Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical communications specialist for the CIA, is the man behind the recent leak about the top secret NSA PRISM spying program. And today, he has let the world know through an interview with The Guardian; and he, understandably so, is hiding out in a hotel in Hong Kong awaiting to see what is going to happen next.
Snowden will undoubtedly go down in history with his information leak about PRISM, but he is not looking for fame or a big payday. According to The Guardian, for Snowden, it is a matter of principle. “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,” he said. He is fully aware of Wikileaks’ Bradley Manning, and possibly having the same fate. However that hasn’t stopped him. Snowden carefully evaluated every single document disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is,” he said.
He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.
As this story continues to develop, it will be interesting to see what happens with Snowden, and if his wish to move to Iceland, with it’s reputation for Internet freedom, ever pans out. It will also be very interesting to see how the U.S. Government publicly reacts to the leaker, and what they will try to do to him.