How much is Edward Snowden worth?
|Net Worth:||$500 Thousand
|Profession:||Analyst & Whistleblower|
|Date of Birth:||June 21, 1983|
|Country:||United States of America|
Who Is Edward Snowden
Edward Joseph Snowden is an American whistleblower who disclosed extreme surveillance activity. Snowden was born in North Carolina (1983), but moved to Maryland, right next to NSA headquarters at Fort Meade. He joined the military in 2004 but was discharged due to an injury. Then, working as a security guard, he attended a job-fair and accepted a position at the CIA. A few years later, Snowden left the CIA and joined the NSA in 2009, working as a private contractor for Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton. Over time, though, Snowden was disillusioned to the corrupt nature of NSA activity, so in 2013, he leaked confidential NSA activity and documents to the whole world’s surprise.
After his release of documents, he was granted asylum by Russia and now lives there permanently with his wife Lindsay Mills. Snowden credits WikiLeaks as helping him run away to Russia, but he also says he never wanted to end up in Russia. According to him, the US government cancelled his passport to keep him in Russia in hopes that he would be seen as a Russian spy and not as a whistleblower. While some people still doubt Snowden’s accusations, millions more now believe in the extent of NSA surveillance.
American whistleblower Edward Snowden has a net worth of $500 thousand dollars, as of 2020.
How Does Edward Snowden Make Money?
Snowden never finished high school or received a degree, although he did complete a GED at a community college. Still, after leaving the military and moving up from security guard to NSA private contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden finally made $200,000 a year, which he has said was the highest salary he ever received. Since becoming a public figure, however, Snowden receives around $200,000 per appearance in media, which has been enough to live off of.
Snowden actually also sold a memoir called Permanent Record, which reached number one on Amazon, but a lawsuit from the US Government claiming that Snowden had violated a non-disclosure agreement blocked him from receiving the memoir’s sales.
Working at the CIA, Snowden was moved to Switzerland where he was considered one of the experts in technical and cyber security. In fact, Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists Snowden worked with, said Snowden was personally chosen by the CIA for the 2008 NATO summit. Then, when working at the NSA, Snowden evolved from supervising computer system upgrades to being the lead technologist of Dell’s CIA account. In 2012, Dell moved Snowden to Hawaii where he says he was assigned to break into telephone and internet traffic around the world, but shortly after, Snowden witnessed the Director of National Intelligence lie under oath, and decided to reveal NSA activities. Snowden switched from Dell to Booz Allen Hamilton, and 3 months later, went to Hong Kong.
Why Is He So Famous?
The leaks occurred in Hong Kong after Snowden took sick leave from the NSA facility in Hawaii. There, he met with journalists from The Guardian and provided between 9,000 and 10,000 leaked documents. Among the many revelations Snowden revealed were PRISM, an NSA program that allowed the government to access data from Google and Yahoo, as well a secret court order forcing Verizon to provide data to the NSA. Snowden also provided information on actions of the Canadian, British, and Australian NSA counterparts. Although he was originally trying to remain anonymous, Snowden decided that he was doing nothing wrong and let his identity be reported. Today, he is both a hero in some eyes and a criminal in others. Following the leaks, he was charged with espionage, but Snowden escaped trial and remains a popular figure worldwide. In fact, in 2016, a biographic movie was released called “Snowden,” and the Snowden himself has received several awards from around the world.
Why Did Snowden Blow The Whistle?
Snowden’s fame (or infamy) was not part of his plan before joining the CIA. In 2006, he worked as a security guard for the University of Maryland, but because he was a “computer wizard” (self-described), the CIA hired him. Even in the CIA, Snowden’s morals led him to question the actions of major security organizations. By 2009, he had already decided to investigate US surveillance, and in 2012, while working for Dell in the NSA, he began downloading private documents. One of the reasons Snowden was able to get away with spying on a surveillance organization was that, according to his coworkers, he was a genius. In fact, Snowden was offered a position as one of the NSA’s elite team of hackers, and he had been given administrative access to virtually all NSA materials. I guess the NSA wishes they had been a bit more careful.
Snowden’s dedication to the right of privacy and the importance of morality within powerful governments has made him one of the most famous whistleblowers in history. Prior to releasing documents, Snowden told The Washington Post, “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions.”
Selflessness is not always rewarded, but it is vital for progress to be made. Luckily, Snowden lives a normal life in Russia and has fallen in love with his new home country. He received vindication in 2014 when both The Guardian and The Washington Post, who Snowden worked with to expose major privacy and power concerns, were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the NSA. Snowden is the President of the Freedom of the Press foundation, and still works to protect journalists from government control.
Estimates by different security organizations believe Snowden has up to 200,000 NSA documents, 15,000 Australian intelligence files, 58,000 British intelligence files, and 900,000 US Department of Defense documents. Snowden is still a powerful source of leaks, and many more discoveries about the extent of surveillance will come to light in the future.
Edward Snowden’s rise to fame was as unexpected for him as it was for the rest of America. His position as a security guard led him into the CIA, and after getting a job in the CIA, and later the NSA, Snowden discovered widespread and extreme corruption within several government surveillance agencies. Instead of hiding the information, Snowden began downloading thousands of documents, and in 2013, he revealed the truth to the world.
The US tried to catch Snowden for treason, but the government of Hong Kong allowed Snowden to escape to Russia, where he has been able to stay since. Snowden’s actions have forced him into a life as a fugitive, and they could have cost him his life. But the leaks have also created a discussion about how powerful governments should be, and how much data they should have. Snowden represents the importance of a free press, and he represents how much the initiative of a single individual can impact the world.