The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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June 10, 2013

NSA contractor risks steep jail time for data leak

(Continued)

He later went to work for the CIA as an information technology employee and by 2007 was stationed in Geneva, Switzerland, where he had access to classified documents.

During that time, he considered going public about the nation’s secretive programs but told the newspaper he decided against it, because he did not want to put anyone in danger and he hoped Obama’s election would curtail some of the clandestine programs.

He said he was disappointed that Obama did not rein in the surveillance programs.

“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he told The Guardian. “I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

Snowden left the CIA in 2009 to join a private contractor, and spent the last four years at the NSA, as a contractor with consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton and, before that, Dell.

The Guardian reported that Snowden was working in an NSA office in Hawaii when he copied the last of the documents he planned to disclose and told supervisors that he needed to be away for a few weeks to receive treatment for epilepsy.

He left for Hong Kong on May 20 and has remained there since, according to the newspaper. Snowden is quoted as saying he chose that city because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent”, and because he believed it was among the spots on the globe that could and would resist the dictates of the U.S. government.

“I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets,” Snowden told The Guardian.

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