Is PRISM Whistleblower Edward Snowden a Hero or Criminal? [VIDEO]
Edward Snowden, 29, is the man who leaked information about the U.S. government gathering information on billions of phone calls and Internet activities from Americans known as PRISM according to the Fox News Channel.
Snowden's identity was revealed with his permission yesterday by The Guardian and the Washington Post. Fox News also reports that Snowden could face decades in jail for the disclosures if the U.S. can extradite him from Hong Kong.
"My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them," Snowden told the Guardian.
Snowden believes the government could try to charge him with treason under the Espionage Act. Mark Zaid, a national security attorney, told The Associated Press that the government would have to prove he had intent to betray the United States.
Snowden said, “When you’re in positions of privileged access, you recognize some of these things are actual abuses. Over time, you feel compelled to talk about it.”
The Guardian and the Post reported about the calls being taken from other telecommunications companies. The NSA and FBI have a Internet scouring program, code-named PRISM, that records Internet activities. They say it is a post-9/11 effort to thwart terrorism.
The PRISM program gives the federal government the ability to tap directly into the Internet servers of giant U.S. Internet companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and AOL. PRISM can scoop out emails, video chats, instant messages and more to track those suspected of terrorism or espionage.