Edward Snowden departed for Russian territory in 2013, after he decided to disclose classified information about US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance activities, according to information security experts, shortly after he landed in Moscow he was arrested by the authorities.
A Russian intelligence officer later informed him that his passport was cancelled by the US government during his flight. Snowden claims the agent told him, “Life can be very difficult for someone in your position, is there any information you’d like to share with us? Snowden, a former NSA and CIA employee, declined to cooperate with the Russian government, although his stay in Russia has become much longer than expected.
“They took me to Sheremetyevo airport, and what in principle seemed to be a scale of about 20 hours has become six years,” says Snowden himself, who was accused by the US government of violating espionage laws and leaking to various journalists multiple confidential details about the NSA surveillance activities. “In the world of information security, they even consider me a traitor,” Snowden adds from exile.
It should be noted that Snowden tried to enlist in the US Army, but his physical limitations took him away a military life, so he joined the CIA to exercise his technical qualities, although he ended up quitting in 2012. However, by getting a job as an NSA contractor, he discovered that after the terrorist attacks against the US, the government aimed to absorb as much information as possible, one way or another, to prevent potential attacks in the future.
Not everyone shares Snowden’s role as a martyr for the US government. For Adam Schiff, a member of the Democratic Party in California, Snowden is a highly relevant political actor: “Most of the information he stole has nothing to do with US citizens’ privacy violations, but it is all classified data that endanger national security.”
Whether the US history judges Snowden to be a hero or a spy, information security specialists at the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) highly recommend taking a look at his book, “In Permanent Record,” available soon.