Edward Snowen is an American computer professional, former CIA employee who leaked classified information from the NSA. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia you should know about him!
1.He was born on June 21, 1983 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
2. His maternal grandfather, Edward J. Barrett, was a rear admiral in the United States Coast Guard who became a senior official with the FBI and was at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, when it was struck by an airliner hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists.
3. Snowden’s father, Lonnie Snowden, was also an officer in the Coast Guard, and his mother, Elizabeth B. Snowden, is chief deputy at the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
4. Snowden scored above 145 on two separate IQ tests.
5. In the early 1990s, while still in grade school, Snowden moved with his family to the area of Fort Meade, Maryland.
6. Mononucleosis caused him to miss high school for almost nine months.
7. Rather than returning to school, he passed the GED test and took classes at Anne Arundel Community College.
8. Although Snowden had no undergraduate college degree, he worked online toward a master’s degree at the University of Liverpool, England, in 2011.
9. Snowden was reportedly interested in Japanese popular culture, had studied the Japanese language, and worked for an anime company that had a resident office in the U.S.
10. He also said he had a basic understanding of Mandarin Chinese and was deeply interested in martial arts.
11. At age 20, he listed Buddhism as his religion on a military recruitment form, noting that the choice of Agnostic was “strangely absent.
12. Snowden has said that in the 2008 presidential election, he voted for a third-party candidate. He has stated that he had been planning to comment on NSA surveillance programs at the time, but he decided to wait because he “believed in Obama’s promises.”
13. He was later disappointed with President Barack Obama, saying that his policies were a continuation of those espoused by George W. Bush.
14. In 2013, Snowden was hired by an NSA contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, after previous employment with Dell and the CIA.
15. On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii, and in early June he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill.
16. Snowden came to international attention after stories based on the material appeared in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other newspapers including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.
17. On June 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property.
18. On June 23, he flew to Moscow, Russia, where he remained for over one month. Russian authorities granted him asylum for one year, which was later extended to three years. As of 2016, he was still living in an undisclosed location in Russia while seeking asylum elsewhere.
19. A subject of controversy, Snowden has been variously called a hero, a whistleblower, a dissident, a traitor and a patriot. His disclosures have fueled debates over mass surveillance, government secrecy, and the balance between national security and information privacy.
20. In accounts published in June 2013, interviewers noted that Snowden’s laptop displayed stickers supporting Internet freedom organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Tor Project.
21. Snowden stated that he was “neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.”
22. In 2014 Snowden stated that “women have the right to make their own choices” and supported providing “a basic income for people who have no work, or no meaningful work”.
23. Within months, documents had been obtained and published by media outlets worldwide, most notably The Guardian (Britain), Der Spiegel (Germany), The Washington Post and The New York Times (U.S.), O Globo (Brazil), Le Monde (France), and similar outlets in Sweden, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Australia. In 2014, NBC broke its first story based on the leaked documents.
24. In February 2014, for reporting based on Snowden’s leaks, journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman and The Guardian′s Ewen MacAskill were honored as co-recipients of the 2013 George Polk Award, which they dedicated to Snowden.
25. The NSA reporting by these journalists also earned The Guardian and The Washington Post the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for exposing the “widespread surveillance” and for helping to spark a “huge public debate about the extent of the government’s spying”. The Guardian’s chief editor, Alan Rusbridger, credited Snowden, saying “The public service in this award is significant because Snowden performed a public service.
26. On June 23, 2013, Snowden landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.
27. WikiLeaks stated that he was “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum.”
28. Snowden had a seat reserved to continue to Cuba but did not board that onward flight, saying in a January 2014 interview that he was “stopped en route” despite an intention to be “only transiting through Russia.
29. According to BuzzFeed, in January 2014 an anonymous Pentagon official said that he wanted to kill Snowden, claiming that “By [Snowden] showing who our collections partners were, the terrorists have dropped those carriers and email addresses.”
30. His release of NSA material was called the most significant leak in U.S. history by Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg.
31. On January 14, 2014, Ellsberg posted to his Twitter page: “Edward Snowden has done more for our Constitution in terms of the Fourth and First Amendment than anyone else I know.
32. On June 2, 2015 the U.S. Senate passed, and President Obama signed, the USA Freedom Act which restored in modified form several provisions of the Patriot Act that had expired the day before, while for the first time imposing some limits on the bulk collection of telecommunication data on U.S. citizens by American intelligence agencies. The new restrictions were widely seen as stemming from Snowden’s revelations
33. Edward Snowden was voted as The Guardian’s person of the year 2013, garnering four times the number of votes than any other candidate.
34. The 2013 list of leading Global Thinkers, published annually by Foreign Policy placed Snowden in first place due to the impact of his revelations. FP’s “Global Conversation visualization” showed that Snowden “occupied a role in 2013’s global news media coverage just slightly less important than President Barack Obama himself.”
35. Snowden was named Time′s Person of the Year runner-up in 2013, behind Pope Francis. Time was criticized for not placing him in the top spot.
36. In 2014, Snowden was named among Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the world.
37. In February 2014, Snowden joined the board of directors of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, co-founded by Daniel Ellsberg. Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras also sit on the board.
38. In July 2014, Freie Universität Berlin announced that Snowden had accepted its offer of honorary membership in recognition of what the university called “his extraordinary achievements in defense of transparency, justice, and freedom.” Apart from the honor, there are no rights, privileges or duties involved.
39. In July 2013, media critic Jay Rosen defined The Snowden Effect as “Direct and indirect gains in public knowledge from the cascade of events and further reporting that followed Edward Snowden’s leaks of classified information about the surveillance state in the U.S
40. In 2014, film director Oliver Stone bought the rights to Time of the Octopus, a forthcoming novel based on Snowden’s life and written by his Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena. Stone said he would use both Kucherena’s book and Luke Harding’s nonfiction The Snowden Files for the screenplay of his movie, which began production later in 2014. Stone’s biopic Snowden, which was released in September 2016, had Snowden portrayed by American actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Shortly before release, Stone said that Snowden should be pardoned, calling him a “patriot above all” and suggesting that he should run the NSA himself