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Ex-CIA Man Says Exposed U.S. Spy Scheme To Protect World

posted 10 Jun 2013, 08:04 by Mpelembe   [ updated 10 Jun 2013, 08:05 ]

Ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden says he is the source of a leak on a top secret U.S. surveillance program, saying he acted out of conscience "to protect liberties."

FORT MEADE, VIRGINIAUNITED STATES  (NBC) -  An ex-CIA employee working as a contractor at the U.S. National Security Agency said he was the source who leaked details of a top secret U.S. surveillance program, acting out of conscience to protect "basic liberties for people around the world."

Holed up in a hotel room in Hong Kong Edward Snowden told the London-based Guardian newspaper on Sunday (June 9) that he had thought long and hard before publicizing details of an NSA program code-named PRISM, saying he had done so because he felt the United States was building an unaccountable and secret espionage machine that spied on every American.

His whereabouts were not immediately known on Monday (June 10), but staff at a luxury hotel in Hong Kong told Reuters that Snowden had checked out at noon.

Both the Guardian and the Washington Post published revelations last week that U.S. security services had monitored data about phone calls from Verizon and Internet data from large companies such as Google and Facebook.

In naming Snowden on Sunday, the papers said he had sought to be identified.

The Guardian, which published a video interview with Snowden on its website, said Snowden had been working at the NSA for four years as a contractor for outside companies.

Three weeks ago, he copied the secret documents at the NSA office in Hawaii and told his supervisor he needed "a couple of weeks" off for treatment for epilepsy, the paper said. On May 20 he flew to Hong Kong.

The CIA and the White House declined to comment, while a spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence would not comment directly about Snowden himself but said the intelligence community was reviewing damage done by the recent leaks.