Former CIA employee Edward Snowden divulged as many as 200,000 classified documents to the press, says NSA Director General Keith Alexander. The spy chief said the data was leaked in such a way that it did the “maximum damage” to the NSA and the USA.
Alexander shed light on the amount of classified files stolen by Snowden at a question-and-answer session on October 31 in Baltimore. The transcript of the speech was made public by the NSA on Thursday.
“I wish there was a way to prevent it. Snowden has shared somewhere between 50 [thousand] and 200,000 documents with reporters. These will continue to come out,” Alexander said.
He added that the security leaks had been done in a way “that does the maximum damage to NSA and our nation.”
Alexander slammed Snowden’s activities as “absolutely wrong” and said the leaks increased the chances a terrorist attack will “get through.”
“We’re at their mercy. They’re putting them out, one or two a week, to cause the maximum problem. They get it wrong,” said Alexander in the address, adding that it was very difficult to prevent such data leaks.
Although the information divulged by Snowden has been labeled ‘the worst security leak’ in history, over twice as many documents were handed over to WikiLeaks by Private Chelsea Manning. However, none of the data that was given to WikiLeaks was classified higher than ‘Secret’, whereas most of the Snowden documents were either ‘Top Secret’ or ‘Special Intelligence’. see more