The National Surveillance Agency has struck back against Edward Snowden on Thursday, denying that he contacted the NSA with concerns of wrongdoing within the agency only to be brushed aside.
The NSA claimed the only correspondence between Snowden and the NSA's Office of General Council was one email in which no such concerns were raised. In the email, posted on the NSA's Tumblr, Snowden posed a legal question about a training session "that the Office of General Counsel addressed."
Snowden's leaked documents were first published in June 2013, revealing massive programs run by the NSA that gathered information on emails, phone calls and Internet use by hundreds of millions of Americans.
He was charged last year in the United States with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person. He fled to Russia, where he has been for nearly a year. Snowden says he merits the status of whistleblower, a defense which hinges on his claims of reaching out to the NSA while still an employee to report surveillance violations, Mediaite reported.
According to Business Insider, in an interview for NBC Snowden said he sent multiple complaints to the Office of General Counsel, in addition to unofficial complaints. According to him, he was told to "stop asking questions."
The NSA's recent statement claims Snowden made no such efforts. "There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations," said the NSA Tumblr page. "We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims."
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