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.
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 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
"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
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
"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
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