Yes, he can decide to bypass the hierarchy he signed to respect in first place. But he cannot claim he shouldn't be served the treatment for such a decision. The administration, on the other side, has no choice other than enforce the respect of the hierachy otherwise the whole administration will become unmanageable. You cannot tell civil servants, contractual workers, etc, they can do whatever they want. Everyone is accountable. Snowden is accountable for what he did, as well as any of his boss who covered up wrong doing. It is up to the administration to put in place the safe guards to make sure nobody is bypassing the law and regulations.
Snowden could have done it otherwise. He was not in the obligation to release top secret information in the public domain to make his point to the current administration at a higher level.
The choice to went public with all this top secret information is his own and sole decision. You may not agree, but I am pretty sure his decision wasn't driven at all by a desire for justice. He was seeking for something else and that's why he went public with this information.
Fingerprints should never be shared with any other party unless mandate by the law, like after being convicted of felony and being jailed.
Actually, this whole race for biometrics security is flawn. What parties want, is a way to make sure you are who you claim you are. For that purpose, they do not need to store your actual fingerprints to compare and match. They just need a digital signature which you can conveniently produce from your fingerprints without sending the fingerprints or features of your fingerprints. The same way you can encrypt a password with a one-way function, you can encrypt your fingerprints + some credentials from the party requesting the digital signature. This way, the digital signature is not a sole function of your fingerprints. Each party will get a different signature depending on their own credentials. They will not receive the actual fingerprints neither and they will not be able to sell it to someone else.
Just making a law to forbide selling, sharing, keeping longer than required fingerprints is not sufficient.
Collecting fingerprints or any other biometric marker in first place should be forbidden.
"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan