Snowden Domino Effect: 3 People Facing the Consequences
Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor, is not the only individual feeling the fall-out following his release of secret government documents. At present, Snowden is being sheltered in Russia — where he has been granted temporary asylum — but back state-side, an unnamed NSA employee has tendered his resignation after conceding during an investigation that he had let Snowden use his computer authorization information in order to gain further access into the NSA system, reports the Washington Post.
The employee claims that he was unaware of Snowden’s plans when he gave him access, a statement those investigating him are backing up, saying that they are not looking for collusion charges. “It’s a violation of procedure — but no ‘Hey, let’s conspire with him to steal information,’” said an official to the Washington Post. The resigning staff member first had his security clearance revoked, and was told a proposal had been made for his employment termination. Two others are facing a similar situation, one a military member and the other a contractor, both of which have had their access and clearance revoked.
When Snowden was asked about whether he’d considered the privacy of co-workers when he stole login information during a live Q&A over social media in January, Snowden replied that he had not done so. “I never stole any passwords, nor did I trick an army of co-workers,” said Snowden, claiming that the report that he had done so was incorrect. One anonymous co-worker backed up his statement, saying that Snowden “earned the access used to pull off his leak by impressing superiors with sheer talent.”
Then, there’s Ecuador’s Consul Fidel Narvaez, who lost his job after helping Snowden in his flight from the United States, issuing “safe pass” papers for him from Ecuador’s consul in London. Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, spoke in January on the issue, saying that Narvaez’s actions were taken “without the knowledge and the authority of the Ecuadorean government,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Narvaez, a self-proclaimed social activist as well as a diplomat, released a statement to Ecuadorean officials around that time, saying, “I am conscious of my responsibility and I assume it in its totality.”
“Fidel is an incredibly brave individual, and he did everything that was possible to ensure that the rights of someone he had never met would be protected. He could have turned away from a tough decision, but instead of letting my situation become someone else’s problem, he did what he thought was right,” said Snowden during his Q&A session regarding Narvaez’s removal from his position.
Finally, Glenn Greenwald, the journalist responsible for Snowden’s information being brought to the eyes of the public, had a partner. David Miranda — the British journalist who helped Greenwald — was detained by the British government as a result, and ten questioned for nine hours, practice justified by anti-terrorism legislation. Miranda’s items were taken, including his digital documents — which had 58,000 documents from America’s NSA and Britain’s Government Communication Headquarters. Now, the British High Court has ruled that the events of his detainment and questioning were lawful, according to Reuters, a ruling Miranda is looking to appeal, aware of the important implications it may have for journalists in or traveling through the UK.