clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

National intelligence director says code-breaking leaks give 'a road map … to our adversaries'

New, 167 comments
James Clapper
James Clapper

The New York Times and The Guardian had stated that yesterday's NSA code-breaking stories were published against the government's requests, but today, the office of the director of national intelligence has made it clear exactly why they object. In response to a ProPublica piece about the decision to publish, the office made a full three-paragraph statement, defending the action as both crucial to national security and in line with the NSA's previously stated mission.

The decision to publish was "not a particularly anguished one"

"The fact that NSA’s mission includes deciphering enciphered communications is not a secret, and is not news," the statement reads. "Anything that yesterday’s disclosures add to the ongoing public debate is outweighed by the road map they give to our adversaries about the specific techniques we are using."

In the previously published piece, ProPublica had defended the choice to publish by distinguishing it from leaks that that detail eavesdropping on enemy combatants. When the subjects are domestic civilians, the editors assert, the public has a right to know. A similar piece by the New York Times public editor also stands by the decision to publish, pointing to specific details that were withheld. Overall, editor-in-chief Jill Abramson says, the decision was "not a particularly anguished one."