Edward Snowden is a former American computer intelligence consultant who leaked top secret information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. His disclosures uncovered numerous global surveillance programs, many operated by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance in partnership with telecom companies and European governments. This leak showed that individual privacy is a myth in this internet age.
In 2013, Snowden was hired by an NSA contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, after previous employment with Dell and the CIA. Snowden says he gradually became disillusioned with the work he was involved with and tried to raise ethical concerns to his superior authorities, but was ignored. On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after quitting his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii and released thousands of classified NSA documents to various journalists in early June 2013.
What did Edward Snowden leak?
It is almost impossible to guess the quantum of documents Edward Snowden leaked. Australian officials have estimated 15,000 or more Australian intelligence files and British officials estimate at least 58,000 British intelligence files apart from around 1.7 million USA intelligence agencies file.
What motivated him?
Snowden first considered disclosing confidential documents in 2008, but refrained, partly because he believed newly-elected Barack Obama could introduce reforms. Following the revelations, The Guardian made his identity public on June 9, 2013, at his request. “I don’t want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded,” he said. “My sole motive is to educate the public about what is being done on their behalf and what is being done against them.”
How did Edward Snowden land in Russia?
In May 2013, Snowden quit his job and told his superiors he needed treatment for epilepsy, but he fled the United States for Hong Kong in May. On June 23, 2013, Snowden landed in Moscow. Since then, he has lived in Russia. He was granted permanent Russian residency in Russia in 2020.
Russia Granted Citizenship to Edward Snowden
President Vladimir Putin on Monday, 26th September 2022, granted Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden, nine years after he exposed the scale of secret surveillance operations all over the world by the National Security Agency (NSA). Snowden wished to have citizenship in Russia for a very long time.