The upcoming Edward Snowden-case: is it all about leadership – again?

It might be too early to comment in depth on a issue that is still surfacing.

But whatever will come out of Edward Snowden’s alleged wistleblowing on NSA’s prism-programme, one thing is quite clear:

Government sub-contractors and Government itself (just to remind the audience of Bradley Manning) have a severe problem to teach confidentiality to intelligent and aspiring young men who might be looking for a real purpose in life and who seem to be kind of loners.

Although this is a very simplified profile, it is nonetheless empirically based on an assessment of the Guardian-interview (see above) carried out with LIWC 2007 (source: own analysis), a computer-based content analysis tool to be applied for personality-assessment at a distance.

Lessons learned?

  • Again, as often suspected in information-leaking-cases, there is much more psychology and (missed opportunity for) leadership to be taken into account than we usually see in the practice of compliance-heavy information-security-programmes.
  • There might be a strong need to concentrate on training for information-security-ethics and dilemmata at hand.
  • Especially consulting firms (Government sub-contractors or otherwise working with sensitive data) will have to analyze what consequences the Snowden/Booz Allen-case will have for their future training practice in information security.
  • And, yes: it might be useful to spend some thinking on hiring and managing personalities with the special skills-/needs-set, as exemplified in the very short „profile“ above!