Former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden this week told a conference about how little fallout the NSA has suffered after the Snowden leaks, and detailed how his former agency would hack other governments.
He said to his audience at the Wall Street Journal‘s chief financial officer conference:
If somebody would come up to me and say ‘Look, Hayden, here’s the thing: This Snowden thing is going to be a nightmare for you guys for about two years. And when we get all done with it, what you’re going to be required to do is that little 215 program about American telephony metadata – and by the way, you can still have access to it, but you got to go to the court and get access to it from the companies, rather than keep it to yourself,’ I go: ‘And this is it after two years? Cool!’
When asked if Snowden was working for a foreign power, Hayden replied that, thinking inductively as intelligence operatives are supposed to do, there was “no evidence” Snowden had defected.
On the other hand, Hayden added, if he thought about it deductively – as in Snowden is working for Russia and/or China, and how would one explain that – Hayden said he had his suspicions, but stressed that he wasn’t a “deductive guy.”