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Spy papers 'could expose countries'

Two Western diplomats say US officials have briefed them on documents obtained by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that might expose the intelligence operations of their countries and their level of co-operation with America.

Word of the briefings by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence comes amid questions swirling around overseas surveillance by the National Security Agency, which has angered allies on two continents and caused concern domestically over the scope of the intelligence-gathering.

The two Western diplomats said officials from ODNI continued to brief them regularly on what documents the director of national intelligence believes Snowden obtained.

The Washington Post, which first reported the matter today, said some of the documents Snowden took contained sensitive material about collection programmes against adversaries such as Iran, Russia and China.

Some refer to operations that in some cases involve countries not publicly allied with the United States.

The Post said the process of informing officials about the risk of disclosure was delicate because in some cases, one part of the co-operating government may know about the collaboration, but others may not.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the US took the concerns of the international community seriously "and has been regularly consulting with affected partners". She would not comment on diplomatic discussions.



From Belfast Telegraph