It seems the world has not seen or heard the last from Edward Snowden. Love him or hate him, Snowden is continuing to make national headlines even while he resides in Russia in a state of temporary asylum. Snowden, who was formerly contracted with the National Security Agency as a system’s operator, sent waves through the nation when he leaked several confidential NSA documents to the press.
The NSA has never attempted to verify (at least with the press) just how many documents Snowden may have stolen until now. The Director General of the NSA, Keith Alexander, recently had this to say concerning the numbers: “I wish there was a way to prevent it…Snowden has shared somewhere between 50 (thousand) and 200,000 documents with reporters. These will continue to come out.” I’m not sure how many documents you had originally imagined Snowden stealing, but my guess definitely had a few less zeros.
How Many More Documents Will Be Released?
Wow. This bombshell poses many more questions than it answers. If Snowden did indeed steal up to 200,000 documents, one can only wonder what other national secrets are bound to be revealed in the near future. The cell phone eavesdropping revelations were bad enough – what else can there be? Do we even want to know?
While there have been other security leaks in the past, none may turn out to be as damaging as this one when all is said and done. Of the documents that Snowden illegally downloaded, many- if not most of them, were labeled as top secret or for special intelligence eyes only. These documents include highly classified details on various eavesdropping activities.
NSA Director General Alexander also stated that Snowden’s information was/is being leaked in such as way as to inflict “…maximum damage to the NSA and our nation.”
One can only wonder if certain reporters are in possession of further evidence regarding U.S. spying practices. And, if they are, why are they waiting to release it?
Edward Snowden will most likely remain in Russia until at least August of 2014 when his asylum will end. What will happen after August, though, is anyone’s guess.
What do you think? Is Snowden a national hero for releasing this damaging information, or should he be tried back in the United States for releasing national secrets?
[Image via dailytech]