It has been nearly a year since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began leaking classified information to the public, and new reports suggest there is someone else leaking top-secret documents now. Today, US government officials confirmed with CNN that there is indeed a new leaker handing over terror watch information to the media.
Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept, an investigative outfit that Snowden originally entrusted with a large stash of his information, has published a series of reports regarding the US government's terror watch list. Sourcing an anonymous member of the intelligence community, the latest of those reports says that more than 40% of the individuals on the list have "no recognized affiliation to terrorist groups."
The report continues by saying the terror watch list is accompanied by a "no-fly" watch list as well, but is actually part of a much larger record of documents known as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE). TIDE lists over a million individuals, sometimes with much greater detail than just a name, that can be accessed and added to by a number of different US government organizations. The Interceopt report suggests the CIA, NSA, and FBI all have access to the master list, alongside the military and certain police departments including the NYPD.
Perhaps the most concerning numbers from the report, have to do with the specifics the government keeps on certain individuals. The list contains as many as 730,000 biometric files on a number of the individuals blacklisted, which according to reports contains 118,000 face images and 29,000 iris profiles.
The government was fully aware The Intercept piece regarding this information was to be published and contacted the associated Press ahead of time in what appeared to be an attempt to get positive coverage. If this new leaker presents even a fraction as much data as Snowden, there is likely a lot more to come.
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