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NSA employees sanctioned over Snowden leaks

Three National Security Agency workers have received disciplinary action in the wake of the spying scandal brought about by revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden.

It is the first time that the intelligence agency has publicly admitted to taking action against staff as a direct result of the security breach.

An NSA memo to Congress, first disclosed by NBC, revealed that an NSA civilian employee, an active duty military member and a contractor were all implicated in the matter.

Related: The year the NSA hacked the world: A 2013 PRISM timeline

The civilian employee resigned after it emerged he had given his password to Snowden, allowing the whistleblower to access classified information from the agency's computer network, NSANet.

"On 18 June 2013, the NSA civilian admitted to FBI Special Agents that he allowed Mr Snowden to use his Public Key Infrastructure certificate (PKI)," the memo reads.

"The civilian was not aware that Mr Snowden intended to unlawfully disclose classified information. However, by sharing his PKI certificate, he failed to comply with security obligations."

Both the active duty military member and the NSA contractor had their NSA security clearance revoked in August 2013, leaving it up to each of their individual employers to determine any further accountability.

Snowden has always denied that he obtained passwords from his co-workers illegally or without their consent.

"I never stole any passwords, nor did I trick an army of co-workers," Snowden said in a recent question and answer event held by the Free Snowden website.

In the same Q&A session Snowden claimed that there was "no chance" he would receive a fair trial in the US. He has sought asylum in Russia and is currently living in Moscow.