The threat of domestic terrorism and attacks by Al Qaida are pressing matters to national security, but many U.S. government officials are instead focused on former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. A recent official said Snowden has done 'profound damage' to future U.S. security efforts, supporting a previous lawmaker that said Snowden is a traitor and criminal.
"What Snowden has stolen and exposed has gone way, way beyond his professional concerns with so-called domestic surveillance programs," said James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, during a recent Senate committee hearing. "As a result, we've lost critical foreign intelligence collection sources, including some shared with us by valued partners."
U.S. citizens, foreign leaders, and Silicon Valley executives are upset with the NSA's spying practices, which continually trampled over Internet users. However, many U.S. lawmakers remain unhappy with Snowden, and demand he returns government documents without any further disclosures.
Meanwhile, Rep. Marc Thornberry, a Texas Republican, said Snowden's security leaks will "certainly cost billions to repair" moving forward.
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