Listen: Edward Snowden, United States, Terrance Heist discussed on The Art of the Exit
"You said to me and where your first discussing the story this could be considered the most notorious intelligence terrance heist of all time in especially the fact that he essentially has gotten away. Scot free for the most part but I know there's a financial implication. I know there are many. Will you talk about those as well. Maybe what this is cost. The United States estimated what what are the costs involved in and what happened with Edward Snowden. Yeah there's a there are a few different costs in terms of there's the cost of the resources spent inspire the NSA in the FBI in terms of trying to track him down and work this case the NSA. We know from the black budget. That's known meeting was published in The Washington Post that their budgets by ten billion dollars a year in a We're moving resources around to do that so there's there's the cost of of that there is the cost of reputational damage to US companies after this because he's basically people started thinking that the US government could tap into your facebook that was like the simple person the symbol explanation that people would understand if they weren't really following the news that they'd heard about it. They thought that the US government could get into all these companies which is not the case ace is nowhere close but these these big tech companies do have a law enforcement relationship so they took reputational damage and there was a great paper in the February of two thousand seventeen he was updated by Microsoft Research Office and they kinda look did all the existing estimates of how much money was lost and and and they said that the the expected losses to the US cloud industry where at least eighteen billion dollars. That's one kind of quantitative figure on it. This paper makes a really fascinating point in that for these individual companies. They had to spend money to harden encryption. They had to win the trust back of their customers customers and so they spent money kind of investing to create more solid structures in that's arguably a good thing the apple leading the way in terms of encrypted phones but he was forced. Edward Snowden forced the hand and then current day and looking now. There's the fascinating aspect of Wa wa the way being a Chinese telecom companies. That's the US alleges is very close to the Chinese government and they're the lead the world's leading telecom equipment provider and so the worry is is that they could access other countries systems simply by having back doors and their telecom equipment the the US is is fighting a very high high stakes diplomatic kind of battle right now banning away from the US and trying to lobby governments to not use this in one of Weiwei's defenses against US accusations is oh well just look at what Edward Snowden and showed us the US government is is is the one doing this. We're not doing doing this so he's kind of used as a shield to deflect this kind of criticism which is fast and you can't really quantify that but it it does have an effect on commerce today which is kind of one of the interesting long tail effects of snowing last question and this is your opinion that I'm asking is Edward Snowden a hero or a Villain Ellen so sometimes I think about a story that I wrote covering this in the summer summer two thousand thirteen and the headline is Edward. Snowden is both a Patriot and a traitor and and I think that that story has aged pretty well the basic thesis of it was that he's a Patriot for exposing providing evidence silence of post nine nine eleven domestic surveillance activity that move the ball forward in terms of the conversation of post nine eleven abuses and there's that transparency transparency argument. That's it's really there's a commendable part of of that in the reforms that have come out after that and then there's this other shoe about all the rest of the stuff and I'm really ambivalent because I think that both of those things can be true through. I think he's a very complicated figure and I'm interested in you know that's why I spent time looking into the person because he was obviously very disgruntled. Build again and again in his life and there was a certain anger in his actions and it seems from just an observational point of view that that he stole information unrelated to civil liberties of the things that would make him a whistle blower and so that that kind of goes beyond that in the the the question becomes how far beyond it to go and that's an interesting question. I don't think it's been answered yet so we could do one of these episodes. Just on the the the colorful words used by the true hoo-ha Snowden alias on the ars Technica Forms uh-huh between the years two thousand one in two thousand twelve and one of my favorites is from June twelfth. Two thousand has an eight so this would be right before Edward Snowden turned twenty five and he's working for the CIA at the time and he writes his own. He starts a forum post and it's titled Okay Okay. This is getting real. I had a vision and so the post reads. I woke up this morning with a new name. I had a vision a dream vision a vision righteous and true true before me I saw Gamers gamers shrouded in the glory of their true names step forth and assume your name in the Pantheon. It's it's always been there. Your avatars true name it slips through your sub conscious. Brazil reveals itself under your posts and flashed visibly in that moment point of unrestrained spite in the indulgent teabag. You've felt known it recognize it now realize it. I woke up this morning with a new name. That name is Wolfgang Wolf King Awesome Fox and this is. It's just a really fun on an interesting posted captures a lot of Edward Stones a personality and even if you break down the Etima at Amal of of this name Wolf King Awesome Fox it has this kind of voracious nece to it it has this kind of illusions of grandeur to in and that's exactly who his personality was online so you know people say that Edward Snowden is related related to the true how that would be his alias but really every stone is true aliases Wolfgang Awesome Fox."