Leaks and who gets to leak – Snowden and many others have now said that these leaks are important and justified because the public needs to decide whether this is being done in their name. Basically I disagree with that (the justification for the leak). But it does raise a basic point that it is inherently difficult for the public to make fully informed decisions about intelligence work done in its name. Yet, who gets to do this? Snowden says it’s up to the public. But it’s really more like Snowden and Greenwald have made that decision on the public’s behalf.
Edward Snowden is the source – The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell. The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said. (more…)