The current NY Times story on Snowden is such garbage. Snowden was a systems administrator with the keys to the kingdom. He had root access to servers and other devices whereby he could enable, disable, bypass and gain access to most anything stored on those devices. He was no master hacker or elite for anything. He was and is an average government contractor making tons of money put in place for staff augmentation with others to support the NSA mission. He was an IT worker. That's it. He just happened to take classes in hacking and other IT topics.
If Booz had enabled proper change and release management procedures as well as separation / segregation of duties per standard, foundational IT activities, this would never have happened. No active monitoring of administrators to pick up the data theft. Still a see, detect and arrest cyber janitor environment.
This story is garbage http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/daily-report-snowden-trained-as-hacker-while-with-n-s-a-rsum-says/ and takes the reader away from the real issues. IT driven by CIO's who don't drive basic IT requirements of incident, problem, config, change and release management. They give them the keys to the kingdom and walk away trusting the insider and this time, it was an underachiever with no education sans outside training courses.
Fill the seats and take the money - the good ole' DC and beltway bandit way of taking taxpayers dollars ...