Shares of a consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton have fallen 5%, after company employee Edward Snowden revealed the US National Security Agency (NSA) had access to personal data shared through internet.
Stock of the firm based in McLean, Virginia had its biggest fall in New York since January 30, according to Bloomberg.
Three months ago the company hired 29-year-old Edward Snowden to fill a position in Hawaii. On Sunday he revealed the US National Security Agency's Prism programme had direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple as well as other internet giants. Snowden had been working for NSA for the past four years for various outside contractors. Previously he worked in information technology during a stint at the CIA.
As the US government provides for about 99% of revenue for Virginia-based firm, Booz Allen is now struggling to distance itself from its employee.
"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," Booz Allen said in a statement issued Sunday night.
In 2012 the publicly – traded Booz Allen won government contracts worth more than $4 billion, the US government data said. Its long – term contracts were estimated at $11.8 billion as of the end of March.
Given such a strong financial dependence on the Government, the shocking revelation can now deeply eat into the firm’s bottom line.
"If our relationships with such [U.S. government] agencies are harmed, our future revenue and operating profits would decline," Booz Allen said in a filing.
Snowden said he came forward to make people open their eyes and protect them from the government’s invasion of privacy. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in. My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” the Guardian quotes Edward Snowden as saying.