CIA Flagged Snowden in 2009 for Snooping into Classified Files

Edward Snowden, last seen grocery shopping in Russia, received a derogatory report in 2009 when he worked at the CIA, where his supervisor suspected him of attempting to access classified files to which he did not have security clearance.

According to a report in the New York Times, Snowden's behavior and work habits changed sometime in 2009, eventually triggering suspicion from his supervisor that he was trying to access the classified computer files. The derogatory report went unheeded, and Snowden was later hired as a contractor for the NSA.

“It slipped through the cracks,” one veteran law enforcement official told the Times. “The weakness of the system was if derogatory information came in, he could still keep his security clearance and move to another job, and the information wasn’t passed on,” a Republican lawmaker who was briefed on Snowden’s case added.


The systems used by the CIA and the NSA to track security clearances for its employees focused only on major infractions, allowing the report on Snowden to go unnoticed. That flaw, according to law officials who spoke with the Times, has since been fixed.

While it's not clear what personal changes the supervisor noted in the report, Snowden told the Guardian that his time in Geneva changed how he viewed his job and country.

“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he said “I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

[Image via AP]