Former NSA spy turned whistleblower Edward Snowden may soon ‘disappear’ following his mega leak regarding the NSA tracking operation known as PRISM, and new information reveals it may already be in the works.
Four Senior US intelligence officials were coming from a conference held by the NSA in Washington DC, when afterwards at the UAL (United Airlines Lounge) the four men were supposedly being “loud” and sounded as if they were “almost bragging” when discussing the now well-known whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
According to Foreign policy analyst and editor of The Atlantic Steve Clemons, he is in possession of several poor quality photos and a muffled recording of the four supposed officials discussing and joking about how people like that ‘disappear’. The four people in question are not identified as of yet, and Steve Clemons has an open invite for them to come forward to ‘clarify their remarks’.
We have yet to determine whether or not the voices reportedly recorded by Clemons line up to any officials, of course, as neither the audio nor the visuals have been released. Clemons also claims that there was a second as of yet unnamed person with him who shares not only his concerns about the conversation, but also his interpretation.
Edward Snowden, the whistleblower and former CIA contractor and NSA consultant gave The Guardian permission to reveal his identity last week, he has since fled to Hong Kong and is trying to avoid any international entanglements.
Mr. Snowden told Glenn Greenwald, the reporter for The Guardian who helped with breaking this story, “Whenever we had a debate in the office on how to handle crimes, they do not defend due process – they defend decisive action.” He went on to state that his $200,000 a year job was not worth the giving up of liberties, and that someone had to “Send a message to government that people will not be intimidated.” .
Mr. Snowden leaked proof of the NSA program PRISM (Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization, and Management) which was launched around late 2007 early 2008. According to James R. Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, its purpose is “to obtain foreign intelligence information, including information necessary to thwart terrorist and cyber attacks against the United States and its allies.”
PRISM gathered most of it’s information from the nine major U.S. Internet firms: Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and PalTalk.
The intelligence PRISM gathered includes, but is not exclusive to: email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice over IP conversations, file transfers, login notifications and social networking details. In a newer document published by The Guardian, it is estimated that the NSA has collected almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013.
In a recent statement, intelligence head Clapper claimed that “Disclosing information about the specific methods the (US) government uses to collect communications can obviously give our enemies a ‘playbook’ of how to avoid detection.”
The story that started it all had to do with Verizon supplying the NSA with call data. A story that ultimately evolved to include Sprint and AT&T, who are also supplying the NSA with similar data that they have gathered on their customers and their call patterns.