CIA Warned About Snowden Trying To Get Into Computers He Wasn't Authorized On Back In 2009 [Update: Or Not]
from the checks-and-balances dept
Update: And, of course, now the NY Times is walking back this story as the CIA has directly denied it:
Asked repeatedly for comment over the past several weeks, most recently on Thursday, the C.I.A. declined. But on Friday, the C.I.A. responded with a statement, the first public acknowledgment that Mr. Snowden had worked for the agency.
“The C.I.A did not file any report on Snowden indicating that it suspected he was trying to break into classified computer files to which he did not have authorized access while he was employed at the C.I.A., nor was he returned home from an overseas assignment because of such concerns,” Todd Ebitz, an agency spokesman, said in the statement.
This contradicts what the NY Times had reported on Friday — and while it appears someone is not being particularly honest, we’ll take back the story as well. Original below — but crossed out.
The NY Times has an interesting report, claiming that investigators looking back through Ed Snowden’s history, discovered that he was written up back in 2009, while working for the CIA, in Geneva, for “trying to break into classified computer files to which he was not authorized to have access.” It was for this reason that he was sent home, and moved on to a new job, as a contractor for the NSA. The report notes that the writeup — known as a “derogatory report” — was considered somewhat minor, and wasn’t shared with folks at the NSA.
What’s interesting about this is that it at least suggests that Snowden has been considering all of this for quite a long time. Back in June, he had told Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras that his time in the CIA “disillusioned” him, and a colleague of his in Geneva apparently said recently that Snowden “was already experiencing a crisis of conscience of sorts” when she knew him back then. This seems interesting on a variety of levels, as it further highlights that Snowden didn’t take the decision he made to be a whistleblower lightly. Plus, he had a long time to think things through, which supports the claims that Barton Gellman recently made, concerning Snowden’s larger view of what he was doing.