Edward Snowden

US & World

By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai1
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Edward Snowden came in second place for TIME’s Person of the Year, losing the top spot to Pope Francis, editors announced Wednesday morning.

The first revelations of the far-reaching NSA surveillance programs surfaced in a Guardian feature in June. We learned that Verizon had given the U.S. government all its customers’ phone records for years. The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald also revealed that tech companies we trust with our most intimate secrets had been part of a surveillance program called PRISM.

When we started to digest the news, one question came to our minds: Who’s leaking these incendiary documents to the press?

At first, we thought this would be our generation’s Deep Throat, and the source would remain hidden for decades. We were wrong.

Snowden stepped forward as the source, just four days after the publication of the first leaks.

“I know the government will demonize me,” Snowden said. “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions […] but I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

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