Edward Snowden, 29, who provided the information for published reports last week that revealed the NSA’s broad monitoring of phone call and Internet data from large companies such as Google and Facebook, checked out of his Hong Kong hotel hours after going public in a video released on Sunday by Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
The disclosures by Snowden have sent shockwaves across Washington, where several lawmakers called on Monday for the extradition and prosecution of the ex-CIA employee who was behind one of the most significant security leaks in U.S. history.
There were some signs, however, that Snowden’s stance against government surveillance and his defense of personal privacy was resonating with at least some Americans.
Supporters flocked to Snowden’s aid on the Internet – more than 25,000 people signed an online petition urging Obama to pardon Snowden even before he has been charged. A separate effort on Facebook to raise funds for Snowden’s legal defense netted nearly $8,000 in just a few hours.
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