It has been a decade since Edward Snowden leaked National Security information to the public, however, though laws have been changed, he remains exiled in Russia.
Edward Snowden anticipated he would be doing the same kind of work as his family’s Revolutionary War-era ancestors. Snowden’s ancestors are said to have had their involvement in national security, which he followed into.
But in 2013, while working as a contractor for the National Security Agency at a subterranean facility in Hawaii, he saw the widespread collection of electronic data on Americans and felt it was unethical.
Many Americans were still learning about the technological marvels of mobile phones and other electronics, ten years ago. There were barely a few people considering how governments or commercial entities would monitor residents using the devices.
Then Snowden's revelations came to light.
After attaining documents from the NSA's top-secret surveillance programs, Snowden left the country. He then gave multiple Western journalists, notably Barton Gellman, a former employee of The Washington Post, access to the highly sensitive information.
Congress revised the statute allowing the NSA to collect everyone's records in 2015. Under the new law, the U.S.A Freedom Act, the government was not allowed to access or collect data of American citizen’s through their phone records.
Another significant change that came about was many Americans now, have a better understanding of how personal data is collected by the government and private organizations like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. The use of encryption has consequently increased significantly. According to Snowden, 2016 was the first year that the vast majority of Internet traffic was encrypted; this tendency is still present today.
Snowden has been criticized and praised for what he had done. However, the result of it sent him into exile in Russia, and he has remained there for the past decade, with no changes in his situation.