Πηγή: Daily Mail
By JACK DOYLE
27 Oct 2015
Hundreds of suspected terrorists have vanished from the internet as a direct result of the Snowden thefts, a security chief said last night.
Richard Ledgett, who is deputy director of the US National Security Agency, said many suspects had changed their online behaviour following the publication of documents stolen by the former NSA contractor.
As a result, suspects who pose a serious threat to Western security can no longer be tracked.
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|US spy: Now living in Moscow under the protection of the Putin regime, Edward Snowden (above) fled the US after leaking the secret files|
He insisted he had instead alerted fanatics to the ways security agencies were keeping the public safe.
He also denied Snowden had raised issues about surveillance programmes when he was working for the agency.
Now living in Moscow under the protection of the Putin regime, Snowden fled the US after leaking the secret files.
Mr Ledgett told the BBC that the NSA had kept track of what its targets had said about the Snowden disclosures.
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‘We’ve seen in the high hundreds of targets who have said “Hey we are vulnerable to these sorts of detection techniques and we need to change the way that we do that” and a number of them have,’ he said.
"You hear claims that he was a whistleblower and that he tried to raise things. Those are just not true. He didn’t try"Richard Ledgett, US National Security Agency deputy director
This included several terrorist organisations including one that had a ‘mature operational plot directed against western Europe and the US’.
Mr Ledgett said debating the extent of surveillance powers was a ‘good discussion to have’.
But he added: ‘The way the discussion came about was wrong. You hear claims that he was a whistleblower and that he tried to raise things. Those are just not true. He didn’t try.’
And he suggested Snowden should not expect to escape prosecution: ‘If he truly believes in what he said – that this was a principled stand – part of taking a principled stand is taking the consequences.’
Snowden’s supporters claim he exposed illegal government snooping, and lifted the lid on mass surveillance.
|Maryland HQ: The chief of the US National Security Agency (above) dismissed claims that Snowden was a 'whistleblower' and insisted he had alerted fanatics to the ways security agencies were keeping the public safe|
A computer specialist at an intelligence centre in Hawaii, he tricked colleagues into handing over passwords so he could copy up to 1.7million secret files.
He says he had to act because the US government’s policies were a threat to democracy.
He fled to Hong Kong, then Russia, where he was granted asylum and now lives in a secret location. Recently he said he wanted to return home where he would face trial for espionage.
Government ministers are set to publish a surveillance law in the coming weeks designed to help the security agencies track terrorists and other serious criminals online.
But they face the prospect of a row with civil liberties campaigners and opposition from internet firms.