Since Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency (NSA) two years ago, as many as five new people have stepped up to give classified information to the press.
Bruce Schneier, a cybersecurity specialist who has reviewed Snowden’s leaks, has indexed the multiple people who seem to have been leaking information about the NSA, CIA, World Trade Organization and the U.S. drone program.
All five unnamed people appear to have emerged in the 22 months since Snowden’s leaks, and may have been inspired by him.
“Way back in June 2013, [Snowden-linked journalist] Glenn Greenwald said that ‘courage is contagious,’” Schneier wrote. “He seems to be correct.”
Many of the leakers have taken their information to the Intercept, the online news outlet Greenwald started after leaving the Guardian. But others have taken their documents to Germany’s Der Spiegel or gone straight to WikiLeaks.
One of the leakers appears to be the person whose presence is disclosed in “CitizenFour,” the Oscar-winning movie about Snowden and other government leakers. Towards the end of the movie, Greenwald is seen discussing information from the unnamed leaker to Snowden. Out of fear that they may be under surveillance Greenwald writes notes down on a piece of paper for Snowden to see, before ripping them to shreds.
In October, the FBI reportedly identified and searched the home of that leaker, suspected to be a government contractor in Northern Virginia. It is unclear where that case currently stands.
U.S. officials and journalists have long suspected the possibility of at least one other leaker after Snowden, given that some of the new reports contain information written after the former government contractor fled the U.S. to Hong Kong and then Russia.
Newer stories have also not cited their information to Snowden documents, as those based around his leaks have done.