NSA contractor Edward Snowden was able to download thousands of classified documents from the U.S. National Security Agency partly because of a weakness in the agency’s IT infrastructure, Reuters has learned exclusively.
Current and former U.S. officials said the intelligence service had not installed the most up-to-date anti-leak software at the site in Hawaii where Snowden worked due to a lack of bandwidth to install it and make sure it worked correctly.
The software’s purpose is to block “insider threats,” and was a response to an order from President Obama in the wake of the WikiLeaks scandal in 2010 to make it harder for data breaches to occur.
“NSA and the Intelligence Community at large have been moving forward with IT efficiency initiatives for several years. … The unauthorized disclosures have naturally compelled NSA and the rest of the IC to accelerate the timeline,” said a spokesperson for the NSA.