Edward Snowden Biography, Age, Parents, family, Education, Girlfriend | Wife, Movies, Documentary, Nsa And News

Last Updated on

Edward Snowden Biography | Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden (full name: Edward Joseph Snowden) is an American fugitive, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, and former contractor for the United States government who copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments.

In 2013, Snowden was hired by an NSA contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, after previous employment with Dell and the CIA. On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii, and in early June he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill. Snowden came to international attention after stories based on the material appeared in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.

On June 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, following which the Department of State revoked his passport. Two days later, he flew into Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, but Russian authorities noted that his U.S. passport had been canceled, and he was restricted to the airport terminal for over one month. Russia ultimately recognized his right of asylum, with a visa for residence for one year. Repeated extensions have permitted him to stay at least until 2020. In early 2016, he became the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organization that aims to protect journalists from hacking and government surveillance. As of 2017, he was living in an undisclosed location in Moscow.

Edward Snowden Age

Edward Joseph Snowden is 35 years old as of 2018. He was born on 21 June 1983, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, United States

Edward Snowden Image

Edward Snowden Photo

Who Is Edward Snowden?

Edward Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is a computer programmer who worked as a subcontractor for the National Security Agency (NSA). Snowden collected top-secret documents regarding NSA domestic surveillance practices that he found disturbing and leaked them. After he fled to Hong Kong, he met with journalists from The Guardian and filmmaker Laura Poitras.

Newspapers began printing the documents that he had leaked, many of them detailing the monitoring of American citizens. The U.S. has charged Snowden with violations of the Espionage Act, while many groups call him a hero. Snowden has found asylum in Russia and continues to speak about his work. Citizenfour, a documentary by Laura Poitras about his story, won an Oscar in 2015. He is also the subject of Snowden, a 2016 biopic directed by Oliver Stone and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Edward Snowden Parents

His parents’ names are as follow:

  • Wendy Snowden
  • Lonnie Snowden

Edward Snowden Personal

Edward Snowden is 5ft 11in tall and rules under the star sign Cancer. He currently resides in Russia. Although Snowden’s net worth is unknown, he makes upwards of $20,000 per video chat appearance. Yahoo News estimated his 2015 speaking fees at $200,000. Snowden’s partner is dancer Lindsay Mills. The two have been together for more than 8 years.

Edward Snowden Childhood, family, and Education

Edward Joseph Snowden was born on June 21, 1983, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His maternal grandfather, Edward J. Barrett, a rear admiral in the U.S. Coast Guard, became a senior official with the FBI and was at the Pentagon in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. Snowden’s father, Lonnie, was also an officer in the Coast Guard, and his mother, Elizabeth, is a clerk at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

His older sister, Jessica, was a lawyer at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C. Edward Snowden said that he had expected to work for the federal government, as had the rest of his family. His parents divorced in 2001, and his father remarried. Snowden scored above 145 on two separate IQ tests.

In the early 1990s, while still in grade school, Snowden moved with his family to the area of Fort Meade, Maryland. Mononucleosis caused him to miss high school for almost nine months. Rather than returning to school, he passed the GED test and took classes at Anne Arundel Community College. Although Snowden had no undergraduate college degree, he worked online toward a master’s degree at the University of Liverpool, England, in 2011.

He was interested in Japanese popular culture, had studied the Japanese language, and worked for an anime company that had a resident office in the U.S. He also said he had a basic understanding of Mandarin Chinese and was deeply interested in martial arts. At age 20, he listed Buddhism as his religion on a military recruitment form, noting that the choice of agnostic was “strangely absent.”

Where Is Edward Snowden Now?

As of September 2017, Edward Snowden was still living in Moscow, Russia. However, in February 2016 he said that he’d return to the U.S. in exchange for a fair trial. In February 2017, NBC News reported that the Russian government was considering handing him over to the U.S. to curry favor with President Donald Trump, although Snowden remains in Russia.

Movies on Edward Snowden

In 2014, Snowden was featured in Laura Poitras’ highly acclaimed documentary Citizenfour. The director had recorded her meetings with Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. The film went on to win an Academy Award in 2015. “When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret, we lose the power to control and govern ourselves,” said Poitras during her acceptance speech.

In September 2016, director Oliver Stone released a biopic, Snowden, with Edward Snowden’s cooperation. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead role and Shailene Woodley playing girlfriend Lindsay Mills.

Edward Snowden Girlfriend | Wife

One of the people Snowden left behind when he moved to Hong Kong to leak secret NSA files was his girlfriend Lindsay Mills. The pair had been living together in Hawaii, and she reportedly had no idea that he was about to disclose classified information to the public.

Mills graduated from Laurel High School in Maryland in 2003 and the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007. She began her career as a pole-dancing performance artist while living in Hawaii with Snowden.

In January 2015, Mills joined the Citizenfour documentary team onstage for their Oscars acceptance speech.

His girlfriend name is Lindsey Mills

Where Is Lindsey Mills Now? Edward Snowden’s Girlfriend Has A Busy Life

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Without question, Mills’ most notable public appearance occurred last year, when she showed up at the 2015 Academy Awards. She was there on behalf of Citizenfour and even made her way onstage alongside filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald when the film won the award for Best Documentary Feature. That’s arguably when the public saw her in person for the first time.

Wochit Entertainment on YouTube

So while Mills seemingly spends much of her time alongside boyfriend Snowden in Russia, she does not lead the restricted life that he does. She is free to travel (which she does extensively) and has amazing experiences (like going to the Oscars) that Snowden simply can’t due to his legal situation. But Moscow seems to still be the place that she most likely calls home. Most of the time.

  Edward Snowden CAREER

Snowden was employed as a security guard at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Study of Language in 2005. The research facility was affiliated with the NSA. Snowden landed a job with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the following year. He was a station in Geneva, Switzerland in 2007 where he worked as a network security technician. Snowden severed his ties with the CIA and joined the NSA in 2009. There he worked as a contractor for the tech consulting firms, Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton. During his tenure, he collected secret documents pertaining to the NSA’s domestic surveillance practices.

Snowden took a leave of absence and flew to Hong Kong, China on May 20, 2013. He met and shared classified NSA document with journalists from ‘The Guardian’ and with filmmaker Laura Poitras. This includes information about the data-mining program, PRISM. Snowden was charged with espionage by the United States on June 14, 2013. As a result, he flew from Hong Kong, China to Moscow, Russia. He spent a month in the transit zone before he was granted a 1-year asylum. He was given a 3-year residence permit in August 2014.

The biopic film, Snowden, was released in September 2016. It was directed by Oliver Stone and based on the books ‘The Snowden Files’ and ‘Time of the Octopus’. Edward Snowden was portrayed by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film also stars Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, and Nicolas Cage.

Edward Snowden Movie | Film

Snowden is a 2016 biographical thriller film about Edward Snowden. Directed by Oliver Stone and written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald, the film, based on the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena, stars an ensemble cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the title character, Edward Snowden, with Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage also starring. Filming began on February 16, 2015, in Munich, Germany.

Snowden screened at Comic-Con on July 21, 2016, before premiering at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2016. The film was theatrically released in the United States on September 16, 2016, by Open Road Films and on September 22 in Germany. It received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, who praised Gordon-Levitt’s performance but criticized the screenplay. It was also a box office disappointment, grossing $37.3 million worldwide against its $40 million budget.

Edward Snowden Documentary

Citizenfour is a 2014 documentary film directed by Laura Poitras, concerning Edward Snowden and the NSA spying scandal. The film had its US premiere on October 10, 2014, at the New York Film Festival and its UK premiere on October 17, 2014, at the BFI London Film Festival.

The film features Snowden and Glenn Greenwald and was co-produced by Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, and Dirk Wilutzky, with Steven Soderbergh and others serving as executive producers. Citizenfour received critical acclaim upon release and was the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Oscars.

Edward Snowden Nsa

NSA sub-contractee as an employee for Dell
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 résumé termed a “cyberstrategist” and an “expert in cyber counterintelligence” at several U.S. locations. In 2011, he returned to Maryland, where he spent a year as a lead technologist on Dell’s CIA account.

In that capacity, he was consulted by the chiefs of the CIA’s technical branches, including the agency’s chief information officer and its chief technology officer. U.S. officials and other sources familiar with the investigation said Snowden began downloading documents describing the government’s electronic spying programs while working for Dell in April 2012. Investigators estimated that of the 50,000 to 200,000 documents Snowden gave to Greenwald and Poitras, most were copied by Snowden while working at Dell.

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 U.S. 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, the last three of which were with consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

While intelligence officials have described his position there as a system administrator, Snowden has said he was an infrastructure analyst, which meant that his job was to look for new ways to break into Internet and telephone traffic around the world. On March 15, 2013—three days after what he later called his “breaking point” of “seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress”—Snowden quit his job at Dell.

Although he has said his career high annual salary was $200,000, Snowden said he took a pay cut to work at Booz Allen, where he sought employment in order to gather data and then release details of the NSA’s worldwide surveillance activity. An anonymous source told Reuters that, while in Hawaii, Snowden may have persuaded 20–25 co-workers to give him their logins credentials by telling them he needed them to do his job.

The NSA sent a memo to Congress saying that Snowden had tricked a fellow employee into sharing his personal public key infrastructure certificate to gain greater access to the NSA’s computer system. Snowden disputed the memo, saying in January 2014, “I never stole any passwords, nor did I trick an army of co-workers.” Booz Allen terminated Snowden’s employment on June 10, 2013, one month after he had left the country.

A former NSA co-worker said that although the NSA was full of smart people, Snowden was a “genius among geniuses” who created a widely implemented backup system for the NSA and often pointed out security flaws to the agency. The former colleague said Snowden was given full administrator privileges with virtually unlimited access to NSA data. Snowden was offered a position on the NSA’s elite team of hackers, Tailored Access Operations, but turned it down to join Booz Allen. An anonymous source later said that Booz Allen’s hiring screeners found possible discrepancies in Snowden’s resume but still decided to hire him. Snowden’s résumé stated that he attended computer-related classes at Johns Hopkins University.

A spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins said that the university did not find records to show that Snowden attended the university, and suggested that he may instead have attended Advanced Career Technologies, a private for-profit organization that operated as the Computer Career Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

The University of Maryland University College acknowledged that Snowden had attended a summer session at a UM campus in Asia. Snowden’s résumé stated that he estimated that he would receive a University of Liverpool computer security master’s degree in 2013. The university said that Snowden registered for an online master’s degree program in computer security in 2011 but was inactive as a student and had not completed the program.

Snowden has said that he had told multiple employees and two supervisors about his concerns, but the NSA disputes his claim. Snowden elaborated in January 2014, saying ” made tremendous efforts to report these programs to co-workers, supervisors, and anyone with the proper clearance who would listen.

The reactions of those I told about the scale of the constitutional violations ranged from deeply concerned to appalled, but no one was willing to risk their jobs, families, and possibly even freedom to go through what [Thomas Andrews] Drake did.” In March 2014, during testimony to the European Parliament, Snowden wrote that before revealing classified information he had reported “clearly problematic programs” to ten officials, who he said did nothing in response.

In a May 2014 interview, Snowden told NBC News that after bringing his concerns about the legality of the NSA spying programs to officials, he was told to stay silent on the matter. He asserted that the NSA had copies of emails he sent to their Office of General Counsel, oversight and compliance personnel broaching “concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities. I had raised these complaints not just officially in writing through email, but to my supervisors, to my colleagues, in more than one office.”

In May 2014, U.S. officials released a single email that Snowden had written in April 2013 inquiring about legal authorities but said that they had found no other evidence that Snowden had expressed his concerns to someone in an oversight position. In June 2014, the NSA said it had not been able to find any records of Snowden raising internal complaints about the agency’s operations.

That same month, Snowden explained that he himself has not produced the communiqués in question because of the ongoing nature of the dispute, disclosing for the first time that “I am working with the NSA in regards to these records and we’re going back and forth, so I don’t want to reveal everything that will come out.”

In his May 2014 interview with NBC News, Snowden accused the U.S. government of trying to use one position here or there in his career to distract from the totality of his experience, downplaying him as a “low-level analyst.” In his words, he was “trained as a spy in the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas—pretending to work in a job that I’m not—and even being assigned a name that was not mine.” He said he’d worked for the NSA undercover overseas, and for the DIA had developed sources and methods to keep information and people secure “in the most hostile and dangerous environments around the world.

So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.” In a June interview with Globo TV, Snowden reiterated that he “was actually functioning at a very senior level.” In a July interview with The Guardian, Snowden explained that, during his NSA career, “I began to move from merely overseeing these systems to actively directing their use.

Many people don’t understand that I was actually an analyst and I designated individuals and groups for targeting.” Snowden subsequently told Wired that while at Dell in 2011, “I would sit down with the CIO of the CIA, the CTO of the CIA, the chiefs of all the technical branches. They would tell me their hardest technology problems, and it was my job to come up with a way to fix them.”

Of his time as an NSA analyst, directing the work of others, Snowden recalled a moment when he and his colleagues began to have severe ethical doubts. Snowden said 18 to 22-year-old analysts were suddenly “thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility, where they now have access to all your private records.

In the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated in any sort of necessary sense—for example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation. But they’re extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker … and sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people.” As Snowden observed it, this behavior happened routinely every two months but was never reported, is considered one of the “fringe benefits” of the work.

Edward Snowden Motivation

Snowden speaks about the NSA leaks, in Hong Kong, filmed by Laura Poitras.

Snowden first contemplated leaking confidential documents around 2008 but held back, partly because he believed the newly elected Barack Obama might introduce reforms. After the disclosures, his identity was made public by The Guardian at his request on June 9, 2013. “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded,” he said. “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

Snowden said he wanted to “embolden others to step forward” by demonstrating that “they can win.” He also said that the system for reporting problems did not work. “You have to report wrongdoing to those most responsible for it.” He cited a lack of whistleblower protection for government contractors, the use of the 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute leakers, and his belief that had he used internal mechanisms to “sound the alarm,” his revelations “would have been buried forever.”

In December 2013, upon learning that a U.S. federal judge had ruled the collection of U.S. phone metadata conducted by the NSA as likely unconstitutional, Snowden said, “I acted on my belief that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts … today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights.”

In January 2014, Snowden said his “breaking point” was “seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress.” This referred to testimony on March 12, 2013—three months after Snowden first sought to share thousands of NSA documents with Greenwald, and nine months after the NSA says Snowden made his first illegal downloads during the summer of 2012—in which Clapper denied to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA wittingly collects data on millions of Americans. Snowden said, “There’s no saving an intelligence community that believes it can lie to the public and the legislators who need to be able to trust it and regulate its actions. Seeing that really meant for me there was no going back.

Beyond that, it was the creeping realization that no one else was going to do this. The public had a right to know about these programs.” In March 2014, Snowden said he had reported policy or legal issues related to spying programs to more than ten officials, but as a contractor had no legal avenue to pursue further whistleblowing.

Edward Snowden Twitter

NSA Subcontractor

Snowden eventually landed a job as a security guard at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Study of Language. The institution had ties to the National Security Agency, and, by 2006, Snowden had taken an information-technology job at the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 2009, after being suspected of trying to break into classified files, he left to work for private contractors, among them Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, a tech consulting firm. While at Dell, he worked as a subcontractor in an NSA office in Japan before being transferred to an office in Hawaii. After a short time, he moved from Dell to Booz Allen, another NSA subcontractor, and remained with the company for only three months.

Snowden’s Leaks

During his years of IT work, Snowden had noticed the far reach of the NSA’s everyday surveillance. While working for Booz Allen, Snowden began copying top-secret NSA documents, building a dossier on practices that he found invasive and disturbing. The documents contained vast information on the NSA’s domestic surveillance practices.

After he had compiled a large store of documents, Snowden told his NSA supervisor that he needed a leave of absence for medical reasons, stating he had been diagnosed with epilepsy. On May 20, 2013, Snowden took a flight to Hong Kong, China, where he remained as he orchestrated a clandestine meeting with journalists from the U.K. publication The Guardian as well as filmmaker Laura Poitras.

On June 5, The Guardian released secret documents obtained from Snowden. In these documents, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court implemented an order that required Verizon to release information to the NSA on an “ongoing, daily basis” culled from its American customers’ phone activities.

The following day, The Guardian and The Washington Post released Snowden’s leaked information on PRISM, an NSA program that allows real-time information collection electronically. A flood of information followed, and both domestic and international debate ensued.

“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,” Snowden said in interviews given from his Hong Kong hotel room.

The fallout from his disclosures continued to unfold over the next months, including a legal battle over the collection of phone data by the NSA. President Obama sought to calm fears over government spying in January 2014, ordering U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to review the country’s surveillance programs.

Charges Against Edward Snowden

The U.S. government soon responded to Snowden’s disclosures legally. On June 14, 2013, federal prosecutors charged Snowden with “theft of government Property,” “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.”

The last two charges fall under the Espionage Act. Before President Barack Obama took office, the act had only been used for prosecutorial purposes three times since 1917. Since President Obama took office, the act had been invoked seven times as of June 2013.

While some decried Snowden as a traitor, others supported his cause. More than 100,000 people signed an online petition asking President Obama to pardon Snowden by late June 2013.

Exile in Russia

Snowden remained in hiding for slightly more than a month. He initially planned to relocate to Ecuador for asylum, but, upon making a stopover, he became stranded in a Russian airport for a month when his passport was annulled by the American government. The Russian government denied U.S. requests to extradite Snowden.

In July 2013, Snowden made headlines again when it was announced that he had been offered asylum in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia. Snowden soon made up his mind, expressing an interest in staying in Russia. One of his lawyers, Anatoly Kucherena, stated that Snowden would seek temporary asylum in Russia and possibly apply for citizenship later. Snowden thanked Russia for giving him asylum and said that “in the end, the law is winning.”

That October, Snowden stated that he no longer possessed any of the NSA files that he leaked to the press. He gave the materials to the journalists he met with in Hong Kong, but he didn’t keep copies for himself. Snowden explained that “it wouldn’t serve the public interest” for him to have brought the files to Russia, according to The New York Times. Around this time, Snowden’s father, Lon, visited his son in Moscow and continued to publicly express support.

In November 2013, Snowden’s request to the U.S. government for clemency was rejected.

A critic of Government Surveillance

In exile, Snowden remained a polarizing figure who has remained outspoken about government surveillance. He made an appearance at the popular South by Southwest festival via teleconference in March 2014. Around this time, the U.S. military revealed that the information Snowden leaked may have caused billions of dollars in damage to its security structures.

In May 2014, Snowden gave a revealing interview with NBC News. He told Brian Williams that he was a trained spy who worked undercover as an operative for the CIA and NSA, an assertion denied by National Security Adviser Susan Rice in a CNN interview. Snowden explained that he viewed himself as a patriot, believing his actions had beneficial results. He stated that his leaking of information led to “a robust public debate” and “new protections in the United States and abroad for our rights to make sure they’re no longer violated.” He also expressed an interest in returning home to America.

Snowden appeared with Poitras and Greenwald via video-conference in February 2015. Earlier that month, Snowden spoke with students at Upper Canada College via video-conference. He told them that “the problem with mass surveillance is when you collect everything, you understand nothing.” He also stated that government spying “fundamentally changes the balance of power between the citizen and the state.”

On September 29, 2015, Snowden joined the social media platform Twitter, tweeting “Can you hear me now?” He had almost two million followers in a little over 24 hours.

Just a few days later, Snowden spoke to the New Hampshire Liberty Forum via Skype and stated he would be willing to return to the U.S. if the government could guarantee a fair trial.

Edward Snowden Pardon Campaign

On September 13, 2016, Snowden said in an interview with The Guardian that he would seek a pardon from President Obama. “Yes, there are laws on the books that say one thing, but that is perhaps why the pardon power exists – for the exceptions, for the things that may seem unlawful in letters on a page but when we look at them morally, when we look at them ethically, when we look at the results, it seems these were necessary things, these were vital things,” he said in the interview.

The next day various human rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International launched a campaign requesting that Obama pardon Snowden.

Appearing via a telepresence robot, Snowden expressed gratitude for the support. “I love my country. I love my family,” he said. “I don’t know where we’re going from here. I don’t know what tomorrow looks like. But I’m glad for the decisions I’ve made. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined, three years ago, such an outpouring of solidarity.”

He also emphasized that his case resonates beyond him. “This really isn’t about me,” he said. “It’s about us. It’s about our right to dissent. It’s about the kind of country we want to have.”

A day later, on September 15th, the House Intelligence Committee released a three-page unclassified summary of a report about its two-year investigation into Snowden’s case. In summary, Snowden was characterized as a “disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers,” a “serial exaggerator and fabricator” and “not a whistle-blower.”

“Snowden caused tremendous damage to national security, and the vast majority of the documents he stole have nothing to do with programs impacting individual privacy interests — they instead pertain to military, defense and intelligence programs of great interest to America’s adversaries,” the summary of the report stated.

Members of the committee also unanimously signed a letter to President Obama asking him not to pardon Snowden. “We urge you not to pardon Edward Snowden, who perpetrated the largest and most damaging public disclosure of classified information in our nation’s history,” the letter stated. “If Mr. Snowden returns from Russia, where he fled in 2013, the U.S. government must hold him accountable for his actions.”

Snowden responded on Twitter saying: “Their report is so artlessly distorted that it would be amusing if it weren’t such a serious act of bad faith.” He followed with a series of tweets refuting the committee’s claims and said: “I could go on. Bottom line: after ‘two years of investigation,’ the American people deserve better. This report diminishes the committee.”

Snowden also tweeted that the release of the committee’s summary was an effort to discourage people from watching the biopic Snowden, which was released in the United States on September 16, 2016.

Edward Snowden and Donald Trump

In April 2014, well before becoming president, Donald Trump tweeted that Edward Snowden should be executed for the damage his leaks had caused to the U.S.

Following President Trump’s election, in November 2016, Snowden told viewers of a teleconference in Sweden that he wasn’t worried about the government increased efforts to arrest him.

“I don’t care. The reality here is that yes, Donald Trump has appointed a new director of the Central Intelligence Agency who uses me as a specific example to say that, look, dissidents should be put to death. But if I get hit by a bus, or a drone, or dropped off an airplane tomorrow, you know what? It doesn’t actually matter that much to me, because I believe in the decisions that I’ve already made,” Snowden said.

In an open letter from May 2017, Snowden joined 600 activists urging President Trump to drop an investigation and any potential charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for his role in classified intelligence leaks.

Edward Snowden News

A woman who housed Snowden in Hong Kong granted refugee status in Canada

Hong Kong (CNN)Canadian authorities have granted asylum to a woman and her daughter who housed Edward Snowden in Hong Kong after the former NSA contractor leaked classified documents on US surveillance programs around the world in 2013.

The decision allows Philippines national Vanessa Rodel and her 7-year-old daughter Keana to leave Hong Kong after living in the city without proper legal status for years.
“I’m truly happy,” Rodel said. “I’m so excited. I can’t sleep.”
Developing local solutions for Artificial intelligence, BlockChain, and Big Data are all on the agenda for this govt department.
Rodel and two Sri Lankan families put up Snowden shortly after he went public in 2013.
At the time, Snowden’s lawyer Robert Tibbo worried that his client could face possible rendition back to the US, where he was branded a traitor.
So Tibbo advised Snowden to hide with Hong Kong refugees because he thought it would be the last place anyone would look.
“This has been a seven-year battle,” said Tibbo, who also represents the refugees who hid Snowden.
After Snowden left the city and was granted asylum in Russia, Rodel and the other refugees who hid him moved forward with their Hong Kong refugee status applications. Their cases were rejected in 2017.
As of now, only Rodel and her daughter Keana have been granted asylum in Canada. Lawyers working on behalf of the other refugees who hid Snowden said the Canadian government is still considering their cases.
Rodel told CNN the process has been long, arduous and depressing. She said she came to Hong Kong because she was a victim of human trafficking in her home country of the Philippines, and is too afraid to go home. However, as a refugee without legal status, she also does not feel safe in Hong Kong.
“There’s nothing here,” Rodel said. “It’s a living hell in Hong Kong. We’ve had a miserable life in Hong Kong.”
Rodel said in Canada, she hopes she and her daughter can learn French, buy a home and perhaps even enroll in university.
Keana doesn’t remember much of Snowden, except that he has short hair. She said she’s excited for her new life in Canada and is looking forward to seeing snow for the first time and Siberian Huskies.
Rodel and two Sri Lankan families who hid Snowden came forward in 2016, around the time Oliver Stone’s film “Snowden” was released.
Sri Lankan refugee Supun Thilina Kellapatha (third from left), his partner Nadeeka (left), with their baby boy Dinath, daughter Sethumdi, Sri Lankan refugee Ajith Puspa (third from right) and Filipino refugee Vanessa Rodel (right) with her daughter Keana pose for a photo in front of the government buildings of Hong Kong in 2017.
The three families they always faced long odds on being granted legal status in Hong Kong.
The city is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugees Convention and historically has only allowed a very small number of refugees to settle in. There are about 10,000 people living in Hong Kong who are seeking refugee status, according to the NGO Justice Centre in Hong Kong.
Those who are not recognized have trouble accessing basic services like healthcare or police protection. Children born here to refugees, like Rodel’s daughter Keana, are effectively stateless. Keana does not have a passport.
The Hong Kong government said in a statement to CNN in 2017 that it rejected the three families’ asylum claims because it believed there were no “substantial grounds for believing that the claimants if returned to their country of origin, will be subject to real and substantial risk of danger.”