Report: Anti-leak software not installed before Snowden

8:19 PM, Oct 18, 2013   |    comments
Edward Snowden worked briefly at the National Security Agency's new signal intelligence facility west of Honolulu in spring 2013 before fleeing to Hong Kong with classified materials revealing how the agency monitors phone and Internet communications. (Photo: National Security Agency)
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The National Security Agency did not install software to prevent unauthorized downloading of classified material before Edward Snowden began working at its facility in Hawaii, Reuters reported Friday.

A lack of sufficient bandwidth was cited as the primary reason the NSA was slow to install the "insider leak" software, made by Raytheon, according to the report, which was based on unidentified current and former U.S. officials.

Other governmental agencies had installed the program, but intelligence agencies and the Pentagon responded more slowly because of the bandwidth issue.

President Obama ordered the federal government to tighten security after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of sensitive military and diplomatic files in 2010 and passed them to WikiLeaks.

The NSA's Kunia Regional Signal Intelligence Operations Center near Honoluluopened in January 2012. Snowden, a contractor from Booz Allen, arrived in late March or early April this year after training at NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., outside Washington. He left Hawaii in May and flew first to Hong Kong and then Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum.

The NSA would not discuss its schedule for installing the anti-leak software, Reuters said.

"We open our facilities only after we have met all of the necessary regulatory, statutory, and infrastructure requirements," a spokeswoman said. "NSA has a very large, diverse and complex IT infrastructure across our global enterprise, and many features of that infrastructure evolve over time as new capabilities are developed, refined, and deployed."

Snowden considers himself a whistle-blower but is facing charges of violating the Espionage Act.

In an interview with The New York Times, he said that he left all classified material with journalists in Hong Kong before flying to Moscow.

STORY: Snowden says he took no secret files to Russia

He also maintained that he had protected the information from Chinese spies.


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