October 28, 2016

Former NSA exec: We misjudged potential of insider threats like Snowden

Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the NSA, warns that connected systems mean malicious insiders can now do damage more quickly and more easily than ever.

Edward Snowden shocked the world when he released a vast number of files detailing the wide-ranging surveillance schemes being carried out by the US National Security Agency, the UK’s GCHQ and other intelligence services across the globe.

Of course, the leak also shocked the NSA, which didn’t have any idea that Snowden had systemically accumulated sensitive files then shared them with press across the globe — all without anyone within the organisation being aware of what he was doing, despite Snowden gathering and storing intelligence for some time.

“What Snowden taught the NSA — and perhaps many people watching NSA — is that it’s probably very likely we underestimated the probability and the consequences of an insider,” says Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the NSA under the Bush and Obama administrations and during Snowden’s time at the agency.