Monday, June 10, 2013

Booz Allen Employee Claims Access to Vast NSA Surveillance Capabilities

In interviews with The Washington Post and The Guardian, a 29 year-old man claims that as an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton in Hawaii, he had access to information about NSA surveillance programs, including domestic wiretaps.

He is quoted as saying:
"I, sitting at my desk, certainly have the authorities to wiretap anyone — from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President."
He allegedly provided The Guardian with a top secret FISA court order for phone records collected by Verizon.

The man, named Edward Snowdon, said he did not have a high school diploma, much less a college degree, but was employed by the CIA, the NSA, Dell and Booz Allen in sensitive positions with access to top secret information. As proof of his claims, he provided reporters with his CIA identification and diplomatic passport.

Snowdon is Hong Kong, and Peter King, chairman of the House homeland security subcommittee, has already called for Snowden's extradition, "if Edward Snowden did in fact leak the NSA data as he claims."

There is reason to be skeptical of Snowdon's claims, but if his claims are accurate, it not only raises questions about the nature and legality of surveillance programs, but employment practices of defense contractors and access given to employees to private companies.