Snowden Exaggerated A Few Claims

The NSA Whistleblower did make some exaggerated claims in his released video to the Guardian. And, he had a hottie acrobatic stripper girlfriend who declared her superpowers to be pole-related. Do exaggerating his claims and having a stripper girlfriend lessen his credibility? Perhaps. Legal Insurrection’s Mandy Nagy posts five questions that she would ask Snowden about:

PRISM slide crop

From LI here:

1) Edward Snowden didn’t make $200,000 a year.

Booz Allen Hamilton says the annual salary it paid Snowden was $122,000, not the $200,000 Snowden has asserted. The company also confirms that it has since terminated Snowden for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy.

Yeah, even for a position in Hawaii, he may have received a slight stipend for cost of living increase, and maybe he got a relocation fee, but still that might not have amounted to 200K. When I first read his claims that Booz was paying him that much, I was tempted to go work for them. But I hate contract work for the Feds, so nyah.

2) The NSA surveillance program capabilities asserted by Snowden may have been overstated.

See my prior explanation about how the system likely really works at a previous post. Snowden did say he had the “authority” to tap anyone, given an email address. I think he meant “privileges” not “authority.” Privileges are strictly enforced and guarded at the NSA. Snowden might have had superuser privileges, but even as a sysadmin, I doubt it. If Snowden didn’t realize this tech is based on packet capture and not server backdooring, then I doubt he ever looked at this system up close. I still think he stumbled onto some scary slides.

3) Snowden may have had help.

Federal investigators say they aren’t convinced that Snowden worked alone. A source told ABC News, “The FBI is not 100 percent focused on this one guy…Agents are not just guided by what he claims.” And some in the industry are very skeptical that Snowden himself could have had access to all that has been leaked.

I personally think this guy was an Anonymous sympathizer, but we’ll see how it all plays out.

4) Snowden was on the radar before he was publicly identified as the leaker.

5) Snowden’s timeline of employment and contact with journalists is confusing, as was his access level.

Booz Allen said in its statement that Snowden was employed there for less than three months. Prior to Booz Allen, Snowden says he was with Dell as a contractor, working for the NSA.

Yeah, hopping from one contract to another is very common in the federal contracting world, and its not like this guy was going to put his employment timeline on LinkedIn.

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