Snowden Reportedly Started Stealing Spy Documents While Working at Dell

Illustration for article titled Snowden Reportedly Started Stealing Spy Documents While Working at Dell

The neverending Edward Snowden saga is getting some new characters with a new Reuters report that tracks the origins of his secret document-stashing not to the NSA but to former employer Dell Computer. Wait, Dell? What do they have to do with spying? You'd be surprised.

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Unnamed United States officials and other anonymous sources told Reuters about the Dell connection. They say that Snowden started downloading information about the government's spy programs as early as April 2012, when he was working at Dell. It appears that the NSA was one of Dell's clients at the time, and Snowden managed to win access to documents about the NSA's collecting information from fiber-optic cables, including transoceanic cables. A Dell spokesman told Reuters, "We are honoring our customer's request that we not comment on this matter."

More information about Snowden's activities at Dell is bound to leak out. In the meantime, you must be wondering how the heck confidential NSA documents were so easily accessible by an employee of Dell Computer. That's a bit of a mystery. But we're talking about the NSA here. They screw up, like, thousands of times a year, so just add this to the list. [Reuters]

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DISCUSSION

From what I gather from reading several articles on this, (and I could be wrong), but it seems Snowden was a Dell employee who was selected to do some work for the NSA and he discovered what the NSA was doing. So he began downloading from the NSA. But, he wasn't getting exactly what he wanted, so he quit Dell and went to the contractor specifically to get more data from the NSA. It's my understanding, (and again, I could be wrong), that he left Dell with the express purpose of gathering more data from the NSA.

This takes him way out of whistleblower status and into calculated thief. (if not spy).

Had he released what he knew while still working at Dell, he would have been a whistleblower. But since he actively sought employment with a firm he knew would allow him more access to the data, he crossed a huge line.

If he comes back to the states, he should be put on trial for theft. If he never comes back, so much the better. I hope he enjoys his socialist exile.