The man who says he felt a duty to inform Americans of the government's information collection efforts hails from Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
29-year-old Edward Snowden tells U.K. Newspaper "The Guardian" he has been holed up in a Hong Kong hotel for nearly three weeks in fear for his life after revealing big national security secrets and methods for tracking people.
NBC News reports the former CIA technical assistant told the U.K. paper he could not , "allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
While the Justice Department will only disclose that they are currently conducting an investigation into the matter, lawmakers are talking about what happens next.
New York Republican Representative Peter King, chair of the House Homeland Security subcommittee told NBC News, "If Edward Snowden did in fact leak the NSA data as he claims, the United States government must prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and begin extradition proceedings at the earliest date."
According to the article published by The Guardian, Snowden grew up in Elizabeth City and later moved to Maryland with his family.