Well, looks like the “leaker” of the snooping activity has been “outed” (at his own request). His life will now be a living hell (though he may have avoided a ‘disappearing act’…)
Includes a video.
The Guardian published the identity of the whistleblower on Sunday responsible for providing the paper with top-secret documents that revealed the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs. The paper wrote that it was revealing Edward Snowden’s identity at his request:
From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. ‘I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,’ he said.
The Guardian compared Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant and current employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, to Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. “Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA,” Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras wrote.
The Powers That Be always need to remember that the truly moral person has limits to the evil they will tolerate.
Snowden, however, said there were differences. “I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he told The Guardian. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”
Which strongly implies there is a whole lot more, but it is even more sensitive…
Snowden’s identity revelation followed Greenwald’s appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” where he told host George Stephanopoulos that the public should expect more revelations from him. Greenwald is the journalist responsible for breaking the bombshell story about the NSA secretly collecting phone data from millions of Verizon customers. Greenwald then raced the Washington Post to break the story about Prism, a program that allows the NSA to collect data from some of the country’s largest Internet companies (including AOL, HuffPost’s parent company).
After turning over the documents to The Guardian, Snowden fled to Hong Kong, where he sat for an interview with Greenwald and watched Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Snowden lived in Hawaii with his girlfriend, but told the UK paper that he was willing to give all of that up. He said:
OK, out of the country, likely in need of a new identity and living in a non-US influenced country. Bets on longevity? (I’d advise not having any risky hobbies like skiing or swimming….)
“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.”
Kind of sums it all up… They are turning “White Hats” like me into “Black Hats” (from their point of view) and even their own employees are reaching a breaking point…
The link to the Guardian article:
Series: Glenn Greenwald on security and liberty
Previous | Index
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations
The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows
• Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I do not expect to see home again’
At least he knew what he was in for…
Interesting that they third party some of the dirty work to contractors:
The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.
So Dell and Booz Allen are on the “worry list”…
In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “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.”
Kind of sums it all up. Hell of a position to be in. Hard thing to do, to stand up to a police state in the making and say “This is not moral”. Now we just need about 100 Million more…
I don’t think it will happen, and doubt that this will be much more than a bump in the road for the push to tyranny (tyrants are particularly resistant to reason and never doubt themselves or their grasping after all possible power – it’s part of the character trait package…) But it is nice to see them getting a tiny bit of heartburn. Even if only for a little while.
I would offer to buy him a beer, but he ought not be accepting anything from strangers…
There’s a lot more in that interview. Well worth the read. As an insider, I think he is well positioned to know if:
“What they’re doing” poses “an existential threat to democracy”, he said.