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Quick Facts on Edward Joseph Snowden, The Hero.
Edward Joseph Snowden was born on June 21, 1983, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He is a US citizen and former Intelligence Community officer and whistleblower.
He studied the Japanese language and also said he had a basic understanding of Mandarin Chinese. He was deeply interested in Martial Arts as well. At age 20, he listed Buddhism as his religion on a military recruitment form. He scored above 145 on two separate IQ tests.
Snowden enlisted in the United States Army Reserve as a Special Forces candidate through its 18X enlistment option, but he did not complete the training after breaking both legs in a training accident. He was then employed as a “security specialist” at the University of Maryland’s Center.
In 2006, after attending a job fair focused on intelligence agencies, Snowden was offered a position at the CIA, which he joined. He was assigned to the global communications division at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
In 2009, Snowden began work as a contractee for Dell, which manages computer systems for multiple government agencies. Assigned to an NSA facility at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo, Snowden instructed top officials and military officers on how to defend their networks from Chinese hackers.
During his four years with Dell, he rose from supervising NSA computer system upgrades to working as what his resume termed a “cyberstrategist” and an “expert in cyber counterintelligence” at several U.S. locations.
In March 2012, Dell reassigned Snowden to Hawaii as lead technologist for the NSA’s information-sharing office. At the time of his departure from the United States in May 2013, he had been employed for 15 months inside the NSA’s Hawaii regional operations center, which focuses on the electronic monitoring of China and North Korea.
Snowden worked in various roles within the US Intelligence Community, including serving undercover for the CIA overseas. He most recently worked as an infrastructure analyst at the NSA, through a Booz Allen Hamilton contract, when he left his home and family in Hawaii to blow the whistle in May 2013. After travelling to Hong Kong, Snowden revealed documents to the American public on the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, which were shown to be operating without any public oversight and outside the limits of the US Constitution.
It was he who highlighted that every single individual can be monitored through Smart TV, Mobile Phone, Laptops & Computers via there mass surveillance program.
The US government has charged Snowden with theft of government property, and two further charges under the 1917 Espionage Act. Each charge carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
Snowden has been variously called a hero, a whistleblower, a dissident, a traitor and a patriot. His disclosures have fueled debates over mass surveillance, government secrecy, and the balance between national security and information privacy.
With the US pursuing his extradition, Snowden is now in Russia, where he was formally granted three years’ residency from 1 August, 2014. After a year of temporary asylum in Russia, Snowden had been granted an extension of his stay until 2020. Journalists continue to publish documents from Snowden that reveal the secret and
unaccountable systems of modern global surveillance.
While some decried him as a traitor, others supported his cause, and more than 100,000 people signed an online petition asking President Obama to pardon Snowden.
Snowden is a 2016 American-German biographical political thriller film directed by Oliver Stone and written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald, based on the Story of Edward Snowden.
Snowden said in interviews given from his Hong Kong hotel room, I’m willing to sacrifice my former life because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine, they’re secretly building,”