NSA whistleblower grew up in eastern NC town - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

NSA whistleblower grew up in eastern NC town

Posted: Updated:
The Guardian identified Edward Snowden as a source for its reports on intelligence programs after he asked the newspaper to do so on Sunday. (AP Photo/The Guardian) The Guardian identified Edward Snowden as a source for its reports on intelligence programs after he asked the newspaper to do so on Sunday. (AP Photo/The Guardian)
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. -

The man who admitted to leaking top secret information about National Security Agency programs has ties to a small eastern North Carolina community.

Edward Snowden, 29, allowed himself to be revealed in taped interviews with "The Guardian" newspaper Sunday as the source of disclosures about the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs, risking prosecution by the U.S. government.

Snowden, who once worked as a contractor at the NSA and the CIA, told media outlets the NSA was using "surveillance on innocent Americans."

Snowden lived in eastern N.C. town of Elizabeth City until he was 9 years old before his family moved to Maryland in 1992. He dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Army in 2003.

Norfolk, Va., NBC affiliate WAVY spoke to residents in the town who are calling Snowden a hero for his actions.

"If he's telling the truth about what he knew he should have told," Elizabeth City resident Fred Logsdon said. "He also should be able to live here in his country and not feel like he has to flee where he went off to."

Because Snowden's family moved from the area in the early '90s, no residents WAVY spoke with knew the family directly. Still, residents applauded Snowden for blowing the whistle on an NSA phone records monitoring program and an Internet scouring program that allows the NSA and FBI to tap directly into nine U.S. Internet companies to gather all Internet usage.

"I think he's a great guy," resident Michael Spivey said. "We should give him an award. He's a responsible citizen, and we should let people know when they are being wronged."

Snowden is currently in Hong Kong, hoping that Iceland grants his request for asylum. Glenn Greenwald of "The Guardian" said Monday that Snowden chose the semiautonomous Chinese region because he believed he wouldn't get a fair trial in his home country.

Snowden wants to remain out of the "clutches" of the U.S. government for as long as possible but is fully aware that he won't succeed," Greenwald said.

"I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end," Snowden wrote to a Washington Post reporter in early May, before making his first direct contact.

The U.S. intelligence community, he wrote, "will most certainly kill you if they think you are the single point of failure that could stop this disclosure and make them the sole owner of this information."

The spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence Shawn Turner said intelligence officials are "currently reviewing the damage that has been done by these recent disclosures."

Snowden could face many years in prison for releasing classified information if he is successfully extradited from Hong Kong, according to Mark Zaid, a national security lawyer who represents whistleblowers.

Hong Kong, though part of China, is partly autonomous and has a Western-style legal system that is a legacy from the territory's past as a British colony. A U.S.-Hong Kong extradition treaty has worked smoothly in the past. Hong Kong extradited three al-Qaeda suspects to the U.S. in 2003, for example.

RELATED STORIES

  • Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:26:58 GMT
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."

  • Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed' in Mali

    Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed' in Mali

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:43 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:43:39 GMT
    The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali during a rainstorm, officials said. France deployed fighter jets to search for...
  • As Iraq gets new president, car bomb kills 21

    As Iraq gets new president, car bomb kills 21

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:41 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:41:36 GMT
    Iraqi officials say militants have attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad, killing 52 prisoners and eight soldiers.
    Iraqi officials say a double car bombing in central Baghdad has killed 21 people and wounded 33, hours after lawmakers elected the country's new president.
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • No swimming at some NC beaches due to high bacteria levels

    No swimming at some NC beaches due to high bacteria levels

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:36 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:36:19 GMT
    A map of the swimming areas along the NC coast that are affected by the recent high levels of bacteria.A map of the swimming areas along the NC coast that are affected by the recent high levels of bacteria.
    Six advisories and three alerts were issued against swimming Tuesday at nine ocean-side sites along the coast of North Carolina.
    Six advisories and three alerts were issued against swimming Tuesday at nine ocean-side sites along the coast of North Carolina.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.