The NSA has published the one email correspondence it found with whistleblower Edward Snowden as it continues to challenge his assertion that he tried raise concerns through official channels before deciding to leak the documents he had collected.
Update: Snowden has responded that the NSA’s version of the story is incomplete.
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In an interview with NBC, Snowden said that he had reported “real problems” and was basically told, “in bureaucratic language,” to stop asking questions. The NSA took issue with the claim and decided to publish the thread in question. While it’s possible that Snowden is referring to a different email chain, this is the only one that the NSA could find.
In the message, Snowden raised a concern that mandatory security training weighted Executive Orders as having the same precedence as Federal Statutes. A response from the Office of General Counsel noted that Snowden was right and invited him to call if he wanted to discuss the issue further.
Surprisingly, the NSA’s response comes across as quite inviting, contrary to how Snowden characterized it. While that doesn’t mean that the agency would have addressed the broader concerns that Snowden would have raised, the published emails do cast some doubt on his claim that he tried to raise an alarm internally.
Here’s the full thread as shared by the Office of General Counsel:
➤ Edward J. Snowden email inquiry to the NSA Office of General Counsel [IC on the Record]
Image credit: NBC