The Guardian columnist who first published leaked documents taken from the National Security Agency by former contract employee Edward J. Snowden said the 30 year-old fugitive had “a huge number of documents that would be very harmful to the U.S. government if they were made public.”
Glenn Greenwald told the Associated Press that the “literally thousands” of documents Snowden took constitute “basically the instruction manual” for how the NSA and its surveillance systems are built and how they run.
Publication of those documents would “allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it,” Mr. Greenwald said.
As a result, he said, Mr. Snowden has insisted they not be made public.
“I think it would be harmful to the U.S. government, as they perceive their own interests, if the details of those programs were revealed,” said Mr. Greenwald. He previously insisted the documents have been encrypted to help ensure their safekeeping.
Snowden fled the U.S. and remains in a Russian airport as he seeks asylum.