Not only did Edward Snowden reveal a secret U.S. government spying program, but he also decided to reveal himself as the leaker. What kind of internal forces drive whistleblowers like Snowden? Is it just his own good conscience, as Snowden says, that led him to betray America's most sensitive secrets, or perhaps something deeper?
Snowden's bombshell has prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and calls for his extradition from Hong Kong, where he was staying as of Monday morning, to face charges of espionage. Some intelligence experts have speculated that he is making a play for China, while officials at the National Security Agency are furious, according to news reports.
But Snowden -- a high school drop-out and ex-CIA employee -- also has his supporters. They say that he had no choice but to reveal the existence of a program he disagreed with and that threatened the civil liberties of law-abiding citizens.
Annie Machon is a former MI-5 intelligence officer who left after exposing secrets of the British Secret Service in 1997. Machon and her former partner fled Britain and lived in exile for several years as a result of the disclosures.