This seems to me to be the defining journalism-whistle-blower story of this generation.
It's rare in today's world when privileged people voluntarily choose to take steps whereby they give up comfortable lives to do something that is in the 'public good.'
Mr. Snowden was clearly a computer whiz which explains why he got jobs at the CIA (including postings in Geneva under diplomatic cover). Booz Allen obviously did not hire him or pay him the $1,20,000 salary without Mr. Snowden showcasing some considerable technical expertise.
I believe Mr. Snowden's expertise probably lies in having deep expertise in various flavors of Linux. That is what I am inclined to infer from his various job roles as a 'Systems Engineer' or 'System Administrator.' Being the self-driven sort of person that he was, I am sure he must be having good knowledge about networking and encryption stuff including but not limited to Cisco routers and related technologies.
To put these t…
Taking the Drake Equation forward or modifying it, researchers have attempted to find out — estimate — the total number of intelligent civilizations that have ever existed in the visible universe since the Big Bang.
In their words;
Abstract: In this paper we address the cosmic frequency of technological species.
Recent advances in exoplanet studies provide strong constraints on all
astrophysical terms in the Drake Equation. Using these and modifying the form
and intent of the Drake equation we show that we can set a firm lower bound on
the probability that one or more additional technological species have evolved
anywhere and at any time in the history of the observable Universe. We find
that as long as the probability that a habitable zone planet develops a
technological species is larger than ~10-24, then humanity is not the only time
technological intelligence has evolved. This constraint has important scientific
and philosophical consequences.