What We Can Learn From Snowden's Job Title
As an 'infrastructure analyst,' he was supposed to identify cyberwar targets
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2013 6:03 AM CDT
Edward Snowden is seen in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Guardian)

(Newser) – President Obama seemed to be downplaying Edward Snowden's importance when he dismissed him as "a 29-year-old hacker." But hacking was, in a sense, Snowden's actual job description, the New York Times points out. Officials have been careful not to mention Snowden's actual title, which was "infrastructure analyst," perhaps because it would invite questions about what an infrastructure analyst does. The answer, in the Times' words, is that they act "like a burglar casing an apartment building, looking for new ways to break into Internet and telephone traffic."

One of the documents Snowden revealed is a secret presidential directive ordering the NSA's technicians to identify potential cyberwarfare targets. This indicates that Snowden would have been examining foreign systems with two aims: find ways to steal their secrets and ID the ones that belong on a target list. And the documents make clear that this wasn't only aimed at terrorists, but also, to quote the Times again, at "foreigners of any conceivable interest," including, as we recently learned, the European Union—a revelation that has the US scrambling. For more on Snowden's current plight, click here.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Devising Cyber Attacks Was Part of Snowden's Job is...
10%
65%
4%
14%
2%
6%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 9 comments
Daniel-from-TN
Jul 2, 2013 9:17 AM CDT
Here are some definitions that can be determined from this article. Cyberwarfare Target - Anyone who can challenge, embarrass, or tell the truth about the current administration. Infrastructure Analyst - A computer hacker working for the US government. US scrambling - The US government getting caught doing something illegal. The government has been monitoring communications since before the days of the Pony Express. Common sense tells us that. Snowden just made it official and removed the government's ability to deny it. That's the REAL reason the government is upset. Snowden is seeking asylum because he knows the moment he is in US government hands, he is dead: He'll never be allowed to testify in a courtroom or before any Congressional committee for fear he would reveal other illegal activity by the government.
HonkUSA
Jul 1, 2013 5:01 PM CDT
So let's get this straight , was Snowden really an 'analyst' , or an 'ANAL IST ' ? .
kawahchan
Jul 1, 2013 11:06 AM CDT
I know I am not supposed to ask, but when FBI going to arrest the "FAKE" FBI Agent "Melinda Pharms" and the scammer/hacker (Victoria) WOODSTEIN. Because let the CIA to drone the RBA, will "send" Vlad BILETCSKIY and Herbert Stepic to "SELL THE SALTED DUCK EGGS" after they resell the 7-digit package stolen from me; they are the Criminal Organization occupying an Empty-Shell RBA's Hidden-Account to crook. OK, thanks to CIA to drone the RBA soon ....