The documents were taken from at least 24 supersecret compartments that stored them on computers, each of which required a password that a perpetrator had to steal or borrow, or forge an encryption key to bypass.
Once Mr. Snowden breached security at the Hawaii facility, in mid-April of 2013, he planted robotic programs called "spiders" to "scrape" specifically targeted documents.
This excerpt from Edward Jay Epstein's WSJ article sounds awfully sinister and, well, advanced. Not just compartments, but supersecret, Houdini-defying compartments! Except that "supersecret" just means "above secret"– top secret — and "compartments" aren't physical devices but logical, taxonomic infosec categories.
However one feels about Snowden's ideological self-presentation and whatever case can be made that he was/is under the control of foreign intelligence entities and using whistleblowing as a cover, I don't think this sort of rhetorical obfuscation is appropriate. The strength of a case should depend on its substance and validity, not on frosting applied through orc mischief or ignorance.