It’s finally happened. The name of an NSA agent has been accidentally leaked to the public via an NSA document stolen by Edward Snowden.
On Monday, we covered one way in which the Snowden leaks have touched off observably negative international consequences. Specifically, we discussed how an article in The Guardian detailing how Australia spied on the president of Indonesia has exacerbated tensions between the two nations, potentially touching off a military conflict at sea. Hours later, another example of apparent irresponsible journalism came to light.
A pair of new Snowden revelations were published on Monday. First, an article was published by NBC News in association with Glenn Greenwald about an NSA operation codenamed “Squeaky Dolphin.” A second revelation was posted by The Guardian in partnership with The New York Times and ProPublica, which covered an NSA document that revealed how the NSA and the British GCHQ are able to collect information on various targets via “leaky” smartphone apps like Angry Birds.
As soon as the article was posted, someone from or associated with a popular cryptography website claims to have downloaded a pdf of the Snowden document from The New York Times and discovered that three of the redactions that were intended to obscure sensitive national security information were easily accessible by highlighting, copying and pasting the text. The poorly-redacted file was subsequently posted to the cryptography website, then promoted via Twitter. (We’re not going to post the name of the website that posted the file to protect the information contained within.)
Meanwhile, at some point yesterday, The New York Times appears to have discovered the problem and posted a new version of the file with fool-proof redactions.
The cryptography website posted the following tweet:
NSA and GCHQ docs today with inept redactons were posted by NY Times on DocumentCloud, grabbed by A. Later replaced with ept redactions.
The exposed, poorly-redacted information included the following… [CONTINUE READING HERE]