Sunday, June 09, 2013
Breaking: NSA whistleblower is Hawaii resident, now in Hong Kong
by Larry Geller
I just saw the tweets… ok, so Civil Beat beat me to it, with the same headline I typed. It’s kind of logical. The Star-Advertiser also has a breaking story posted, and it’s on the Huffington Post. Can’t a blogger make and enjoy a special Sunday breakfast without stuff happening?
And, of course, the source of all this tweeting and breaking is another Guardian story by Glenn Greenwald: Edward Snowden: The whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations (The Guardian (UK) 6/9/2013). Snowden voluntarily revealed himself and expects to face the consequences for what he did, according to the Guardian story.
The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.
Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA.
Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week's series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.
On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since.
The website of the firm where he worked, boozallen.com, doesn’t load right now—possibly it is overloaded with curious bloggers fishing for more information. The office is located at 733 Bishop Street, according to Google, anyway.
From the Google cache:
“Our Hawaii-based clients have important roles in planning and protecting the nation’s security interests in the Pacific,” [Booz Allen Hamilton vice president Dave] Karp says. “They need to know that the consultants with whom they’re working side-by-side are going to be there tomorrow.”
The firm has more than 400 employees in the Pacific—and that number is growing—with expertise in planning, defense consulting, cyber security, intelligence, civil engineering, disaster preparedness, transportation, information technology and assurance, and other skills in high demand, especially in the defense market.
[boozallen.com (cached), Honolulu Office a 2009 Best Place to Work]
I doubt local Booz Allen executives are enjoying their Sunday breakfast today.
[Many Hawaii residents are not aware of the large number of intelligence contractors sprinkled around the islands. So it would not be strange that NSA information is scattered around and accessible to a fair number of people here. Whether you live in downtown Honolulu or Kailua, there are secrets lurking near you.]
Update: Here’s a link to a job advertisement for Booz Allen, to give you an idea of the kind of work that they do—right here in Honolulu. The link will probably stop working eventually.