• Sun
  • Oct 26, 2014
  • Updated: 7:55am
Edward Snowden
NewsHong Kong

Snowden sought Booz Allen job to gather evidence on NSA surveillance

Fugitive whistle-blower reveals for first time he took job at US government contractor with the sole aim of collecting proof of spying activities

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 June, 2013, 11:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 June, 2013, 4:49pm

Edward Snowden secured a job with a US government contractor for one reason alone - to obtain evidence of Washington's cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Post can reveal.

For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency's secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media.

"My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked," he told the Post on June 12. "That is why I accepted that position about three months ago."

During a live global online chat last week, Snowden also stated he took pay cuts "in the course of pursuing specific work". He said: "Booz was not the most I've been paid."

His admission comes as US officials voiced anger at Hong Kong, and indirectly Beijing, after the whistle-blower was allowed to leave the city on Sunday.

Snowden is understood to be heading for Ecuador to seek political asylum with the help of WikiLeaks, which claimed to have secured his safe passage to the South American country.

Snowden, who arrived in Hong Kong on May 20, first contacted documentary maker Laura Poitras in January, claiming to have information about the intelligence community. But it was several months later before Snowden met Poitras and two British reporters in the city.

He spent the time collecting a cache of classified documents as a computer systems administrator at Booz Allen Hamilton.

In his interview with the Post, Snowden divulged information that he claimed showed hacking by the NSA into computers in Hong Kong and the mainland.

"I did not release them earlier because I don't want to simply dump huge amounts of documents without regard to their content," he said.

"I have to screen everything before releasing it to journalists."

Asked if he specifically went to Booz Allen Hamilton to gather evidence of surveillance, he replied: "Correct on Booz."

The documents he divulged to the Post were obtained at Booz Allen Hamilton in April, he said. He intends to leak more of those documents later.

"If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of US network operations against their people should be published."

Two days after Snowden broke cover in Hong Kong as the source of the NSA leaks, Booz Allen Hamilton sacked him.


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This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
if Snowden is a criminal as accused by the Obama administration and their Congressmen,then he is certainly a criminal of conscience only.He has got nothing for revealing the top secrets of the cyberspying done by the National Security Agency of America against all netizens around the world. He has got a world fame maybe---the greatest whistle-blower of our age and the man of 2013 and maybe the next winner of the Nobel Prize of Peace if Sweden dares awarding him as she did to the Chinese dissident,Liu Xia-bo who is still jailed.The empty seat at the prize-giving ceremony will be Snowden's if he is still alive and jailed in a single-person cell at a certain place of America ! According to Chinese military, the revelations of this whistle-blower is equal to the loss of 10 heavy-armoured army divsions of America ! Marvellous,Mr.Snowden ! No wonder they have got so furious even to our tiny Hong Kong !
There is very good evidence that not too long ago Snowden
would have been the first in line to point the fickle finger of guilt at...
Edward Snowden. Contrary to your comment, the Nobel Prize
winner of whistleblowing, Edward Snowden, does his case not
a bit of good by seeking even temporary respite in a country like Russia.
Golly, the US T-party must really be gnashing their teeth at that one.
How can anyone who was mentally functioning during the Cheney Bush
years be surprised at any of these NSA "revelations" without having
at least a little trouble with expressing fake outrage, which means
being both shocked and appalled and appalled and shocked, unless
they are either paid or volunteer absolutist liars4hire.
Sorry to say based upon his security level, what he did was criminal. The opinion that accumulating meta data is a crime needs to be decided by the courts and if this data is not protected by the 4th ammendment then Snowden desires a lighter sentence. Seeking asylum or escape after working workingwith a security clearance is not the proper or even ethical solution. He should stand up and "face the music" in the courts not in a developing or LDC country. By the way, not one article has addrresed how he arrived in Hong Kong. Was it through Japan or the Philippines? As most travelers know there are no non-stops to or from Hawaii anymore. I suggest the government continue spying on the world, yet when there is any trouble or disaster, who steps up and does the right thing thing and utilizes people and resources ? Not China, and not the ancient UK empire.
" The opinion that accumulating meta data is a crime needs to be decided by the courts" sounds good, but attempts to challenge such 'secrets' are not entertainable by the courts which defer to 'National security' claims of the government.
It's funny how Yanks in the comments are claiming Snowden is a criminal. No he is not. He's simply a messenger. Your government is spying on the whole world for absolutely nothing and that is criminal!
Actually, I have been reading comments in US online news papers, many USArians support him, it seems he woke them up a bit. Still, there are some die hard pro USA'ers out there that think everything the USA does is right, but they are becoming a minority voice, especially recently.
"I did not release them earlier because I don't want to simply dump huge amounts of documents without regard to their content," he said. "I have to screen everything before releasing it to journalists."
The US Sec. of State's comments regarding the state of internet freedom in the PRC, Russia, & Ecquidor are merely a clever mystification of what the whole present crisis in international relations is all about. The word that will never be heard escaping the lips of the billionaire former US senator is the word "imperialism" because that word would properly define the historical period that we now live in.
The facts of international life are such that through the process of constant struggle many of the nations such as China, Russia, & Ecquidor that formerly lived under the iron heel of US and/or Western imperialism have been liberated through the blood, suffering, and toil of their citizens.
The fact that the present governments are in fact now almost completely free and independent states with a foreign policy that is their own is what most bother the US imperialists. The fact of the matter is that Kerry is correct that these said governments are less than perfect. The many threats that they have lived under for over 100 years from the US & Western imperialists has so shaped their reactions to this said threat to their national sovereignty that the imperialists now find that to be a convenient pressure point that they can now exploit..
The issue in this case is national sovereignty and whether the US & the West will live up to its requirements under international law and accept present day facts of life that have assigned the US a smaller role.in world affairs
So the US government and all its global resources can't find or get their hands on Snowden...but a reporter from the South China Morning Post can?




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