WASHINGTON (AP) - National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden said
his "mission's already accomplished" after revealing NSA secrets that
have caused a reassessment of U.S. surveillance policies.
Snowden told The Washington Post
in an interview published online Monday night that he was satisfied
because journalists have been able to tell the story of the government's
collection of bulk Internet and phone records, an activity that has
grown dramatically in the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
"For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission's already accomplished," he said. "I already won."
"As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated," Snowden told the Post.
"Because, remember, I didn't want to change society. I wanted to give
society a chance to determine if it should change itself."
Obama hinted Friday that he would consider some changes to NSA's bulk
collection of Americans' phone records to address the public's concerns
about privacy. His comments came in a week in which a federal judge
declared the NSA's collection program probably was unconstitutional. A
presidential advisory panel has suggested 46 changes to NSA operations.
Snowden was interviewed in Moscow over two days by Post reporter
Barton Gellman, who has received numerous leaks from the former NSA
contractor. The interview was conducted six months after Snowden's
revelations first appeared in the Post and Britain's Guardian newspaper.
described Snowden as relaxed and animated over two days of nearly
unbroken conversation, fueled by burgers, pasta, ice cream and Russian
In June, the Justice Department unsealed a criminal
complaint charging Snowden with espionage and felony theft of government
property. Russia granted him temporary asylum five months ago.
effects of Snowden's revelations have been evident in the courts,
Congress, Silicon Valley and capitals around the world, where even U.S.
allies have reacted angrily to reports of U.S. monitoring of their
leaders' cellphone calls. Brazil and members of the European Union are
considering ways to better protect their data and U.S. technology
companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are looking at ways to
block the collection of data by the government.
Snowden, now 30, said he is not being disloyal to the U.S. or to his former employer.
am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA,"
he said. "I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only
ones who don't realize it."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Snowden interview.
about the Snowden interview, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden
said: "Mr. Snowden faces felony charges here in the United States and
should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be
afforded due process and all the protections of our criminal justice
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