Edward Snowden reveals himself as the informant in the NSA Prism scandal. A former CIA contract employee, Edward Snowden is now in Hong Kong awaiting possible extradition to the United States. A current contract employee for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden claims he revealed the information to protect peoples’ freedoms and liberties around the world. Snowden touched off a firestorm of controversy when he leaked a presentation that demonstrated the United States’ government’s National Security Agency’s ability to siphon off information from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and AOL’s networks.
During a stint in Geneva, Switzerland, where Snowden had access to privileged documents, Snowden says he became disillusioned with the United States government, prompting him to reveal the information that has embroiled many of the tech world’s top names in a controversy that has reached as far as the White House itself, with US President Barack Obama personally addressing the concerns raised.
Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world … I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good. … 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.
US director of national intelligence James Clapper has gone so far as the release previously classified documents in order to explain the United States’ government’s role in the Prism project.