Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower, has ties to Lehigh Valley

Published: Jun 10 2013 06:47:28 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 10 2013 07:09:02 PM EDT
Edward Snowden
UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. -

At this moment, Edward Snowden is one of the most controversial figures in the country who has ties to Lehigh County.

The NSA whistle-blower has family in Upper Macungie Township.

"In all honesty, we didn't know their last name. Only knew by first name and his wife Karen," said neighbor Jonathan Reck, who was told by neighbors Lonnie and Karen Snowden that it was their son, Edward, who blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's domestic spying program.

"Said I don't know what will happen here, but I want to let you know in case the neighborhood starts going crazy," Reck said.

Karen Snowden bought the home in 1998, according to property records. Neighbors said Lonnie has lived there since the couple married about five years ago, but they didn't think Edward has never visited.

Sunday, the 29-year-old contractor told Britain's Guardian Newspaper he was the one who outed the NSA's phone and internet spying program on U.S. citizens. Edward Snowden is currently in Hong Kong and Tammy Reck said family members are worried they'll never see him again.

"It would be like if you had a child and could never see him again. You'd be upset and that is how she was," she said.

Edward could be extradited for his act. Jonathan Reck said he may not agree with how Edward did it, but he said he's glad he did.

"He has the courage to step forward and say, 'America, this is what is going on. Just watch yourself.'" said Jonathan Reck.

The FBI was seen leaving the neighborhood. We did attempt to talk to the Snowdens, but no one answered the door.