Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee turned whistleblower, says that there are still huge revelations regarding the over reach of government surveillance that would have far reaching ramifications.
In an interview with fellow whistleblower James Bamford, appearing in Wired, Snowden spoke of the volume of documents he has in his possession, revealing that there are so many that he hasn’t yet been able to read all of them.
Snowden says that he doesn’t have any where near the 1.7 million documents the government claims he does, yet admits that there is a significant amount of information yet to be made public.
“I think they think there’s a smoking gun in there that would be the death of them all politically,” he tells the tech magazine, as he appears on this month’s cover wrapped in a US flag.
— Scott Dadich (@sdadich) August 13, 2014
“The fact that the government’s investigation failed—that they don’t know what was taken and that they keep throwing out these ridiculous, huge numbers—implies to me that somewhere in their damage assessment they must have seen something that was like, ‘Holy sh_t.’ And they think it’s still out there.” the whistleblower added.
He also criticized the NSA for not getting their house in order in the year since his revelations came to light.
“They still haven’t fixed their problems. They still have negligent auditing, they still have things going for a walk, and they have no idea where they’re coming from and they have no idea where they’re going,” he says.
“And if that’s the case, how can we as the public trust the NSA with all of our information, with all of our private records, the permanent record of our lives?” Snowden urges.
Addressing critics who still brand him a traitor, Snowden says that he is acting to preserve American values.
“I told the government I’d volunteer for prison, as long as it served the right purpose,” he claims. “I care more about the country than what happens to me. But we can’t allow the law to become a political weapon or agree to scare people away from standing up for their rights, no matter how good the deal. I’m not going to be part of that.”
The Wired piece also touches on a new revelation that the NSA has developed a secret, autonomous program called “Monstermind” which functions without human operation to respond to cyber attacks from abroad.
Snowden notes that significant problems could arise from the program given that cyber attacks can be made to appear to originate from somewhere other than the actual source.
“These attacks can be spoofed,” Snowden says. “You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia. And then we end up shooting back at a Russian hospital. What happens next?”
In related news, a federal judge ruled on Monday that the government does not have to turn over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s orders, or the names of phone companies helping it collect communications data. Therefore the NSA can continue to get access to the data in secret. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who brought the case against the U.S. Department of Justice, says it is still deciding whether or not to appeal the decision.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.