Edward Snowden has brought to light a plethora of trust issues in the unprecedented release of top secret documents.
Snowden, a 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton employee, was one of a growing number of people working for contractors handling top secret U.S. government material. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 70 percent or more of the U.S. intelligence community’s secret budget has gone to private firms, and one in four intelligence workers has been a contractor, The Washington Post reports.
The firms are motivated by profit, which raises questions about service and loyalty to country.
Oversight of the companies and workers obviously is an issue, and Snowden’s admission of leaking documents, showing the government has been data mining huge amounts of Internet and telephone information from the public is an indication that trust went out the window. But it also indicts the faith the public might have had in the federal government.
Constitutional protections against an invasion of privacy are as big a fiction as civility in Congress. Getting back that trust and faith in government and the people who work to maintain our security will be a lot more difficult than the loss of those qualities.