Edward Snowden

UPDATE 2: Booz Allen released this statement.

Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, has been an employee of our firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter.

UPDATE: #IStandWithSnowden is trending on Twitter.

The NSA Whistleblower now has a name, Edward Snowden. Having always planned on outing himself, Snowden sat down for an interview with Glenn Greenwald to discuss his motivations for leaking.

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell…

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In his interview with Greenwald, after seeking asylum in Hong Kong, Snowdown said his motivation for leaking was that the public had a right to know.

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. “I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.”

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He added: “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

The article and interview come after a week of stories published by the Guardian and Washington Post concerning the NSA’s massive, and possibly illegal, spying program on all Americans. Snowden said in his interview that America has become a “turnkey tyranny,” all a future administration has to do is give the order.