It is no secret that Edward Snowden leaked a vast quantity of documents, with new information continuing to surface repeatedly after he fled to Russia. Last month, the NSA revealed the approximate number of documents Snowden shared with the media, stating that it was up to 200,000 documents, and that they will continue to be revealed over time. The information was provided by the NSA’s Director General Keith Alexander.
Alexander was asked on October 31 during a Q&A session what the NSA is doing to stop additional leaks from Snowden to the media. To this, the director general revealed that Snowden has already leaked between 50,000 to 200,000 documents to journalists, and that as such there is nothing the NSA can do to stop that. Because the documents have already been leaked to the media, the media will continue to publish more information.
He went on to state that the leaked data is “being put out in a way that does the maximum damage to [the] NSA and our nation.” This follows speculations and information that has surfaced from leaks that have claimed hundreds of thousands of documents have been provided to the media by Snowden. While the National Security Agency is aware of the approximate number of pilfered documents, which ones were nabbed is still uncertain.
Adding to the crunch factor is the nature of the documents that Snowden accessed, with many of them being marked Special Intelligence and Top Secret. Said the National Counterterrorism Center director Matthew Olsen: “There is no doubt that those disclosures have made our job harder. We’ve seen that terrorists or adversaries are seeking to learn about the ways that we collect intelligence and seeking to adapt and change the ways that they communicate.”