Monday 18 December 2017

Agencies fear cache of spies' names held by Snowden

Supporters of Edward Snowden during a protest outside the German Parliament
Supporters of Edward Snowden during a protest outside the German Parliament

London Daily Telegraph

Britain and the US are worried about a 'doomsday' cache of highly classified, heavily encrypted material they believe Edward Snowden has stored, including possible names of intelligence personnel.

The cache allegedly contains documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) and other agencies and includes names of US and allied personnel, according to various current and former US officials.

The data is protected with sophisticated encryption, and multiple passwords are needed to open it, two of the sources told Reuters.

The passwords are in the possession of at least three different people and are valid for only a brief time window each day, they said. The identities of persons who might have the passwords are unknown.

Spokesmen for the NSA and US Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.

One source described the cache of still unpublished material as Mr Snowden's "insurance policy" against arrest or physical harm.

US officials and other sources said only a small proportion of the classified material Mr Snowden downloaded while working for the NSA has been made public.

CLASSIFIED

Some Obama administration officials have said privately that Mr Snowden downloaded enough material to fuel two more years of news stories.

"The worst is yet to come," said one former US official.

Mr Snowden, who is believed to have downloaded between 50,000 and 200,000 classified NSA and British government documents, is living in Russia under temporary asylum. He has been charged in the US under the Espionage Act.

Given Mr Snowden's presence in Moscow, the US and UK authorities say they are focused more on dealing with the consequences of the material he has released than trying to apprehend him. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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