The 29-year-old government contractor -- who turned whistleblower to reveal vast U.S. surveillance programs -- says he is not afraid, despite the intelligence authorities' threat to hunt him down for compromising classified National Security Agency (NSA) information, the News Daily website reports today (June 10, 2013). "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them," he said.
In footage shot by The Guardian (British) newspaper, Edward Snowden said he packed his bags for Hong Kong three weeks ago, leaving behind "a very comfortable life" in Hawaii, a salary of $200,000, a girlfriend, a stable career, and a loving family.
"I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom, and basic liberties for people around the world," Snowden said.
Snowden is behind one of the most significant security breaches in U.S. history, joining the likes of Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning, who released U.S. diplomatic cables and war logs to the WikiLeaks website. Snowden cited both Ellsberg and Manning as inspiration.