So-called whistleblower Edward Snowden stated in an interview with “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams that aired on NBC on Wednesday that an intelligence service in the National Security Agency with “significant funding and a real technological research team can tell someone’s “life patterns,” including locations, voice recordings, and pictures from their cell phone and that this process is “unregulated and uncontrolled.”
Snowden expanded on this point by stating that private contractors could take information from the NSA without them knowing. He added that NSA programs he had access to as an analyst allowed him to see the “thought process” of an individual as they drafted online correspondence, including words in an e-mail that an individual wrote and erased before the message was sent, which Snowden said allowed the government to see “the way you think.”
Snowden said he takes the danger terrorism poses “very seriously,” and told Williams that his grandfather was in the Pentagon on 9/11, but believed that “too much faith” was placed in intelligence sources, and cited the “false premises” he said were used to justify the Iraq War. He did have high praise for the US military who he described as “better men” than himself. Snowden also responded to criticism that he should not have leaked the information about the NSA, but should have gone through “proper channels” by saying he did raise concerns to NSA employees, but was told to keep them quiet.
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