There are many questions today about Edward Snowden, the former C.I.A. computer technician behind the national security leaks that have dominated the headlines over the past few days.
Snowden, a low-level technician for the private security firm Booz Allen Hamilton, had a remarkable level of access to privileged information.
For more on the consequences Snowden may face and the role of private contracting firms in government national security, we turned to Mike Rispoli, the communications manager for Privacy International.
Tim Weiner is the author of "Enemies:A History of the F.B.I." and "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the C.I.A." He weighs in on how and why a low-level technician has such a high-level of access to classified information.