Snow­den se­cu­rity breach leaves US ruf­fled

SP's MAI - - INTERNAL SECURITY -

Ed­ward Joseph Snow­den ( born June 21, 1983) is an Amer­i­can for­mer tech­ni­cal con­trac­tor for the United States National Se­cu­rity Agency (NSA) and a for­mer em­ployee of the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency (CIA) who leaked de­tails of sev­eral top-se­cret US and Bri­tish Govern­ment mass sur­veil­lance pro­grammes to the press.

Snow­den leaked the in­for­ma­tion, pri­mar­ily to Glenn Green­wald of Lon­don’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 pro­grammes such as the in­ter­cep­tion of US and Euro­pean tele­phone meta­data and the PRISM and Tem­pora In­ter­net sur­veil­lance pro­grammes. Snow­den’s leaks are said to rank among the most sig­nif­i­cant breaches in United States his­tory.

Snow­den’s leaks have been a sub­ject of great con­tro­versy. Some have called Snow­den a hero and a whistle­blower, while oth­ers have called him a traitor. Snow­den has de­fended his leaks as an ef­fort “to in­form the pub­lic as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them”. Govern­ment of­fi­cials have con­demned his ac­tions as hav­ing harmed US in­ter­ests and its po­si­tion in the War on Ter­ror. Mean­while, the me­dia dis­clo­sures have fu­elled de­bates in the United States and else­where over mass sur­veil­lance, govern­ment se­crecy, and the bal­ance be­tween national se­cu­rity and in­for­ma­tion pri­vacy in the post-9/11 era.

On June 14, 2013, US fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors charged Snow­den with es­pi­onage and theft of govern­ment prop­erty.

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