“Horror at Their Capabilities” Drove Leak of NSA Spying Program

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Dan Drezner is curious about why we’re suddenly getting a bunch of leaks about U.S. surveillance programs. As it happens, the Washington Post explained in the very last paragraph of its story about the PRISM program:

Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.

Is this the same source who was responsible for the story about NSA’s surveillance of phone records? That’s not clear—though if the sources are different it’s a helluva coincidence.

In any case, this got buried at the end of my blog post about PRISM, and I thought it deserved a bit more play. So now you know part of the story, anyway.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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