MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former employee of the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA), unmasked himself as a source of recent disclosures about US government’s secret surveillance programs, The Guardian daily reported on Sunday.
According to the daily, Snowden, who will go down in history as one of US most consequential whistleblowers, said he was aware of possible prosecution but disclosed secret documents in response to America’s systematic surveillance of innocent citizens.
In an interview with Washington Post, Snowden, who recently worked for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and now stays in Hong Kong, said he was “not going to hide.”
“Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest,” he said.
The Guardian and The Washington Post recently published a number of stories that revealed two US government secret surveillance programs.
According to AP, one was a telephone records monitoring program, in which the NSA collected and recorded hundreds of millions of US telephone calls daily. The other was an Internet scouring program, which allowed the NSA and FBI to tap into nine US Internet companies and gather all information from users, including videos, emails, searches and pictures. The program was code-named PRISM.
The Washington Post said citing Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, that the intelligence community is “reviewing the damage” caused by Snowden’s leaks.
“Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law,” Turner was quoted as saying.
Snowden, who moved to Hong Kong from the United States before revealing secrets to media, told The Washington Post that he was seeking “asylum from any countries that believe in free speech and oppose the victimization of global privacy.”
According to The Guardian, Snowden lived a comfortable life before leaking secret documents as he had a stable career with a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend, with whom he lived in a house on Hawaii, and a family that he loved.
“I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building,” The Guardian quoted Snowden as saying.
The US Department of Justice did not comment on the issue saying only that it was in the “initial stages of an investigation” into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, according to the Washington Post.
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- Panthera PardusCongratulation Mr. Snowden10:19, 10/06/2013who learned the lesson of the democratic approach of the free west to the disclosure of information pertaining the attack to fundamental freedom, i.e. Bradley Manning basically tortured during detention and Julian Assange stuck in the embassy in violation of his right to get out of country with diplomatic immunity.
we will celebrate this day as the day in which China has demonstrated to the West that in term of surveillance they are at the same level.
In term of repression the West is surely closing the gap with China, so far with pilot project, like the mentioned Bradley or against occupy Wall Street but wait and see, the gap will be closed.
- PeterV(no title)11:30, 10/06/2013Assange is a CIA operation of controlled exposure of truth/lies and Manning was just a homosexual who got angry because his lover left him and released a bunch of unimportant things. Occupy movement and the Tea Party are one and only, this is one of the methods of our dictatorship, controlled collision of opposing forces that "they" control, this is called "Hegelian dialectic".
And the West is far more repressive than China.
- PeterV(no title)11:27, 10/06/2013The Globalist conspiracy is getting more and more obvious, it's amazing how so many people don't get it yet.
And i wouldn't be surprised if this was leaked on purpose not surprised at all since they are pretty much removing the "crypto" from crypto-dictatorship, they are starting to be open about it since the illusion of freedom is getting too expensive to maintain.
- bielecBlatant hypocrisy16:02, 10/06/2013Reactions of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the US Department of Justice are openly hypocritical and extremely bold.
"Protecting classified information" and "abiding by the law" are not the same thing, especially when obligation to protect classified information is used to hide violations of law by the government agencies.
The law cannot force anybody to protect crimes and criminals. The law cannot force anybody to violate the law.
Iran has been a central Russian ally in the Middle East, despite considerable tensions between the two. But by renewing dialogue with the West, the new Iranian leadership has chosen another direction. The shifting terrain in the region creates new strategic, political and economic challenges for Russia.