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Former spook warns of Snowden retribution

It is probably not worth arresting him

The former director of the National Security Agency and the CIA speculated that it is probably not worth the agro to arrest whistleblower Edward Snowden. Michael Hayden, who from 1999 to 2009 ran the NSA and then the CIA said that the arrest of Snowden would motivate hackers and transparency groups to large scale cyber-terror attacks.

He said that the attacks will be carried out by "nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven't talked to the opposite sex in five or six years".

While they might want to take down the US government, they would find that the dot-mil stuff is about the hardest target. So the hackers will go the World Trade Centres just like al-Qaida. Hayden was the bloke who was in charge when the NSA began to collect, among other things, the phone records and internet data of Americans without warrants after 9/11. Until then it was only interested in collecting foreign intelligence.

Hayden said that hacker groups and activists demands may be unsatisfiable, may not be rational, from other points of view, may not be the kinds of things that government can accommodate. He said that Snowden has created quite a stir among those folks who are very committed to transparency and global transparency and the global web, kind of ungoverned and free.

“And I don't know that there's a logic between trying to punish America or American institutions for his arrest, but I hold out the possibility. I can sit here and imagine circumstances and scenarios, but they're nothing more than imaginative," he said.

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