NSA sees your nude pix 'as fringe benefits of surveillance positions,' says Snowden


The Guardian has published a video in which NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks with Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and reporter Ewen MacAskill in Moscow.

The 31-year-old former US intel analyst discusses a number of things–including the claim that NSA employees often pass around intercepted nude photos, and treat access to such private images as a job perk.

Snowden again dismisses claims he was or is a Russian spy or agent, and describes such claims as "bullshit."

Regarding your nude photos, Snowden says:

You've got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22. They've suddenly thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility, where they now have access to all of your private records. Now, in the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense. For example: an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation, but they're extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair, and they show their coworker. And their coworker says, "Oh, hey, that's great. Send that to Bill down the way. And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom, and sooner or later, this person's whole life has been seen by all of these other people. It's never reported. Nobody ever knows about it, because the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak.

The Guardian's Alan Rusbridger then asks, "You saw instances of that happening?"

Responds Snowden, "Yeah."


"It's routine enough, depending on the company that you keep, it could be more or less frequent," Snowden says.

"These are seen as the fringe benefits of surveillance positions."