NSA Report Notes Snowden Leaks Were An Inside Job With Three NSA Co-Workers Involved

If you’ve ever wondered how exactly NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was able to access as much as he did, it’s apparently because he had help. According to an L.A. Times report, at least three other NSA workers helped him--wittingly or not.

An NSA memo says that one of the three was an active-duty military member, while another was a civilian contractor like Snowden. No details were revealed about those two, including whether or not they worked with Snowden at his NSA location in Hawaii, but it does say that they have both been barred from accessing NSA systems since then.

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden (Credit: The Guardian)

The third individual was a civilian employee who, it turns out, let Snowden use his Public Key Infrastructure ID to access materials that Snowden was not otherwise able to access with his own clearance. Reportedly the worker didn’t know that Snowden was planning reveal classified documents to the media.

Snowden reportedly was able to copy that person’s password and continue using the system in that way later on, although Snowden denies that he stole anyone’s passwords. The worker, in any case, has since resigned after having his security clearance revoked.

"[Edward Snowden] knew exactly what he was doing," James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "And it was his job as assistant administrator to arrange across a lot of the databases. And he was pretty skilled at staying below the radar, so what he was doing wasn't visible."