Ina Fried

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Source Behind the Guardian’s NSA Stories Comes Forward

The Guardian, which has broken most of the NSA spying stories, on Sunday named 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant Edward Snowden as the primary source of its stories.

Edward Snowden

“I have no intention of hiding who I am because I have done nothing wrong,” he told the paper.

Snowden said he hopes the attention will stay focused on what the U.S. government is doing and not on him, but also said he expected to “suffer” as a result of his actions. He said he is risking a very comfortable lifestyle in coming forward.

“I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building,” he said.

For more on the evolving scandal, check out AllThingsD’s handy primer.

Update: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement Sunday saying that it has referred the matter of the leak to the Department of Justice, but added that the intelligence community “is currently reviewing the damage that has been done by these recent disclosures.”

“Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law,” the agency’s director of public affairs, Shawn Turner, said in a statement.

Update 2: In a video with The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwood that was posted to YouTube on Sunday, Snowden talks about his background and his reasons for coming forward.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work