No one wants their pseudonymous online ramblings made public, but if you disclose the existence of a top-secret government program and become an international fugitive in the process, it comes with the territory. As a twentysomething, nerdy NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who just turned 30 on the lam, frequented chat rooms and message boards under the name “TheTrueHOOHA.” He held forth about anime and Ron Paul (“He’s so dreamy”), which fits the profile of a Redditor-type, but IRC chat logs revealed by Ars Technica today are much more surprising: In 2009, Snowden went off on the New York Times, WikiLeaks, and government leakers in general.
He even offered a potential punishment, according to Ars Technica’s transcripts:
< TheTrueHOOHA> HOLY SHIT
< TheTrueHOOHA> WTF NYTIMES
< TheTrueHOOHA> Are they TRYING to start a war?
they’re like wikileaks
< User19> they’re just reporting, dude.
< TheTrueHOOHA> They’re reporting classified shit
< User19> shrugs
< TheTrueHOOHA> about an unpopular country surrounded by enemies already engaged in a war
and about our interactions with said country regarding planning sovereignity violations of another country
you don’t put that shit in the NEWSPAPER
< User19> meh
< TheTrueHOOHA> moreover, who the fuck are the anonymous sources telling them this?
< TheTrueHOOHA> those people should be shot in the balls.
WikiLeaks, of course, is now his chief ally in his attempt at finding asylum. Snowden, who was working for the government abroad, had apparently not been disenchanted with his work yet, and even cited the need for secrecy with wiretapping programs specifically:
< TheTrueHOOHA> these are the same people who blew the whole “we could listen to osama’s cell phone” thingthe same people who screwed us on wiretappingover and over and over again
Thank god they’re going out of business.
< User19> the NYT?
< TheTrueHOOHA> Hopefully they’ll finally go bankrupt this year.
< TheTrueHOOHA> VIOLATING NATIONAL SECURITY? no
< User19> meh.
< User19> national security.
< TheTrueHOOHA> Um, YEEEEEEEEEEEES.
< TheTrueHOOHA> that shit is classified for a reason
< TheTrueHOOHA> it’s not because “oh we hope our citizens don’t find out”
< TheTrueHOOHA> it’s because “this shit won’t work if iran knows what we’re doing.” […]
< TheTrueHOOHA> I am so angry right now. This is completely unbelievable.
The posts were made in January 2009, more than four years before Snowden came forward as one of the most notable leakers in U.S. history. While what he saw in the intervening years must have drastically altered his perception, little has changed for his crass chat-room sparring partners: Upon learning that TheTrueHOOHA was actually Snowden, one said, “He was a total cockmonger.”