October 27, 2016

Ex-Deputy Director of NSA discredits ‘story’ spun by Snowden

Cris Inglis, the NSA Deputy Director at the time of the Snowden leak, answers CBR’s questions about insider attacks.

There is a scene in the Snowden movie where the Deputy Director of the NSA, played by Patrick Joseph Byrnes, sends Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Snowden on a mission to Hawaii. The man portrayed by Patrick Joseph Byrnes is Chris Inglis, the now ex-Deputy Director of the NSA who disputes ever meeting Edward Snowden and questions whether the Oliver Stone biopic is more fabrication than dramatisation.

For Inglis, the film was yet another extension of Snowden’s ability to spin a story which continues to vilify the NSA. This story, wherever your allegiances lie on the patriot/traitor argument, starts with Snowden as the ultimate insider threat. The first lesson taught by Snowden is to never underestimate the insider threat – a point which Inglis readily acknowledges happening at the NSA.

At an exclusive media Q&A, CBR’s Ellie Burns followed up with Inglis about how the insider threat has evolved since Snowden. Inglis told CBR that insider threats have greatly increased in scope and scale – which is an opinion that aligns with what many experts in the industry say. The former NSA Deputy Director admitted that it was hard to say if insider threats had changed in character, from stealing data to destroying data or taking systems online, due to a lack of data points available.

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