New details are emerging about how Edward Snowden gained access to the classified NSA documents he would later leak to the press, and boy are they curious.
Reuters dropped a scoop late Thursday night that shows how shockingly low tech (read: no tech) methods enabled Snowden to gather up classified documents. Check this out: "Snowden may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii to give him their logins and passwords by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator, a second source said." The report notes that these coworkers were later relieved of their duties, though it's unclear if they were reassigned or fired.
So let's get this straight. A sort of pale-faced twenty-something contractor—not an NSA employee—waltzes into the Hawaii operations center asking people for their passwords, passwords that unlocked the country's deepest darkest secrets, and the NSA analysts just said yes? And not one or two of them—20 to 25! While giving up your password to a sysadmin is not unheard of, it's perplexing how Snowden ended up in such a position of power. Bear in mind that this happened after the CIA had let Snowden go for trying to break into classified documents and even written a warning note of sorts in his file, a note that the NSA apparently never saw.