NSA leaker Edward Snowden denies giving classified information to the governments of Russia and China. The Guardian reports he also denied assertions that one or both governments had drained the #contents of his laptops”. “I never gave any information to either government, and they never took anything from my laptops,” he said.
The extraordinary claim that China had drained the contents of Snowden’s laptops first appeared in the New York Times in a June 24 article. The paper published the claim with no evidence and without any attribution to any identified sources.
Meanwhile, along with O Globo journalists Roberto Kaz and Jose Casado, I published another article in that newspaper on Mondaydetailing that the NSA’s bulk collection of millions of emails and telephone calls extends to most of Latin America. The reaction throughout that continent is the same as we’ve seen in Europe and Brazil specifically: see this Reuters article entitled “Latin American nations fuming over NSA spying allegations” for the details.
I realize that some US journalists see the world as beginning and ending with American borders, but – as these events demonstrate – we have actually been continuing to publish extremely significant NSA stories that are prompting all sorts of debate, investigation and reform around the world.
This comes as a Quinnipiac University poll found that 55-34% of Americans believe Edward Snowden is a whistleblower and not a traitor. Still, Edward Snowden hasn’t done much to help his cause and his strange choice of asylum bedfellows is particularly worthy of concern — Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus raises some interesting points about why Edward Snowden went to Booz Allen in the first place. How could he have amassed so much information in such a short period of time. Did Julian Assange steer Edward Snowden to Glenn Greenwald? What’s the connection there?
Pincus is not the first to raise questions about the conduct of Snowden and the journalists that he tapped for his leaks. That said, he insisted he’s not poking at potential wrongdoing by the media. His focus is on Snowden. “Why did he go to Booz Allen? Why did he go to these journalists?” asked Pincus. “What interests me is, did he do this on his own or did someone else tell him to do it?”