“Horror at Their Capabilities” Drove Leak of NSA Spying Program

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Dan Drezner is curious about why we’re suddenly getting a bunch of leaks about U.S. surveillance programs. As it happens, the Washington Post explained in the very last paragraph of its story about the PRISM program:

Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.

Is this the same source who was responsible for the story about NSA’s surveillance of phone records? That’s not clear—though if the sources are different it’s a helluva coincidence.

In any case, this got buried at the end of my blog post about PRISM, and I thought it deserved a bit more play. So now you know part of the story, anyway.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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