Edward Snowden revealed as NSA Prism leak source
June 11 , 2013
A former CIA employee was identified as the source of leaks over US surveillance programs by the UK's Guardian newspaper on Monday.
Edward Snowden, 29, was working as a contractor at the US National Security Agency at the time of the leak.
His identity was revealed at his own request, according to the Guardian.
The development follows recent reports that US agencies have been collating millions of phone records and monitoring Internet usage.
Speaking on the matter, Snowden told the paper: "We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place…I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded."
Snowden added he did not believe he had committed a criminal act: "We have seen enough criminality on the part of government. It is hypocritical to make this allegation against me."
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has said the matter will be referred to the Department of Justice and treated as a criminal case.
Snowden fled to Hong Kong on May 20, three weeks after he copied the secret documents at the NSA office in Hawaii and told his supervisor he took time off for treatment for epilepsy.
He said he chose Hong Kong because of its "strong tradition of free speech".
Hong Kong also signed an extradition treaty with the U.S. before it returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
Snowden said he was exploring the possiblity of seeking asylum in Iceland.