Edward Snowden, full name Edward Joseph Snowden, was born on June 21, 1983, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and is an American whistleblower.
In 2013 he revealed the existence of secret intelligence collection programs by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Snowden, accused in a criminal trial in the USA and accused of espionage and theft of state secrets, risks up to 30 years in prison.
What is integrity warning?
That person who brings to the attention of the public or the authorities the existence of illegal or immoral activities carried out within a government department, within a public or private organization or a company.
The information provided by the integrity whistleblower can be of several categories: information related to the violation of laws, rules or regulations of some companies, information that represents threats to the public interest or public security, fraud or any other form of corruption.
Who did Snowden work for?
Snowden was an employee of the security service and the technical sector of the American espionage service CIA and NSA (National Security Agency), until 2013, working as a secret agent in the management and consulting system of Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden had access to the secret information of the US intelligence service, including that obtained through the NSA’s PRISM program for surveillance and spying on Internet networks.
Starting in 2007, Edward Snowden becomes disturbed by the work he does, considering it incompatible with his moral values. However, he does not take any concrete stance hoping that with the inauguration of Barak Obama as President of America, there will be improvements and changes in the sector that Snowden represented. Because his hopes were in vain, in 2013 he decided to make public information that revealed how the American state services had a real mass surveillance system through which they spied on their citizens.
Refugee in Hong Kong
Aware of the danger he is in and the fact that his revelations will have a great resonance at the global level, Snowden leaves for Hong Kong, where he is to meet Glenn Greenwald, a journalist of the publication The Guardian to whom he provides all the information he wanted public. Although the article in The Guardian was published without reference to the source that disclosed the information, on June 9, 2013, Sweden comes forward by publicly stating that he is the one who made available to the British journalist all the secret and controversial data about the extent of the NSA’s surveillance operations.
Since then, he has not returned to the US, being charged with high treason, specifically theft of government property, unauthorized disclosure of information related to national defense, and willful disclosure of classified information to an unauthorized person, with US authorities repeatedly attempting to obtain his extradition.
What data did he make public?
Among Snowden’s revelations are that US mobile phone operators were required by the National Security Agency to constantly provide information about their customers, the information referring to the customers’ names, their phone numbers, the duration and time of certain calls they were doing, or any other information NSA deemed useful, as appropriate Britannica.
Snowden also talked about the NSA system through which he accessed the servers of some of the big American companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft or Apple, asking them for information about users and about the techniques developed by the NSA that broke the encryption technologies of information that were circulating on the internet.
Snowden also spoke about the NSA’s spying operations
Moreover, Snowden also talked about the NSA’s spying operations, operations that targeted more than 100 world leaders, and among them Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Dilma Roussef, the president of Brazil.
“There are all kinds of documents that would have had a major impact that I did not make public, because harming people is not my goal. Transparency is. I am willing to sacrifice all of this because I cannot, 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 it is secretly building,” Edward said. Snowden.
Refugee in Russia
On July 23, 2013, Edward Snowden left China, when the Chinese authorities accepted his extradition. He chose to go to Russia, but he traveled without a passport, which was canceled by the American authorities.
Arriving on Russian territory, Snowden was stuck in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, refused to leave the airport, hired a Russian lawyer and applied for political asylum in more than 20 countries. On August 1, 2013, Russia granted him political asylum for a period of one year, repeatedly rejecting requests from the US government to extradite Snowden.
Currently, he is still there, and on September 26, Vladimir Putin granted Snowden Russian citizenship, nine years after he made public the secret information about the monitoring of US phone calls and messages and data circulating on the Internet , through various networks and platforms.
“I want to go back and have a fair trial”
“I want to go back and have a fair trial, but unfortunately there can be no such thing there (in the United States),” Snowden said in 2015 during a conference call organized by CBC journalists and Ryerson University in Toronto.
As a result of the Snowden revelations, in 2018 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned the UK for its massive use of communications interception, declaring that the measures taken to obtain this data from Internet access providers were illegal, in violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights regarding the “right to freedom of expression” and also Article 8 of the Convention regarding the right to respect for private and family life.