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NSA agent linked to Snowden

Analyst admits he gave him password

Former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden gained access to at least some classified documents he later disclosed by copying a password from a co-worker who has since resigned, the NSA reported to Congress. Snowden has previously said he did not steal any passwords.

The unnamed civilian employee who worked with Snowden resigned last month after the government revoked his security clearance, according to a letter that NSA legislative director Ethan Bauman sent this week to the House Judiciary Committee. A military employee and a private contractor also lost their access to NSA data as part of the continuing investigation, Bauman said.

Bauman’s memo, dated Monday, provides some of the first details about what authorities said they have learned about how Snowden retrieved so many classified documents before passing them to news organizations. Top U.S. national security officials have acknowledged they do not know how many files Snowden took before he fled the U.S. to seek refuge in Russia.

Snowden has denied he stole computer passwords or tricked some co-workers into giving him their passwords. The NSA letter suggested Snowden tricked at least one co-worker and copied the employee’s password without his knowledge.

The civilian NSA worker told FBI investigators last June that he allowed Snowden to use an encrypted digital key known as a Public Key Infrastructure certificate to gain access.

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