NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said in a new interview published Thursday that sharing intimate nude photographs intercepted by the spy agency is a seen as a "fringe benefit" of the job.
U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks to European officials via videoconference during a parliamentary hearing on improving the protection of whistleblowers, at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, eastern France, on June 24, 2014. (Frederick Florin AFP/Getty Images)
"You've got young enlisted guys, 18-22 years old. They've suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records," Snowden said in a new video interview posted by the Guardian. "During the course of their daily work they stumble upon something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense — for example, an intimate nude photo of someone of in a sexually compromising situation, but they're extremely attractive."
"So what they do? They turn around in their chair and show their co-worker — and their co-workers says, 'Hey, that's great, send it to Bill down the way.' And then Bill sends to George, George sends it to Tom, and sooner or later this person's whole life has been seen by all of these other people," he continued.
Snowden said that he actually witnessed such behavior, saying it occurs "routine enough."
"It's never reported, no one ever knows about it because the auditing is so weak," he added.
(H/T: Washington Post)
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