WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Officials with the National Security Administration briefed members of Congress on agency's surveillance program in a closed door meeting Tuesday and NSA's chief will return to Capitol Hill Wednesday.
A now fired intelligence contractor leaked the top secret surveillance program revealing that billions of our phone calls are being monitored every day. While a CBS poll shows 53% of Americans believe the NSA needs to review phone calls in order to find terrorist, many are outraged at what they describe as a violation.
Now many Congressmembers are joining forces with Facebook and Google in demanding the hearings be made public. They say by declassifying portions of the program the American people will have a better idea of how this all works. 29 year old Edward Snowden is the former intelligence contractor who leaked the information. Snowden grew up around Fort Meade, got his GED, enrolled in the Army, and began working with NSA through several contractors about 4 years ago. He has since been fired from Booz Allen Hamilton - his employer for the last 3 months.
Snowden granted an interview to the British Newspaper, The Guardian saying he reviewed and then copied the documents from his Hawaii office. Snowden says he pretended to go on medical leave but leaked fled to Honk Kong May 20th where he leaked the the information.
And while Congress continues to get briefed on the program, Snowden remains in Honk Kong telling The Guardian, "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."
The US will try to extradite Snowden back home to face his criminal charges including computer crimes and leaking classified information.