Edward Snowden has been described as not a hero nor traitor, but definitely a whistle-blower.
Speaking in the opening keynote at the IP Expo conference in London, former hacker turned consultant Kevin Mitnick said that Snowden’s revelations about the Prism software and USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) spying and surveillance was good for displaying the operations against privacy, but he said that Snowden was wrong to details foreign operations.
Mitnick said: “I am really happy he did that and I think it is a good thing, but he crossed the line when he revealed the operations against other countries. If a rogue agent wanted to tell other people, then he didn’t need to reveal those operations, so I think he is not a traitor but a whistle-blower, and not a hero.”
Asked how damaging he felt Snowden’s revelations were, Mitnick said that he thought they were “extremely” as “the adversary now knows our vulnerabilities and they now will be able to learn about techniques to identify phones and mitigation of our products”. He also said that adversaries will have unlimited money and time so can buy zero-day exploits. “If you want to be safe you should unplug yourself from the internet.”
He concluded by predicting that if Snowden were to ever return the United States, “he would never see the light of day and will be in solitary confinement for the rest of his life”, echoing his own time in solitary when convicted.