Edward Snowden, an IT consultant with high security clearance, downloaded about 1.7 million secret documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and tens of thousands of documents from the NSA's British counterpart, GCHQ. Luke Harding has written a book about the Snowden case, called The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man. David Blair of the UK Telegraph gives Harding's book just two stars, complaining that it lacks complexity and nuance. In particular, Blair says Harding ignores the real dilemmas of intelligence work:
If GCHQ and the NSA share everything, they risk Snowden-style breaches. If they restore pre-9/11 restrictions, then vital information that might prevent attacks is bottled up. If the agencies store data, they are accused of threatening privacy; if they do not, then the communications of terrorists simply vanish. Harding considers none of this; only when Snowden flies to Russia does he voice any unease.
Extracts from The Snowden Files are here and here, as well as by clicking on the Amazon.com click above and downloading the first chapter for free to a Kindle or Kindle app for pc, smart phone or mac.
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