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  • Aug 20, 2014
  • Updated: 7:50pm
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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mikeyj0693
You are a complete ****. Clearly you don't know the entire story, nor do you have a clue about what's happening outside (or inside) the United States. It doesn't matter whether or not you are guilty of anything in America. Maybe you don't understand that these programs violate our constitution. Maybe you don't even know what our constitution says. i don't think you realize that every text, every opinion, every call, every skype, ANY form of communication aside from Face-to-Face chat is recorded. Your phone can be off, and they can still listen in on verbal conversations if it's in their interest.They don't even need a warrant, and your fate is decided by a secret court. I don't think you can name one person this information harmed, other than the lying politicians that are currently in office. If you think Mr. Snowden is a criminal for protecting our rights, you don't deserve to live in this country. He reveals the US is hacking china, and that makes him a criminal, but hacking people illegally is okay right? You're the putrid rat that should be purged. And i'm glad that you're so confident in reading this article of the South China Morning Post, but if you ask me this is a one-sided opinion based article. I can't even begin to tell you everything that's wrong with America. You wanna know what'sup? Look up Monsanto, Chem-trails, global riots numbering in the millions, and anything related to those matters. then ask why this is happening. Goodluck ignorant american
felicia.r.faulkner
Save travels Mr. Snowden --- The Americans who want you to keep going!
mschmidthk
Oh no, not another Snowden EXCLUSIVE from SCMP - I was hoping we'd seen the end of those!
turqgiht
Why?
jimserac@yandex.ru
The Hong Kong government and people have earned the respect of the American people for allowing Snowden to proceed.
DesVoeux
I doubt someone with a .ru email address is qualified to comment on behalf of the American people.
the sun also rises
it sounds like David has beaten Goliath as mentioned in the Bible.Of course it also sounds like the character in our ancient classic,'Legend of the Water Margin',Hu Chong who beat the Big Tiger which used to terrorize the innocent villagers---now it is world-wide known that the Big Brother has long been hacking into computers of the netizens all over the world---including her own citizens.No one is spared even her close allies,not to say our tiny Hongkong's students,businessmen,public officials and ...someone like this outspoken writer here !

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