NSA leaker risks jail because he “fears what US is doing”

by Robert Maynard

The man who leaked the National Security Agency documents to reporters faces decades in jail and has now taken refuge in Hong Kong,   He apparently took this risk because he was concerned about the level of threat to the liberty of American citizens that the NSA activity posed.  The full story can be read here.  The following is an excerpt:

The man who gave classified documents to reporters, making public two sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and touching off a national debate on privacy versus security, has revealed his own identity. He risked decades in jail for the disclosures – if the U.S. can extradite him from Hong Kong where he says he has taken refuge.

Edward Snowden, 29, who says he worked as a contractor at the National Security Agency and the CIA, allowed The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers to reveal his identity Sunday.

Both papers have published a series of top-secret documents outlining two NSA surveillance programs. One gathers hundreds of millions of U.S. phone records while searching for possible links to known terrorist targets abroad, and the second allows the government to tap into nine U.S. Internet companies to gather all Internet usage to detect suspicious behavior that begins overseas.