NSA whistleblower smuggled classified documents from Hawaii facility

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who gave two news organizations information on secret intelligence programs, reportedly used a thumb drive to smuggle classified documents out of the NSA facility where he worked in Wahiawa, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Citing a U.S. official who declined to be named, the Times reports that Snowden downloaded highly classified information to the hard drive before removing them from the facility. The drives are reportedly banned inside the NSA facility where Snowden worked, the Times says.

The 29-year-old intelligence analyst worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and lived with his girlfriend in a three-bedroom home in Kunia before moving away only a few weeks ago, according to neighbors.

According to the report in the LA Times, investigators say they do know how many documents he downloaded, and which server they came from. Before the news about the thumb drive was revealed, it was not clear how he had physically removed the classified information.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Snowden was still in Hong Kong, where he is believed to have traveled after departing Hawaii. Activists there rallied in his support Thursday outside the American Consulate, the AP says.

When asked by a local reporter about his decision to release the information in Hong Kong, Snowden replied, "People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality."

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