The Obama administration has been in some terribly deep caca over the last week ever since The Guardian broke the news that the NSA was spying on…well…everything.
Now, the guy who leaked the information has revealed himself. He’s Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA who was simply fed up with the things he witnessed the government do.
His story is, as you’d imagine, fascinating as Snowden seems to understand that he just became the government’s most hated thorn and he’s totally okay with it for the pursuit of outing it for its spying.
He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. “I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.”
Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He added: “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 has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that 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.”
You can read the full story here and another in-depth article from the Washington Post on Snowden’s secret exchanges. This is all fascinating as hell. It’s like the real life Jason Bourne without the fight scenes or car chases or pressure points.
Here’s the video interview The Guardian conducted with Snowden.