Beautiful people are not sitting pretty when it comes to their online privacy. Just when it seemed good-looking people had all the luck, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden dropped a bombshell during his seven-hour interview with The Guardian.
According to Snowden, NSA employees routinely share explicit text messages and nude photos as part of the US government’s surveillance efforts—especially if the subject of the photos is considered “extremely attractive.”
From The Guardian:
"You've got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22 years old. They've suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records. In the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense. For example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising position. But they're extremely attractive."
The privacy breaches were water-cooler fodder that contributed to a frat boy office culture:
"So what do they do? They turn around and show their co-worker. And their co-worker says ‘Oh ‘Oh hey, that’s great. Show it to Bill down the way.’ And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom, and sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people."
When pressed about the frequency in which these privacy breaches occurred, Snowden alleged it “could be more or less frequent,” depending on the maturity levels of the employees. He also likened the nude photos to “fringe benefits of surveillance positions.”
In response to Snowden’s claims, an NSA spokesperson told Forbes such activity would not be tolerated:
"NSA is a professional foreign-intelligence organization with a highly trained workforce, including brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces. As we have said before, the agency has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities or professional standards, and would respond as appropriate to any credible allegations of misconduct."
The statement doesn’t exactly deny that nude photo sharing has taken place.
Click here to watch Snowden’s interview with The Guardian in Moscow. The nude photo allegations come into play around the 10-minute mark.
While choosing the most flattering color filter for your next selfie, consider how your image will appear under the fluorescent lighting of a stale government office cubicle. If that doesn’t deter you from hitting ‘send,’ you better hope that the NSA already has you filed under ‘unattractive.’