Tags: Edward Snowden | congress | spying | hacking

Edward Snowden: Capitol Hill Not Safe From Snooping

By    |   Friday, 07 November 2014 07:47 PM

Capitol Hill isn't immune from spies and hackers, former National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden warns.

And U.S. lawmakers and their staff members need to make sure their digital and phone data – from private emails to upcoming legislation to overseas deals – is protected or it'll be dangerously insecure, Snowden said at a conference focused on ways reporters can protect their information, The Hill reports.

"We’re simply fooling ourselves if we think that our representatives in government can go along with this completely defenseless business-as-usual mode of communicating," he said, speaking remotely from Russia, according to The Hill.

The so-called Alternative Nobel Prize winner is wanted on espionage charges by the United States for leaking extensive secrets of its electronic surveillance programs and now lives in Russia where he has a three-year residence permit.

"If we are an open book to all of our adversaries at the same time we have this very tight, closed, information control mindset towards the public ... the only people who know what’s going on in our government are our enemies, and I don’t think that’s a sustainable model."

Congressional offices don't routinely encrypt their emails or phone calls to protect content, except if they're people working on intelligence issues, The Hill notes.

Chris Soghoian, the principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Unions, tells The Hill some congressional websites also block users of Tor, software that masks users’ locations.

Snowden's warning comes as the FBI is criticizing tech companies like Apple and Google that say they'll encrypt their new operating systems, chagring that encrypting smartphone data has consequences for law enforcement and national security agencies.

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Capitol Hill isn't immune from spies and hackers, former National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden warns.
congress, spying, hacking
Friday, 07 November 2014 07:47 PM
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