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It turns out that it was something as simple as a thumb drive that helped Edward Snowden bring knowledge of PRISM to the public and throw the U.S. government into a tizzy. Thumb drives are banned within NSA locations, for obvious reasons, but Snowden snuck one into a Hawaii facility and walked out with it full of classified documents.

Thumb drives were banned in 2008 after a malware scare, but the ban hasn't been incredibly effective. In 2010, Bradley Manning used thumb drives (as well as CDs) to snag classified information. Certain employees carry thumb drives as part of their job, but they've been given special permission.

Investigators have supposedly discovered exactly what documents Snowden took and where he took them from, though they haven't disclosed if he possesses more documents than the ones he's leaked. Snowden is now the subject of an FBI criminal investigation and the bureau intends to prosecute him.

via The Verge