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Tech News

Who on Earth is Edward Snowden?

Snowden. You must have heard of the name. Or the movie, at least. Well, if you are among the 10 percent of savvy Internet users who has not heard of the name yet, then be ready to get promoted to the 90 percent who do and are blown away by Snowden’s profile. Here are some quick facts to give you a brief introduction and leave you wanting for more…


Snowden. You must have heard of the name. Or the movie, at least. Well, if you are among the 10 percent of savvy Internet users who has not heard of the name yet, then be ready to get promoted to the 90 percent who do and are blown away by Snowden’s profile. Here are some quick facts to give you a brief introduction and leave you wanting for more…

Snowden, the Man

Snowden’s full name is Edward Joseph Snowden. He was born on June 21, 1983, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His parents are Lonnie Snowden, a former Coast Guard officer, and Elizabeth B. Snowden, a federal court administrator. He has an older sister, Jessica who works as a lawyer at the Federal Judicial Centre in Washington. He was a high school dropout due to mononucleosis or glandular fever.

Snowden, the Genius

In 2006, after attending a job fair focused on intelligence agencies in the year 2006, the CIA hired him for its global communications division at its headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Later on, he was stationed in Geneva but soon decided to work for private defense contractors Booz Allen Hamilton and for Dell.

From supervised NSA computer system upgrades and became a “cyber strategists” and moved up to be an “expert in cyber counterintelligence.” In Hawaii, he became lead technologist for the NSA’s information-sharing office.

Snowden, the Wanted

In 2013, Snowden made the decision that changed his life forever. He leaked classified information about global secret surveillance programs, called PRISM, run by the NSA to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill. He has disclosed over 9,000 to 10,000 documents in total.

The federal prosecutors on June 14, 2013, charged him with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence with an unauthorized person. Prior to that, he had already escaped to Hong Kong.

He applied for political asylum to over 20 countries around Europe, including France, Poland, Germany, Finland, Austria, Norway, Netherlands, and Spain, as well as outside Europe including Brazil, Ecuador, and India.

Russia granted him temporary asylum in Russia for a year after a transit period. Russia eventually granted him a temporary residency permit after the expiration of his one-year temporary asylum.

Snowden, the Films

If these little blog post has piqued your interest and you want to know more, you can check out a few documentary and Hollywood films. “Citizenfour” is the 2015 Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature. A couple of dramatic thrillers, “Classified: The Edward Snowden Story” and “Snowden” have been released just two years apart.

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