Feeds

Marc Andreessen: Edward Snowden is a 'textbook traitor'

Netscape co-founder says NSA is being 'hung out to dry'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Netscape cofounder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has said that NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a "textbook traitor," even though he admits that his peers in Silicon Valley mostly don't see it that way.

"Obviously he's a traitor," Andreessen said in an interview with CNBC. "If you look up in the encyclopedia, 'traitor', there's a picture of Ed Snowden."

Vulture Annex in San Francisco hasn't the budget for a set of encyclopedias, so we'll have to take his word for it.

Andreessen, who got rich when AOL bought Netscape in 1999, has lately spent his time investing in Silicon Valley startups as half of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

But although he has all the earmarks of a Silicon Valley business insider, Andreessen said that he believes he's among a "distinct minority" in that community, most of whom he thinks would pick "the other designation" for Snowden.

What Andreessen said he doesn't understand, given how long the NSA has been around and the amount of money it draws from the US federal government, is how anybody could pretend to be surprised to learn what the agency is doing.

"I thought they were spying," Andreessen said. "That was my impression. I just thought that that's what they were doing. I thought everybody knew that."

The Mosaic browser co-creator added that he feels it is particularly disingenuous for foreign governments to feign outrage at what the various US spy outfits do around the globe.

"Foreign governments getting all upset, I think that's for domestic political consumption," Andreessen said. "The Germans knew full well what was happening, the Brits knew full well what was happening. The Russians knew full well what was happening. And, of course, they do many or all of the same things themselves."

What bothers Andreessen, however, is that the Obama administration – of which he has been harshly critical in the past – does not seem to him to be taking sufficient action to champion the embattled NSA.

"Right now, as far as I can tell, there's no plan," Andreessen said. "There's no plan, there's no strategy, there's no tactics, there's no nothing. The Snowden reveals just keep coming out. The administration is just letting the NSA hang out to dry. They're letting the American tech industry hang out to dry." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?