‘I do not expect to see home again,
Edward Snowden, a former CIA technical assistant, has fled to Hong Kong
Leaked details of Prism, which he says harvests personal data from internet
U.S. government allegedly targeting Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others
‘What they’re doing (poses) a threat to democracy,’ Snowden says
Spies at GCHQ in UK accused of using it, bypassing any British legal checks
U.S. National Intelligence director says surveillance keeps America safe
America’s most wanted man has broken cover to reveal why he decided to leak documents from one of the world’s most notorious spy organisations.
Former CIA worker Edward Snowden admitted he would be ‘made to suffer’ after triggering shockwaves across the globe by handing over top-secret files from the US National Security Agency (NSA).
The 29-year-old whistleblower, who earned £130,000 a year ($200,000), exposed chilling details of how the covert agency, based in Maryland, gathers private information from people around the world – including in Britain – using a programme called Prism.
Revealing why he blew the whistle he said: ‘I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.’
The Prism system gives officials easy access to data held by nine of the world’s top internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Skype.
Mr Snowden acted after becoming convinced the US government’s bid to harvest personal information from millions of individuals was a ‘threat to democracy’.
And he described how he fears he will be kidnapped and returned to America to face espionage charges and possible life in prison – or even murdered on Washington’s orders.