NSA Still Not Sure What Snowden Took, But May Try To Pre-empt Future Leaks
from the getting-ahead-of-the-story dept
We’ve been among those who have suggested that the best way for the NSA to deal with the upcoming NSA leaks is to just stop lying and come clean about what they’re doing. It’s such a crazy suggestion that even former NSA boss Bobby Ray Inman has suggested it as well. It looks like the NSA is considering revealing something, but it’s likely to be pretty limited:
With respect to other information held by Snowden and his allies but not yet publicized, the NSA is now considering a proactive release of some of the less sensitive material, to better manage the debate over its surveillance program.
“We’re working on how do we do that,” says Richard Ledgett, the NSA official in charge of the agency’s response to the Snowden disclosures.
This came following a story about Keith Alexander claiming that Snowden may have taken “up to 200,000” documents with him — a number that has generated some headlines. Of course, when you read the details, you realize that while Alexander quoted a range that had 200,000 as the ceiling, it also notes that officials at the NSA “remain unsure which documents he downloaded for leaking to the media.” Yes, nearly six months in, they still don’t know what he took. And this is the agency saying that they have such great audits that no one can abuse their systems? Really?
Glenn Greenwald has already mocked the claim of 200,000 documents (and, I was pretty sure in the past he had put the number in the tens of thousands — closer to 60,000). But, once again, we’re left wondering how the NSA can claim it has controls in place when it still has no idea what happened. Either way, open on up, NSA. Let’s see what you’ve got. I’m sure that each attempt to spin things will be quickly debunked by actual documents from Snowden.