Snowden: Hearing Leaves Unanswered Question On NSA’s Actions [Video]

Snowden Hearing Leaves Unanswered Question On NSAs Actions

One of America’s most notorious document leakers came forward Monday to highlight what was not revealed during Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing.

During the hearing, FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers fielded questions about their investigations into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Most news accounts of the hearing focused on Comey’s revelation that the FBI was investigating a connection between members of the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as his claim that Trump Tower was not under surveillance during last year’s presidential campaign.

However, Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has been living in Russia ever since leaking NSA documents to the media, took to Twitter to point out what he found truly significant.

Unmasking refers to revealing the identity of Americans who are caught up in information collections and surveillance.

During Monday’s hearing, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., tried with limited success to get Comey to estimate how many people at the FBI would be able to unmask a communication and know from whom it came.

The question comes as the committee tries to uncover who leaked the classified contents of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone call with the Russian ambassador, as well as who revealed Flynn’s identity.

“I don’t know for sure,” Comey replied, saying the number would be higher than the estimate of 20 Rogers supplied at the NSA.

“It would be nice to know the universe of people who have the power to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name. Because that might provide something of a roadmap to investigate who might’ve actually disseminated a masked U.S. citizen’s name,” Gowdy said.

After Comey insisted the FBI adhered to high standards about disclosing names, Gowdy noted, “if there are 100 people who have the ability to unmask and the knowledge of a previously masked name, then that’s 100 different potential sources of investigation and the smaller the number is, the easier your investigation is.”

Gowdy then went through a litany of former Obama administration officials who might have had access to a masked U.S. citizen’s name, including former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Comey and Rogers both noted concerns with leaked information appearing in the media.

Rogers said he is “greatly concerned about leaks of classified information.”

Comey said he has seen “a lot of conversations about classified matters” showing up in the press, and “a lot of it is dead wrong.”

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