In a recent interview, GOP presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina revealed her connection to the NSA and in doing so, she may have disclosed classified information about the launch of the agency’s warrantless wiretapping program.
Fiorina recently said that she redirected trucks of HP servers from retail stores to the NSA’s headquarters after receiving a call from former NSA director Michael Hayden shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, asking her to “quickly provide his agency with HP computer servers for expanded surveillance.”
Hayden confirmed the request, and said that the HP servers were used to implement STELLARWIND, the controversial warrantless wiretapping program that is used to collect Americans’ bulk phone records.
Fiorina’s involvement with the NSA was not widely known prior to her interview with Yahoo News in September, and VICE’s Motherboard suggested that this may be due to the fact that the information Fiorina shared was classified.
— Paul D (@Paulmd199) September 28, 2015
Paul Dietrich, an activist and independent researcher, noted on Twitter that Fiorina’s claim is backed up in an NSA Inspector General report on STELLARWIND that was leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013.
The report refers to an order of 50 “computer servers to store and process data acquired under the new authority,” and in a footnote it says that “because of the heightened terrorist threat,” a vendor “diverted a shipment of servers intended for other recipients” to the NSA on Oct. 13, 2001.
— Paul D (@Paulmd199) September 29, 2015
Although the report was partially classified by the NSA in April, the page that referenced the transfer of the computer servers remained blacked out, suggesting that the information it contains is still considered classified.
While the report does not exclusively name HP as the company that sent the servers, Dietrich told Motherboard that this was because the NSA “REALLY HATES talking about corporate relationships.”
The NSA has yet to confirm whether Fiorina leaked classified information when revealing her company’s ties to the implementation of STELLARWIND.
In May, Fiorina told CNN that she has little sympathy for Edward Snowden, who is known for leaking documents that revealed the U.S. government is spying on innocent Americans and collecting their phone records.
“I think Edward Snowden has been terribly destructive,” Fiorina said. “He has been less than forthcoming. It was a very slanted portrayal about what the NSA does, and he knows it.”
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