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What information did Edward Snowden leak?

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Quick Answer

Some of the information divulged in the materials leaked by Edward Snowden includes the National Security Agency's extrajudicial data-collection programs and the voluntary cooperation of major communications companies such as Verizon with these programs. As of October 2014, Snowden has not revealed the full contents of the materials he possesses.

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Full Answer

Perhaps the biggest revelation to date from Snowden's leaks is the existence of a data-collection program by the NSA that collects data from a vast range of phone calls, emails and text messages from both U.S. citizens and foreigners without a warrant or probable cause, seemingly in violation of Constitutional protections. It was revealed that Verizon provides information about telephone calls on its network to the NSA on a daily basis. The NSA operates a program called PRISM that directly collects information on communications outside the country from the servers of major companies such as Yahoo, Google and Skype. It was also learned that security and encryption software created by the company RSA had an intentional back door built into it at the behest of the NSA. The government also funded spy agencies with a "black budget" of $52.6 billion in 2013, information about which is not made available outside of these agencies.

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