The person who made the bombshell revelations to The Guardian and other newspapers has revealed himself. He is 29-year old Edward Snowden, a former employee of the CIA and currently working with the NSA for a major defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.
The above link has an interview where he explains his actions and how the NSA does its snooping. It is a must see interview.
The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.
Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.
In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”
In a Q&A he talks about the scope of what the government is capable: “You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”
He is currently in Hong Kong. The US will undoubtedly seek to extradite him.
Once again, like Bradley Manning, we see a young person disturbed by what his own government was doing, being ignored by his superiors, and deciding to sacrifice his career to make the news public.
I wonder how many more like him are in similar positions.