• Wed
  • Oct 22, 2014
  • Updated: 2:34pm
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

Paradox314
Can you please explain what exactly you mean by calling Snowden 'narcissistic?' What about him makes you think this? Are you clear what a narcissist is?
Paradox314
Yes. Why not? How does this change the situation at all? You seem to think that him purposefully seeking to expose the US govt illegal activity is somehow less honourable than his coming across the information by accident. There is no logic to your thinking as far as I can tell. Can you please explain clearly your train of thought?
Wodetiana
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.
NotHereEither
"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."
Seriously?
barkway
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?
major.dickason.9
The Chinese are not friends of USA, Did you expect them to hand over Snowden. They used him and got rid of him. Their rationalization was patently absurd.You can keep HK and China. I will continue to not buy Chinese goods.nor visit your polluted filthy environment
Payback
hard times !
such a die-hard enemy of China is never welcomed ! Keep your nasty mouth shut and go !
hard times !
what was wrong with Mr.Snowden to get into the contractor of NSA---the largest hacker in the world to grab information concerning the cyber-surviellance done by that intelligence-collecting organisation which seriously violate all the people's privacy in this world (including we Hongkongers of whom over 4 millions are netizens.) ? By doing so, he could get access to those highly sensitive data and info to be stored in his USBs and smuggled out to Hong Kong to reveal to the reporters of The Guardian,Washington Post and South China Morning Post as well.Now maybe the secret agents of Russia are learning some/all of the data as well in Moscow where Snowden had arrived earlier on------------a nightmare to Obama and his intelligence heads indeed !
vivianyee
NSA is a fascist organization, no different than Stasi. Snowden is only revealing the ugly truth behind America's "The Protector of Freedom" propaganda. Don't shoot the messenger is what I say to the Yanks as it's unlikely to change your ugly face.
Zero respect for the yanks from now own.
KwunTongBypass
How about visiting the "good people of China" in their homeland, live in hotels with no foreign TV channels, bookstores with no foreign newspapers, and a fully censored internet. Enjoy!

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