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NSA chief says terrorists are changing their behavior thanks to Snowden leaks

Published Jul 1st, 2014 9:00AM EDT
NSA Snowden Leaks

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More than a year ago, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began leaking thousands of confidential documents that he stole while working for the National Security Agency. The documents shined light on a number of controversial spying methods employed by the government agency, many of which were considered violations of American citizens’ privacy.

There are very good arguments for and against Snowden’s actions, and one of the most valid arguments against the leaks was the suggestion that terrorists would alter their behavior and strategies in order to avoid the now-public NSA monitoring tactics. As it turns out, the NSA has now confirmed that this is indeed the case — but the problem apparently isn’t as serious as many people had feared.

When Snowden first began leaking some of the confidential documents he collected, many people argued that terrorists would use the information about PRISM and numerous other NSA spying programs to alter the way they communicate. As a result, the threat toward America and its allies would increase dramatically.

In an interview with The New York Times, new NSA chief Adm. Michael Rogers confirmed that this is indeed the case — terrorists are altering their communications in an effort to avoid known NSA surveillance methods. Contrary to the concerns voiced last year, however, Rogers believes that the NSA can still operate effectively to protect America and its interests despite the leaks.

“I have seen groups not only talk about making changes, I have seen them make changes,” Rogers told The Times. Even still, he said that he doesn’t believe “the sky is falling.”

The full interview is an interesting read, and it’s linked below in our source section.

FROM EARLIER: How to avoid NSA spying

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.