Edward Snowden displayed unusual behavior years before he leaked documents about the National Security Agency, but his supervisor’s suspicions never reached his new employer, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
According to interviews The Times conducted with two senior officials, Snowden’s boss at the CIA in 2009 noticed changes in the technician and suspected he was trying to access secure information without clearance.
It happened while Snowden worked for the spy agency in Geneva. The CIA eventually sent Snowden home, and he left the agency to work as a contractor for the NSA.
The NSA never saw the CIA’s personnel file, The Times said.
Snowden would go on to leak classified information to journalists, bringing to light an NSA program of mass surveillance including monitoring phone records and internet interaction of Americans, foreigners and other governments.
The 30-year-old Snowden went underground after the stories broke, and is now believed to reside in Moscow under temporary asylum despite America's ambitions to prosecute him.
He surfaced for the first time in weeks on Wednesday to receive a “whistle-blower award” from the Government Accountability Project. He met with several members of the group at an undisclosed location in Russia.
GAP, through the website whistleblower.org, is a collective of former American security staffers dedicating themselves to “corporate and government accountability by protecting whistleblowers, advancing occupational free speech, and empowering citizen activists.”
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The organization presented Snowden with the Sam Adams Award and a “symbolic candlestick” prize.
“He loves America and wants to see it returned to its democratic ideals, which are completely antithetical to a closed and secret society that make for turn-key tyranny,” said former Department of Justice ethics advisor Jesselyn Radack. “In the meantime, he is integrating and adapting to his new life in Russia.”
WikiLeaks also released a photo of Snowden receiving his award, the first verified picture since he became a fugitive. Radack said Snowden is in good health, “centered, articulate.”
First photo of Snowden in Russia since airport. With Sarah Harrison. NSA,CIA, FBI,DoJ whistleblowers Integrity Award. http://t.co/qiNpTTYAtI
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 10, 2013
A day after the award ceremony, Snowden’s father Lon landed in Moscow to meet his son for the first time since he went into hiding, Agence France-Presse said.
“The meeting has already taken place. It was very emotional,” a source told Russian media, according to AFP.
Lon Snowden told Russian media after his arrival that he doesn’t think his son will ever return to the United States.
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