U.S.

How Did Snowden Get Those NSA Documents After All?

An NSA employee has resigned after investigators found his password was used by Edward Snowden to access classified documents.

How Did Snowden Get Those NSA Documents After All?
Flickr / ubiquit23
SMS

An NSA employee has resigned after the agency found his password was used by Edward Snowden to access classified documents.

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NBC obtained an NSA internal memo that suggests Snowden requested his co-worker enter his personal password on Snowden's computer. Then, "unbeknownst to the civilian, Mr. Snowden was able to capture the password, allowing him even greater access to classified information."

Fox News reports the employee wasn't aware of Snowden's motives when he shared the password. "He says he didn't know that Snowden planned to share the top secret documents with the press."

And MSNBC reports other employees have been disciplined for this leak.

"Three — that's how many NSA employees have been disciplined in connection to Edward Snowden's intelligence leaks." (via MSNBC)

Up to this point, media and legal attention has focused on Edward Snowden alone.

A writer for Mashable says this employee "is the first victim of the NSA's internal probe to determine whether anyone inside the agency is responsible for the leaks of thousands (or millions) of top secret documents."

Of course, as the BBC reports, the U.S. has charged Snowden with "theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence."

In January, Snowden denied stealing any information during a Q&A on supporter-site FreeSnowden: "I never stole any passwords, nor did I trick an army of co-workers."

And journalist Glenn Greenwald is a bit skeptical, too, tweeting: "There's no reason to be the slightest bit skeptical about a memo prepared by the NSA about Snowden & intended for public release #USMedia"

In the end, it's Snowden's word against National Security Agency investigators. The other two employees disciplined in the investigation have been barred from all NSA facilities.