Snowden questions Putin on Russian surveillance during live call in

U.S. -

Edward Snowden fled the U.S. in June 2013, eventually settling in Moscow, where he remains after leaking a trove of info about U.S. government surveillance.

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Copyright 2014 Reuters
Copyright 2014 Reuters
Snowden asked what seemed to be a prerecorded question during a live televised session with Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 17. He asked: "Does Russia intercept, analyze or store millions of individuals' communications?" Putin replied: "We don't have a mass system of such interception." Snowden defended his question in a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/18/vladimir-putin-surveillance-us-leaders-snowden">Guardian op-ed</a>. Copyright 2014 Reuters

Snowden asked what seemed to be a prerecorded question during a live televised session with Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 17. He asked: "Does Russia intercept, analyze or store millions of individuals' communications?" Putin replied: "We don't have a mass system of such interception." Snowden defended his question in a Guardian op-ed.

"And when it comes to would I do this again, the answer is absolutely yes… I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and I saw that the Constitution was violated on a massive scale." Edward Snowden

Snowden spoke with Christopher Soghoian, the ACLU's principal technologist, via videoconference on March 10 at the SXSW conference in Austin, TX. A video of the discussion will be on the ACLU's website later.

Snowden told The New Yorker on Jan. 21 that allegations by some U.S. lawmakers that he may have received assistance from Russia in taking NSA documents and fleeing the U.S. are "absurd." He also criticized the media for a lack of an "editorial position" on the allegations.

Snowden stated that he was only in Russia because he was unable to go as planned to Latin America after the U.S. revoked his passport. He said that he "would of course" leave Russia if the U.S. allowed him to travel. He has maintained that he has not carried any documents with him.

"For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission's already accomplished. I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated." Edward Snowden, NSA leaker

In an interview with the Washington Post published Dec. 24, 2013, Snowden denied accusations that he had defected, saying, "If I defected at all, I defected from the government to the public."

"American senators tell us that Brazil should not worry, because this is not surveillance, it's data collection. They say it is done to keep you safe. They're wrong." Edward Snowden, NSA leaker

In an open letter published Dec. 17, 2013, Snowden suggested that he would assist Brazil in its efforts to detect U.S. surveillance if the country granted him permanent asylum, which he first requested in July 2013.

Freedom of the Press Foundation said Jan. 14 that Snowden will join its board, of which Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras are already members. The foundation, which funds sensitive journalistic endeavors, was founded in 2012 by Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War.

Richard Ledgett, head of the NSA task force charged with assessing the damage of Snowden's leaks, said he believes amnesty is "worth having a conversation about" if Snowden were to turn over documents he hasn't released yet. Ledgett's interview on "60 Minutes" aired Dec. 15, 2013.

The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in an interview with MSNBC ruled out amnesty for Snowden "where we say, no harm, no foul." He said the U.S. would "engage in conversation" over a plea deal if Snowden accepted responsibility for the leaks.

"I acted on my belief that the NSA's mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts…" Edward Snowden, NSA leaker

Snowden issued a statement, distributed by journalist Glenn Greenwald, hailing a federal judge's ruling Dec. 16, 2013, that NSA data collection violated the constitution.

"When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government." New York Times editorial board

The New York Times and Guardian on Jan. 2 published separate editorials calling for clemency for Snowden. Both newspapers have published articles based on Snowden's NSA surveillance leaks.

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