US gov't fearful of new leaker following Snowden's footsteps - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

US gov't fearful of new leaker following Snowden's footsteps

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The U.S. government claims a new leaker has followed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's lead. (Source: The Guardian/MGN) The U.S. government claims a new leaker has followed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's lead. (Source: The Guardian/MGN)
(RNN) – The U.S. federal government is fearful that another citizen is following in the infamous footsteps of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

U.S. officials have concluded that a new leaker is sharing documents related to national security, according to CNN.

The "secret" and "NONFORN" documents were leaked and published by the website The Intercept on Tuesday. The website is run by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who published the leaks by Edward Snowden.

The article, titled Barack Obama’s secret terrorist-tracking system, by the numbers, published documents dated August 2013 that were created by the National Counterterrorism Center, an offshoot of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The time frame is after Snowden said he gave the remaining documents in his possession to journalists in Hong Kong. 

The documents include information on the U.S. government’s Terrorist Screening Database’s named the Directorate of Terrorist Identities Strategic Accomplishments 2013, “a watch list of ‘known or suspected terrorists'” being watched by various government agencies, The Intercept said. The TSDB list includes 700,000 people. 

The TSDB is the first step before names are added to the government’s largest database, the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE. In the documents, The Intercept explains, most of the names - nearly 40 percent -  associated with the list have no known terrorist group affiliation. 

The article conflicts with reports that under President Barack Obama, more than 1.5 million names have been "nominated" to the TSDB list in the last five years. Those names could later be added to the U.S.’s no-fly list and face additional security screening at airports, according to the Associated Press in July. 

The current TSDB list cannot be released to the public at this time, CNN said, but confirmed with U.S. officials that the TIDE list has 1 million names on it; the Associated Press reports there were 1.1 million names on the list at the end of 2013.  

The alleged leaker has not been named.

The designation of “secret” or “NONFORN” on U.S. government documents means they are not to be disclosed or shared with foreign governments. Snowden admitted to leaking 1.7 million “top secret” documents that he stole during his time as an NSA contractor.

In May 2013, Edward Snowden left his job in Hawaii for Hong Kong, taking his top-secret files with him. Greenwald then published the information on the NSA collecting phone records and the secret court-ordered Prism program, in June 5-6 editions of The Guardian.

Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia on Aug. 1, 2013, has recently asked for an extension. His asylum ended July 31, but the Russian government has not issued a statement on its renewal.

On June 14, 2013, the Obama administration charged Snowden with violations of the Espionage Act of 1917, a World War I law that hindered persons from sharing information with its enemies that could harm U.S. troops during times of war, and other crimes related to spying. 

According to Politifact, the Obama administration has charged more people who have shared government information with the press, seven in all, under the Espionage Act than any other U.S. presidential administration since the law was installed.

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

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