Snowden documents could be 'worst nightmare' for U.S. - journalist

BUENOS AIRES Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:29pm IST

Photos of Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), and U.S. President Barack Obama are printed on the front pages of local English and Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong in this illustration photo June 11, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Photos of Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), and U.S. President Barack Obama are printed on the front pages of local English and Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong in this illustration photo June 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Fugitive former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden controls dangerous information that could become the United States' "worst nightmare" if revealed, a journalist familiar with the data said in a newspaper interview.

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who first published the documents Snowden leaked, said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday that the U.S. government should be careful in its pursuit of the former computer analyst.

"Snowden has enough information to cause harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had," Greenwald said in an interview in Rio de Janeiro with the Argentinian daily La Nacion.

"The U.S. government should be on its knees every day begging that nothing happen to Snowden, because if something does happen to him, all the information will be revealed and it could be its worst nightmare."

Snowden, who is sought by Washington on espionage charges after revealing details of secret surveillance programs, has been stranded at a Moscow airport since June 23 and is now seeking refuge in Russia until he can secure safe passage to Latin America, where several counties have offered him asylum.

Greenwald told Reuters on Tuesday that Snowden would likely accept asylum in Venezuela, one of three Latin American countries that have made that offer.

Snowden's leaks on U.S. spying secrets, including eavesdropping on global email traffic, have upset Washington's friends and foes alike.

Latin American leaders lashed out at the United States after Greenwald reported in a Brazilian newspaper that the U.S. targeted most of the region with spying programs that monitored Internet traffic.

Washington has urged nations not to give Snowden safe passage.

Greenwald said in his interview with La Nacion that documents Snowden has tucked away in different parts of the world detail which U.S. spy programs capture transmissions in Latin America and how they work.

"One way of intercepting communications is through a telephone company in the United States that has contracts with telecommunications companies in most Latin American countries," Greenwald said, without specifying which company.

(Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Comments (27)
bennfine wrote:
and to this I call shenanigans. yeesh. is anyone paying attention here.
who is this snowden to determine what should or should not be leaked. this is the thing that disturbs me about these information stealers. “oh, here you go have some secrets. then if you’re good i’ll give you some more. and oh by the way, you wont believe the really nasty stuff i will reveal if xyz happens.” please. piss or get off the can i say! if you have interesting info, release it. all of it. or keep it secret. but stop this dangling of it like you’re a media whore. same with wikileaks. “oh if something happens 5 people have my 1000 character hashed password key and can unencrypt some really damaging info”. yawn. whatever. either release everything or just go away. i don’t see a middle ground here.

Jul 13, 2013 9:57pm IST  --  Report as abuse
sxweiss wrote:
We have become way too big for our britches and are facing our comeuppance. It is true that our nation has become insufferably arrogant. Take for example the pomp and circumstance that we use to treat the person serving as president at any point in time along with all of his (never elected a woman yet) entourage who have their heads so far into such a dark place they could eat the lunch they just ate again.

I am ashamed of our country and the bullies running it.

Jul 13, 2013 10:22pm IST  --  Report as abuse
liondiamond wrote:
The US government does not speak for the American people. American interests, as expressed by US government, are not the interests of the American working class. The US government has established a police state bureaucracy and it seeks to protect it by claiming it is defending the people against terrorism. Nothing is farther from the truth! Bradley Manning disclosed war crimes and he is the one being prosecuted instead of the war criminals. Edward Snowden disclosed massive warrant-less surveillance by the government, and he is the one being persecuted instead of the snoopers.

I am rooting for Snowden to escape the claws of American imperialism.

Jul 13, 2013 10:26pm IST  --  Report as abuse
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