If you support National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and believe that his actions were well-intentioned and benefit the public good, your government views you as a potential terrorist who may be as dangerous as an al-Qaida operative.
According to remarks made by former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden during a speech on cybersecurity to the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center, the Federal government should be on the lookout for Snowden supporters who might join forces with hackers and transparency groups as a show of solidarity with the whistle-blower.
“If and when our government grabs Edward Snowden, and brings him back here to the United States for trial, what does this group do?” he said, according to The Guardian.
“They may want to come after the US government, but frankly, you know, the dot-mil stuff is about the hardest target in the United States,” Hayden said of U.S. military networks. “So if they can’t create great harm to dot-mil, who are they going after? Who for them are the World Trade Centers? The World Trade Centers, as they were for al-Qaida.”
Hayden, who headed the NSA from 1999 to 2009 before moving on to lead the CIA, was at the helm of the NSA when the spy agency began amassing Americans call records and Internet data without warrants following 9/11. Before that, the NSA’s primary focus was foreign intelligence gathering.
The group of possible hacker/transparency activists (read: people concerned about Constitutional privacy violations) that poses a threat to government spying is comprised of “nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven’t talked to the opposite sex in five or six years,” according to Hayden.