Part 1: The $1.2 million per year
This is Snowden’s salary as the technical director at Booz Allen Hamilton, a top-tier consulting company based in Maryland. He joined the firm in March 2013, after his stint working for CIA contractor Dell, and had been paid $200K per year.
The national average for a technical director at a consulting firm is about $90K to $130K (The starting salary can go up to $170K). According to jobs published on their website, Booz Allen had approximately 18,000 employees as of 2012. If Booz Allen has an average of 100 people per department, that would be about 12,800 people (again, just an assumption here), with salaries ranging from $ 40k to $ 500k. According to this NASA table, the national average wage of a full-time professional software developer was around $105,000 in 2010. There are approximately 125,000 software developers employed by private companies in the United States, as reported by this article, so that would be 13% of those workers or 13% * 125,000 * 0.1 = 10 thousand people or 130 people per department if you assume all 1000 departments are equally represented (this number may be high or low depending on your source). Therefore at most, there would have been one person doing work related to Edward Snowden in each department of Booz Allen Hamilton (unless they all have him). This translates into roughly two programmers working with Edward Snowden, who was paid between 130k$ and 500k$. This number will be higher for each department at less than two programmers per department because there will always be more programmers who want further improvement in their skills and position than available positions. Note also that I am using these numbers as an estimate and not giving credence to these figures. This step is
He made about $500 a day for two weeks of all-expenses-paid vacation.
Snowden didn’t come to Hawaii for the sun and surf. He came here because he needed some time away from his life in the spotlight, where he’d become a celebrity overnight. He wanted to relax and recharge but also make money doing something else—something that would keep him from feeling like a prisoner on the run. In other words: Snowden was looking for work!
He found it in Hawaii as an actor and writer for two films about surveillance: Citizenfour (2014), which won an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature, and Oliver Stone’s documentary Snowden (2016). He also worked on other projects, including his memoir detailing his experiences living in exile around the world called To The Ends Of The Earth (2017). And finally, there was his role as host of the T.V. series Laura Poitras Explores (2017-2018), which was broadcast by France 24 International Channel WABE Atlanta, GA USA
He received no pay for his performance at the Met Gala.
In the end, Snowden wasn’t paid for his performance at the Met Gala. He’s a spy, and spies don’t get paid!
But when you’re working as an undercover agent for the NSA, and you’ve been spying on everyone (including yourself) since age 17… well… it’s not exactly fair to expect that your employer will pay you anything more than minimum wage (which is technically $7.25/hour). So even though Snowden would have had every right to demand royalties from any movie or T.V. show based on his life story and work with the NSA, he didn’t because he’s a criminal who deserves punishment instead of money.
He made over $16 million from selling several million personal items from his home during a court-ordered auction.
You may have heard that Edward Snowden made $16 million from selling several million personal items from his home during a court-ordered auction.
It’s true: he made over $16 million from selling his items to pay for his legal defense and living expenses. But there’s more to it than that!
Coming up with $500 a day does not make you rich.
More than $500 a day is needed to live in Hawaii. If you’re looking for an exciting way to spend your time, you could do worse than snowboarding at Oahu’s Waimea Valley State Park and reading about Snowden’s life as he lived it on the lam, but that’s probably not what you want to do most days.
The thing is, $500 is pretty good if you’re starting—especially if you plan to go into business for yourself, get an education, or both! But even though some people manage this kind of money every day and still have plenty left over (ask Steve Jobs!), most people don’t make enough money per day to get by with such little left over—and they certainly don’t live off those small amounts all year long. I’ve known plenty of people who struggle financially because they don’t have enough savings or investments set aside for emergencies; having too much debt also makes it more difficult for them to save anything at all during good times when their paychecks are large enough so that bills aren’t covered entirely by income alone…
At the fifth annual Blockchain and Digital Currency Conference in New York City, Snowden said that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could improve financial privacy. (CNN)
“In the U.S., dozens of companies are working on creating digital currencies,” Snowden said. “If they’re successful, they will become a major staple of our economy.”
Snowden also spoke about his decision to disclose public information about the NSA. “I was obeying my principles as a citizen,” Snowden said.