If it seemed slightly ridiculous to watch the feds completely freak out over the whole Edward Snowden situation, perhaps this tidbit from an article concerning US officials retracing Snowden's steps through the NSA's computer system
helps explain why they're so spooked:
"They think he copied so much stuff — that almost everything that place does, he has," said one former government official, referring to the NSA, where Snowden worked as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton while in the NSA's Hawaii facility. "Everyone's nervous about what the next thing will be, what will be exposed."
Of course, as Glenn Greenwald has noted in the past, and is quoted in the same article as saying, so far, Snowden has been quite careful about what he's released:
"I know that he has in his possession thousands of documents, which, if published, would impose crippling damage on the United States' surveillance capabilities and systems around the world," Greenwald told CNN. "He has never done any of that."
Of course, any system that relies on security through obscurity is only as good as it can maintain that obscurity. Perhaps, next time, the NSA will recognize that the best security actually comes via transparency.