surveillance

Do the Russians and Chinese Have the Snowden Documents?

By Bruce Schneier
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 5:00 PM

On Wired I wrote about the anonymous and fact-free London Times story about the Russians and Chinese decrypting Snowden's archives. My verdict: these countries, and others, almost certainly have the entire Snowden archive.

A Twitter user commented: "Surely if agencies accessed computers of people Snowden shared with then is still his fault?"

Yes, that's right. Snowden took the documents out of the well-protected NSA network and shared with people who don't have those levels of computer security. Given what we've seen of the NSA's hacking capabilities, I think the odds are zero that other nations were unable to hack at least one of those journalists' computers. And yes, Snowden has to own that.

The point I make in the article is that those nations didn't have to wait for Snowden. More specifically, GCHQ claims that "we have now seen our agents and assets being targeted." One, agents and assets are not discussed in the Snowden documents. Two, it's two years after Snowden handed those documents to reporters. Whatever is happening, it's unlikely to be related to Snowden.