Edward Joseph Snowden is the person responsible for the leakage of highly classified information regarding the secret mass surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency, under the United States government, June 2013. He is an American computer professional who has the courage to speak and reveal to the public the important matter which concerns them.
James Risen, a reporter of The New York Times, reported that the act done by Edward Snowden to leak the documents of NSA developed gradually. Snowden first contacted a journalist from The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald, in the late year of 2012. He used the name “Cincinnatus” when he contacted Greenwald in order to hide his identity since he was revealing a very sensitive document. After Greenwald, Snowden then contacted a filmmaker of the New York Times in the person of Laura Poitras.
Snowden and Greenwald started working between the months of February and April 2013 just right after Laura Poitras asked for Greenwald. On the other hand and according to Barton Gellman, a writer in The Washington Post, Edward Snowden first approached him and after declining to guarantee a publication, the latter contacted Greenwald.
The leaked classified information on the mass surveillance programs has revealed several unknown details concerning the global surveillance apparatus which is being run by the NSA and in cooperation with Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, which are partners of the Five Eyes.
It was only in June 9, 2013 that Edward Snowden requested to reveal his identity to the public and through the efforts of The Guardian. He explained to the public that he has no intention of keeping his identity close to the public because he has no reason to do that since he did nothing wrong. He also mentioned that one of the reasons why he revealed his identity was that he hoped that his colleagues be protected and will no longer be subjected to a hunt for determining who leaked the document.
There are several people supporting Snowden’s efforts. One of which was in Hong Kong. Last June 15, 2013, the people demonstrated a rally just to show the world that Snowden is not alone in his journey.
Despite the risks and efforts made by Snowden, it had zero effect when it comes to the British Security Agency. The revelations made by him may or may not change anything but his efforts will surely won’t go to waste. On the other hand, a US Freedom Act was introduced in Congress which covers numerous reforms. But until now, the surveillance landscape in the US remains to be unchanged for other reasons. Although the phone records in America will still elicit information, it is now run by the different telephone companies.
After Snowden’s victory, what is noteworthy is the fact that he has the courage to stand by what he believes is right. As what he said in his article, “With each court victory, with every change in the law, we demonstrate facts are more convincing than fear. As a society, we rediscover that the value of a right is not in what it hides, but in what it protects.”