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Edward Snowden: US whistleblower, now a permanent Russian citizen


Russian President Vladimir Putin granted US Russian on Monday. Since 2013, Snowden has been living in to escape prosecution in the US after leaking secret files related to the US (NSA) and the CIA.

Snowden was working as a contractor with the when he leaked the files. His wife, Linsay Mills, will also reportedly apply for Russian .

Who is

was born in 1983 in North Carolina, US. He attended the school till the tenth grade and dropped out after falling ill.

He, however, did not return to school to finish his studies. He grew more attracted to computers, technology, and Japanese anime.

In 2004, Snowden joined the Reserve but was later discharged after breaking both of his legs during a training session.

In 2006, he was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a private contractor. He worked in Geneva, Tokyo, Maryland, and finally, Hawaii. In Hawaii, he decided to leak the crucial information because he could not “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.”

Snowden told The Guardian that he had started to get disillusioned with the US government’s policies while he was in Geneva in 2009. However, he waited, hoping that Barack Obama would change the system.

“[Mr Obama] continued with the policies of his predecessor,” he said.

In 2009, he gave up his job in the CIA and joined . He was shifted to Hawaii to work with Booz Allen Hamilton.

In 2013, Snowden grew increasingly disturbed by the level of spying on ordinary citizens by the .

He then collected and later leaked the documents proving his claims to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalists Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, and Barton Gellman.

In May 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after enlisting the journalists to leak the data.

On June 5, 2013, The Guardian reported that telecom company Verizon was leaking its user data to NSA. On June 6, 2013, The Washington Post and The Guardian wrote about PRISM.

PRISM is a surveillance program that allows the NSA to collect internet data from citizens through their online activity on products and applications by Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Apple, among .

In a series of revelations, it was revealed that not only the NSA but several global companies were party to the crime.

On June 9, 2013, he revealed his identity via The Guardian and said, “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.”

Soon, the US agencies charged Snowden with stealing government property and two other cases violating the US Espionage Act.

The two cases were unauthorised communication of national defence information and willful communication of classified intelligence with an unauthorised person.

After a month-long stay in Hong Kong, Snowden was on his way to Ecuador via . But when he landed in Russia, his passport was revoked by the US. Since then, he has remained in Russia, first under temporary asylum and now as a permanent resident.


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