Edward Snowden

31-year-old American Edward Snowden, a contract employee at the National Security Agency, is the whistleblower behind significant revelations that surfaced in June 2013 about the US government's top secret, extensive domestic surveillance programmes. Snowden flew to Hong Kong from Hawaii in May 2013, and supplied confidential US government documents to media outlets including the Guardian

A supporter of the Anonymous group wearing a Guy Fawkes mask holds up a placard featuring a photo of Edward Snowden during a rally in front of Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate on November 5, 2013. Photo: AFP

Snowden persuaded other NSA workers to give up passwords

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden used login credentials and passwords provided unwittingly by colleagues at a spy base in Hawaii to access some of the classified material he leaked to the media, sources said.