A former US Government IT security engineer has revealed himself to be the whistleblower at the heart of the PRISM controversy.
Edward Snowden announced that he was the source of the revelation that companies are sending personal details and communications to the US National Security Agency, via the PRISM programme, which allows agencies to mine data from internet companies.
According to the Guardian article, Snowden worked in IT security at the CIA and was later stationed in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was responsible for maintaining network security. It was here that he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.
“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world," he said.
“I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”
He later left this position to work for a number of government contractors, including his current company Booz Allen.
A statement by that company said: “Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, has been an employee of our firm for less than three months, assigned to a team in Hawaii.
“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. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter.”
All the internet companies deny giving the US Government access to their servers.
British foreign secretary William Hague was reported by the Independent as saying that only 'terrorists, criminals and spies' should fear activities of the UK and US intelligence agencies.