NSA leaks show need for more scrutiny of who gets access, says Sen. Collins

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Monday said it would be “absolutely shocking” if Edward Snowden had access to the information he claims to have leaked.

“The idea that a 29-year-old individual with so little experience had access to this kind of information reminds me very much of the Wikileaks case,” Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence panel, told reporters.

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“And at the very least, it shows that we need to be much more careful in granting apparently unfettered access to highly classified information that individuals who have little experience and who have not demonstrated that they have the trust and the integrity and capacity to keep that information classified,” she said.

Snowden, 29, has said he was the source of stories in newspapers this week on two NSA programs: The first data mined U.S. telephone records, while the second scanned Internet servers for foreign information.

The consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton told The Guardian he was a covert CIA employee and was formerly in the Army Reserve.

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that she was open to examining whether changes should be made to the classified programs.

“There may be some changes to it. I think we ought to look at that,” she told reporters. “I'm certainly not averse to doing that.”