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Snowden 'asked' for colleagues' logins, passwords to access classified NSA data

Published time: November 08, 2013 04:08
Edited time: November 08, 2013 09:34
AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan

AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden persuaded 25 fellow workers to give him login keys and passwords at their base in Hawaii that gave him access to classified material he would later disclose as world-renowned the NSA leaks.

Those employees that gave him login access were eventually questioned and removed from their assignments, sources with knowledge of US government investigations into the leaks told Reuters. It is unknown whether any of them were fired or were given other duties.

The sources say 20 to 25 co-workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii gave Snowden their information when he told them they were needed so he could fulfil tasks as a computer systems administrator.

Reuters reports it is not clear whether the employees broke any rules by offering Snowden their passwords that gave him routes to information he did not have authorization to access. Regardless, the revelations seem certain to cast further scrutiny on the security procedures in place at the intelligence agency. 

Snowden worked at the site for around a month last spring, in which he downloaded tens of thousands of classified documents on vast NSA surveillance programs that he would later give to journalists at The Guardian and The Washington Post.

Snowden, in Hong Kong at the time the first stories on the NSA documents were published, is currently in Russia where he was granted temporary asylum, on condition that he not further “harm” the US.

The NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence would not comment on the story based on ongoing investigations surrounding the leaks.

Sources say the investigations are proceeding slowly because Snowden was diligent in covering his tracks and how he accessed the documents.

Investigators have a good idea of what Snowden could have downloaded, but ultimately are not positive which and how much data he took, the sources said.

The US Senate Intelligence Committee approved last week a bill that aims to tighten internal security of sensitive information of the kind Snowden accessed. 

Part of the new legislation sets aside no more than $100 million for intelligence agencies to beef up on software designed to ward off attempts to download classified information by those without proper authorization, among other security measures.

Comments (44)

 

Ryan Ducken 17.12.2013 02:54

D F 26.11.2013 01:31

Why isn't this a states secret in the interest of national security?
Should be classified SECRET (my opinion) and confidential

  


It was a state secret. Breaking the law however shouldnt be tolerated whether its secret or not and since it wasnt be punished and stopped it needed to come to light. If your government was severely sexually abusing children than disposing of their bodies and you knew about it but it was illegal for you to say anything would you speak up or allow the children to be abused and murdered?

 

Ryan Ducken 17.12.2013 02:51

[quote name='Donna Marie' time='26.11.2013 17:31']
Seems like you may not actually understand, or be able to write english... I hope you can take a moment to decipher(get translated accurately) that the constitution for the United states clearly gives US citizens freedom from searches by the government unless a judge issues a warrant. That being said the NSA and other agencies have clearly overstepped this by searching all US citizens, which may not excuse Snowden but it needed to be released none the less.

 

Donna Marie 26.11.2013 17:31

Snowden is a far cry from humanitarian . Snowden knows that every country spies on each other . When he released that America spied on it own people now that is news . Shocker and was upset ...going and taking our constitutional rights away . Now it is a wantabe Rock Star . It makes Snowden look desperate and takes away he wants to help . He wants to see counties at war with information on all countries . He is warning anonymous who can hack into any government they want . Now he not a hero but a terrorist . When they hack and crash your government's control of you heat and water . Is he still a hero ?

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