NEW YORK (PIX11) – If you’ve ever sent a naked photo of yourself to a significant other, there’s a chance more eyes than you bargained for have ogled at your image.
That’s according to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who recently alleged that workers at the intelligence agency often intercept sexually compromising material then share it among their colleagues.
A transcript of his interview was published July 18 by The Guardian, which first published his leaks detailing for the first time the inner workings of the NSA.
The 31-year-old former system administrator who revealed scathing details about the agency’s data accumulation said of the culture surrounding intimate photos and sexual texts:
“Many of the people searching through the haystacks were young, enlisted guys and … 18 to 22 years old. They’ve suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all your private records. 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 they’re extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker. And their co-worker says: “Oh, hey, that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.” And then Bill sends it 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. Anything goes, more or less. You’re in a vaulted space. Everybody has sort of similar clearances, everybody knows everybody. It’s a small world.”
Snowden said these alleged abuses happen “probably every two months,” calling them “routine enough.” He criticized the data collection saying there was no “specific need” to gather the private messages.
Snowden also touches on how he came to settle in Russia, the Bostom Marathon bombing and the communications surrounding the attack, the future of Internet privacy and more in the interview.