Edward Snowden: Robin hood of the internet
Snowden is popularly known by many as the programmer who leaked highly confidential documents belonging to the NSA, exposing their domestic survellance practices.
Others know him as the man who stole government documents leaked them to the public. Well whether you see him as a traitor or hero, today we’re gonna be talking about the story of this young man. So without further-a-do let get right to it.
Snowden spent most of his childhood in Elizabeth city, North Carolina where he was also born. Some years later Snowden and his family moved to Maryland where his mother worked as chief deputy clerk for administration and information technology.
In 2004, he enrolled and trained in the special forces Army reserve for four months but was later discharged because he broke his legs during training.😯
Later on, Snowden got a job at the university of Maryland where he worked as a security guard. Due to the university’s tie with the NSA, he was able to land a job at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
He worked at the CIA for a while and left in 2006 after being suspected of trying to steal some classified files. He went to work for as a private contractor with clients like Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton.
It was while working at Booz Allen that Snowden realized the NSA’s far reach of surveillance. He then began compiling this sort of dossier by copying some of the NSA highly classified documents.
After he had compiled the whole thing, he contacted his NSA supervisor asking for a leave due to some medical condition (epilepsy)
June 5 was the D-Day, The Guardian released some of the classified documents obtained from Snowden. In the released documents, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced an order that requires telecom company Verizon, to release data of it users to the NSA on a daily basis. (I know, that sick right)
The next day, The Guardian made another huge release, this time it was information on a program called PRISM. The program saw the NSA collect real-time information of electronic device users. (WTF😲)
While still hiding in Hong Kong, because obviously he must be wanted by then, Snowden went through some sort of interviews where he talked about the reason why he did what he did.
In one of this interviews he said “I’m willing to sacrifice my life because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
For the next few months, The Guardian released all the documents gotten from Snowden and in June 14, 2013, Snowden was charged with “theft of government property,” “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” and “unauthorized communications of national defense information.” (Bllsht)
Snowden hid in Hong Kong for over a month before deciding to move to Ecuador for asylum. But things didn’t play out as planned, as he was on his way to Ecuador, Snowden was held in a Russian airport by security authorities.
This was some really tough times for Snowden as he was first offered asylum in Venezuela, then Nicaragua and Bolivia. But Snowden later came to the conclusion that he wanted to stay in Russia.
It was later announced that Snowden was on asylum in Russia and that he was gonna even apply for citizenship there.(now we’re talking)
Russia of course would always look for ways to hurt the U.S., so they took him in. Snowden thanked them and said that “in the end the law is winning.”
Snowden remained in Russia and also made it clear that he no longer has any copy of the leaked documents, that he gave them all to the journalist.
Snowden later requested for clemency (which i don’t think he should have) from the U.S. government but got rejected in 2013.
The U.S. military said that Snowden caused damages worth billions of dollars by releasing those documents. Still around that period, Snowden appeared in the south by Southwest festival, but it was via teleconference.
But Susan Rice, the National Security Adviser denied it. According to Snowden “The problem with mass surveillance is when you collect everything, you understand nothing.”
He went on to say that government spying “fundamentally changes the balance of power between the citizen and the state.”
In 2015, The House Intelligence Committee wrote a summary report about their ongoing investigations into the Snowden’s case, The committee said that Snowden was a “disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers, a serial exaggerator and fabricator. And not a whistle-blower.”
The committee went on to write a letter to president Obama asking him not to pardon Snowden. (That just wicked)
After Donald Trump was elected as president of the United States, Snowden told viewers at a teleconference in Sweden that “I don’t care. The reality here is that yes, Donald Trump has appointed a new director of the Central Intelligence Agency who uses me as a specific example to say that, look, dissidents should be put to death. But if I get hit by a bus, or a drone, or dropped off an airplane tomorrow, you know what? It doesn’t actually matter that much to me, because I believe in the decisions that I’ve already made.”
As of 2019, Snowden was reported to still be in Moscow, Russia. In 2017 we also heard rumors that the Russian government was planning on handing me over to the U.S. government to acquire some favor from Donald Trump.
But Snowden still remains in Russia for now. The question here now is, do you actually think Edward Snowden was hero or a traitor?
Let us know what you think about this down in the comments section.