Re: Let's make it hypothetical:
Let me ask you a question:
How much in terms of "spying operations" do you think that Snowden, Assange and Manning combined have actually caused to stop? Anything at all? Really? I highly doubt it. If anything, they've driven it deeper underground.
In case you haven't noticed, the uproar is largely people on computers thumping their fists, a couple of news articles MANY years ago now and... not much else. There was no radical change in the way those forces operate, in the accountability, uproar among allies, public outcry, etc. They just went back to doing what they were doing before, and keeping a closer eye out for anyone stupid enough to try whistleblowing again.
They all did whistleblowing a great disservice. One, they were caught. Two, their information didn't result in anything substantial happening. Three, they did it poorly and didn't protect sources or innocent parties. Four, they passed it off to an agency (Wikileaks) that didn't do anything to protect them either. Five, they all ended up convicted, on-the-run or at the behest of the Russian government (don't for one second think that Snowden is free to do what he likes). Six, they have taught every whistleblower who follows them to NOT whistleblow unless they want all that to happen to them.
They're known, quite literally, because they were BAD whistleblowers. They are famous for NOT getting away with it. The only reason we know their names is because they were caught and convicted, for the most part. Their leaks gave them away, 100%. Their leaks also caused basically... well... nothing to happen. I think if we're honest, everyone just went "Oh, that's terrible... but that's exactly what we knew was happening, really, just not the specifics".
They didn't reveal that the president's a lizard, or that aliens exist, or mass genocide, or even really anything that turned into a convictable offence, did they?
And you only have to watch a movie to guess what happens to the whistleblower who blows wide open the government's secrets. If anything, the response to their leaks has been very muted, I feel. Nobody in government really cares about what was leaked, they just want the person who leaked it to serve a (reasonable length, if you look at Manning) prison sentence for it.
In the grand scheme of things, not much happened, and they got famous for being bad whistleblowers who all got caught and either were jailed or will spend their lives on the run.
In the grand scheme of things, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_whistleblowers has a list of people who did far more, had far more done to them, and most of whom I've never heard of.