6 January 2015. A2 sends:
I was reading the latest article, and I have spotted a factual error: "He
hasn't designed any hardware, written any commercial-grade software, developed
any unique algorithms or integrated complex systems on his own"
"A" may be unaware of the Vanity Fair article showing that Snowden did indeed
design and integrate complex systems.
"In Japan, Snowden worked at the Yokota Air Base, outside Tokyo, where he
instructed top officials and military officers on how to defend their networks
from Chinese hackers. There he also designed a highly sophisticated data
backup system called EPICSHELTER. It used an advanced technology to place
a shield around every N.S.A. site in the world, ensuring that the N.S.A.
would be able to recover information from any of its locations, even if that
site were completely destroyed in the event of war or another calamity."
5 January 2015
Snowden's and NSA's High Salaries for Silence?
One aspect of the Snowden story that hasn't received much attention is the
outrageous salary that Edward Snowden was receiving. I find that as equally
disturbing as the numerous illegal and serious violations of privacy committed
by the NSA.
Edward Snowden was reported to be making $170,000 per year when he defected.
Considering that his education was a handful of computer science classes
from a community college and perhaps several government classes where he
was spoonfed information, he seems far less qualified than a lot of people
in the IT field, many of whom are unemployed or making an average salary.
Contrary to some reports, I see no evidence that Edward Snowden is a genius.
He hasn't designed any hardware, written any commercial-grade software, developed
any unique algorithms or integrated complex systems on his own. He appears
to have been just a low-level support guy earning 3 or 4 times the salary
paid to other IT professionals, some of whom have advanced degrees, multiple
certifications and decades of experience and additional education.
Now, if Edward Snowden was getting paid such an enormous salary, it seems
reasonable to assume that there are many other people in the intelligence
community getting paid such enormous salaries too. So why is such a huge
sum of money being paid to these people who are violating our privacy and
breaking the law with impunity, arrogance and such disdain for the rights
of the average American they're supposed to be serving? Are they getting
paid astronomical sums of money to keep their mouths shut and not report
the outrageous violations of law committed by their bosses and their peers?
That's the only reason I can see for the unbelievable sums of money thrown
at employees like Edward Snowden, who appears relatively ignorant and unqualifed
compared to the average technician or sys admin making $45,000 per year.
It seems that the NSA breaks the law and then keeps everybody quiet by rewarding
them with vast sums of our money.
This is the second outrageous aspect of the entire NSA mass surveillance
story which hasn't been adequately addressed. An overhaul of the overly generous
salaries paid to under-qualified personnel at the NSA is long overdue. There
shouldn't be anyone at the NSA making a six-figure salary. Congress should
have corrected that mistake the first week after Snowden defected.