Over at TPM, I wrote a feature article about the looming cultural clash between hackers and the intel community.
For the Intelligence Community, Snowden was a scary example of someone who once believed in the government’s position but had turned, suddenly it seemed, resolutely against it. Technology website Ars Technica dug up enthusiastic old posts Snowden had left on their discussion forums, dating back to 2001. As recently as 2009, he mused that people who leak national security secrets “should be shot in the balls.” Then he began to shift, noting in those same forums how many corporations were enabling government spying. “It really concerns me how little this sort of corporate behavior bothers those outside of technology circles,” he wrote.
Snowden’s very public demonstration that the government cannot control the activities – let alone mindset – of the hackers it employees has gained him plaudits, not recriminations, in the broader coder community. “A lot of people at these [hacker] conferences make tools that find their way to the Intelligence Community,” Chris Soghoian, principle technologist at the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at the ACLU says. “And the last two months have made a lot of them unhappy.”
This is available in full from the Essays page.