The release of classified material was called the most significant leak in US history by Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg. A series of exposés beginning June 5, 2013 revealed Internet surveillance programs such as PRISM, XKeyscore and Tempora, as well as the interception of US and European telephone metadata. The reports were based on documents Snowden leaked to The Guardian and The Washington Post while employed by NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. By November 2013, The Guardian had published one percent of the documents, with "the worst yet to come".
Snowden flew to Hong Kong from his home in Hawaii on May 20, 2013, where he later met with journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras and released his copies of the NSA documents. On June 21 the U.S. Justice Department charged Snowden with espionage and his passport was revoked by the State Department the next day. Snowden flew from Hong Kong and landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport on June 23, reportedly for a one-night layover en route to Ecuador. Without a valid passport or other travel papers, Snowden remained stranded in the airport transit zone until August 1, when the Russian government granted him a one-year temporary asylum, renewable annually.
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