I thought I was the only one bothered by the fact that the CIA has a Twitter account, which effectively serves as a domestic propaganda channel, and that the agency plans to add an Instagram account soon.
I have company: Edward Snowden. In a podcast with the tech site Motherboard, the NSA whisteblower explained why he thinks the CIA is taking to social media: to solve its image problems.
“What’s happened here is the intelligence agencies have drawn the wrong conclusions, at least from the public’s perspective, from the backlash of 2013,” he said in the latest episode of Motherboard podcast CYBER. Snowden thinks while the revelations of bulk data collection turned public sentiment against American intelligence activities, the agencies themselves took away the wrong lesson.
“And in the wake of doing that, right, this sort of damage control, they went: ‘Maybe the real story of 2013 isn’t that we got caught breaking the law,” he said. “Instead, what we’re gonna do is we’re going to try to change the laws and be more flexible, more accommodating, so we can do what we want. And at the same time, what we really have here is a PR issue.”
“They get Twitter accounts. Instagram accounts (with) puppies and everything like that, because they want to be friendly. They want to be on your side,” he said.