Edward Snowden, a high school dropout who later studied computers, was a subcontractor from Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation in National Security Agency (NSA). In May 2013 he disclosed the mass surveillance to the media that involved revealing the operational details of NSA, and the procedure by which NSA collected personal information of the American and foreign citizens. The documents that he got from NSA contained vast information on the NSA’s domestic surveillance practices, including spying on millions of American citizens under the umbrella of programs such as PRISM (Biography Channel website). Kevin Mitnick, the hacker, currently turned consultant termed Snowden as a “whistleblower”. Snowden was charged with theft and divulging confidential information to other countries by the United States government. Snowden went hiding, searching for asylums in various countries like Hong Kong, Venezuela, Bolivia, India and Ecuador, and finally Russia provided him shelter.
Kevin Mitnick was the most wanted disreputable hacker in the late 1980’s. He has a history of hacking into the computer systems owned by Pacific Bell, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Santa Cruz Operation, the University of Southern California, and a few other organizations. Mitnick was far better at social engineering than he was at hacking, although he was technically advanced for his time (Verton, 88). At a very young age he outwitted the punch card system used in bus systems to get free rides, thus began his journey into hacking. He was charged, convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment for numerous computer criminal activities that also included stealing the source code to Virtual Memory System (VMS) used by DEC. He was also good at stealing passwords, modifying the networks and reading private emails. He became well known as America’s Most Wanted Computer Outlaw. Mitnick currently owns a computer security consultancy called Mitnick Security Consulting LLC.
Edward Snowden. 2013. The Biography Channel website. Oct 18 2013, 03:16
Verton, Dan. The Hacker Diaries: Confessions of Teenage Hackers. McGraw Hill Professional.