who wish us harm, or simply want to find a way around our defenses, they would now have the means to do both.
And Greenwald's assurances that the data is encrypted does not exactly put my mind at ease.
Like I said yesterday, and for which I received aggressive blowback from some, IF Snowden's actions result in the end of the NSA data mining programs, or some modifications and assurances that it was no longer scooping up EVERYTHING we post or email online, he could well be ultimately considered a heroic champion for individual privacy.
However if these "blueprints" fall into the wrong hands, and there is some controversial information that it has already happened, then Snowden would rank right up there with Benedict Arnold and Aldrich Ames.
What is clear is that this is a story that is not yet finished, therefore making it impossible to determine how the final chapter will play itself out.
For those who view Snowden as a criminal, there is ample evidence to support that contention.
However there are those on the other side who view him as a hero. In fact heroic enough to have already been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.