Monday, June 24, 2013

Truth about Edward Snowden - NSA Prism

Edward Snowden
Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is a former technical contractor and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), before leaking details of top-secret American and British government mass surveillance programs to the press.

Working primarily with Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, which published a series of exposés based on Snowden's disclosures in June 2013, Snowden revealed information about a variety of classified intelligence programs, including the interception of US and European telephone metadata and the PRISM and Tempora internet surveillance programs. Snowden said the leaks were an effort "to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

Snowden's alleged leaks are said to rank among the most significant breaches in the history of the NSA. Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence historian in Washington, said disclosures linked to Snowden have "confirmed longstanding suspicions that NSA's surveillance in this country is far more intrusive than we knew." On June 14, 2013, US federal prosecutors filed a sealed complaint, made public on June 21, charging Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified intelligence with an unauthorized person; the latter two allegations are under the Espionage Act.

Personal life
Family and education
Snowden grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina. His father, Lonnie Snowden, a resident of Pennsylvania, was an officer in the United States Coast Guard, and his mother, a resident of Baltimore, Maryland, is a clerk at a federal court in Maryland.

By 1999, Snowden had moved with his family to Ellicott City, Maryland, where he studied computing at Anne Arundel Community College to gain the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, but he did not complete the coursework. Snowden's father explained that his son missed several months of school due to illness and rather than return tested out for his GED at a local community college, which he later attained. Snowden worked online towards a Master's Degree at the University of Liverpool in 2011.

On June 17, 2013, Snowden's father spoke in an interview on FOX TV through concern about the misinformation in the media. He described his son as "a sensitive, caring young man. ... He just is a deep thinker.” While he is in agreement with his son in his opposition to the surveillance programs that he revealed, he asked his son to stop leaking and return home.

Before leaving for Hong Kong, Snowden lived with his girlfriend, in Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii.

Political views
Snowden's laptop displays stickers supporting internet freedom organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Tor Project.

In the 2008 presidential election, Snowden said he voted for third-party candidates. He said he "believed in Obama's promises, " yet "[Obama] continued with the policies of his predecessor." For the 2012 election, political donation records indicate that he contributed to the primary campaign of Ron Paul.

On May 7, 2004, Snowden enlisted in the United States Army as a Special Forces recruit but did not complete the training. He said he wanted to fight in the Iraq war because he "felt like had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression". However, he said he was discharged four months later on September 28 after having broken both of his legs in a training accident.

His next employment was as a National Security Agency (NSA) security guard for the Center for Advanced Study of Language at the University of Maryland, before, he said, joining the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to work on IT security. In May 2006 Snowden wrote in Ars Technica, an online forum for gamers, hackers and hardware tinkerers, that he had no trouble getting work because he was a "computer wizard." In August he wrote about a possible path in government service, perhaps involving China, but said it "just doesn’t seem like as much 'fun' as some of the other places".

Snowden said that in 2007 the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was responsible for maintaining computer network security.

Snowden told The Guardian he left the agency in 2009 for a private contractor inside an NSA facility on a United States military base in Japan. NSA Director Keith Alexander has said that Snowden held a position at the NSA for the twelve months prior to his next job as a consultant.

Snowden described his life as "very comfortable," earning a salary of "roughly US$200,000." At the time of his departure from the US in May 2013, he had been working for consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton for less than three months as a system administrator inside the NSA at the Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center in Hawaii.Snowden was employed on a salary of $122,000.[31] Snowden said he had taken a pay cut to work at Booz Allen. The firm said Snowden's employment was terminated on June 10 "for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy".

According to Reuters, a source "with detailed knowledge on the matter" stated that Booz Allen hiring screeners detected possible discrepancies in Snowden's résumé regarding his education since some details "did not check out precisely" but decided to hire him anyway; Reuters stated that the element which triggered concerns and the manner which Snowden satisfied the concerns were not known. The resume stated that Snowden attended computer-related classes at Johns Hopkins University. Tracey Reeves, a spokesperson for Johns Hopkins, said that the university did not find records of Snowden attending and argued that he may have attended Advanced Career Technologies, a private for-profit organization which operated as "Computer Career Institute at Johns Hopkins". A spokesperson for University of Liverpool said that in 2011 Snowden registered for an online master's degree program in computer security but that he did not finish the program and, as of 2013, was not active. A spokesperson for University College of the University of Maryland said that Snowden attended in person a summer session at a University of Maryland campus in Asia.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden
Former CIA employee Edward Snowden has come forward as the whistleblower behind the explosive revelations about the National Security Agency and the U.S. surveillance state. Three weeks ago the 29-year-old left his job inside the NSA's office in Hawaii where he worked for the private intelligence firm Booz Allen Hamilton. Today he is in Hong Kong--not sure if he will ever see his home again. In a video interview with the Guardian of London, Snowden says he exposed top secret NSA surveillance programs to alert Americans of expansive government spying on innocents. "Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded," Snowden says. "And the storage capability of these systems increases every year, consistently, by orders of magnitude, to where it's getting to the point you don't have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer... The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong."

Watch Democracy Now!'s ongoing coverage of the NSA leak at

"You're Being Watched": Edward Snowden Emerges as Source Behind Explosive Revelations of NSA Spying

 Julian Assange: "Edward Snowden, Prism Leaker Is A Hero"

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NSA whistleblower Snowden promises more leaks during live chat
It has been a little over a week since the The Guardian revealed that Edward Snowden was behind on of the most significant leaks in US history. Snowden exposed how the NSA's surveillance program had infiltrated American computer networks without anyone knowing, but the agency said spying has foiled several terror plots worldwide. On Monday, the leaker was live chatting on the Internet with people and gave more insight on the NSA program and said there is much more info to come. RT's Sam Sacks brings us up to speed.

'Snowden's actions boon to surveillance truthseekers'

Snowden: Truth is coming, US draconian responses build better whistleblowers
The threat of imprisonment or murder will not stop the truth from coming out, Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who blew the lid on the massive National Security Agency surveillance program, told the Guardian in a live Q&A - FULL STORY:

Where is Snowden? Likely in Moscow airport transit zone, awaiting flight to Cuba

Assange: Snowden, Manning victims of Obama's war on whistleblowers

Putin talks NSA, Syria, Iran, drones in exclusive RT interview

CrossTalk: Snowden contra Obama

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