Difference between revisions of "Edward J. Snowden"

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==See also==
==See also==
*[[Bradley Manning]]
*[[Julian Assange]]
*[[Warrantless domestic surveillance]]
*[[Warrantless domestic surveillance]]
*[[Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]]
*[[Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]]

Revision as of 17:46, 24 June 2013

Hong Kong Rally to Support Snowden, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong, June 15, 2013.

Edward J. Snowden (b. ca. 1984) is a 29-year-old American IT specialist and a former employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (a contractor for the National Security Agency). In June 2013 Snowden embarrassed Barack Obama by revealing the mass domestic surveillance program known as "PRISM," which is an internet snooping program run by the National Security Agency. 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.

Snowden 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]

After leaking the information in question, Snowden stayed in Hong Kong for a while; he then left China and went to Russia en route to seeking asylum in Ecuador. Snowden was apparently travelling on a passport that had been revoked. [3] The Wikileaks organization has helped Snowden to stay ahead of Obama's grasp. [4]

Political reaction

Activist in New York's Union Square, June 10, 2013.

John Boehner called Snowden a "traitor" who committed a "giant violation of the law" that put Americans at risk.[5] 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.

While many blasted Snowden, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and one of the chamber's most conservative members, said, "it's going to be an open question how this young man is judged." "If he goes to an independent third country like Iceland and if he refuses to talk to any sort of formal government about this, I think there's a chance that he'll be seen as an advocate of privacy." [1]


  1. Meet the NSA leaker, Human Events
  2. Edward Snowden comes forward as source of NSA leaks, Washington Post
  3. "US revokes NSA leaker Edward Snowden's passport, as he reportedly seeks asylum in Ecuador," Fox News, 23 June 2013
  4. "With WikiLeaks' Help, NSA Leaker Snowden Seeks Asylum In Ecuador Via Moscow," Forbes, 23 June 2013
  5. Boehner describes NSA leaker as 'traitor'

See also