Edward Snowden, America’s newest whistleblower, is currently hiding out in Hong Kong, though it is thought the Obama administration will try to use the Special Administrative Region agreement to extradite him. Edward Snowden was catapulted to international fame after he leaked top-secret documents revealing the U.S. government’s surveillance programs, becoming one of the most prolific whistleblowers in the country’s history.
Even more startling is Edward Snowden’s complete honesty and determination in providing his personal details as well as sharing his reasons for leaking the documents from his Hong Kong hotel room hideout.
In an interview with “The Guardian,” Edward Snowden stated, “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.” Edward Snowden also stated his goal was to let Americans know the extent to which they are being monitored in all forms of communication.
Edward Snowden has a long and varied history with the government. Edward Snowden is a former employee of the CIA and was most recently employed by the NSA, working for various defense contractors, including Booz Allen Hamilton. Edward Snowden enjoyed a rather privileged life making a yearly salary of around $200,000 and living in Hawaii with his girlfriend. At 29-years-old, Edward Snowden was incredibly talented and successful, and without a second thought, he has abandoned that life to go on the run.
In what sounds like a scene from a political thriller, Edward Snowden knows the U.S. government is looking for him, knows what they are capable of ,the technology and resources they have at their disposal and that it’s only a matter of time before they locate him. He anticipates that he will never see his home again and that he “will be made to suffer his actions.” He pads his door with pillows to prevent being spied on and covers his computer when entering passwords and information to prevent any hidden cameras the NSA might plant. Edward Snowden has given up a normal life and become a prisoner in his hotel room.
Edward Snowden told reporters, “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.”
Right now the question is whether or not Edward Snowden can be extradited back to the U.S. and if so, what penalties he will face (a life-sentence is a possibility). As for Edward Snowden, he hopes to seek asylum in Iceland, but whether or not he can apply while still in Hong Kong and whether he can make the journey without being caught remains to be seen.