The Cable

Noted Hacker Edward Snowden Has Some Thoughts on the DNC Hack

The former CIA employee and government contractor blasts his host, Russia, for DNC hack.


Edward Snowden, currently residing in Russia to avoid the long arm of U.S. law enforcement, has blasted his host country for its alleged hack of Democratic National Committee emails.

In a series of tweets Monday, Snowden, a staunch supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, condemned the leak of nearly 20,000 internal DNC emails, which is now being investigated by the FBI. The release of the emails has thrown the start of the Democratic National Convention into disarray, costed DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job, and given new ammunition to the die-hard Sanders supporters already convinced Democratic leaders stacked the deck against their preferred candidate.

The former CIA employee and government contractor also used the occasion of the leak to call for increased transparency of government intelligence capabilities, an ironic statement given that Russia is known for the opacity of its intelligence services and Moscow’s willingness to use them to do things like help Russian athletes conceal their doping.

Snowden then said it would be easy to prove Russian involvement in the DNC hack using the formerly secret NSA data analysis program XKeyscore. Snowden’s leaks, which began in 2013, revealed the existence of the program.

True to form, he then criticized the NSA for an alleged lack of transparency.

Finally, and perhaps in a nod to the Russian government that keeps him out of a U.S. courtroom, he argued that the United States also hacked foreign political parties.

Photo credit: SLAVEN VLASIC/Getty Images

David Francis was a senior reporter for Foreign Policy, where he covered international finance. @davidcfrancis

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