Racy Photos Were Often Shared at N.S.A., Snowden Says
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: July 29th, 2014
The former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden said in a wide-ranging interview ... that the oversight of surveillance programs was so weak that members of the United States military working at the spy agency sometimes shared sexually explicit photos they intercepted. He also said the British government often pioneered the most invasive surveillance programs because its intelligence services operate with fewer restrictions intended to protect individual privacy than its counterparts in the United States and other allies. In the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work, for example an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation but theyre extremely attractive, he said. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker. And their co-worker says: Oh, hey, thats great. Send that to Bill down the way. Mr. Snowden said that type of sharing ... was seen as the fringe benefits of surveillance positions. He said that this was never reported and that the system for auditing surveillance programs was incredibly weak. Mr. Snowden had particularly stark criticism for the British governments surveillance programs, because in Britain the respect for individual privacy, he said, is not strongly encoded in law or policy. Because it has fewer restrictions, British intelligence platforms are used as a testing ground for programs of all five intelligence partners, a group referred to as Five Eyes, which includes Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
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