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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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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