WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The deputy director of the U.S. National Security Agency said on Wednesday that no one had been fired and no one had offered to resign over former security contractor Edward Snowden’s ability to take large amounts of classified data from agency computers.
John Inglis said, “No,” when asked at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing if anyone had been fired over the sweeping NSA surveillance programs exposed by Snowden.
“No one has offered to resign. Everyone is working hard to understand what happened,” Inglis said.
Snowden, 30, was working at the National Security Agency as a contractor from Booz Allen Hamilton before he released details about the spying programs to U.S. and British media that were published in early June.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the committee, questioned Inglis sharply about how Snowden had managed to take the data.
“I realize you have to have a considerable amount of trust. But don’t you have people double-checking what somebody’s doing?” he asked.
Inglis said the NSA did not yet know how its safeguards had failed and expected to discover that “over weeks and months.”
“We don’t know yet where precisely they failed,” he said.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Christopher Wilson