Snowden downloaded NSA secrets while working for Dell, sources say
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden began downloading documents describing the United States (US) government's electronic spying programs while he was working for Dell Inc in April 2012, almost a year earlier than previously reported, according to US officials and other sources familiar with the matter.
Snowden, who was granted a year's asylum by Russia on Aug 1, worked for Dell from 2009 until earlier this year, assigned as a contractor to US National Security Agency (NSA) facilities in the US and Japan.
Snowden downloaded information while employed by Dell about eavesdropping programs run by the NSA and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, and left an electronic footprint indicating when he accessed the documents, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Mr David Frink, a spokesman for Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, declined to comment on any aspect of Snowden's employment with the company, saying Dell's "customer" - presumably the NSA - had asked Dell not to talk publicly about him.