The US whistleblower Edward Snowden was branded a “traitor” and “irresponsible”, by an ex- Royal Navy head, when he declined to reveal if he had read every document he leaked to the press
The ex-National Security Agency (NSA) employee had made the UK public “less safe” when he revealed the government-level monitoring of online communications, former First Sea Lord and security minister, Lord West said.
His comments came after Snowden’s appearance on a US television show by British comedian John Oliver on Last Week Tonight. When asked “how many of those documents have you actually read?” Snowden replied: “I’ve evaluated all the documents that are in the archive.”
And as Oliver pressed him, he said “I do understand what I turned over,” before admitting “I recognize the concern” about his and the media’s competency in handling the documents.
But Labor peer Lord West told the Daily Mail: “Since the revelations of the traitor Snowden, terrorist groups have altered their communication system and the way they talk to each other. His actions have made us all less safe. No doubt people will die who would not have died had he not been so irresponsible.”
Snowden used to work in the NSA Hawaii as a contractor when he became uneasy about the level of intrusion the agency together with its foreign counterparts, which includes Britain’s GCHQ, made into the lives of innocent citizens.
After he raised the alarm with his supervisors, he eventually decided to blow the whistle and stole thousands of classified files with the intent of exposing them to the world.
He then escaped to Hong Kong where he met with Laura Poitras, a journalist forThe Guardian, in addition to being a documentary film maker, to do a series of articles that would expose mass surveillance programs such as the NSA’s Prism and GCHQ’s Tempora, which involve “hoover up” of massive dimensions of private communications.
After Snowden’s identity was exposed, he fled to Russia, where there he remains still wanted by the US authorities.