Edward Snowden quite possibly changed the course of history with his brave act of exposing some of the most invasive spying techniques currently used by the US government. The US government and mainstream media has treated Snowden like a terrorist, in hopes of deterring others from stepping forward and leaking information as well. However, even since Snowden has been on the run, there has been at least one other whistle-blower within the NSA who is leaking sensitive documents to the press.
This week, US officials confirmed to CNN that sensitive NSA information which was recently published by The Intercept, could not have been leaked by Edward Snowden, but it must have come from a new whistleblower. The article from “The Intercept” revealed that 40 percent of the 680,000 total people listed on the government’s terror watch list have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” The NSA is sure that this is from a new whistle-blower, because of the fact these specific documents were dated from August of last year, after Snowden had already been on the run.
The documents also showed that 47,000 names were on the no fly list, and the majority of them are not actual terrorists either. Additionally, they showed that all of these lists are actually tied into a greater database that is controlled by various government agencies who collect names and information on a wide variety of different types of people. According to the leaked documents, the name of the database is the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), and it has over a million names stored in it.
The TIDE database is one of the most alarming NSA revelations to date, as it contains at least 730,000 biometric files, including 118,000 face images and 29,000 iris scans, most of which do not belong to terrorists. What is promising about this story though, is the fact that other whistle-blowers have not been discouraged to come forward, and that more information is starting to become public.