Is 'Doomsday Cache' Story Latest Effort to Smear Snowden?

A piece by Reuters’ Mark Hosenball, published late Monday, cites unnamed officials who suggest Edward Snowden is hoarding a ‘doomsday cache’ of names of intelligence personnel to be leveraged as an “insurance policy” should the NSA whistleblower face “arrest or physical harm.”

The story, which independent journalist and commentator Kevin Gosztola called a “spoon-fed national security state propaganda intended to smear Snowden,” has drawn significant attention.

Throughout the story, Hosenball cites “seven current and former U.S. official,” speaking on the condition of anonymity. They claim that the NSA whistleblower has uploaded secure documents containing names of “U.S. and allied intelligence personnel” onto a data cloud which is protected by “sophisticated encryption” and multiple passwords that are currently in the possession of at least three “unknown” people and “valid for only a brief time window each day.”

“One source,” he writes, “described the cache of still unpublished material as Snowden’s ‘insurance policy’ against arrest or physical harm.”

Hosenball continues:

It resembles an earlier piece, also published by Reuters, that made the claim that Snowden “controls dangerous information that could become the United States’ ‘worst nightmare’ if revealed.” 

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