Britain Withdrawing Spies, U.S. On High Alert After Russia and China Access Over 1 Million Secret Files From Edward Snowden

Britain Withdrawing Spies, U.S. On High Alert After Russia and China Access Over 1 Million Secret Files From Edward Snowden

Britain is withdrawing spies, and the U.S. is on high alert after Russia and China accessed over 1 million secret files from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Over one million top-secret files accessed by Russian and Chinese spy chiefs contain personal information that could lead to the identification and whereabouts of British and US agents, senior government sources say.

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A senior Home Office official accused Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor responsible for the biggest confidential information leak in US history of having ‘blood on his hands’ after they gained access to over one million files that could jeopardize not only the mission, but innocent lives.

Boston Newstime reported that Security services have reported increasing difficulties in tracking terrorists and dangerous criminals via email, chat rooms and social media since he exposed Western intelligence-gathering methods, the Sunday Times reports.

Now aides in British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office have confirmed the top-secret material is now in the hands of spy chiefs in Moscow and Beijing.

MI6 has pulled its spies out of ‘hostile countries’ and America’s intelligence agencies are on high alert after Russia and China cracked encrypted files leaked by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden.

A senior Downing Street source told the Sunday Times: ‘It is the case that Russians and Chinese have information. ‘It has meant agents have had to be moved and that knowledge of how we operate has stopped us getting vital information.’

A British intelligence source added: ‘Snowden has done incalculable damage. In some cases the agencies have been forced to intervene and lift their agents from operations to prevent them from being identified and killed.

‘We know Russia and China have access to Snowden’s material and will be going through it for years to come, searching for clues to identify potential targets.’

Former GCHQ director Sir David Omand believes the leak represents a ‘huge strategic setback’ which is ‘harming to Britain, America and their NATO allies’.

Snowden has done incalculable damage. In some cases the agencies have been forced to intervene and lift their agents from operations to prevent them from being identified and killed.

He said the leak could spark a ‘global intelligence arms race’, adding: ‘I have no doubt whatever that programmers are being launched and money is being spent to try and catch up.

‘That’s probably true not just of China and Russia but a number of other nations who have seen some of this material to be published. ‘I am not at all surprised that people are being pulled back and operations where people are exposed are having to be shut down, at least for the moment.’

An official at British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office has played down the threat posed to agents by saying there is ‘no evidence of anyone being harmed’.

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Snowden said he was protecting ‘privacy and basic liberties’ by leaking over one million confidential files and claimed America’s NSA and British-based GCHQ (pictured) were spying on innocent people

Read the full story at Boston Newstime

Photos courtesy of Boston Newstime

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