A whistleblower is an individual who gives out information mainly secret information about the organization in which they work. This is often aimed at either their own benefit or geared towards a different form of gain. Either way, they often have a motivating factor behind their actions. Edward Snowden is one of such individuals. Edward attained fame in the era of The Obama administration when he brought out secrets about the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in connection to other countries. Edward Snowden worked in the same administration as a renowned computer technician. He was based within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)(Epstein, 2017)
Edward obtained information secretly from the NSA without any permission and leaked this to several journalists including Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill who later provided this information to international mainstream media and newspapers such as the Guardian, the Washington Post among several others. While working for both CIA and NSA, he gained information that the NSA had surveillance programs both to countries, students and to specific organizations. He also mentioned that countries such as China and Hong Kong were among those that were under surveillance. Before revealing this information, Snowden left for China from where he revealed this information through both the mainstream media and social media channels (Epstein, 2017).
Snowden mentioned that the US government had set up a surveillance program from 2009 and this was mainly targeting the aforementioned group of individuals and countries among several others. He also said that the process had been continuous and that the plan was to continue. He also added that the US government was in possession of more than six thousand files that contained classified information about both Hong Kong and China. Snowden categorically stated that his motivation was derived from the fact that there were several injustices done by the US government to several countries and he felt he needed to expose this since he felt that the sovereignty of those individuals was grossly interfered with(Greenwald, 2014).
However, several speculations as to whether he was a double agent also exist. There were allegations that Snowden was working for both the US government and China and that the revelation was mainly aimed at receiving some gratification of some sort from the Chinese government. However, these have never been confirmed. Edward Snowden possesses several attributes that worked in his favor and allowed him to execute his plan albeit meticulously. To begin with, he had expert skills in computer technology. Through this, he could easily gain access to the databases and copy important documents that he would later use as proof. Next, he had worked for the agency for a credible amount of time and therefore the person who worked with him trusted him and this must have helped him through in one way or another. He must have needed collaborative skill as well in the areas he could not access easily and therefore using insiders in the same field (Epstein, 2017).
Next, he must have had an investigative skill of a high caliber. He also must have been extremely hard working to compile all he needed and come up with such a conclusion. Snowden must have also been an extra-determined individual to achieve all this. To release that information, he must have also been extremely fearless. The amount of data that he copied and ultimately revealed from the NSA database was very large and this must have required a lot of confidence on his part. Above all, Edward Snowden must have been a perfect schemer(Epstein, 2017).
In the end, Edward Snowden initially fled to Hong Kong in fear that the US government was going the victimize him. In 2013, the US Department of Justice opened charges against Snowden, which included theft of government property and violating the espionage act. He was later granted the right of asylum by Russia for one year, which has received repeated extensions allowing his to stay in Moscow presently (Greenwald, 2014).
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