WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. intelligence official on Wednesday called on former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden and his “accomplices” to return the rest of the secret documents he took before making them public.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Wednesday that Snowden’s disclosures of National Security Agency spying have caused “profound damage” by revealing surveillance methods to terrorists, who he says are changing how the communicate to avoid detection.
Snowden took a trove of documents about the NSA’s surveillance programs, revealing that the agency sweeps up millions of Americans’ phone and Internet records. Revelations about the NSA’s spy programs were first published in the Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers in June, based on some of the thousands of documents Snowden handed over to Barton Gellman of the Post, Brazil-based American journalist Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, a U.S. filmmaker.
The ensuing outcry has led President Barack Obama to ask agencies and Congress to consider some reforms.
When asked whether Clapper was including journalists as accomplices to Snowden, Shawn Turner, a Clapper spokesman, told The Associated Press that Clapper “was referring to anyone who is assisting Edward Snowden to further threaten our national security through the unauthorized disclosure of stolen documents related to lawful foreign intelligence collection programs.”