Edward Snowden

FBI net closing on 'Edward Snowden-style' leaker of terror watch-lists

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 October, 2014, 11:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 October, 2014, 8:18am

The net is closing on a second "Edward Snowden-style" whistle-blower who has reportedly been identified by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, it emerged yesterday.

Agents had identified an employee of a US contracting firm who was suspected of leaking a US government watch list of terrorists to a journalist linked to Snowden, Yahoo News reported.

Agents had reportedly searched the suspect's home and a criminal investigation had been opened by prosecutors in the US state of Virginia. However, no one had been arrested or charged, the report said.

It is believed that the suspect was inspired by Snowden.

Snowden, who has sought asylum in Russia, was charged in June last year with espionage and theft of government property after allegedly leaking documents from the US National Security Agency.

The latest leaked documents, which apparently reveal that almost half the people on US terror watch lists have no known affiliation with any terrorist group, appeared online in August.

They were published by The Intercept, an investigative website co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who first published sensitive NSA documents obtained from Snowden.

The developments came as the British government confirmed for the first time that it can tap into intelligence material collected by spy agencies of the United States and other countries without a warrant.

The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's surveillance agency, can use loopholes to extract bulk raw intelligence from partners if conventional methods such as obtaining a warrant were "not technically feasible", The Guardian reported.

As long as the information request was not an attempt to "deliberate[ly] circumvent" the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which governs Britain's spy activities, the newly revealed rules allow it.