A 29-year-old government contractor revealed himself on Sunday as the source of bombshell leaks of US monitoring of Internet users and phone records, as US intelligence pressed for a criminal probe.
Edward Snowden, who has been working at the National Security Agency for the past four years, admitted his role in the leaks in a video interview posted on the website of the Guardian that clearly showed his face.
“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” he said.
He said he was willing to sacrifice a comfortable life “because 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.”
A former technical assistant for the CIA, Snowden worked for the NSA as an employee of various outside contractors, including Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, his current employer.
He flew to Hong Kong on May 20 after copying the last set of documents he intended to disclose at the NSA’s office in Hawaii, the Guardian said, adding that he has remained there ever since, holed up in a hotel room.
The British newspaper said it was revealing Snowden’s identity at his own request.
“I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” Snowden said.
He acknowledged fears of being “rendered”—summarily detained without due process and taken into secret detention by the CIA or its partners—or taken in for questioning by Chinese authorities.
Read more at: Phys.org