Testifying before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday, National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander said that his agency employed or contracted with around 1,000 system administrators.
"There are system administrations throughout NSA and in all our complexes around the world," Alexander said. "And there is on the order of a thousand system administrators, people who actually run the networks, that have in certain sections, that level of authority and ability to interface with the system."
Edward Snowden, the self-professed source of the recent leak of top secret NSA documents, was employed by an NSA contractor in a position that Alexander described last week as a system administrator.
Asked on Tuesday how many NSA system administrators were contractors, Alexander said the "majority of them are contractors."