Doomsday Cache of Classified Data Raises Fears

    November 26, 2013

Intelligence forces from the United States and the United Kingdom are concerned over what is being called a “doomsday cache” relating to a data cloud of highly sensitive, encrypted, and classified information under the control of former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden. The information includes the names of intelligence personnel, present and former U.S. officials (seven in total), and other government-sensitive information. Through Snowden’s employment with Dell Inc. and, eventually, Booz Allen Hamilton, the former NSA contractor was exposed to a wide span of information. Reports claim that Snowden downloaded somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000 NSA and British documents.

According to website, Cryptome, that published leaked documents prior to WikiLeaks, Snowden has made public around 500 of those documents. The remaining documents are being kept as part of the “doomsday cache” for potential use in the future. However, accessing this data is not an easy, readily-available process. Numerous levels of password-protected steps must be completed in order to reach the viewing phase. This detailed encryption process involves at least three individuals knowing specific passwords that are only active for a limited time period each day. The names and whereabouts of these individuals are unknown.

According to Glenn Greenwald, who was among the first to interview Snowden, Edward established a system to ensure that information could and would be made public. “If anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives. I don’t know for sure whether has more documents than the ones he has given me… I believe he does.”

Snowden’s use of multiple parties to maintain passwords was explained by Greenwald. Snowden has “taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure the stories will inevitably be published,” Greenwald said.

In lieu of Time’s most recent poll for person of the year, which placed Edward Snowden as a top contender, the populace has been vocal about how this man known as a modern day “whistleblower” is perceived by the masses in spite of the recent “doomsday cache” concerns.

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]