Edward Snowden is a well-known technology specialist, computer scientist, and analyst from the United States who gained international fame for revealing several global surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency (NSA). Born on June 21, 1983, Snowden was an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency and worked as a subcontractor before copying and leaking highly classified information from the NSA in 2013. This act made his home country pursue him on criminal charges, and he fled to Hong Kong to meet with a reporter from The Guardian to publish his findings.
Edward Snowden’s Early Career
Snowden initially joined the US Army in 2004 but was discharged due to physical reasons. He later worked as a security guard at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Study of Language and then joined the CIA in 2006. In the CIA, he was appointed to the Global Communications Division and later assigned to maintain the Computer Network Security in Geneva, Switzerland. After working as a contractor for Dell and then as a lead technologist on Dell’s CIA account in 2011, he resigned from the CIA in 2013, alleging that he took a pay cut while working for the consulting firm.
Edward Snowden’s Controversial Disclosure
Snowden’s leaked information exposed not only the global surveillance programs run by the NSA but also the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance, in partnership with the European government and telecommunication companies. He revealed that the NSA was involved in some domestic surveillance practices that he thought were privacy infringements. His disclosures sparked a global debate on privacy and surveillance, leading to historic rulings on privacy and changes in policies and technologies.
Edward Snowden’s Personal Information
Edward Snowden is currently 38 years old and stands 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing around 73 kgs. Snowden is known for his discipline in physical fitness, which he acquired during his time in the US military. He was in a long-term relationship with Lindsay Mills, who joined him in exile in Moscow, where they married in 2017 and had a child in 2020. The couple has applied for Russian citizenship to safeguard their child’s future but hopes to raise the child with American values and return to the US someday.
Edward Snowden’s Net Worth
Edward Snowden does not have any formal degrees, and he mainly earns through media appearances after his exile. He reportedly earns around $200,000 per media appearance, and his current net worth is estimated to be around $500,000.
Edward Snowden’s Controversies
Snowden’s disclosure of highly classified information has led to criminal and civil lawsuits. He had to leave the US and seek asylum in Russia to avoid criminal prosecution. His decision to reveal classified information has been both praised and criticized by different groups of people. While some see him as a hero for exposing the NSA’s practices, others see him as a traitor for leaking classified information.
Edward Snowden’s decision to go public with classified information was a risk that he was willing to take, even though he knew it could cost him his freedom. His disclosures have sparked global conversations on privacy and surveillance, leading to changes in policies and technologies. Snowden’s actions have also inspired other whistleblowers to come forward with their own disclosures, which have further revealed the extent of government surveillance.