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As if the NSA wasn't creepy enough, whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed that employees at the shadowy surveillance organisation pass around nude photos intercepted in the course of their duties.
"You’ve got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22 years old. They’ve suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records," Snowden explained in a marathon seven-hour interview with the Guardian. "In the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense... For example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation."
"They turn around in their chair and show their co-worker and their co-worker says: 'Oh hey, that's great. Send that to Bill down the way.’ And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom and sooner or later this person's whole life has been seen by other people. It's never reported. These are seen as the fringe benefits of surveillance positions."
That's right – your nudes may become the topic of water cooler conversation for NSA bros.
Snowden says that he personally witnessed the pic-swapping happen while he was employed at NSA HQ, noting that these incidents are seen as "routine". In a statment, an NSA spokesperson did not deny his claims, but said that such activity would not be tolerated.
So next time you want to email a racy picture to a sexual partner, remember there's a good chance that some American spies are passing it around an office just outside of Washington.
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
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