Banged and bruised in the press over the NSA secrets liberated by Edward Snowden and serialized in the Guardian and the Washington Post, the national security establishment resorted to a little media offense earlier this week with a series of conversations with major news outlets.
As media blitzes go, it was sedate and vague. The natsec establishment made its first landing in the Washington Post‘s June 25 print edition, where two unnamed senior intelligence officials speculated about the damage done to U.S. national security by the leaks (“U.S. is worried about security of documents Snowden has”). The Post reported:
“Already, several terrorist groups in various regions of the world have begun to change their method of communication based on disclosures of surveillance programs in the media, the official said. He would not elaborate on the communication modes.”
Later that day, two unnamed senior intelligence official presented to CNN a slightly less gauzy picture of the terrorist organizations revising their use of communication technology following Snowden’s revelations (“Terrorists try changes after Snowden leaks, official says”). CNN reported:
“‘We can confirm we are seeing indications that several terrorist groups are in fact attempting to change their communications behaviors based specifically on what they are reading about our surveillance programs in the media,’ a U.S. intelligence official told CNN.”