Snowden Used ‘Web Crawler’ to Scrape NSA: New York Times

Former U.S. Security Contractor Edward Snowden
Former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden poses for a photo during an interview at an undisclosed location in Moscow, in December 2013. Photographer: Barton Gellman/Getty Images

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who exposed secret U.S. intelligence programs, used automated “web crawler” software to scrape classified information from the National Security Agency’s systems, the New York Times reported, citing a senior intelligence official.

Snowden was able to access and download the data using unsophisticated software because he was working at an agency location that didn’t have modern security safeguards, according to the Times.

Snowden took advantage of the NSA’s “rudimentary protections against insiders” looking to steal information, the Times said.

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who reported for the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper on Snowden’s allegations of U.S. surveillance programs, indicated today that other government insiders may step forward with new revelations.

“There will be more sources inside the government who are also inspired by Snowden’s courage,” Greenwald said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Gallu in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Forden at