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Monday, June 10, 2013

Former CIA employee outs himself as source of leaks about NSA data gathering

A 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA has outed himself as the source who provided journalists with information about the US government’s data gathering on its citizen’s phone calls and Internet activity, the UK newspaper The Guardian reported Sunday.
Edward Snowden told The Guardian that once he decided to publicly disclose classified information, he made the decision to eventually reveal his identity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," Snowden told the Guardian. According to the London-based newspaper, “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.”
Upon providing the first set of documents to The Guardian, Snowden included a note that said "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions" Snowden added, "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."
Speaking from Hong Kong, a location he chose because of what he called "a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent," Snowden told Guardian reporters that he fully expects the US government to demonize him now that his identity is known. He said he chose Hong Kong because, according to The Guardian, he believed it would be one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.
In preparing to make the disclosure, The Guardian reported that Snowden, who worked in Hawaii, told his supervisor he needed a couple weeks off to receive treatment for epilepsy, which he was diagnosed with after a series of seizures in 2012. He flew to Hong Kong on May 20 and has remained in a hotel there ever since.
Snowden is a North Carolina native who joined the Army in 2003, according to The Guardian. After breaking both legs in a training accident, he was discharged and got a job as a security guard at a covert NSA facility at the University of Maryland. The Guardian article describes how he advanced through the national security ranks because of his computer skills even though he lacked a high school diploma.
Snowden told The Guardian that he once believed the Internet was “the most important invention in human history.” However, he said the ubiquitous surveillance by government agencies led him to act. “"I don't see myself as a hero," he told The Guardian, "because what I'm doing is self-interested: I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
Snowden said he plans on seeking asylum, perhaps in Iceland, although he told The Guardian he understands that may never happen. Still, in spite of the potential of prosecution or worse at the hands of the US government, he remained confident he made the right decision. "I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets."
This above post was via Punditty
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