Intelligence Report Suggests Edward Snowden Could be a Spy

/ 7 years ago

Intelligence Report Suggests Edward Snowden Could be a Spy

The talk of Edward Snowden is so well known that it has even been turned into a biopic, eponymously titled “Snowden”: the former NSA employee stole confidential documents from the US intelligence agency, released them to journalists from Hong Kong, and fled to Russia, where he currently resides under amnesty. But is that the whole story? Was Snowden really a spy?

Many have accused Snowden of being a foreign intelligence agency, possibly working on behalf of Russia to release secret documents in an effort to undermine its rival, the USA. While there is no proof to suggest that Snowden was working on behalf of another country, a new US government report has addressed the possibility. The relevant section of the document, entitled “Foreign Influence,” is sadly redacted (i.e. blacked out), bar two sentences, the second of which suggests that Snowden was at the very least in contact with Russia before and after his arrival in Moscow, according to  Bloomberg.

“The writer Edward Jay Epstein […] has argued that the scope of documents Snowden stole, most of which dealt with U.S. military and intelligence capabilities and not the dragnet collection of telephone data of ordinary citizens, suggest he was part of an intelligence operation,” Bloomberg’s Eli Lake reports. “Mike Rogers, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has accused Snowden of working closely with Moscow.”

“So one might think that finally, after more than three years, a new unclassified report on Snowden from Rogers’s former committee could shed some light on this matter,” Lake says. “Unfortunately, the report released by the committee Thursday does no such thing.”

“On the vital question of whether Snowden worked with a foreign power when he was taking the documents he would eventually leak, the House investigation is a tease,” he explains. “There is a section titled “Foreign Influence.” Yet all but two of its sentences, including supporting footnotes, are redacted.”

While the information should be treated as speculation – we have no idea in what context the statement was made since the rest of the report is inaccessible – the idea that Snowden was working with or for the Russians, as a spy or otherwise, remains an open question.

At least we now know that Snowden isn’t a KFC shill, though:

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