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Edward Snowden has documents that tell how the NSA operates

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked to The Guardian that the U.S. government had collected phone records of millions of Verizon customers, is seen in this undated file photo.

July 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A journalist close to Edward Snowden says the former National Security Agency employee has sensitive documents on how the organization operates, but has insisted that they not be made public.

According to Glen Greenwald of The Guardian, the documents would reveal sensitive information on the NSA, which would allow someone to evade the program or even replicate it.

"In order to take documents with him that proved that what he was saying was true he had to take ones that included very sensitive, detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do," Greenwald said in Brazil, adding that the interview was taking place about four hours after his last interaction with Snowden.

Greenwald said he believes the disclosure of the information in the documents would not prove harmful to Americans or national security, but that Snowden has insisted they not be made public.

"I think it would be harmful to the U.S. government, as they perceive their own interests, if the details of those programs were revealed," Greenwald said.

Snowden is stuck in Moscow's airport. He's reportedly willing to meet President Vladimir Putin's condition that he stop leaking U.S. secrets, if it means Russia would give him asylum, until he can move on to Latin America.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.