Monday, June 17, 2013

Snowden isn't lying, he's bragging

Been processing this story for a while now and reviewing the sum of Snowden's leaks so far. The more Snowden talks the less credible he seems, particularly when he has to revise the dramatic details of his life as Edward Snowden, international spy.

Looking at his language carefully, he's not so much telling us what the government is doing. He's describing what he can do, as a paid outside agent of the government. Or at least he could have done if he had stayed undercover. Meanwhile as Snowden makes the story about himself, an important point is being lost. Namely, Snowden is not the only young ambitious superhacker in the ranks of possibly hundreds of thousands of private contract workers. Guessing a not small number would be tempted to sell intel for money rather than expose it as an act of social conscience or in a bid for internet fame.

Also as important as the civil rights violations within the surveillance state are, it's equally scandalous that our government is spending billions subcontracting our national intelligence to private, for profit corporations. I doubt public service is the first priority of these megacorps who hire young hackers with sporadic work histories and no academic credentials to oversee these confidential programs. So when Snowden tells you "the government" is spying on you what he really means is some 29 year old hacker like himself is really the one spying and they don't actually work for the government directly. The potential for some rogue IT kid to conduct a personal vendetta seems rather large to me. Maybe we could talk about that too.

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