Speed Reads


Edward Snowden: Nude pictures are 'fringe benefits' of working at the NSA

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden recently gave an interview to The Guardian in which he held court on a wide array of issues surrounding the surveillance state. He also gave some insight into what it's like to have the world's digital communications at your fingertips — including nude pictures, which he says are treated as "fringe benefits" of being a spy.

You've got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22. They've suddenly thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility, where they now have access to all of your private records. Now, in the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense. 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 their coworker. And their coworker 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. It's never reported. Nobody ever knows about it, because the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak. [The Guardian]

The moral of the story: don't send pictures of yourself having sex into the ether. But you knew that already. Right? (h/t BoingBoing)