NSA Doesn't Actually Know What Snowden Stole: Sources
Gov't officials say Snowden covered his digital tracks, leaving agency in the dark
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2013 1:50 PM CDT
The sign outside the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – Edward Snowden didn't just take a bunch of documents and run, anonymous government officials tell the AP—he first covered his digital footprints, bypassing the NSA's own safeguards and electronic logs so the agency has no record of what he's seen or downloaded. That's a problem for the Obama administration, because it has been defending its surveillance programs to Congress with assurances that the NSA monitors and reviews everything employees are doing, so there is no opening for abuse. But if Snowden could get around the NSA's internal security system, it raises the question: how many others can, too?

The NSA will not say whether it knows exactly what Snowden has. A spokesperson says the agency's director has "a sense of what documents and information had been taken," but "he did not say the comprehensive investigation had been completed." If Snowden does know how to hack or obfuscate NSA security, it could make him a valuable resource for foreign governments. It could also explain why UK authorities recently seized the laptop of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner, posits the AP—as the US and UK governments may not actually know what the paper still has on them.

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
Aug 27, 2013 11:35 PM CDT
Are the NSA buildings still being constructed in Utah? Or did it come to a halt.....A billion sq feet??? 1492
Aug 27, 2013 11:32 PM CDT
I am calling for the heads of the people who had to do with the hiring of Snowden. All the way up. Surely there is a hiring protocol. A security investigation of the applicant before hiring. Why is this kept under wraps? 1492
Aug 25, 2013 6:33 PM CDT
Try asking Putin. 1492