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Snowden’s cause lives on and triumphs: the United States’ military communications are no longer a secret to Russia

Edward Snowden’s cause lives on and triumphs. As you many know, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor has exposed the Americans’ global eavesdropping system and has named the British Government Communications Center and the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) as their accomplices in the case. He also said that for many years the Americans had been spying politicians and ordinary citizens in Germany. His confessions gave rise to a series of other exposures. It later turned out that the BND had helped the Americans to spy the Austrians and had also assisted them in their industrial espionage in Europe. In Oct 2015, it became known that the Germans had also been spying some French politicians and even some U.S. citizens in the United States.

So, you can see that this process has boomeranged on the United States. In early Nov 2015, it turned out that there was a group of Russian programmers working for the Pentagon. In order to save money, the Pentagon’s contractors, NetCracker Technology Corporation (NetCracker) and Computer Systems Corporation (CSC), hired a group of programmers from Moscow and some other Russian cities for developing codes for very secret software.

The contract of those companies with the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) cost as much as $613mn. The software they were supposed to develop was meant to ensure the efficiency of the Americans’ military communications in case of a global war. In the course of the inquiry, it turned out that in 2011 the supervisor of the project John Kingsley warned the U.S. Government that NetCracker and CSC had hired sub-contractors in Russia. In fact, they broke the U.S. federal rules saying that only U.S. citizens with special permits should be hired for work in systems of secret communications.

The inquiry lasted for four years and has resulted in a suit against both companies. The prosecutors say that the code made by the Russians has allowed them to create lots of bugs in the Pentagon’s communications systems. The witnesses say that the key motive of NetCracker and CSC was greed – by hiring the Russians they saved over 60% of their remuneration costs.

Last week the companies tried to settle the case amicably by paying the state a total of $13mn. They still deny the charges laid against them. The DISA is refusing to comment on this scandal, but it is already known that the companies’ efforts to come to an amicable agreement will not prevent the U.S. Department of Justice from laying criminal charges against them – for it turns out that the Americans have spent over $0.5bn on software that is now absolutely open for the Russians. And so, they will now have to start this project all over again. 

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