In January 2014, Snowden claimed to have "made tremendous efforts to report these programs to co-workers, supervisors, and anyone with the proper clearance who would listen" (Cassidy, 2014). Snowden further stated that reactions to his disclosure varied widely but no one was willing to take any action. In March 2014, Snowden reiterated his early testimony saying that he had reported "clearly problematic programs" to ten officials (Cassidy, 2014).
Cassidy, J. (2014, January 23). A vindicated Snowden says he'd like to come home. The New Yorker. Web. 27 May 2014.
I consider Thorisson's description of whistleblowing to be an apt description of the necessary and pivotal actions that must be taken in order to bring illegal activities into the light. It is not enough to tell people about the problem who have no authority to take action toward fixing the problem or making the appropriate changes to labor, practice, or policy. Typically, those people who may be sympathetic by don't have official duties and responsibilities in the relevant realm can put their own career in jeopardy by trying to take action or pass the message up the chain. It is important that those who are given the information not be on parity with the whistleblower. Someone in a position of authority needs to be made aware of the problem, and that receiving person needs to take steps to bring the problem to the correct person, and to standby in order to be certain that the proper steps are being taken. It is often the case that he act of reporting is also the act of informing the proper authorities about the illegal action. While this may seem narrow in focus, it is sufficient in effect. For instance, while it might be within the spirit of the policy, but not the letter to, say, drop a note onto the desk of the proper authority, this would not be sufficient. This is an act of reporting and not of seeking out the appropriate party necessarily, but it is not talking (or reporting) truth to power, which is a necessary aspect of reporting to the proper authorities.