‘We have met the enemy, and he is us.’
(Pogo, 1970)

In our view, Snowden is nothing less than a traitor, at most a Russian agent, but certainly not a whistleblower.

Snowden’s actions do not support his claim of being a dedicated employee who was simply compelled to expose organizational misdeeds.

Let’s review the facts:

  • Snowden worked as a contractor for the agency for only 3 months
  • he amassed untold volumes of data on four laptops using co-worker passwords and login ID’s
  • a well-orchestrated escape to Hong Kong, then Moscow, now working there
  • dribbling juicy tidbits of information to the press to create maximum exposure and damage to US intelligence gathering efforts
  • all the while, feigning virtuous intentions

A whistleblower?!  No…  I don’t think so. These are the deliberate actions of a traitor.

Some of our greatest threats to National Security will be from the inside; the Insider Threat Risk Factor…

Edward Snowden had unlimited access as an administrator — clearly without proper oversight or control — to download copious volumes of classified information.  Along with Bradley Manning, this is just another highly-damaging example of a lack of integrated physical infrastructure security that allows the nefarious activity that, with proper monitoring and control, could have been avoided.

The key lesson learned from this incident, as well as the Wikileaks debacle, is that ANY user — from private to general, from occasional user to administrator — should only have authorized access to the network, NOT THE NETWORK EQUIPMENT ITSELF, which enables downloading and off-line storage capabilities.

If any good can come from these events, it is the increased awareness of a drumbeat we have been sounding for years:

Security is fundamentally a People problem.  Some of our greatest threats to National Security are due to human frailties, malfeasance, or as an overt Insider Threat from Users, Guards, Administrators, and Support Staff.

“We have met the enemy, and he is us”…  Indeed.

Don’t be snowed by Snowden.