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Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is an American whistleblower who copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 when he was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and subcontractor
Who Is Edward Snowden?
Edward Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is a computer programmer who worked as a subcontractor for the National Security Agency (NSA). Snowden collected top-secret documents regarding NSA domestic surveillance practices that he found disturbing and leaked them. After he fled to Hong Kong, he met with journalists from The Guardian and filmmaker Laura Poitras. Newspapers began printing the documents that he had leaked, many of them detailing the monitoring of American citizens. The U.S. has charged Snowden with violations of the Espionage Act, while many groups call him a hero. Snowden has found asylum in Russia and continues to speak about his work. Citizenfour, a documentary by Laura Poitras about his story, won an Oscar in 2015. He is also the subject of Snowden, a 2016 biopic directed by Oliver Stone and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Edward Snowden Photo The Guardian via Getty Images_cropped
Edward Snowden during an interview in Hong Kong in 2013. (Photo by The Guardian via Getty Images)
Edward Snowden’s Girlfriend
One of the people Snowden left behind when he moved to Hong Kong to leak secret NSA files was his girlfriend Lindsay Mills. The pair had been living together in Hawaii, and she reportedly had no idea that he was about to disclose classified information to the public.
Mills graduated from Laurel High School in Maryland in 2003 and the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007. She began her career as a pole-dancing performance artist while living in Hawaii with Snowden.
In January 2015, Mills joined the Citizenfour documentary team onstage for their Oscars acceptance speech.
In September 2019 it was reported that Snowden and Mills had gotten married.
Where Is Edward Snowden Now?
As of 2019, Edward Snowden was still living in Moscow, Russia. However in February 2016 he said that he’d return to the U.S. in exchange for a fair trial. In February 2017, NBC News reported that the Russian government was considering handing him over to the U.S. to curry favor with President Donald Trump, although Snowden remains in Russia.
Movies on Edward Snowden
In 2014, Snowden was featured in Laura Poitras’ highly acclaimed documentary Citizenfour. The director had recorded her meetings with Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. The film went on to win an Academy Award in 2015. “When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret, we lose the power to control and govern ourselves,” said Poitras during her acceptance speech.
In September 2016, director Oliver Stone released a biopic, Snowden, with Edward Snowden’s cooperation. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead role and Shailene Woodley playing girlfriend Lindsay Mills.
Family & Early Life
Edward Snowden was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on June 21, 1983. His mother works for the federal court in Baltimore (the family moved to Maryland during Snowden’s youth) as chief deputy clerk for administration and information technology. Snowden’s father, a former Coast Guard officer, later relocated to Pennsylvania and remarried.
Edward Snowden’s Education
Edward Snowden dropped out of high school and studied computers at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland (from 1999 to 2001, and again from 2004 to 2005).
Between his stints at community college, Snowden spent four months from May to September 2004 in special-forces training in the Army Reserves, but he did not complete his training. Snowden told The Guardian that he was discharged from the Army after he “broke both his legs in a training accident.” However, an unclassified report published on September 15, 2016 by the House Intelligence Committee refuted his claim, stating: “He claimed to have left Army basic training because of broken legs when in fact he washed out because of shin splints.”