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Meet The NSA Whistleblower: Edward Snowden

Posted 6/10/2013 7:00 am by
Edward Snowden, the man who exposed the NSA.

Edward Snowden, the man who exposed the NSA.

It’s one of the biggest government spying programs in history.  Millions of phone records are collected every day with the full cooperation of Verizon and all the other major providers of cell phone service and all those records end up in the hands of the National Security Agency.  The NSA isn’t as famous as the CIA or the FBI, but it’s quite possibly the most powerful spying organization in the government, because it is essentially the domestic version of the CIA with all that entails.  Now, the NSA finds its secrets revealed by a guy who doesn’t even have a college degree.  Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old technical assistant, is the man who revealed the NSA’s domestic spying program.

Snowden lives in Hawaii, he has a girlfriend and a family, a good career, and a job making $200,000 a year via his employment with defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.  So why spill the lucrative beans?  Snowden did an extensive interview with Guardian reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.  His reasons for why he leaked the information he did are telling and, honestly, compelling.  He seems like he knew what he was doing and did it for the right reason.

Said Snowden, “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting.  If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts.  I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.  I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.  That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

Edward is currently hiding out in a Hong Kong hotel, hoping to find safe passage to a country that won’t extradite him back to the United States, where he could face the death penalty for treason.

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