Here’s another interesting report from the Snowden files. Apparently the Australians helped the NSA with surveillance of a Chicago law firm that assisted the Indonesian government in trade talks:
In response to the disclosure of cooperation between the NSA and the Australian signals intelligence agency, the NSA said it “does not ask its foreign partners to undertake any intelligence activity that the U.S. government would be legally prohibited from undertaking itself.”
I love the way the NSA defends itself! It’s totally clear that the agency considers no domestic intelligence activity off limits! It cooperates with foreign intelligence agencies not to avoid doing something illegal, but because it’s convenient. Who could possibly think, at this point, that the NSA would have any scruples at all about doing whatever it wants? Yet it offers a defense that suggests it actually tries not to disobey the law.
The only way the NSA can redeem itself now is to make Edward Snowden its employee of the year. Or it could nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize.