Snowden says he was spy specializing in electronic surveillance

Snowden says he was spy specializing in electronic surveillance

PanARMENIAN.Net - Fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has described himself as a trained spy specializing in electronic surveillance, dismissing claims he was a mere low-level analyst, BBC News reported.

In an interview with NBC, he reiterated that he had worked undercover overseas for the CIA and NSA. He said the U.S. got better intelligence from computers than human agents.

Snowden, 30, fled the U.S. in May 2013 and has been living under temporary asylum in Russia.

Last year, he fed a trove of secret NSA documents to news outlets including the Washington Post and the Guardian.

Among other things, the leaks detailed the NSA's practice of harvesting data on millions of telephone calls made in the U.S. and around the world, and revealed the agency had snooped on foreign leaders.

The revelations have sparked a debate in the U.S. over the appropriate role of the NSA and the extent to which it should be authorized to conduct such broad surveillance.

President Barack Obama has asked Congress to rein in the program by barring the NSA from storing phone call data on its own and to require it to seek a court order to access telecom companies' records. Last week, the U.S. House passed such legislation, sending it to the U.S. Senate.

In excerpts of an interview with NBC, Snowden said he had trained as a spy "in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas - pretending to work in a job that I'm not - and even being assigned a name that was not mine".

But he described himself as a technical expert who did not recruit agents.

"What I do is I put systems to work for the U.S.," he said. "And I've done that at all levels from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top. Now, the government might deny these things, they might frame it in certain ways and say, 'Oh well, you know, he's - he's a low-level analyst.'"

But he said he had worked for the CIA and NSA undercover, overseas, and lectured at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

When Snowden fled the U.S., he had been working as a technician for Booz Allen, a giant government contractor for the National Security Agency.

 Top stories
U.S. Central Command said C-130 transport aircraft had made "multiple" drops of supplies provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq.
The president will aim to show the U.S. public and allies abroad that he is committed to a plan to "degrade" and "destroy" the group.
Cazeneuve said authorities are monitoring a French member of the Islamic State group identified by the U.S. State Department.
The campaign expands upon the airstrikes the United States has been conducting against the militants in Iraq since early August.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.