December 31, 2023
For educational institutions
⟶ Updated 30 Sep 2018 ⟶
List of edits
9 Sep 2019
Edward Joseph Snowden is Born
Snowden attends public school in Anne Arundel County, south of Baltimore.
Edward Drops out of high school at the beginning of his soft more year
Snowden begins to develop a love for computers and the internet
Snowden starts to attend a community collage
Snowden passes a General Educational Development test to receive a high school equivalency credential.
Snowden is hired by the CIA as a technical/IT expert and receives a top-secret clearance.
Snowden is posted to Geneva, Switzerland, under diplomatic cover as an IT and cyber security expert for the CIA
Snowden’s supervisor at the CIA placed a critical assessment of his behavior and work habits in his personnel file and voiced the suspicion that he had tried to “break into classified computer files to which he was not authorized to have access,”
Snowden leaves the CIA soon after his supervisor’s criticism and begins work as a NSA contractor assigned by Dell -- one of 854,000 contractors with top-secret clearance working for the federal government.
Over the next several years, he switches between assignments with the NSA and CIA for Dell, including a stint at a NSA facility in Japan that lasts until March 2012.
Snowden moves to Hawaii to work at a NSA facility there as a Dell employee. He moves into a blue-and-white house in Waipahu, where he is joined by his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, a 28-year-old performance artist.
Snowden reaches out to Glenn Greenwald, a lawyer and columnist for The Guardian.
Snowden reaches out to Laura Poitras, a documentary filmmaker.
He seeks a new contractor job with Booz Allen Hamilton at the same NSA facility in Hawaii to get additional access to classified documents he intends to leak.
Snowden begins sending some documents to Poitras, Greenwald and to Barton Gellman of the Washington Post.
He tells his NSA supervisor that he needs to take some time off to undergo treatment for epilepsy
Snowden arrives in Hong Kong from Hawaii.
Greenwald and Poitras arrive in Hong Kong.
First revelations arising from the documents provided by Snowden are published in a Guardian article about the NSA’s collection of domestic email and telephone metadata from Verizon as part of what is later revealed to be an even broader collection effort.
The Guardian and the Washington Post each publish an article about the NSA program PRISM, which forces biggest US internet companies to hand over data on domestic users.
The Guardian publishes NSA slides on Boundless Informant, which shows NSA collected nearly 3 billion pieces of intelligence inside the U.S. in February 2013 alone.
The Guardian reveals Edward Snowden as the source of the NSA leaks.
Snowden is fired by Booz Allen Hamilton. In a statement, the company says, “News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm.”
The U.S. Justice Department charges Snowden with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person”
Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Ecuador, with a planned stopover in Russia. But he is stranded at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow after U.S. authorities rescind his passport. He spends the next month living in limbo in the airport’s transit center.
He is granted temporary asylum by Russian authorities as they consider his application for permanent political asylum.
The Guardian publishes an article detailing NSA funding for British intelligence because U.K. can collect data that would illegal for NSA to do, based on documents provided by Snowden.
At a Senate hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells lawmakers that Snowden’s leaks have aided America’s enemies and “done great damage” to its allies. “People’s lives are at risk here because of data that Mr. Snowden purloined,” he says.
The Washington Post reports on documents revealing that the NSA collects over 250 million email inbox views and contact lists a year from online services like Yahoo, Gmail and Facebook.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon rules that the NSA’s gathering of data on all telephone calls made in the United States appears to violate the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches. But Leon, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, puts his ruling on hold to allow the government to appeal.
Another federal judge, U.S. District Judge William Pauley III in Manhattan, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, reaches an opposite conclusion, ruling that the NSA’s collection of phone data is legal.
In a speech on government mass surveillance revealed by Snowden,President Barack Obama orders Attorney General Eric Holder to study possible reforms of the program. But he also defends NSA employees and attempts to assure Americans they are "not abusing (their) authorities to listen to your private phone calls or read your emails."
Based on Snowden documents, NBC News reports that British cyber spies demonstrated a pilot program to their U.S. partners in 2012 in which they were able to monitor YouTube in real time and collect addresses from the billions of videos watched daily, as well as some user information, for analysis. At the time, they were also able to spy on Facebook and Twitter.
NBC News reports, based on Snowden documents, that British spies have developed “dirty tricks” for use against nations, hackers, terror groups, suspected criminals and arms dealers that include releasing computer viruses spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets into “honey traps.”
The Pentagon might need to spend billions to overcome the damage done to military security by Snowden's leaks of intelligence documents, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tells members of Congress at a hearing on the defense budget.
In a teleconference appearance from Moscow, Snowden tells a crowd at the South by Southwest music and technology festival in Austin, Texas, that the NSA and its counterparts are "setting fire to the future of the Internet," and urges technologists in attendance to “help us fix this.”
Snowden appears via webcam on Russian television to ask President Vladimir Putin about whether Russia conducts mass surveillance of civilians. The softball setup — Putin replied with a resounding "no," adding that he is against spying on his people
NBC News’ Brian Williams interviews Snowden in Moscow. Key pieces of the interview will be broadcast in a one-hour Prime Time special on Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central.
Snowden released short youtube video introducing him self and explaining what the NSA does to spy on people and why he decided to leak millions of documents
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