Sunday Times Report: Russia and China Have Cracked Snowden’s Cache of Secret Docs

This is bad
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The Daily Beast has advance word on a report coming out in The Sunday Times that Russia and China have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen from the NSA by Edward Snowden, and that intelligence agencies are now engaged in “rescue operations” in hostile countries.

I’ve been saying ever since this story broke that it was incredibly naïve (at best) for Snowden and his enabler Glenn Greenwald to boast he had encrypted the files so well they were “uncrackable.” Now it looks as if I was unfortunately prescient.

Russia and China have allegedly decrypted the top-secret cache of files stolen by whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to a report from The Sunday Times, to be published tomorrow. The info has compelled British intelligence agency MI6 to withdraw some of its agents from active operations and other Western intelligence agencies are now actively involved in rescue operations. In a July 2013 email to a former U.S. Senator, Snowden stated that, “No intel­li­gence ser­vice—not even our own—has the capac­ity to com­pro­mise the secrets I con­tinue to pro­tect. While it has not been reported in the media, one of my spe­cial­iza­tions was to teach our peo­ple at DIA how to keep such infor­ma­tion from being com­pro­mised even in the high­est threat counter-intelligence envi­ron­ments (i.e. China).”

Here’s the article at The Sunday Times: British Spies Betrayed to Russians and Chinese. It’s behind a paywall, but here’s a screenshot with more:

This news raises the question of whether this decrypted top-secret information played any part in the recent hacking of the federal Office of Personnel Management; I guess we’ll eventually find out.

Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden have some spinning to do — you can expect Greenwald to sneeringly claim the British are lying about this.

UPDATE at 6/13/15 5:04:25 pm by Charles Johnson

More details at the BBC: UK Agents ‘Moved Over Snowden Files’.

According to the Sunday Times, Western intelligence agencies have been forced to pull agents out of “hostile countries” after “Moscow gained access to more than one million classified files” held by Mr Snowden.

“Senior government sources confirmed that China had also cracked the encrypted documents, which contain details of secret intelligence techniques and information that could allow British and American spies to be identified,” the newspaper added.

Tim Shipman, who co-wrote the Sunday Times story, told the BBC: “Snowden said ‘nobody bad has got hold of my information’.

“Well, we are told authoritatively by people in Downing Street, in the Home Office, in the intelligence services that the Russians and the Chinese have all this information and as a result of that our spies are having to pull people out of the field because their lives are in danger.

“People in government are deeply frustrated that this guy has been able to put all this information out there.”

The newspaper quoted Sir David Omand, former director of UK intelligence agency GCHQ, saying the fact Russia and China had the information was a “huge strategic setback” that was “harming” to Britain, the US and their Nato allies.

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