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Thursday, July 11, 2013

How Acceptable Was Anonymous Speculation About Snowden's Laptops?

It’s the story that just won’t quit: The tale of Edward J. Snowden and his leak of classified information about the United States government’s secret surveillance of citizens.
Rife with skirmishes and subplots, overflowing with schadenfreude, one-upsmanship and bruised egos, it’s also a matter of extraordinary national and global importance.
One of the latest developments is the question of whether Mr. Snowden – as was suggested in a Times article on June 24 – may have unwittingly provided classified information to China.
The Times article, the essence of which looked at the reasons that China allowed Mr. Snowden to leave Hong Kong, included this sentence about two-thirds of the way down: “Two Western intelligence experts, who worked for major government spy agencies, said that they believed that the Chinese government had managed to drain the contents of the four laptops that Mr. Snowden said he brought to Hong Kong, and that he said were with him during his stay at a Hong Kong hotel.”
Mr. Snowden denied that his laptops were compromised by the Chinese (or the Russians): “I never gave any information to either government and they never took anything from my laptops,” he said in an interview with Glenn Greenwald, the columnist for The Guardian who broke much of the biggest news over the past month as a chief recipient of Mr. Snowden’s information.
In that piece, Mr. Greenwald took The Times to task for printing that “incendiary” speculation.

How Acceptable Was Anonymous Speculation About Snowden's Laptops?

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