Why did Snowden have to trick co-workers out of their passwords?

by Chris Zappone

In order for Snowden to prove to the world that its privacy was being invaded by the NSA, by which I took to mean, relentless and unchecked sifting through the communications of people’s private lives, Snowden had to trick dozens of co-workers into giving up their passwords. But doesn’t that suggest that, even if NSA casts a wide net, the data it collected was secure and wasn’t sloshing around the NSA’s offices? I’m not defending the NSA. At a certain level, their work seems like nasty business.  Random searches of Americans on the presumption of guilt is also potentially unconstitutional.

But I dunno, I kind of assumed that what Snowden opposed was the recklessness of it, the unchecked nature of the data sifting, carelessly rummaged through, picked apart at whim. Yet, according to Reuters, Snowden had to resort to trickery to get access to it while he was inside the organization. Reuters:

Snowden may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii to give him their logins and passwords by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator, a second source said.

The revelation is the latest to indicate that inadequate security measures at the NSA played a significant role in the worst breach of classified data in the super-secret eavesdropping agency’s 61-year history.

To me it indicates Snowden is not a traditional whistleblower who sees an injustice in an organization and comes forward to the public. This whistleblower was an activist inside the organization first. He had to hustle for that information to take to the world.