Renowned whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former NSA official, raised concerns about OpenAI and its offerings following the appointment of a retired NSA director to the company’s board.

On June 13, OpenAI announced that retired US Army General Paul M. Nakasone would be joining the company’s board of directors. OpenAI stated that Nakasone’s appointment underscores their dedication to safety and security. According to their blog post, Nakasone will be part of the Board’s Safety and Security Committee, influencing decisions on safety and security matters across OpenAI’s products.

While OpenAI and US government officials view Nakasone’s hiring as a positive development, not everyone is convinced. Snowden, along with other former NSA personnel, expressed skepticism. Snowden posted on his personal X account, “They’ve gone full mask off: do not ever trust OpenAI or its products. There is only one reason for appointing an NSA Director to your board. This is a willful, calculated betrayal of the rights of every person on Earth. You have been warned.

Snowden wasn’t the only one wary of OpenAI’s decision to bring Nakasone on board. Johns Hopkins University cryptography professor Matthew Green commented on X, “I do think that the biggest application of AI is going to be mass population surveillance. So bringing the former head of the NSA into OpenAI has some solid logic behind it.

In line with the potential use of AI for public surveillance, Nakasone expressed in the OpenAI blog post, “OpenAI’s dedication to its mission aligns closely with my own values and experience in public service. I look forward to contributing to OpenAI’s efforts to ensure artificial general intelligence is safe and beneficial to people around the world.


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