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

US and UK spy agencies have secretly been unraveling encryption technology used by billions of internet users. Photo: Reuters

US and British spy agencies crack internet encryption technology

US and British intelligence agencies have cracked much of the encryption technology that billions of internet users rely on to keep their electronic messages and confidential data safe from prying eyes, according to documents revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden.