FBI director says U.S. will hold Snowden responsible on NSA leak

WASHINGTON Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:45am EDT

FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Federal Bureau of Investigation oversight on Capitol Hill in Washington June 13, 2013. The data in a massive U.S. government database of daily telephone records has been instrumental in identifying people who sought to harm Americans, Mueller said on Thursday. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Federal Bureau of Investigation oversight on Capitol Hill in Washington June 13, 2013. The data in a massive U.S. government database of daily telephone records has been instrumental in identifying people who sought to harm Americans, Mueller said on Thursday.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

Related Topics

Photo

Under the Iron Dome

Sirens sound as rockets land deep inside Israel.  Slideshow 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Thursday that the U.S. government is doing everything it can to hold confessed leaker Edward Snowden accountable for splashing surveillance secrets across the pages of newspapers worldwide.

Mueller said at a U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing that Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, harmed national security when he divulged the secrets.

"As to the individual who has admitted making these disclosures, he is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation," Mueller said without naming Snowden.

Mueller added: "We are taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures."

Snowden is believed to be in Hong Kong after flying there last month from Hawaii, where he lived. He has said he plans to request asylum and that he divulged secrets to Britain's Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post because he believed the U.S. surveillance programs were illegal and intrusive.

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the alleged disclosure of classified information. It has not revealed any charges or a request to extradite Snowden.

Mueller added his voice to the Obama administration's defense of the surveillance programs, which he said comply in full with U.S. law and with basic rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

The information in a massive government database of daily telephone records has been instrumental in identifying people who sought to harm Americans, Mueller said.

The program collects "no content whatsoever" beyond data such as numbers called and the time and length of calls, he said.

(Reporting by David Ingram and Laura MacInnis; Editing by Vicki Allen and Jackie Frank)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (49)
mdez13 wrote:
the constitution is the law of the land. nothing but an amendment can make the patriot act legal. i don’t see one.

the patriot act is illegal
executive order 13224 is illegal

supreme court ruled in MvM that any law repugnant to the constitution is null and void. obama and bush should be tried for treason against the people of the U.S.A.

Jun 13, 2013 10:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
totherepublic wrote:
And we know no one in the obama administraion, especially the DOJ, would ever tell a lie….

Jun 13, 2013 11:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
WyattEarp wrote:
Complies with US law until such time as it doesn’t.

Jun 13, 2013 11:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.