Exclusive: Snowden earned annual salary of $29k in first NSA job

Oliver Darcy
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National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden earned a salary of just over $29k in his first job as a security guard at a covert government facility at the University of Maryland (UMD) near Washington D.C., Campus Reform has learned.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden worked as a "security specialist" at a building on UMD's campus thought to be a covert NSA facility.

According to documents obtained through a public records request, Snowden worked from January 28, 2005 through November 11, 2005, as a “security specialist” in the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) building on campus – a building thought to be a covert NSA facility.

From January 28, through August 8, it appears Snowden was a “non-paid employee” with an hourly rate of $0.00.

A “new change” in appointment occurred during the month of July, however, resulting in Snowden being paid a salary of $29,330.00 with a retirement plan of “7% state employees alternate pension.”

This appears to have been his pay until he left UMD later in the year. The documents, turned over to Campus Reform on Thursday, lists “resignation” as Snowden’s “separation reason.”

CLICK HERE to see the document obtained by Campus Reform

In June, Snowden told The Guardian that his first job out of the Army was working “as a security guard for one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland.”

Campus Reform filed a request under the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) last month asking for all documentation pertaining to Snowden’s employment including salary, duration of employment, supervisor names, job discrimination and any reports of disciplinary action.

UMD, however, only released a single payroll document titled “employment history” to Campus Reform citing a lack of records and confidentiality laws.

“Very few documents remain from Mr. Snowden’s brief employment at the University,” reads a letter from Jack Roach, UMD’s Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Counsel. “With one exception, the surviving documents consist of confidential personnel records.”

“The MPIA does not permit the University to allow you access to these,” he added.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @oliverdarcy

Oliver Darcy

Oliver Darcy


Oliver Darcy is the Editor of Digital Media at the Leadership Institute’s CampusReform.org, where he is tasked with reporting on waste, fraud, and abuse taking place on our nation's college campuses. Additionally, he is responsible for editing the website’s video content and graphic design.

Prior to joining the Leadership Institute, Oliver founded ExposingLeftists.com, a video driven website dedicated to exposing the inherent failures found at the core of liberal philosophies.

Oliver holds his bachelors of arts degree in political science, with an emphasis in both International Relations and American Politics, from the University of California at Merced.

On his spare time, he enjoys running and hiking, in addition to watching the Star Wars saga and episodes of House.

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