- 06.12.13 04:53 PM EDT
Edward Snowden, the National Secruity Agency leaker who revealed top-secret documents to The Guardian, has been missing since Monday when he checked out of his hotel room in Hong Kong. The papers, labeled as PRISM, revealed that the U.S. government had access to people's phone and internet records. Obama and the NSA have responded that it's a necessary tool to protect against terrorism that it has limited access to personal information.
Snowden said he released the information because he felt an "obligation to help free people from oppression." He added, "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things."
Snowden chose Hong Kong for refuge because he thought they would resist pressure from the U.S. and that they have "a spirited commitment to free speech." Some experts have said that neither of these thoughts are correct while others say it was a smart move since the fight for extradition could take years.
The feelings of whether he is a hero or a traitor are mixed. He was fired from his technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and there is currently a petition on the White House website with almost 50,000 signatures calling for his pardon.