Monday, June 6, 2016

Three Years Later: How Snowden Helped the U.S. Intelligence Community

Russian visa image of Snowden from
Jack Goldsmith,

Three years ago today, The Guardian published the first story based on the huge archive of documents that that Edward Snowden stole from the National Security Agency while working as an NSA contractor. Then-Attorney General Holder’s Justice Department quickly charged Snowden with felonies for theft of government property and mishandling classified information. Last week, however, Holder praised Snowden. “I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made,” Holder said. ... 
From the baseline of what almost everyone expected when the scale of Snowden’s revelations first became apparent, the intelligence community, and especially the NSA, have emerged in astonishingly good shape. The NSA is still very much in the business of aggressive signals intelligence around the globe. Its domestic legal authorities are sounder. Its value is more apparent to the American public. It is much more adept at public diplomacy. And its central and expanding role going forward—not just for signals intelligence collection, but for cybersecurity and offensive cyber operations—are secure. ...

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