Edward J. Snowden

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Edward J. Snowden (b. ca. 1984) is an American, a 29-year-old IT specialist, former employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (a contractor for the National Security Agency). Snowden embarrassed Barack Obama by revealing the mass domestic surveillance program PRISM, an internet snooping program of the National Security Agency, in June 2013. He explained to shocked Americans that the National Security Agency had in effect built a dossier on every man, woman and child in the United States of America, and probably beyond borders.

He told the British newspaper 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."[1]

The Washington Post quotes him as saying:

  • "Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest."[2]

Political reaction

John Boehner called Snowden a "traitor" who committed a "giant violation of the law" that put Americans at risk.[3] Numerous other high ranking officials have hawkishly demanded his extradition from the People's Republic of China. From China, however, reactions have been supportive, with calls by politicians, and various civil liberties organizations, to implore Beijing to block extradition attempts, on grounds of national security.


  1. Meet the NSA leaker, Human Events
  2. Edward Snowden comes forward as source of NSA leaks, Washington Post
  3. Boehner describes NSA leaker as 'traitor'

See also