Snowden Says He Took Booz Allen Job Specifically to Gather NSA Secrets

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 24 2013 12:46 PM

Snowden Says He Took Booz Allen Job Specifically to Gather NSA Secrets

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In this handout photo provided by The Guardian, Edward Snowden speaks during an interview in Hong Kong

Photo by The Guardian via Getty Images

As the world waits for Edward Snowden to turn up again, the South China Morning Post delivers the latest revelation from the NSA leaker who spoke with the independent Hong Kong newspaper earlier this month [British spelling theirs]:

Edward Snowden secured a job with a US government contractor for one reason alone – to obtain evidence on Washington’s cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Post can reveal.
For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media. "My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked," he told the Post on June 12. "That is why I accepted that position about three months ago." ...
Asked if he specifically went to Booz Allen Hamilton to gather evidence of surveillance, he replied: "Correct on Booz." His intention was to collect information about the NSA hacking into "the whole world" and "not specifically Hong Kong and China".
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You can read the full SCMP report here. It's unclear whether the paper held back the latest newsy nugget on its own, or whether doing so was part of the ground rules that Snowden laid out for the interview. If it's the latter, it's the latest example of how Snowden has crafted a PR strategy aimed at maximizing press coverage with the slow roll-out of information, both in terms of the NSA leaks themselves and how he went about snagging the classified information. If it's the former, it's the latest proof that news outlets like page views.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.