Think those steamy photos on your phone are for your partner’s eyes only? According to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, they’re just as available as Cameron Diaz’s and Jason Siegel’s “Sex Tape.”
In a new interview with The Guardian, Snowden says that NSA employees will frequently share nude photos they find during their work. This is apparently so routine that many NSA employees view it as one of the “fringe benefits of surveillance positions.” Such instances rarely get reported, Snowden says, because “the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak,” adding:
“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.”
If the government couldn’t prevent an employee from leaking most of its secrets to the entire world, why would your homemade porn be any safer?
Still, even though we all know the NSA has been collecting bulk phone data, this is pretty disturbing. Next time you think about hitting send on that photo, don’t just imagine your boyfriend or girlfriend seeing it — imagine a bunch of NSA employees looking at it during a slide show at their next office Christmas party.