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After the whistle: Revealers of government secrets share how their lives have changed

The former high-ranking National Security Agency analyst now sells iPhones. The top intelligence officer at the CIA lives in a motor home outside Yellowstone National Park and spends his days fly-fishing for trout. The FBI translator fled Washington for the West Coast.

This is what life looks like for some after revealing government secrets. Blowing the whistle on wrongdoing, according to those who did it. Jeopardizing national security, according to the government.

Famous leaks in American history: Ten famous leaks in American history — and leakers from Ben Franklin to Edward Snowden.

Who is Edward Snowden?: A 30-year-old government contractor has been charged with espionage for recent leaks of classified intelligence. He has vaulted from obscurity to international notoriety, joining the ranks of high-profile leakers such as Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame.

Heroes. Scofflaws. They’re all people who had to get on with their lives.

As Edward Snowden eventually will. The former NSA contractor who leaked classified documents on U.S. surveillance programs is now in Russia, with his fate in limbo. The Justice Department announced last week that it won’t seek the death penalty in prosecuting him, but he is still charged with theft and espionage.

Say he makes it out of there. What next, beyond the pending charges? What happens to people who make public things that the government wanted to keep secret?

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