Snowden: The NSA Has Seen You Naked

Dustin Wicksell

Analysts working for the NSA routinely pass around nude photos found in intercepted data, according to Edward Snowden.

During a rare video interview that Snowden conducted with The Guardian last week, he alleged that NSA employees share "sexually compromising" images they discover with one another. Speaking from his exile in Moscow, Snowden said that the practice is seen as a "fringe benefit" among some NSA employees.

"You got young enlisted guys, 18-22 years old, they've suddenly been thrust into a situation with extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records," Snowden said, positing that if those NSA employees stumble upon compromising, intimate pictures, they share them with "'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."

— Libertarian Girl (@theLGmarianne) July 18, 2014

Snowden's answer came in response to a question from Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and the paper's intelligence correspondent Ewen MacAskill, who asked him if he ever experienced a moment where NSA surveillance activities made him feel "uneasy," Newsweek reports. Snowden asserted that the NSA's lax oversight policies made it possible for the violation of citizen's rights to occur:

It's never reported, nobody ever knows about it because the auditing of these systems is very weak. The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communications stream, from the intended recipient, and given to the government without any specific authorization, without any specific need, is it itself a violation of your rights? Why is that in a government database?

When pressed on his answer, Snowden related that the practice is "routine enough depending on the company you keep." Later in the interview, Snowden postulated that he would accept living in a U.S. Prison if necessary, saying "regardless of what happens, if I end up in chains in Guantanamo, I can live with that." As The Inquisitr has reported, Snowden's lawyers recently filed an application to extend his asylum in Russia, amid fears of an unfair trial should he return to the U.S.

Elsewhere in the interview, Snowden asserted that Dropbox, a cloud storage service that recently appointed Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors, is "hostile to privacy." The former NSA analyst advocated the zero knowledge system, in which hosting services have no access to user data. Companies must deprive themselves and the NSA of the ability to read client data as proof that they can be trusted with the information, Snowden said.

[Image via Free Snowden]