“NSA Officials Are Infuriated That All This Havoc Was Caused By Some Random Contractor”

In an addendum of sorts to his recent Wired article, “How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet,” Steven Levy, who wrote one of my favorite books ever, has published some takeaways from his recent conversations with the embattled government organization. One example about a certain freelancer:

They really hate Snowden. The NSA is clearly, madly, deeply furious at the man whose actions triggered the biggest crisis in its history. Even while contending they welcome the debate that now engages the nation, they say that they hate the way it was triggered. The NSA has an admittedly insular culture — the officials described it as almost like a family. Morale suffers when friends and neighbors think that NSA employees are sitting around reading grandma’s email. Also, the agency believes that the Snowden leaks have seriously hurt national security (though others dispute this). NSA officials are infuriated that all this havoc was caused by some random contractor. They suggest that had Snowden been familiar with the culture and the ethos of the agency, understood the level of training undergone by its employees, seen the level of regulations and oversight, he would have been less likely to abscond with all those documents. (Snowden’s interviews indicate otherwise.) Still, they are stunned that someone ‘inside the fence’ would do what Snowden did. Even if Snowden is eventually pardoned, he’d do well to steer clear of Fort Meade.”

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