Former CIA agent Edward Joseph Snowden, who was recruited by the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013, shocked the world. Some consider Snowden a traitor.
He is suspected of playing a role in leaking NSA documents. How did this man born on June 21, 1983 do?
As is well known, prior to his arrest in 2013, Snowden was one of about 1000 NSA system administrators allowed to roam the system. Meanwhile, other users, even top secret license holders, are not allowed to view all confidential documents.
Reported by Wikipedia, Snowden initially did not have the slightest bad intentions. There is no rotten thought of selling state secrets for personal gain.
However, his conscience was disturbed when he learned about the government's crimes that interfered with the online privacy rights of its citizens. Finally he decided to become a whistleblower, a state defector.
Snowden claims that the NSA, together with its British intelligence partner, is carrying out wiretapping in the public domain. No one knew about it, and again, Snowden's conscience told him that such a thing was very bad, and should not be allowed to happen.
But because he was found to have violated the rules, Snowden was charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917. He was also charged with theft of government property.
His passport was blocked, he became a fugitive. Without much thought, Snowden fled to Russia. Snowden was subsequently granted asylum from the Russian government for a year, which could be repeatedly extended until 2020 by then.
The act of violating Snowden's rules is indeed very risky and betrays his country. But many consider it to be on the side of the truth.
In early 2016, Snowden was elected the "President of the Freedom of The Press Foundation." This confirms one thing, that when a citizen's right to privacy has been disturbed, someone like Snowden can become a guard dog that keeps barking, guarding the privacy rights that were taken without permission.