“Leaker” vs. “spy”

Why the author has written leaker instead of spy in the context?

NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s best chance of finding refuge outside the United States may hinge on the president of Venezuela, who was in Moscow on Tuesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

How can you find which one is the best to use?


Per other comments/answers, a spy is normally someone who doesn’t have “legitimate” access to confidential information in the first place. A typical spy uses illegal methods to obtain secret information and hand it over to whatever government department or other large organisation pays him.

A leaker is normally someone who already has access to secrets as part of his job, but breaks any non-disclosure agreement he may have signed by passing those secrets on to the press, or otherwise putting them in the public domain. He’s not usually paid for this, and normally acts out of a “sense of duty”.

But I should point out that leaker is a rather strange choice for this context. It’s usually whistleblower

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Source : Link , Question Author : Persian Cat , Answer Author : FumbleFingers

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