Note: We have tried our best to provide accurate and factual information about Edward Snowden. However, we have found there is a great deal of deliberate misinformation and information that is difficult to verify. Should we have a fact wrong, please let us know in the comments and we will correct it.
Who Is Edward Snowden?
There are a lot of interesting facts about Edward Snowden that you might not know. Some of them might even surprise you. Whether you’re a fan of the whistleblower or not, there’s no denying that the world has been changed by his actions. Let’s explore some fascinating information about this famous American who exposed several top-secret government programs for mass surveillance on its own citizens.
So, what do you know about this infamous American spy?
Edward Snowden Was Born On June 21, 1983
During his youth, he spent a lot of time in cybercafes. This experience would later become useful to him when he was working as an NSA contractor. He would later use the computer skills he acquired during this period to access secret information belonging to the United States government.
He was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and later moved to the state of Washington when he was 6 years old. Snowden had a very ordinary childhood and upbringing. He was never acknowledged as an extraordinary child.
At age 15, he got his first computer and started using it to explore the internet. He was a huge fan of video games and LISP, a programming language. Edward used these skills to hack into computers and even access secret information from his school’s network. So he wasn’t exactly an ordinary kid.
Edward Snowden Comes From A Government Family
Snowden’s grandfather was a Rear Admiral in the US Coast Guard. He later went on to become a senior official with the FBI and happened to be inside the Pentagon during the 2001 September 11th attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon building.
Edward Snowden’s father was a Warrant Office with the Coast Guard. Edward’s mother worked for the US District Court for the District of Maryland, and Edward’s sist works as a lawyer with the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC.
In 2004, Snowden enlisted with the US Army and was accepted as a Special Forces candidate. Due to fracturing his Tibia, he had to take a discharge which ended his Army career. Edward wanted to join the fight in Iraq to help liberate the oppressed people of that nation.
Snowden’s real career took off in 2006 after attending an “intelligence agencies” job fair. As a “computer wizard,” he rose through the ranks quickly and trained with the CIA’s secret school for technology specialists.
He Has Been Living In Russia For A Few Years Now
When the NSA leaks began, people were wondering where Snowden would go and what he would do. He had no diplomatic immunity, so he couldn’t technically go anywhere. He was a fugitive from justice and a wanted man. However, his partner Lindsay Mills, who is also American, was based in Russia. This marked a change of location for Snowden.
He was also able to travel to Russia with the help of the Kremlin. The Russian state granted him asylum in 2013 after he spent a couple of weeks in Hong Kong.
There were rumors that the Russian government had promised to protect him if he agreed to work for them. The Russian government has denied this, however.
Even though he lives in Russia, Snowden speaks fluent English and is able to read, write, and understand other languages.
He has been able to make friends with people from all over the world. When he and Mills were in Hong Kong, they were often spotted at the Russian restaurant in Central. They became well-liked in Hong Kong, and many people still remember them fondly.
He Holds Two Bachelors Degree. One In Information Systems And Another In Mathematics.
According to Forbes, Snowden was a normal American kid who studied at Montgomery College in Maryland. He then began working as a security guard at the NSA. After a while, he was able to gain access to classified information. He then decided to leak this information to the public.
After examining his past, it seems that Snowden had no precursors in hacking and computer security. He was just an ordinary kid who had an average lifestyle. His best friends described him as a “nerdy kid” who was “shy and an introvert.”
He and his friends often talked about computer and internet stuff. However, he had never shown any special interest in this topic. The only thing he liked was airplanes. When he was in high school, he would often take airplane rides with his friends. He also liked to watch aviation documentaries.
He had never shown any special interest in computer and hacking stuff. However, his best friends described him as shy and an introvert.
Edward Snowden had no clue that he would one day become a highly publicized whistleblower. He wasn’t planning on becoming a famous man and he didn’t expect the world to remember him after he leaked secret information about the NSA’s mass surveillance programs.
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Edward Snowden’s Working Career
When Snowden was a teenager, he decided to move away from his family and live in Hawaii with his girlfriend. He then attended two different universities, one in California and another in Maryland.
He first attended the University of Maryland and eventually received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in 2006. He then received a Master’s degree in Information Systems in 2009. During his time at these universities, he never showed any special interest in computer science.
He did, however, work as a security guard, a bartender, and a cook. He was able to support himself, but he still struggled to make a living.
However, he wasn’t satisfied with any of these jobs. He eventually took work with the CIA, Dell, and then the NSA.
Xkeyscore, Echelon, And Edward Snowden Whistleblower
The NSA surveillance program called XKEYSCORE is one of the most dangerous surveillance programs in the world. It is used to collect information from Web browsing and online chats, as well as other communications. The technology behind XKEYSCORE makes it easier for the government to spy on its citizens without them knowing about it. Edward Snowden revealed XKEYSCORE and other top-secret documents in 2013. He released over 50 documents on his website.
The files revealed that the U.S. government has been monitoring every keystroke in America’s computer networks since at least 2007, collecting data on nearly every person’s internet activity with no warrants or court orders, or any judicial oversight allowed by Congress or any federal agencies. The government has reportedly used this program to track people’s movements and eavesdrop on their phone calls and emails, including those of journalists and political activists who have been critical of American policies abroad or who have taken part in protests against domestic issues such as the war in Iraq or police violence against minorities such as African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, women, and transgender men and women.
In response to Edward Snowden’s revelations about these mass surveillance programs, both President Barack Obama and former NSA Director Keith Alexander (now head of Dell) were forced to admit their awareness of these mass surveillance programs.
However, even according to the former NSA Director Alexander, “there are numbers of people who don’t want to be tracked; that’s not a problem.” President Obama’s administration and
its members of Congress have ignored repeated warnings from privacy groups and activist organizations that they are rolling back these vital safeguards against government surveillance, but it is now time for all Americans to take a stand.
What Was Edward Snowden’s Motivation for Leaking Classified Information?
Snowden is a former CIA and NSA employee who leaked information about the U.S. government’s surveillance of its citizens to the media. He was a systems analyst for the U.S. intelligence community.
Snowden morally objected to mass government surveillance programs and taking part in illegally monitoring and tracking US citizens without justification or cause. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the bold-faced lies of senior and top-level government officials, including the President of the United States, who repeatedly assured Congress and the American public that no such programs existed and that such programs violated the Constitution.
Snowden argues that he had the moral obligation to make the public aware of just how far the government is willing to go to spy on its citizens.
Whether you’re a fan of the whistleblower or not, there’s no denying that the world has been changed by his actions.
After learning about the NSA’s secret surveillance programs, Snowden decided to share what he had learned with the media. On May 20, 2013, he officially declared himself “The Source” and revealed himself to be the person who had leaked the NSA’s surveillance programs to the media.
In August 2013, Snowden fled the United States and flew to Hong Kong, where he stayed for over a month. In the last week of August 2013, the Hong Kong government refused his request for asylum. On August 21, 2013, Snowden flew to Moscow, Russia, where he stayed for over a month until he was granted asylum in Russia on August 31, 2013.
On September 26th, 2022, President Vladimir Putin granted Edward Snowden Russian citizenship.