Policy: Technology

Did Edward Snowden have help?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,National Security,NSA,Ashe Schow,Edward Snowden,Spying,Technology

At least one National Security Agency employee was tricked into giving his password to Edward Snowden, allowing the former employee access to the mountain of information he has been steadily revealing, according to NBC News.

“Unbeknownst to the civilian, Mr. Snowden was able to capture the password, allowing him even greater access to classified information,” a memo obtained by NBC said.

A Reuters article by authors Mark Hosenball and Warren Strobel from November said between 20 and 25 employees had their passwords taken by Snowden.

Snowden, however, denied that claim in a Jan. 23 Google chat.

“With all due respect to Mark Hosenball, the Reuters report that put this out there was simply wrong,” Snowden said. “I never stole any passwords, nor did I trick an army of co-workers.”

Which begs the question: Did Snowden have inside help stealing the NSA documents? NBC quotes the memo as saying that two people — an active-duty member of the U.S. military and a contractor — were barred from NSA facilities after being "implicated" in actions that may have helped Snowden.

If Snowden didn’t steal passwords or trick co-workers, did they give him that information willingly?

Or, is it as Snowden originally said, which was that he simply had access as a contractor (and used cheap software to “scrape” the data)?

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