The communications of lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill are not beyond the reach of spies and hackers, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden warned on Friday.

Without proper protections, he warned that sensitive details about upcoming bills and international deals could be unnervingly insecure.
“We’re simply fooling ourselves if we think that our representatives in government can go along with this completely defenseless business-as-usual mode of communicating,” he said at a conference focusing on ways that reporters can better protect their data digitally. Snowden spoke remotely from Russia, where he has sought refuge since fleeing espionage charges in the U.S. last year.

“If we are an open book to all of our adversaries at the same time we have this very tight, closed, information control mindset towards the public … the only people who know what’s gong on in our government are our enemies, and I don’t think that’s a sustainable model.”

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