Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden may have had help, according to top members of the U.S. intelligence community.
Former NSA Director Michael Hayden and House Intel Committee chairman Mike Rogers told audience members on Thursday during a Washington Post Live panel on cybersecurity that Snowden may not have acted alone in his quest to expose the West’s surveillance apparatus, PC World reports.
Neither gentleman was certain, however, of whether Snowden received help from within or outside of the agency.
“As someone who gets to see all of it, it raises concerns that there may have been help in… His search queries and in some of the security measures he circumvented,” said Rogers.
Rogers said that Snowden’s leaks may be the most “most brilliant espionage operation conducted against the United States in the history of the world,” stating that it is a very dangerous time for the country.
Hayden remarked to audience members that Snowden was not “suddenly offended by something he came across,” but was rather engaged in a “sustained, long-term campaign” to gain access to classified information.
Reuters reported in August that Snowden began downloading NSA secrets in April 2012 while he was employed as a contractor at Dell in Japan.
Snowden later took a job as a contractor at Booze Allen Hamilton in Hawaii to gain access to more secrets.