Edward Snowden Says He Could Destroy the NSA Anytime He Wants To

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Here’s the latest on the NSA and Edward Snowden:

Edward Snowden has very sensitive “blueprints” detailing how the National Security Agency operates that would allow someone who read them to evade or even duplicate NSA surveillance, a journalist close to the intelligence leaker said Sunday.

Glenn Greenwald, a columnist with The Guardian newspaper who closely communicates with Snowden and first reported on his intelligence leaks, told The Associated Press that the former NSA systems analyst has “literally thousands of documents” that constitute “basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built.”

….Greenwald told The AP that Snowden has insisted the information from those documents not be made public. The journalist said it “would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.”

I’m not sure whether to believe this or not. I mean, the NSA monitors, among other things, fiber optic cables, telephone switches, cell phones, satellite transmissions, and internet communications. The way they do this is by (a) spending unbelievable gobs of money, and (b) being a government agency within the United States, through which much of the world’s communications pass. Obviously details matter, but can you really evade the NSA’s net merely by knowing them? I guess I’m skeptical.

But I could be wrong! And in any case, it’s certainly true that the NSA would very much like to keep all these details secret.

On a side note, I’m once again left wondering just how long journalists have known about this and not reported it? I keep getting the feeling that they’re playing games with us. But maybe I’m wrong about that too. Perhaps Snowden only started telling this story today.

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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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