Are Other NSA Employees Leaking Documents Under The Cover Of Snowden?

from the could-be-useful...-could-be-disinfo dept

While we were just suggesting that there are ways that NSA employees who believe the organization has gone too far can make a difference without also leaking documents, some are beginning to suspect that Snowden's activities may be creating at least some copycats -- and the interesting tidbit is that they may be less likely to get caught, because everyone assumes any new leaks are from Snowden. Matt Blaze recently noted that the most recent bombshell concerning the NSA's catalog of exploits, didn't actually name a source. And Glenn Greenwald has hinted strongly that the information is not from Snowden.

That doesn't mean that the information isn't from Snowden. It could very well be from him and just no one's said so. Greenwald's statements may actually be an attempt to solicit further leaks by making it clear that other leakers may be able to hide under the cover of Snowden. Blaze also points out that this possibility certainly runs the very real risk of someone providing false information to credulous reporters. That could come from those just pulling a prank or, more sinisterly, from an intelligence community looking to flood the press with disinformation to dilute and attempt to discredit the Snowden leaks. The intelligence community has certainly been involved in such campaigns in the past.

That said, this is a real opportunity for others who would like to blow the whistle from within the intelligence community to potentially do so under the cover of Snowden, allowing them to leak without everyone searching for the new leaker, believing the information is actually coming from Snowden. Still, if that's happening, I hope that the reporters receiving those documents heed Blaze's advice to be exceptionally careful to authenticate the documents, to find additional sources and also to disclose any uncertainty about the authenticity of the documents.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: ed snowden, journalism, leaks, nsa, sources, surveillance


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 3 Jan 2014 @ 10:02am

    It would be smart to remember what happened to Dan Rather:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killian_documents_controversy

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.