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Report: NSA eyed preset strikes in cyberattacks

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm •  Published: August 13, 2014
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Snowden remains exiled in Russia since leaking top secret NSA documents to journalists last year. They revealed the NSA was collecting the phone records and digital communications of millions of citizens not suspected of a crime, prompting congressional reform.

The NSA declined to comment on specifics of the Wired report. A spokeswoman, Vanee Vines, instead said: "If Mr. Snowden wants to discuss his activities, that conversation should be held with the U.S. Department of Justice. He needs to return to the United States to face the charges against him."

Snowden is charged under the U.S. Espionage Act and faces up to 30 years in prison for leaking the documents.

The U.S. government has elevated lately the damages of foreign cyberattacks against American interests. In May, the Justice Department brought first-of-its kind cyber-espionage charges against five Chinese military officials accused of hacking into U.S. companies to gain trade secrets.

Snowden also told the magazine that the NSA tried to hack into a major Syrian Internet router in 2012 during the middle of the country's civil war. But he said the NSA mistakenly "bricked" the router — computer-speak for rendering it useless — temporarily crippling Internet access there.

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