dslreports logo

story category
NSA Leaker Reveals Himself
29 Year Old Defense Contractor Edward Snowden
by Karl Bode 09:25AM Monday Jun 10 2013
29 year old defense contractor and ex CIA employee Edward Snowden has revealed himself to be the source for last week's flurry of NSA surveillance-related leaks. Snowden, who worked for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, was so disgusted by the surveillance system he saw the NSA building he states he had to act, so he copied the documents when working at an NSA office in Hawaii. With his decision, Snowden says he was throwing away a rather comfortable life on Hawaii that included a $200,000 annual salary.

"I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," Snowden stated in a note accompanying the documents he sent to the Guardian. "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."

Snowden took a flight to Hong Kong back on May 20, and says he has essentially been hiding in a hotel room ever since. Snowden chose Hong Kong because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and seems to hope the Chinese government will be willing to stand up to the United States when they come calling. Snowden might want to familiarize himself with guys like Ai WeiWei if he really believes in China's "commitment to free speech."

The decision to flee to China creates some interesting tension given the United States' frequent and occasionally hypocritical criticism of Chinese censorship and online monitoring.

Update: The Guardian has a 12 minute video interview with Snowden that's well worth your time. In it, he makes some additional amazing claims about the ease with which the NSA can monitor effectively anyone, anywhere. He also offers a message for those "if you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about" types we're all familiar with:
"Because even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call. And then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made. Every friend you've ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis, to derive suspicion from an innocent life, and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer."

88 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments


Palo Alto, CA

2 recommendations

reply to tshirt

Re: Obama vowed to support Whistle blowers

Congress can claim these programs were "sanctioned, legal data collection" all they want, but that doesn't keep them from violating the Constitution. What's mind boggling is the people that defend this.

"What we disclosed was of great public interest, of great importance in a democracy that the U.S. government is building this massive spying apparatus aimed at its own population, and it harms nobody. Anyone who wants to say that any of these stories or disclosures have harmed national security, I defy anybody to say anything that we've published that does that in any way. The only people who have been harmed are those in power who want to conceal their actions and their wrongdoing from the people to whom they're supposed to be accountable.

The only thing that has been damaged here is not national security. What has been damaged is the reputation and credibility of the political officials who want to hide behind top secret designations to conceal their own wrongdoing and that's what they're angry about."
- Glenn Greenwald


Valrico, FL

2 edits

2 recommendations

reply to tshirt

Re: Snowden is a true hero.

Different outlooks for different "secrets", this was obviously morally wrong of the government... he was not giving out ICBM launch codes.
Nazi death camps were secret too ...

He did what every self-respecting and caring American should, I applaud him for telling us what kind of bullshit this government treats us with.

I would donate money for legal defense if he opens an account.

US government likes to talk mad crap about other countries when they go after whistle blowers or journalists but then hypocritically does all the same things. I guess your own shit don't stink.