Wed, 21 Aug 2013 11:15:00 GMT | By ANI

US clueless over extent of Snowden’s ‘snoop-data’ access

Two sources have stated that contrary to NSA's assertion that the government is awared of the scope of the damage, they are in the unknown about the number of documents that Snowden has taken


US clueless over extent of Snowden’s ‘snoop-data’ access (© Reuters)

Washington: The US NSA, which was caught off-guard when whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked huge amount of classified data about the government’s surveillance programs, the agency is yet to identify the amount of data he gained access to and still possesses.

Intelligence community sources said that the NSA is ‘overwhelmed’ trying to assess the damage and still doesn’t know the full extent of what Snowden took with him when he worked as a former contractor at the agency.

According to NBC News, although officials, including NSA Director Keith Alexander, have assured the public that the government knows the scope of the damage, but two separate sources briefed on the matter said that the NSA has been unable to determine how many documents he took and what they are.

The sources said that the agency believes that the unreleased data includes details of data collection by US allies, including the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

They further said that the agency had poor data compartmentalization, which allowed Snowden, who was a system administrator, to roam freely across wide areas and by using a ‘thin client’ computer he remotely accessed the NSA data from his base in Hawaii.

The report added that another official said that the NSA has a poor audit capability, which is frustrating efforts to complete a damage assessment

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