Truth be told, anyone who was alive in the infamous Julian Assange era also caught wind of famed former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Apparently, the whistleblower has been hiding in Russia, for almost three years after he did the unthinkable – divulged the highly classified intelligence records that featured “activities the US federal government would rather have remain under the radar.”
This he did after he allegedly suddenly left his job as a National Security Agency contractor stationed in Hawaii and flew to Hong Kong shortly afterwards.
A month after his unexplained disappearance act, Snowden shed light to thousands of officially classified NSA files before fleeing to Russia where he was then offered protective asylum.
But now it turns out that Edward Snowden – a man who has been on the run since 2013 – is ready to return to the US but only under one condition.
Speaking through Google Hangouts, Snowden told a barrage of libertarian conference attendees who had gathered in New Hampshire that he could only to return home if the government agreed and guaranteed him a fair trial.
A trial in which he would be allowed to make a public interest defence explaining his actions and also be accorded the liberty of having a jury decide his case.
This is certainly a bold move to make, especially considering the gravity of the punitive US charges that are presently leveled against him.
If anything, Snowden’s is looking at up to 30 years in a federal prison if he is found guilty of the espionage charges under the 2011 Espionage Act that he faces back home.
But What Really Motivated Edward Snowden To Divulge Some of the Most Sensitive Secrets of the US Government?
According to confirmed reports, the documents that Edward Snowden sneaked out of the US when he left for Hong Kong in May 2013 revealed the existence of more than one massive surveillance program that was co-operated by both the NSA and GCHQ – British Intelligence Agency.
The documents featured and contained the bulk interception of Internet traffic and phone calls in the US and also various parts of the world.
Since then, Edward Snowden has been rumored to making offers to the US government to come back home in return for a fair trial and also discuss a plea deal or even go to prison.
Nonetheless, late last year, Edward Snowden dismissed these claims when he told the BBC Panorama in an interview that the American Department of Justice had made no efforts whatsoever to contact him.
Is There an End to This for Snowden?
Snowden unexpected revelations in June 2013 took the world by storm – there’s really no refuting that.
If anything, it sparked off a series of international debates that revolved to how just how far should the line between security and privacy be drawn.
Most of Edward Snowden’s supporters were very vocal during that time that the government had crossed the line as far as respecting civilian privacy goes.
It was seen as an illegal intrusion of privacy and Snowden was seen as the hero in a script.
On the other hand, critics were also unrelenting that Snowden had seriously hampered the US government efforts of assuring its citizens of around the clock protection from possible terrorist attacks.
The main theme of their argument was centered on the fact that Snowden’s espionage only sought to compromise the efforts that government was making to pre-empt future 9/11-style attacks.
On his side, Edward Snowden recently revealed that some of his colleagues back at the NSA and the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) were “sympathetic” to his long-held beliefs that individual privacy and personal freedom were greatly limited in the United States.
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