Washington: The computer expert behind the leaks about about two sweeping US surveillance programs gave money last year to libertarian Ron Paul`s run for the Republican presidential nomination, election records indicate.
Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA employee turned whistleblower, gave $500 to Paul, a presidential long-shot who bowed out of the race last May when it became clear Mitt Romney would be the Republican nominee.
Federal Election Commission records show an Edward Snowden of Columbia, Maryland, whose employer is listed as Dell, contributing $250 to Paul`s campaign on March 18, 2012.
The man who leaked the vital US surveillance data worked at one point as a contractor for US computer giant Dell, according The Guardian, the British newspaper that published stories based on the leaks.
On May 6, a man with the same name cut a check for $250, with his address listed as Waipahu, Hawaii, about nine miles (15 kilometers) from the NSA facility where Snowden said he recently worked as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton.
Snowden, 29, revealed himself Sunday as the source of The Guardian`s expose of the US dragnet of Americans` telephone data as well as intelligence agencies` mining of Internet information such as email.
The revelations have rocked Washington, and some US lawmakers have called for his extradition and prosecution.
Ron Paul, an 11-term congressman from Texas who retired in January, earned a loyal and impassioned following, particularly among young Americans.
His campaign focused on his vehement defense of constitutional principles and individual liberties, electrifying some young voters who had become disillusioned by years of war and skyrocketing deficits.
Paul`s son, US Senator Rand Paul, has made a name for himself in Congress as a fierce defender of privacy rights and personal freedoms.
On Sunday he told Fox News he thought it was unconstitutional for US agencies to go "trolling through billions of phone records," and said he wants to challenge the surveillance policies in the US Supreme Court.