The NSA Is Totally Passing Around Your Sexy Selfies

Hiné Mizushima/FlickrHiné Mizushima/FlickrIn an extensive new interview with The Guardian, National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden emphasized the need for "lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants, priests," and others with a duty to protect confidentiality to ditch unencrypted communication. He also confirmed what many people have joked about since the NSA's surveillance was first revealed: Yes, agents are totally looking at and passing around your "sexually compromising" photos. 

According to Snowden, looking at O.P.P. is a "routine" part of NSA life, and one that's considered "a fringe benefit of a surveillance position." 

From the interview:

Snowden: During the course of their work, (NSA employees) 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 show a coworker who says, ‘Hey that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.’ Then Bill sends it to George, who 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. Nobody every knows about it because the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak. The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communication stream, from the intended recipient and given to the government without any specific authorization or need is a violation of your rights. 

Some Americans will freak out over this in particular, I think—and they should freak out, sure, as they should about all of the secret surveillance the NSA is doing—but it makes NSA agents look more like a bunch of frat boys than super spies. Frankly, I'm more worried about just about anything else the NSA is electronically eavesdropping on. 

Anyway, an NSA spokeswoman told Forbes that this kind of thing is, you know, totally frowned upon. "NSA is a professional foreign-intelligence organization with a highly trained workforce, including brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces,” she said. "As we have said before, the agency has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities or professional standards." 

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  • ||

    I just hope that naked selfie with my "all I do is fuck and party" baseball hat doesn't derail my political future.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    None of it will derail your political aspirations. Unless, of course, you don't vote yes on the funding bill for the new NSA data storage facility in Nevada.

  • UnCivilServant||

    the agency has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities or professional standards

    Standards which have been set to nil for a long time now, because no one can say different.

  • SusanM||

    How "brave" do you have to be to look at homemade porno all day? Well, given the weird shit some people are into I guess it does take a certain amount of bravery...

  • MJGreen||

    NSA is a professional foreign-intelligence organization with a highly trained workforce, including brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces

    But they're still people, and who doesn't like to look at a sexy photo? Unless the whole operation can be turned over to computers, this kind of practice can't be stopped.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces

    Why does being a member of the armed forces automatically make you brave and dedicated? I've been around the military for most of my life, my experience suggests otherwise.

  • ||

    Excuse me, but aren't you all a bunch of fucking hired killers?

    - Bill Hicks

  • Ted S.||

    My dad was a victim of the peacetime draft. Needless to say, he doesn't have much respect for the military establishment.

  • Swiss Servator, Alles Klar||

    They are just trying to wrap up in TEH TROOPZ flag and immunize themselves from criticism.

    WHY DO U H8 OUR TROOPZ?!?!?!

  • ||

    brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces

    I'd rather serve with Ernest Medina than today's NSA.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Unless the whole operation can be turned over to computers, this kind of practice can't be stopped.

    How about stopping the operation in general?

  • Slammer||

    My computer is a total perv, tho'

  • MJGreen||

    Whoa, let's not get crazy!

  • Ted S.||

    Don't gather the data in the first place.

  • Christophe||

    Unless the whole operation can be turned over to computers, this kind of practice can't be stopped.

    Given this is a workplace, the machines can be locked down in such a way that sharing the photos isn't doable. Add audit trails, and serious consequences for abuse, and you could limit this stuff.

    Now, this still would be a completely unconstitutional program. The fact that they haven't even bothered to do so, however, shows how little they care about the people caught up in their nets.

  • ant1sthenes||

    But they're people from our armed forces, and since when has anyone there ever been accused of sexual impropriety or misconduct?

  • ||

    Here's a simple way to stop it:

    Install some software that matches the subjects of the database searches against named subjects of FISA court orders. That way, you physically can't search the database for anything that isn't specifically named as a legitimate subject of a search in a FISA court order.

    All you need to do is keep a database of court orders and the subjects they refer to. Then you enter the court order number in the search query, you enter the subject of the search, and you check the database to see if they match. And if they don't, ACCESS DENIED.

  • ||

    Where are they recruiting NSA staff from? The TSA?

  • ||

    Must be nice to look at amateur porn all day on someone else's dime.

  • mr lizard||

    Well given the advent of smartphones... The NSA might not have a monopoly on this form of fuckin off.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Warty, start uploading nude selfies. For your country.

  • Swiss Servator, Alles Klar||

    +1 sanity die roll

  • Vulgar Madman||

    They deserve to be thrown in the psych ward.

  • Rich||

    "As we have said before, the agency has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities or professional standards."

    "We" can *say* stuff like this ad nauseum, but until violators are disciplined *in public* "we" are just passing gas.

  • Slammer||

    "Does the NSA pass around selfie porn?"

    Not wittingly.

  • Rich||

    *** golf clapper ***

  • Slammer||

    I see what you did there.

  • PH2050||

    Ha, nice!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    OPP is the best part of the tubes.

  • Idle Hands||

    Obama's Presidential Poop?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Look at what the NSA has missed, but at least the spooks know about your selfies.

  • gimmeasammich||

    My question, half jokingly and half serious, is how many of these selfies are from under-18's?

  • MasterDarque||

    Are you trying to remove the NSA pedophiles? Good luck with that they will just go work for TSA.

  • Harold Falcon||

    It's not a joke. The NSA has the world's largest collection of kiddie pornography.

  • Pulseguy||

    Good point. If any pics passed around are of naked young people under 18 they all could do time for it.

    But, these people are professionals. I'm sure they wouldn't do that. Anyway, it is against the rules. And, these people are brave, too.

  • ||

    "NSA is a professional foreign-intelligence organization with a highly trained workforce, including brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces,” she said. "As we have said before, the agency has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities or professional standards."

    But we're not going to do anything about, like, say, actually audit the database accesses to make sure they are really only being accessed for legitimate reasons.
    I mean that would be burdensome regulation that would prevent the NSA from doing it's job efficiently.
    Regulations are for peasants, small businesses, and Christian-owned corporporations. Governments must not be hampered by them.

  • ||

    Much less install some software that would actually prevent people from acessing the database without a court order.

  • ||

    I still haven't heard back on my FOIA request regarding OSHA complaints against pictures I've sent internationally.

    If my taint causes PTSD in one NSA watcher, I will consider it a life well lived.

  • PH2050||

    I would contribute to your Kickstarter if you wanted to make a living from scarring NSA peepers.

  • ||

    Best career trajectory EV4R

  • MarkinLA||

    I was wondering where all those MILF sites alleging all you need to do is "click and fuck" got their naked pictures for the profiles. Some of them are obviously nowhere near the age in the profile and some aren't even the same race.

    Obviously, the NSA guys are selling them to the scammers or setting the bogus profiles up themselves.

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