NSA Leaker Q&A: Seven Questions for Edward Snowden

on June 17 2013 10:57 AM
  • Edward Snowden NSA 16 June 2013
    Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, is seen during a news broadcast on a screen at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on June 16. Reuters
  • Edward Snowden
    Edward Snowden can stay in Russia for one year under a "temporary asylum" agreement, his lawyer says. The Guardian
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Confessed National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, the man behind news that the U.S. is spying on Internet users, will answer questions during a Q&A with readers of the British Guardian newspaper at 11 a.m. EDT Monday. Here are some questions we’d like to have answered.

1.       Why don’t you turn yourself in?

Edward Snowden has vowed to fight efforts to extradite him to the U.S., where he would be prosecuted for leaking classified information to the newspaper. Snowden says he disclosed the government’s surveillance activities because he wanted the public to know what their government was doing, which many consider a noble deed. Some privacy advocates believe that the noble thing to do now would be to turn himself in.

2.       How do you plan to stay outside the U.S.?

Snowden will attempt to fight his extradition despite a treaty between the U.S. and Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China where he's believed to still be hiding. How does he plan to remain outside the U.S.? Will he seek asylum in another country, like WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange?

3.       Were you cleared to have access to the highly classified documents that you have disclosed?

Since Snowden’s leaks, questions have circulated about how a 29-year-old technology expert who worked for intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton had access to the classified documents that he leaked to the Guardian reporters this month. Was Snowden actually cleared to view these documents?

4.       Do you still feel Hong Kong was the right place to go?

When Snowden first revealed that he was in Hong Kong, extradition experts were baffled, saying it wasn't the right place for him to go if he was trying to stay out of the U.S.' grasp. What was the decision process in choosing Hong Kong?

5.       What’s coming next?

Both Snowden and Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald have said there are many more stories coming based on the documents Snowden gave the newspaper. Is there anything as big as the revelation that the NSA collects metadata on Americans’ calls or the existence of the Internet surveillance program called PRISM? 

6.       Have you spoken with your family or girlfriend?

When Snowden left for Hong Kong, he left a girlfriend with whom he lived with in Hawaii, without saying a word to anyone. Same goes for his family. Has he contacted them since? Will he try?

7.       How did you choose the reporters to leak to and then provide them with the documents?

Why did Snowden choose the Greenwald at the Guardian and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras when he decided to blow the whistle? And how did he get the documents to them undetected?

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