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Edward Snowden set to leak secrets about Arab leaders - report
April 30, 2014, 9:09 am
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Edward Snowden, a former US intelligence operative who last year began leaking details of the activities by US spy agencies, is reportedly set to release details of secrets related to the Arab world.

According to the Al-Arab Al-Yawm website, sources close to Snowden's Arabic translation team said the new leaks would be related to leaders and governments in the Arab world and will reportedly reveal what Arab leaders told Americans behind closed doors and agreements they, made with the CIA, the Middle East Monitor reported.

"The Arabic part will trigger a tsunami in the Arab world," Al-Arab Al-Yawm claimed. The latest leaks are expected to include details on Syria, Palestine and Turkey.

Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, caused international uproar last June when he disclosed details of the extent of surveillance and electronic intelligence gathering by his former employers and by the British equivalent GCHQ to the Washington Post and Britain's The Guardian newspaper.

He fled the United States where he faces espionage charges and has since been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

In his initial revelations, he told the newspapers the NSA was mining the personal data of users of Google, Facebook, Skype and other U.S. companies under a secret programme codenamed Prism.

Further leaks suggested the United States had monitored phone conversations of some 35 world leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel, while GCHQ has been accused of intercepting millions of Yahoo webcam chats as part of massive surveillance operations.

The flood of accusations prompted US President Barack Obama to announce reforms in January to scale back the NSA programme and to ban eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies of the United States.

Terrorists have substantially changed their methods of communication since leaks by Snowden, hindering intelligence agencies' efforts to track them, a senior British security official told Reuters.

"The Snowden effect has been a very, very severe one," Stephen Phipson, a director at Britain's Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT), told a London security conference.

"Our adversaries, the terrorists out there, now have full sight of the sorts of tools and range of techniques that are being used by government," he said. "I can tell you data shows a substantial reduction in the use of those methods of communication as a result of the Snowden leaks."

Britain says its intelligence agencies have stayed within the law and that there is rigorous oversight of their actions.

"Some of the methods he (Snowden) describes that government uses to track terrorism, as a natural consequence, you see terrorists trying to use other methods of communication," Phipson later told a small group of reporters.

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