Edward Snowden may have much, much more damaging information about the National Security Agency.
The former CIA employee, who leaked details about the country’s top-secret surveillance programs, has “very specific blueprints” of the NSA’s operations, according to The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, who first reported on Snowden’s disclosures.
Greenwald told the Associated Press that Snowden has “literally thousands of documents” that essentially are an “instruction manual for how the NSA is built." The information could allow someone to evade or mimic NSA surveillance tactics, the journalist said.
Since revealing the NSA was obtaining millions of Americans’ phone records and another program that allows the government to gather information about the online activities of foreigners abroad, the U.S. government has revoked Snowden’s passport and is trying to extradite him back to the United States.
The 30-year-old has been holed up in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since June 23 and is seeking temporary asylum in Russia with hopes to eventually land in Latin America. Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Venezuela have offered Snowden asylum, but he’d have to get there first.
Earlier this month, Snowden applied for asylum in more than 20 nations. At the time, he said he was dropping his petition with Russia altogether after authorities there said he must stop releasing information about America’s surveillance programs. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told local news agencies on Friday that Putin would continue to insist that he stop leaking classified information.
Greenwald told Argentina’s La Nacion that Snowden has chosen not to reveal the most damaging details but the information could become the United States' “worst nightmare” if it gets out. “Snowden has enough information to cause harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had.”
President Obama has expressed concern over what information Snowden may have, saying late last month that “We don’t yet know what other documents he may try to dribble out there.” Obama added, however, that the U.S. would not be “scrambling jets” to nab the North Carolina native.
Obama spoke to Putin on the phone on Friday. The White House did not give any indication what Russia’s plans were after the call, saying the two leaders discussed the “status” of Snowden in addition to a “range of security issues,” noting the Sochi Olympics are in 2014.
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Jay Carney accused Russia of giving Snowden a “propaganda platform” which “runs counter to the Russian government’s previous declarations of Russia’s neutrality and that they have no control over his presence at the airport.”