By Fred Kaplan
March 3, 2016

On Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, at 3 in the afternoon, President Barack Obama held a press conference. Two months earlier, Edward Snowden, a contractor with the National Security Agency, had leaked tens of thousands of highly classified documents, revealing that the NSA was intercepting phone calls and emails of millions of Americans, in apparent violation of the law. Read the full story here.

This appears in the March 14, 2016 issue of TIME.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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