Micah Lee has a fascinating account about the role he played as an intermediary in enabling Edward Snowden to contact Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald and thus breaking the huge story. He was the initial contact for Snowden who had been unable to communicate securely with Poitras and Greenwald. Lee was a staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the chief technology officer of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, his public encryption key was available and had solid digital signature guarantees. Snowden thought that Lee could be trusted and would know the public key for Poitras, which he did
Lee describes a tightly compartmentalized network of people who trusted each other and yet shared information on a strict need-to-know basis to maintain security. It is a fascinating account by someone who was willing to help Snowden long before he knew who he was or what he was going to reveal. The article will be particularly interesting to those who know more about encryption and security than me, but I found it engrossing too.
Lee thinks that it is now safe to reveal how the whole story unfolded. He has also published a how-to document on encryption, a 30-page whitepaper titled Encryption Works: How to Protect Your Privacy in the Age of NSA Surveillance.
During this time, Lee knew that what he was doing was dangerous though he did not what it was. After he had played his role in bringing them together and bowed out of the picture, at least temporarily, Snowden emailed him and said that someday Lee would be proud of the role he played. Lee says that that was correct, he is very proud of the role that he “played in shining light on the global espionage apparatus”.
Already I have noticed that the most vociferous critics of Snowden have become muted. One rarely hears scathing attacks on him personally and his motives. The tide seems to have turned.