Waipahu man admits to being whistleblower

By Kenny Choi
Published On: Jun 09 2013 10:41:00 PM HST

A Hawaii resident is now the focus of a national story and an investigation by federal authorities into one of the biggest top-secret information leaks in recent history. Tonight, his home in Hawaii is vacated, but he explains why he spilled the government's secrets.

HONOLULU -

A Hawaii resident is  now the focus of a national story and an investigation by federal authorities into one of the biggest top-secret information leaks in recent history.

The man claiming to have leaked top-secret information about the government's extensive surveillance of digital communications, revealed who he is. 

“My name is Ed Snowden. I'm 29 years old,” said Snowden.

Snowden lived on Eleu Street in Waipahu as recently as May 1, 2013.

He says he's a former CIA technician, but currently works as a civilian contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting company that has an office on Bishop Street and until recently at the National Security Agency in Hawaii. 

Snowden says he became increasingly concerned about the NSA keeping such a close eye on unsuspecting Americans.

“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded,” said Snowden.

According to Kerri Jo Heim, a real estate agent at Century 21 who is now trying to sell the house where Snowden lived, the 29 year-old was renting the unit, but moved out before law enforcement started asking her questions last Wednesday.

“They came and asked about the tenant and if we knew the tenant.  They asked if we had a forwarding address for him.  I said I didn’t know anything about the tenant,” said Heim.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

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Heim says two law enforcement officers said they were investigating someone who went missing from work and had a medical condition.

Snowden fled the country for Hong Kong threw weeks ago and came forward as the whistle blower in this interview posted on-line today with the Guardian newspaper.

“When you see everything, you see them on a more frequent basis and you recognize that some of  these thing are actually abuses,” said Snowden.

Booz Allen Hamilton confirmed Snowden has been an employee for less than three months and was assigned to a team in Hawaii. 

The company released this statement saying, "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."

In his interview with the Guardian, Snowden said he may try to seek asylum in Iceland, to avoid US authorities coming after him.

He added he doesn't expect to come back home to his own country.

Does the government's surveillance of digital communications outrage you?  Or is the leak of that information worse?  Click here to vote in our online poll.

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