John Bacon, USA TODAY
The consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton issued a statement Tuesday confirming that Edward Snowden had been fired "for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy."
The firm said Snowden, 29, was fired Monday from his job as a contractor for the National Security Agency that paid an annual a salary of $122,000, although he had been an employee for less than 3 months.
Snowden, a former technical analyst for the CIA, revealed Sunday that he was the source of leaks detailing surveillance efforts involving NSA collection of phone and Internet data. He worked for Booz Allen in Hawaii, but had been hiding in Hong Kong in recent days.
In an interview with The Guardian last week, Snowden described a comfortable lifestyle and $200,000 salary from Booz Allen, of McLean, Va., and a home in Hawaii that he shared with a girlfriend. He told the paper his main fear was the U.S. government would come after his family, his friends and his partner.
"I can't in good conscience 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," Snowden told the Guardian.
The Booz Allen statement also says:
"News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the Senate intelligence committee, accused Snowden of committing an "act of treason" that should be prosecuted. The Justice Department is investigating whether the disclosures were criminal.
One of the NSA programs gathers hundreds of millions of U.S. phone records to search for possible links to known terrorist targets abroad. The other allows the government to tap into nine U.S. Internet companies and gather all communications to detect suspicious behavior that begins overseas.
That has some European governments asking questions. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Chancellor Angela Merkel would question Obama about the NSA program when he's in Berlin on June 18. And EU officials in Brussels pledged to seek answers from U.S. diplomats at a trans-Atlantic ministerial meeting in Dublin later this week.
Contributing: Associated Press