Snowden did not access ‘crown jewels’ of NSA intel, official says

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jul 22, 2013
By Barbara Starr/ CNN Pentagon Correspondent

 WASHINGTON (CNN) — U.S. intelligence now believes Edward Snowden did not gain access to the “crown jewels” of National Security Agency programs that secretly intercept and monitor conversations around the world, CNN has learned.

The Obama administration is reviewing what the admitted leaker of classified information actually got his hands on and what damage he may have caused.

The ongoing damage assessment indicates he did not gain access to what is called ECI or “extremely compartmentalized information,” according to a U.S. official familiar with the review.

The assessment also has concluded Snowden took advantage of knowing that a good deal of information was concentrated in one part of the NSA’s computer system.

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