TECH in AMERICA (TiA)

SHARING AMERICA'S TECH NEWS FROM THE VALLEY TO THE ALLEY

The NSA Has No Idea How Much Secret Data Edward Snowden Took, And That Has Them Very Worried

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U.S. intelligence agencies still don’t know how much sensitive material former Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden obtained before leaking top-secret documents and fleeing the country, Mark Hosenball of Reuters reports.

by Paul Szoldra and Michael Kelley, courtesy BusinessInsider

Snowden was able to cover some of his tracks when he accessed information about the operations of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), U.S. officials told Reuters.

It’s definitely unclear how much information he actually has. On Sunday Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Snowden had roughly 200 documents in his possession.

Earlier this month, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald told The New York Times that Snowden gave him “thousands” of documents, “dozens” of which Greenwald says are newsworthy.

From Reuters:

The agencies fear that Snowden may have taken many more documents than officials initially estimated and that his alliance with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange increases the likelihood that they will be made public without considering the security implications, they said.

Snowden is traveling with Sarah Harrison, Assange’s closest advisor.

WikiLeaks has published reams of classified U.S. government documents, including the “Afghan War Logs” in July 2010 and the “Iraq War Logs” in October 2010. The New York Times and other news organizations began publishing State Department cables obtained from WikiLeaks in November 2010.

Snowden had four laptops in his possession when he was in Hong Kong, and he told the South China Morning Post that he got a job at Booz Allen to gather evidence on surveillance methods.

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” Snowden said. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

Almost no one knows where Snowden currently is.

This weekend the former CIA technician left a government safe house in Hong Kong and flew to Moscow, where he then booked a Monday flight to Cuba but didn’t show.

On Sunday, he requested asylum in Ecuador, and on Monday Reuters reported he had received refugee papers from Ecuador “to secure him safe passage as he fled Hong Kong over the weekend.”

In August, Ecuador granted political asylum to Assange, who is currently holed up in the country’s London embassy.

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Google Maps/Business Insider

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