Edward Snowden

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Whistleblower (1983)
Thu Sep 24 2020
By   Sarthak

Are you familiar with the term whistleblower? If not, then a whistleblower is a person who exposes secretive information. Edward Snowden is a controversial whistleblower who copied and leaked highly confidential information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013.

Snowden has been called a hero, a traitor, and a patriot as well. Further, he opposes being called as a leaker. His then-girlfriend now wife, Lindsay Mills, also became the media sensation after her identity disclosed as Snowden's partner.

Edward Snowden Married Life

Edward Snowden married his longtime girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, in 2017. They began dating in 2009 and has been together for over a decade. In an interview, Snowden revealed that he and Mills married at a private ceremony in a Moscow courthouse.

Edward Snowden and his wife, Lindsay Mills.
Image: Edward Snowden and his girlfriend turned wife, Lindsay Mills.
Source: the Irish sun

At the time of their marriage, Edward was living in exile. But Mills had joined him in 2014. The couple doesn't share any kids. They are active on social media but maintains a low-profile life.

Who is Lindsay Mills?

The 35-year-old Lindsay Mills is an American acrobat and blogger. She became an international sensation after global surveillance leaks. Mills made an appearance at the 87th Academy Awards to accept the Oscar for Citizenfour, a documentary film about Snowden and the spying scandal.

Lindsay Mills is an acrobat and blogger.
Image: Lindsay Mills is an acrobat and blogger best known as the wife of Edward Snowden.
Source: Instagram@lsjourney

Mills was previously very active in news media publishing, including social media, blogging, and video sharing. She studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art and later became a dancer and acrobat.

Net Worth

The former CIA employee and subcontractor Edward Snowden has a net worth of $500,000 as per celebritynetworth. Snowden worked in various positions, including Dell contractee, CIA, and NSA employee, among others. He was a lead technologist and a cyber strategist.

Whistleblower, Edward Snowden has a net worth of $500,000.
Image: Edward Snowden has a net worth of $500,000 as of 2020.
Source: Time

Snowden would have earned millions of dollars if he hadn't exposed confidential information. As per sources, his salary was $200,000 реr year. Ву 2015, hіѕ earnings uѕеd tо соmе frоm ѕреаkіng fееѕ. Edward uѕеd tо сhаrgе оvеr $18,000 fоr а ѕіnglе арреаrаnсе.

Snowden is an author of The New York Times best-selling memoir called Permanent Record. The book has made over $4 million, but he didn't receive any earnings because the U.S government filed a lawsuit claiming that Snowden had violated a non-disclosure agreement.

Agreed to give up more than $5 million

As per court records, Snowden has agreed to give up more than $5 million he earned from his book and speaking fees to the United States government.

Edward Snowden's book, Permanent Record.
Image: Edward Snowden agreed to give up more than $5 million he earned from his book, Permanent Record.
Source: Instagram@that_snowden

As of September 2020, Snowden has earned $4.2 million from his book sales, royalties, and rights. He gave 56 speeches about the government's secrecy disclosures and made $1.03 million. As per the agreement between Donald Trump and Snowden, the money will be put in a trust 

Portrayal in Movie

The 2016 biographical thriller film, 'Snowden,' is based on the semi-fictionalized life of Edward Snowden. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward and Shailene Woodley as Lindsay Mills.

Watch the official trailer of the 2016 biographical movie, Snowden!

The film produced on the $40 million budget was a box-office disappointment. Joseph earned critical praise, but the movie grossed $37.3 million worldwide.

Leaks of NSA Documents

In December 2012, Snowden first contacted The Guardian's journalist Glenn Greenwald. In January 2013, he contacted documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. So, why did Snowden chose Greenwald and Poitras to give such classified documents?

Edward Snowden leaked NSA documents.
Image: Edward Snowden is the man behind leaking NSA's highly classified documents.
Source: thestar

Well, Snowden saw a Salon article written by Greenwald detailing how Poitras's controversial films had made her a target of the government.

After disclosing the copied documents, Snowden said in June 2013, "All I can say right now is the US government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped."

How much did Snowden disclose?

After working for the CIA from 2006-2009, Snowden began working for the National Security Agency (NSA) as an employee of Dell. As per the U.S officials and other sources, he began downloading important documents describing it as government's electronic spying programs.

Edward Snowden.
Image: Edward has been often called a hero, traitor, patriot, etc.
Source: Shutterstock

As per the investigators, Snowden gave around 50,000 to 200,000 documents to journalists, Greenwald and filmmaker, Poitras.

The exact size of Snowden's disclosure is unknown. While the NSA director said he had copied documents from 50,000 to 200,000, the U.S. officials estimate he copied around 1.7 million documents. Further, a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency reports stated that Snowden took 900,000 Department of Defense files.

Potential Impact on U.S National Security

The Snowden documents contained highly sensitive NSA blueprints, which showed how the NSA operates. If someone would read them, then they could evade or even duplicate NSA surveillance.

In July 2015, an article published by the New York Times reported that the terror group Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) had studied revelations from Snowden about how the United States gathered information on militants.

Edward Snowden gave classified documents to journalist and filmmaker.
Image: After Snowden leaked NSA documents, a major concern regarding national security occurred.
Source: Time

While Snowden stated he didn't turn over documents to journalists, the redaction of a document by the New York Times resulted in the exposure of intelligence activity against Al-Qaeda.

On June 14, 2015, The Sunday Times reported that Russian and Chinese intelligence services had decrypted more than 1 million classified files in the Snowden cache. As per the result, the UK's MI6 intelligence agency was forced to move agents out of live operations in hostile countries.

Will Snowden return to the United States?

Since the leak of NSA documents, Snowden and his wife has been living in exile in Russia. In the past ex-president, Barack Obama tried to set a motion for pardoning him but failed to do so.

Snowden has said he would like to return to his home country but only on the condition of a fair trial. Meanwhile, President Trump has said he will "take a look" at pardoning Snowden. Chuck Grassley, a Republican member, also defends whistleblowing.

Family Background

Edward Joseph Snowden was born on June 21, 1983, in North Carolina, the United States. His father, Lonnie Snowden, was an officer in the Coast Guard, while mother, Elizabeth, is a clerk in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Further, his grandfather, Edward J. Barrett, was a rear admiral in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was a senior official with the FBI, and during the 9/11 attacks, he was at the Pentagon. Edward's older sister, Jessica, worked as a lawyer at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D/C.

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