Edward Joseph Snowden (born 21 June 1983) is a former contractor who worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States. The NSA is the USA’s top spy department. Its job is to search the world, collecting, and processing all types of information and data. It uses this information for foreign and domestic intelligence (spying) and counterintelligence (hurting an enemy by keeping secrets from them and telling them lies).
Snowden publicly disclosed top-secret NSA documents. His job at the NSA allowed him access to them. He has said, “I do not want to live in a world where anything I do or say is recorded.”
Snowden traveled to Moscow after giving the documents to American journalists in Hong Kong. He had asylum in Russia for one year. Then he was granted permission to stay in the country for three more years. This has increased tensions between Russia and the United States.
In 2016, a major Hollywood film about Snowden was released:
Some people say Snowden is just a criminal. Other people say he is a hero. Let’s watch the movie on Netflix and think about that. [Since there is only Japanese subtitles available, non-Japanese students should pair up with a Japanese student to help with understanding the movie.]