NSA confirms Snowden scammed passwords from colleagues

A Washington Metro bus is seen with an Edward Snowden sign on its side panel December 20, 2013. Credit: Reuters
A Washington Metro bus is seen with an Edward Snowden sign on its side panel December 20, 2013. Credit: Reuters

A National Security Agency civilian employee resigned last month after telling the FBI he had inadvertently let former contractor Edward Snowden use his password to access information he was not authorized to see, according to a NSA memo sent to Congress.

The NSA told the Senate Judiciary Committee in the memo that two other workers affiliated with the NSA, including an active duty military member and an unidentified contractor, had also been “implicated” in the matter.

The memo said the contractor and military member had been stripped of their access to classified information and secure workspaces last August, but it would be up to their employers to determine “further accountability.”

The existence of the memo, dated Feb. 10 and marked “Unclassified/For Official Use Only,” was first reported online by NBC News late Wednesday.

Reuters reported in November that Snowden had used login credentials and passwords provided unwittingly by colleagues at a spy base in Hawaii to gain access to some of the classified material he leaked to the media.

In that story, Reuters said a handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden had been identified, questioned and removed from their assignments.

Snowden in January called that report “simply wrong.”

 

Highly classified

The NSA says it drew up the memo that was sent this week to update the Judiciary Committee on steps the agency had taken to hold people accountable for Snowden’s unauthorized disclosures.

The civilian in question first admitted on June 18 that he had given his login credentials, in the form of a “Public Key Infrastructure certificate,” to Snowden, the memo says.

This was days after Snowden first went public as the source who supplied highly-classified documents about eavesdropping operations by NSA and some of its foreign partners to representatives of Britain’s Guardian and The Washington Post.

The memo said that when the unnamed civilian NSA employee gave the login information to Snowden, he knew it would give him access on a system known as NSANet to which Snowden otherwise was denied access.

At Snowden’s request, the NSA worker entered his password into Snowden’s computer terminal.

“Unbeknownst to the civilian, Mr. Snowden was able to capture the password, allowing him even greater access to classified information,” the memo says.

The memo says while the civilian was not aware that Snowden intended to leak classified documents, he nonetheless failed to comply with security requirements.

NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said the agency had no comment.

The American Civil Liberties Union, one of whose lawyers is representing Snowden, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Snowden faces criminal charges in the United States after fleeing last year first to Hong Kong and then Russia, where he was granted at least a year’s asylum.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

In third year, Occupy Wall Street a "leaner,…

Three years after thousands took to the streets and camped out in lower Manhattan, Occupy Wall Street members were out in Zuccotti Park on Wednesday…

National

PHOTO: Photographer comes face-to-face with deadly crocodile

A deadly crocodile comes face-to-face with a courageous photographer, who manages to take a set of jaw-dropping pictures of the teeth-baring reptile.

Local

Brooklyn packed for annual West Indian Day Parade

Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway was packed Monday with an estimated one million people showing up on Labor Day to celebrate West Indian culture.

Local

James Michael Tyler on Gunther, Central Perk and…

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Movies

Review: Kevin Smith's 'Tusk' is insane even for…

Kevin Smith returns to the horror genre, only with more jokes this time, with "Tusk," in which Michael Parks wants to turn Justin Long into a walrus.

Movies

Fall Arts Guide: NYC's repertory film scene boasts…

Among the best repertory film series in NYC this fall include old subway movies at BAM, Capra at Film Forum and actual celluloid at the IFC Center.

Music

Needtobreathe's revival: From broken up to resurrected

Needtobreathe talks about breaking up and reuniting while recording their latest album, "Rivers in the Wastelands."

The Word

The Word: John Travolta stands by 'Battlefield Earth'

John Travolta doesn't seem too bothered about the pending lawsuit from his former pilot, Doug Gotterba, who claims he also had a six-year romantic relationship…

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL

Fantasy football: Run with Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson,…

Fantasy football: Run with Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson, Donald Brown

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…

Career

Here's why the newly-crowned Miss America deleted her…

Miss America pageant winner Kira Kazantsev quietly deleted her LinkedIn profile this week after her work history came under attack by conservative critics. Many of the…

Career

Zosia Mamet explains why leaning in is not…

Zosia Mamet is living proof that even if you don't think you can get a job you're going for, you should still try. Along with…