Edward Snowden Facts: Know The Man Who Breached The National Agency

Joan Agie
Nov 02, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Jan 07, 2022
Just like his life, Edward Snowden facts are as intriguing as they get.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.9 Min

The name Edward Joseph Snowden first surfaced on the news when he provided information about mass surveillance in 2013.

He was born in North Carolina, United States, in the year 1983, to Lonnie and Wendy Snowden. He revealed the truth behind the surveillance programs when he was just 31 years old.

The debate whether Snowden was a traitor or a hero will probably never cease, even within Congress. What is clear, though, is how an individual brought a change in the lives of millions.

After the world war and the 9/11 attacks, the US government conducted mass domestic and international surveillance, whether with telephone calls or a web search. The surveillance program that Snowden revealed was PRISM, which believed in not only looking for suspicious data but collecting it all.

Today, Snowden faces charges of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property.

The positive impact of Snowden's sacrifice can be witnessed in the passage of the USA Freedom Act of 2015. Congress is even discussing if the metadata collection should be halted altogether.

You can never know too much. To quench that thirst, you can also check out Margaret Peterson Haddix facts and Ralph Ellison facts to add to your wisdom.

Life Events Of Edward Snowden

His life events are highlighted by the NSA leaks of government surveillance, followed by his asylum in Russia.

Snowmen climbed the ladders pretty quickly. Initially, Snowden tried to join the special forces.

Failing for physical restrictions, he shifted and devoted himself to the intelligence community. While working under contract for the National Security Services, he created building systems such as EpicShelter, which made both the transfer and duplication of mass surveillance programs easier.

Snowden was working in a Hawaii branch at the Office of Information Sharing when he chose to reveal the extent of mass surveillance through a collaboration between the internet companies and the US government.

His employer at that time was Booz Allen Hamilton. The very task of collecting the data seemed relatively easy for Snowden.

With a few thumb drives and some knowledge on how to take advantage of a gaping hole in an outdated security system, he could download thousands of documents without leaving any trace on the servers.

After this, he contacted reporters, one of the prominent figures being Gellman from Washington Post, who finally helped him reveal the secrets of the intelligence community in his country.

According to the plan, Snowden relayed the documents to Hong Kong, which is taken as unauthorized communication since he was under an oath of secrecy. In Hong Kong, he also sought temporary asylum. From there, he intended to reach Ecuador via Russia.

However, things did not go so smoothly. When he landed in Moscow, he found his passport canceled by the US government. Snowden had to spend 40 days in the Russian airport.

During this time, he got rejected by 27 different countries. He was approached by the Russian intelligence, whose offer he curtly declined before the negotiations could begin. Finally, he found asylum in Russia, where he is living today.

Edward Snowden: Family

Snowden lives with his wife and child in Russia.

Even though Snowden lives in Russia, he is only fluent in English so far. For Snowden, the old internet was his entire world.

While many couples have cute stories about how they met, SnowdeSnowden'sng with his wife was also very characteristic of him on one of the places called Hotornot.com. Since his exile, he now stays with her (Lindsay Mills) in a rented apartment in Russia. He even got married in Moscow in the year 2017.

Soon later, they were blessed with a baby in 2020. Whenever one thinks about his family, one thought automatically crosses the mind.

How does Snowden support himself? Snowden answers it himself.

Since he refused to cooperate with the Russian government as a spy, his options were limited. He chooses to give lectures in various places to generate his revenue.

He is invited to many places to speak on topics like cybersecurity, surveillance programs, even whistleblowing and conscience, where he speaks for the American Program Bureau. Of course, his recent book is also collecting proceeds. That is not where he wishes to stop.

He is still working hard as the Freedom of the Press Foundation president. Since he cannot step anywhere else, he appears as a mobile telepresence robot occasionally to assist programmers and engineers in improving the digital security of journalists.

Contrary to his fears about the improving relationship between Putin and Trump, Snowden was provided permanent residence rights in Russia. Currently, he is an American.

However, in the future, he wishes to achieve dual US-Russian citizenship.

Though it was meant to be a temporary asylum, Snowden shows no regrets if he has to live in Russia for the rest of his life.

He feels comparatively safe since the government there views him as a breathing embarrassment to the US and the National Security Agency, even though he did not agree to supply them with secret documents. SnowdeSnowden'sr, Lonnie Snowden, lately spoke on the issue and expressed his firm faith in SnowdeSnowden'sns and that he does not consider his son a traitor.

Edward Snowden: Fame

Even before his autobiography, SnowdeSnowden's was adapted for various movies, and all focused on the leak of classified documents.

While at home, Snowden is the topic of many heated debates and viewed with disdain in European countries and abroad at large, he is considered positively at large. Surveys were conducted to measure his popularity as a public figure and the general attitude towards him among US citizens in various western countries.

Among the movie adaptations, the 2016 movie 'Snowden' starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is the most popular. The storyline focuses on the climactic moment where he is caught in limbo on whether or not to reveal the documents.

When the leak was first made public, both by Washington Post and The Guardian, it was something of a sensation, spreading like wildfire all over the world.

Naturally, television networks picked it up everywhere, providing him with unintended limelight. After he exposed the system, the trust of many US citizens in the internet companies was permanently shaken.

His fame could not plead a case for him since he still lives in Russia, somewhat reluctantly. Snowden makes a promise to stand for a trial for what he did to be allowed to enter the US again, but only under one condition.

He wishes to be judged by a jury.

Since the government denied him this assurance, he remains still in Russia. Whether hated or not, his significance lies in making the mass aware of how vulnerable they make themselves with the devices they use every day, initiating contemplation on human rights and cybersecurity, as well as a direct violation of national security.

Books By Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden authored the book 'Permanent Record.'

After six long years since his decisive action, the book was published in 2019. Before the book, Snowden had been portrayed by various voices, all adding their color to the narration. 'Permanent Record' adds clarity to the long-going debate, as he gets to tell his entire story in his own words.

The book is an autobiography, where Snowden not only sketches his own origin story but speaks for an entire generation. Starting as the typical tech geek as a teenager, Snowden illustrates how he fancied adopting various identities in an ancient internet world, which is only a myth now.

He regrets the loss of the reset button, as people are now identified in every network they use to interact online.

From this simple example of a long-forgotten anonymous internet, Snowden moves on to build his case on how and why he had to become the NSA whistleblower after joining the intelligence services.

His staunch belief in the violation of the Constitution drove him to carry out the extreme task beyond the concerns of the breach of privacy of a surveillance program. He had to fight his aversion to sharing personal details and pen it all down in a book.

In his book, he also comments on both the Obama government he worked for and Donald Trump, pointing out the core of the problem instead of just pointing fingers. As he says, 'We've been forced to live naked before power for a generation.'

Snowden even refers to the incident where his employers asked him to develop a counterintelligence presentation on Chinese internet control and surveillance. This, he writes, was the defining moment that got him thinking about similar acts that the US government may be committing.

He describes his ingenious method to keep his name clean in the fight. He provided the decision-making power to the three journalists as to the extent of the content that should be revealed, under the condition that the government of President Obama should be warned about Snowden.

He believed the Congress members would not let this happen if they knew what the intelligence officials were doing.

He also makes sure to bring WikileWikileaks' Harrison, the underreported editor who helped make his mission successful, into the limelight. The book is the culmination of all that he believes in and all that he is.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Edward Snowden Facts: Know The Man Who Breached National Agency, then why not take a look at Feeding Facts Explained: How Often Do You Feed A Betta Fish?

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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