Quoted: Edward Snowden on what the ‘S’ in NSA should really stand for

“The bottom line is we need to put the security back in the National Security Agency. We can’t have the national surveillance agency… the most important thing to us is not being able to attack our adversaries, the most important thing is to be able to defend ourselves. And we can’t do that as long as we’re subverting our own security standards for the sake of surveillance.”

Edward Snowden, former U.S. government tech contractor, in a PBS Nova Next interview. Snowden, who leaked government documents that have exposed mass spying by the NSA, says the United States is emphasizing offense over defense at its own peril.

Snowden says the stakes are high: “Defending ourselves from Internet-based attacks, Internet-originated attacks, is much, much more important than our ability to launch attacks against similar targets in foreign countries, because when it comes to the Internet, when it comes to our technical economy, we have more to lose than any other nation on earth.”

What’s an example of putting emphasis on offense over defense? Based on documents leaked by Snowden, the Intercept reported last month that the NSA has a program that’s aimed at exploiting vulnerabilities in cell phone technology for surveillance purposes. A security expert warned: “Even if you love the NSA and you say you have nothing to hide, you should be against a policy that introduces security vulnerabilities, because once NSA introduces a weakness, a vulnerability, it’s not only the NSA that can exploit it.”

Snowden, who is wanted by the United States and is living in asylum in Russia, also said: “The Internet should be a force for freedom. The Internet should not be a tool for war. And for us, the United States, a champion of freedom, to be funding and encouraging the subversion of a tool for good to be a tool used for destructive ends is, I think, contrary to the principles of us as a society.”

 

Illustration from MCT

 

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  • RDR

    Who’s “we”, you p.o.s. traitor?. As if we defended ourselves or wind wars in the past without offensive capabilties. Good luck staying alive as Putin’s useful idiot while his own schemes collapse.

  • SMH

    I was expecting the S to stand for Soviet, considering how much he loves it under Stali… sorry, Putin.

  • coronafl

    Hasn’t everyone already moved on from Mr. Snowden.

 
 
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