NSA Admits That Edward Snowden Stole Up to 200,000 Documents

Illustration for article titled NSA Admits That Edward Snowden Stole Up to 200,000 Documents

It's been nearly half a year since the first revelations from Edward Snowden's leak made it into the press, but until now, we've been in the dark about exactly how big that leak was. Well, ladies and gentlemen, NSA Director General Keith Alexander is finally shining a light in that direction.

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On Halloween of all days, Alexander told a private gathering of foreign affairs experts that Snowden didn't leak hundreds of documents and he didn't leak thousands of documents. He potentially leaked hundreds of thousands of documents. "I wish there was a way to prevent it," said the soon-to-retire NSA chief. "Snowden has shared somewhere between 50 (thousand) and 200,000 documents with reporters. These will continue to come out."

By these, Alexander means reports, revelations, scoops—whatever you want to call the earthshaking stories that Snowden's documents so far have spawned. It's tough to tell how many have already been put into play, but the idea that there are almost 200,000 of them still out there suggests that a number of bombshells are still to land. Evidently, U.S. officials have known the scale of the leak for months now—which might explain why they've been so eager to bring Snowden in. [Reuters]

DISCUSSION

No, no, no. Snowden did not steal the documents. He was merely monitoring American government data traffic for terrorist activity and holding that information in a temporary location for evaluation at a later date.