(NEWSER) – Military personnel working on National Security Agency surveillance programs saw stumbling across explicit photos as one of the "fringe benefits of surveillance positions," Edward Snowden reveals in a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian. They may find, "for example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation, but they’re extremely attractive," he says. "So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker. And their co-worker says: 'Oh, hey, that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.' And sooner or later, this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people. Anything goes, more or less." An NSA spokeswoman asked to comment tells the New York Times that the agency has zero tolerance for such violations of professional standards. More from the interview:

  • On life at the NSA: "Many people don’t understand that I was actually an analyst and I designated individuals and groups for targeting," Snowden says. "Generally, it’s not the people at the working level you need to worry about. It's the senior officials" who are "shielded from oversight," but you also "have a tremendous population of young military enlisted individuals who, while that’s not a discredit to them ... may not have had the number of life experiences to have felt the sense of being violated."
  • On NSA auditing: "A 29-year-old walked in and out of the NSA with all of their private records. What does that say about [the NSA's] auditing? They didn’t even know."

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