USA TODAY International Edition

Did leaks of top- secret U. S. activity damage security?


Q: James Clapper, the director of national intelligen­ce, said Snowden’s disclosure­s caused “huge, grave damage” to the United States. Do you agree?

J. Kirk Wiebe: No, I do not. I do not. You know, I’ve asked people: Do you generally believe there’s government authoritie­s collecting informatio­n about you on the Net or your phone? “Oh, of course.” No one is surprised.

There’s very little specificit­y in the slides that he made available ( describing the PRISM surveillan­ce program). There is far more specificit­y in the FISA court order that is bothersome. ...

Q: Did foreign government­s, terrorist organizati­ons, get informatio­n they didn’t have already?

William Binney: Ever since ... 1997- 1998 ... those terrorists have known that we’ve been monitoring all of these communicat­ions all along. So they have already adjusted to the fact that we are doing that. So the fact that it is published in the U. S. news that we’re are doing that, has no effect on them whatsoever. They have already adjusted to that. ...

Jesselyn Radack: This comes up every time there’s a leak. ... In Tom’s case, Tom was accused of literally the blood of soldiers would be on his hands because he created damage. I think the exact words were, “When the NSA goes dark, soldiers die.” And that had nothing to do with Tom’s disclosure at all, but it was part of the fear mongering that generally goes with why we should keep these things secret.

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