Booz Allen has issued a statement today:
“Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, was an employee of our firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. Snowden, who had a salary at the rate of $122,000, was terminated June 10, 2013 for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy. News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter”.
Impact of NSA Security Leak
Libertarians and civil rights activists in the United States are calling the efforts by the United States in gathering information under the guise of anti-terrorism efforts are overreaching and intrusive.
The problem with governments collecting vast warehouses of information is that despite the original intentions, that information could be used in ways it was not originally intended.
Canada has a program to gather data
In Canada, during question period, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair asked, “We have learned that the Conservative government has its own electronic monitoring program. It was put in place by the Liberals and was resurrected by the Conservatives in 2011. Is the Canadian government actually monitoring Canadians’ telephone calls and emails?”
Peter McKay the Minister for said, in Parliament, “Let me be very clear. This program is specifically prohibited from looking at the information of Canadians. This program is very much directed at activities outside the country, foreign threats, in fact. There is rigorous oversight. There is legislation in place that specifically dictates what can and cannot be examined”.
The Minister continued, “Here is what the CSE Commissioner found: ‘activities were authorized and carried out in accordance with the law, ministerial requirements, and CSEC’s policies and procedures’ ”.
The fallout from this major leak are likely to continue for months, if not years. The ramifications on individual privacy in Canada, Australia, Britain, France and other friendly countries are massive.
While Americans might not have been spying on Americans, it is not clear if Canadian data on Americans is being supplied to America, or if American data on Canadians is being supplied to Canada’s government.
Government security agencies will likely be in damage control mode for a while, and there is likely to be major political fallout.