Who is Edward Snowden?
Edward Snowden, 30, was a three-month employee of a government consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. At Booz Allen (he has since been terminated), he worked as a systems administrator at an NSA Threat Operations Center in Hawaii, one of several facilities detect threats against government computer systems. In other words, he was a low-level intelligence government contractor.
Background: Edward Joseph Snowden was born June 21, 1983, he grew up in Wilmington, N.C., but later moved to Ellicott City, Md., he told The Guardian. His mother, Wendy, is the chief deputy clerk for administration and information technology at the federal court in Baltimore, a court ...view middle of the document...
Snowden leaked the information, primarily to Glenn Greenwald of Britain's The Guardian, in spring 2013 while employed as an "infrastructure analyst" at NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. The Guardian in turn published a series of exposés in June–July 2013 and revealed programs such as the interception of US and European telephone metadata and the Internet surveillance programs. Snowden's disclosures are said to rank among the most significant NSA security breaches in United States history.
Speaking from a Hong Kong hotel that he reportedly has since left, Edward Snowden told The Guardian that he had enjoyed a "very comfortable life," but one marked by mounting disillusionment with what he views as government intrusion into the private lives of American citizens.
Snowden also has stated "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under,"
• Russia has granted asylum for one year to Snowden that allows him to live, travel, and work there
• Finally left the Moscow airport where he had been residing since June 23
• Has been offered permanent asylum by four other countries — Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador though he has no plans to leave Russia
• Snowden has been issued an international arrest warrant on espionage charges from the U.S.
• U.S. asked Russia for Snowden’s extradition, they refused causing an even more strained relationship
What information did Edward Snowden leak?
Snowden leaked information about two different NSA operations called PRISM:
• Collection of data from U.S. phone call records to search for possible links to terrorists abroad
• Surveillance of online communications to and from foreign targets to detect suspicious behavior
Snowden got his hands on a set of briefings and reports detailing how the NSA’s PRISM program retrieves information from prominent tech companies (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.) without court orders or subpoenas.
What is the PRISM program and how can they access our information like that?
Shortest answer: Monitors private Web data if they feel it’s a threatening foreign exchange.
PRISM is used to monitor private Web data, but it cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen. However, analysts need to only be at least 51% confident the exchange they’re monitoring is foreign to access the information.
PRISM is a computer program used to collect and analyze data legally requested by the NSA and divulged by nine Internet companies (e.g., they asked for easy access to users’ information, the big tech guys said sure).
The government can still access other companies’ servers that didn’t agree to this access if they have a legitimate request, but the tech companies are under no legal obligation to make...