1. Booz Allen’s liability in the government snooping leaks:
We now know that the source of last week’s leaks revealing various U.S. government data collection and surveillance activities is a low-level employee of the giant consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, which the New York Times reported on Monday was paid $1.3 billion last year by various American intelligence agencies under multiple contracts related to data collection and analysis. (The firm’s website has a whole section under “Intelligence Community” about how Booz turns “Big Data Into Big Insights.”)
So, the obvious question is what do those contracts say about the firm’s liability if one of its employees spills its client’s secrets resulting in what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper calls “gut=wrenching” losses? Can we at least get some or all of our money back? (The company’s stock was down in Monday morning trading, perhaps in anticipation of such problems.) If not, why not?
2. Greenwald’s conflict?
Revealing Snowden’s identity was Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald’s latest in his series of scoops on U.S. government snooping. Greenwald posted a video interview with Snowden in which the Booz Allen employee says he revealed the government’s intelligence programs to Greenwald to expose abuses of what he called “a surveillance state.”
I’d sure like to know exactly how much, if at all, Greenwald encouraged the 29-year-old Snowden to turn himself in. After all, the main beneficiary of Snowden’s confession is Greenwald – because now it’s Snowden who will likely be prosecuted while Greenwald will avoid all of the legal hassles that would have come from an investigation aimed at finding his source.
3. Look to Europe for the next fight over NSA snooping:
This paragraph in a Wall Street Journal report on Saturday summarizing the week’s revelations about the snooping programs should be a launching point for lots of stories in the coming days: