2014年10月08日

What Snowden has brought to the American Society

In June 2013, Edward Snowden, a former CIA contractor/system administrator, leaked thousands of National Security Agency’s (NSA) classified documents and brought the US government’s spying programs to international attention. Amongst the NSA’s programs uncovered by Snowden’s leak was the mass surveillance data-mining program called Prism. NSA tracks and collects internet and telephone communication of the American people through internet companies including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Verizon.

While some call him a traitor who disclosed national security information, others call him a patriot who exposed unconstitutional activities of the government to the public. 

He is facing three federal charges including the violation of the Espionage Act and theft of government property, with a prison sentence up to 30 years. He ended up stranded in Moscow airport for over a month until he was granted temporary asylum by Russia. A year later, in August 2014, his asylum was extended for another three years.

On May 28 2014, NBC’s Brian Williams met Edward Snowden and interviewed him at an unknown location in Moscow for the first time by the American News Media.

"We are not here to judge whether Edward Snowden deserves life in prison, or clemency," Williams told the NBC audience. "We are here to listen for the first time to why he did what he did, and what his concerns were for our society. We are here to learn some of the things our government did in our name. In the end, perhaps some of us will change our minds. If we don't, at least we will have been informed."

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