27 November 2013
Snowden Related Targets
About 552 pages of Snowden's documents have been published and a much smaller
number of the documents from which the pages were excerpted. Many of the
pages are redacted, some apparently by NSA-GCHQ, others by reporters and
publishers. It is not clear by whom, how or when the excerpts and redactions
were made. A variety of persons with legal, editorial and technical skills
Many of the published accounts involve multiple reporters and associated
sources. Multiple outlets are involved; 10 have published original pages
(other accounts published only narratives, no pages).
|O Globo Fantastico
|New York Times
|Associates and Sources:
Greenwald (5) and
Each published account would involve reporters; multiple editors; lawyers;
media producers and staff; copy editors; proofreaders; researchers; slide
and text formatters; graphic artists; redaction technicians; technology
evaluators for networks and comsec; espionage consultants; NSA-GCHQ specialists;
and other specialists suitable for each account.
It might be estimated that at least 10 persons at each outlet were involved
in the legal, editorial and technical review as well as preparation and
publication of each page, or about 1,000 persons total, if duplication of
services are ignored. Or half that to allow for duplication -- about 500.
To enhance security and to minimize disclosures, each account might have
changed personnel. If so, it might be estimated that 10 persons at each outlet
were involved for each page, or 5,520 persons. However, reporters and senior
personnel may have been retained to assure continuity, thus reducing the
number to, say, 5 persons for each page, or 2,760 persons.
Thus, an estimated range of 500 to 2,760 persons may have had access to the
documents from which the pages were excerpted and redacted.
Presumbably most of these persons are likely to have been required to sign
non-disclosure agreements for the tasks. Others may have been already subject
to NDAs as part of their job. It is expected that none of them were required
to sign official secrecy agreements, although some may hold official secrecy
clearances, or are bound by professional confidentiality requirements.
According to reports the Snowden files are composed of about 50,000 documents
(or pages, that is not clear), NY Times says "more than 50,000 shared by
The Guardian", although the Director of NSA has claimed 200,000 were taken.
Other reports, usually attributed to Glenn Greenwald, state that copies of
the full collection provided to Greenwald and Laura Poitras is encrypted
and stored in two or more places to be used as "insurance" against harm to
Snowden, and will be published should Snowden be harmed.
In one report Greenwald said Snowden no longer has any of the original material.
In another report Greenwald said he does not know if Snowden has additional
Other reports claim that the Greenwald-Poitras collection of about 50,000
files was confiscated by UK authorities from David Miranda's laptop, but
the collection has not been fully decrypted.
There have been no reports of leakage from the insurance stashes, the publication
outlets or the various reported transmissions among them (except for the
Miranda snatch by UKG), although there could be some which have not been
disclosed, not known, were sold or bartered, or were stolen for future use.
It is likely that intelligence and law enforcement agencies have made stringent
efforts to access the documents by customarily secret burglary, bribery,
barter, purchase, deception, co-optation.
Those multiple persons and outlets who have had access, or suspected of access,
are certain to have been targeted, some perhaps successfully persuaded to
cooperate with promises of confidentiality, backed by threats if cooperation
is refused -- a standard coercive means of authorities.
While Edward Snowden is knowledgeable about counter-espionage and likely
advised his initial correspondents, who in turn advised successive cooperators,
usually these counter-operations are not revealed, but hints of them are
leaked to discourage participation.
Beyond that, it is customary to foment disputes and disagreements among competing
publications, reporters, opinionators, experts, the spying industry and
consumers, along with threats against families, friends and employers, as
now occurring, to rattle and pressure targets to consider cooperating with
authorities, including use of rewards -- monetary and career -- for