Edward Snowden, has made a controversial claim yesterday, saying that he possessed some classified information proving that the National Security Agency (NSA) is stealing private information, pictures and videos, in order to blackmail various individuals around the world.
Edward Snowden is currenlty living in Russia as a fugitive after leaking documents about the NSA’s surveillance programs and “illegal tactics” of the NSA.
Snowden claims, the Special Collection Service (SCS) of the NSA has been stealing and collecting private pictures and information since the 1990s, accumulating over 20 billion pictures and more than 500 million hours of video.
This material which is stolen from mobile phones and computers around the world, is then analyzed and sorted in terms of potential value. Many of these images and sensitive private information is then used to blackmail politicians and other influential people, forcing them to collaborate with the agency.
Snowden says that this program has already caused the fall of many politicians, including former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in 2008, and David Petraeus, who resigned as Director of the CIA in 2012.
“The NSA has been creating scandals for years, in order to get rid of their opponents,”Mr. Snowden told the Moscow Tribune. “Most of the victims are blackmailed, so it’s hard to say exactly how many people are being pressured by the agency, but I can tell you that there are thousands, and that many of them are powerful people!”
Snowden says that the documents proving his claims will be reproduced and published in his new book, expected to be released in September.
Edward Snowden was hired by an NSA contractor in 2013 after previous employment with Dell and the CIA. He revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists. The US government filed espionage charges against him. He has been living under asylum in Moscow.