WASHINGTON (AFP) - While working for the CIA, Edward Snowden was suspected of trying to break into files he did not have access to, but a report from his supervisor on this went unheeded, a newspaper said on Thursday night.
The New York Times said Mr Snowden's supervisor wrote a derogatory report on him in 2009 as he was preparing to leave a CIA job in Geneva. The paper quoted two senior American officials.
Mr Snowden, now living under asylum in Russia, left the CIA and became a contractor for the National Security Agency. This summer he leaked thousands of classified documents on the NSA's covert programs to spy on telephone calls and Internet traffic at home and abroad.
The supervisor's note and the CIA's suspicions do not appear to have been forwarded to the NSA, the Times said.
They surfaced only after investigators started probing Mr Snowden's records once he began to spill the beans on the surveillance programs, the paper said.
In the derogatory report on Mr Snowden, the supervisor wrote that he had detected a distinct change in the computer technician's behaviour and work habits, the paper said.
That report and the CIA's suspicions may have been the first warning of what Mr Snowden might have in mind for the future, and a chance to review Mr Snowden's top-secret clearance or put his work at the NSA under closer surveillance, the paper said.