“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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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