The Government Really Isn’t Sure What Snowden Took


Out this morning in the New York Times is a stark tale: The United States’ intelligence apparatus has little idea what Edward Snowden took, despite spending half a trying to find out.

As the full scope of what Snowden absconded with likely can’t be known, the government is forced to operate on its toes, unsure of what might be coming next. And that could be anything. From the phone metadata program, to PRISM, to work on ending everyday encryption, to the pervasive XKeyscore, to MUSCULAR, the Snowden revelations have been as broad as they have been deep.

The facility that Snowden worked in was behind in its update cycle to better protect government information, an effort that kicked off following the WikiLeaks episode.

That the government can’t assess what Snowden did or did not take has led to internal division inside the NSA: Is it better…

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