Friday, September 4, 2015
Edward Snowden: "Hillary Clinton 'ridiculous' to think emails were secure"
(The Guardian) - Edward Snowden has branded as “completely ridiculous” the idea that Hillary Clinton’s personal email server was secure while she was secretary of state.
The National Security Agency whistleblower was speaking in an interview with Al-Jazeera.
In 2014, Clinton accused Snowden of inadvertently helping terrorists. Since then she has toned down such criticism and said the NSA needs to be more transparent.
On Thursday, Snowden was asked what he would say to Clinton now that she is being investigated for sending emails containing classified information while using a private server.
“This is a problem,” Snowden said, “because anyone who has the clearances that the secretary of state has, or the director of any top-level agency has, knows how classified information should be handled.”
He added: “If an ordinary worker at the State Department or the CIA … were sending details about the security of embassies, which is alleged to be in her email, meetings with private government officials, foreign government officials and the statements that were made to them in confidence over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it.”
Asked if Clinton “intentionally endangered US international security by being so careless with her email”, Snowden said it was not his place to say.
He did comment on Clinton’s choice of email server, Platte River Networks.
“When the unclassified systems of the United States government, which has a full-time information security staff, regularly gets hacked, the idea that someone keeping a private server in the renovated bathroom of a server farm in Colorado is more secure is completely ridiculous,” he said.
Snowden was also asked if he was concerned about what the Republican frontrunner Donald Trump might do to him if he is elected president in 2016. Trump has called Snowden “a total traitor” and “a bad guy” and said “there is still a thing called execution”.
Snowden was not concerned.
“It’s very difficult to respond in a serious way to any statement that’s made by Donald Trump,” he said.
He went on to question the credibility of politicians like John Kerry, Clinton’s successor as secretary of state, and compared “the good that they’re doing for the country” to the work of people like Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, who he said was “improving the world”.
Snowden added: “But it’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. The arguments about whether I’m a good guy or a bad guy are a complete red herring.”
The full interview with Snowden will air on Al-Jazeera English on Friday.
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