After a former CIA employee revealed himself to the Guardian as the leaker of classified surveillance programs, President Barack Obama's admnistration said they were investigating the case.
The office of the director of national intelligence said "the intelligence community is currently reviewing the damage that has been done by these recent disclosures. Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law."
The leaker is identified as Edward Snowden, 29, a former CIA technical assistant and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for four years as a contract employee.
"I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he told the newspaper.
Recent newspaper reports revealed that the National Security Agency is collecting telephone records of tens of millions of Verizon customers and collecting information from nine Internet companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and Facebook.
DNI spokesperson Shawn Turner referred questions to the Justice Department.
"The Department of Justice is in the initial stages of an investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by an individual with authorized access," Justice spokewoman Nanda Chitre said. "Consistent with long standing Department policy and procedure and in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, we must decline further comment."