Friday, April 25, 2014   

Snowden feels vindicated by media’s revelations of illegal spying
(12-24 14:34)

Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said his “mission's already accomplished'' after revealing illegal intelligence gathering secrets that have caused a reassessment of American 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 massive volumes of internet and phone records, AP reports.
“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.''
President Barack 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 done six months after Snowden's revelations first appeared in the Post and Britain's Guardian newspaper.
Gellman described Snowden as relaxed and animated over two days of nearly unbroken conversation.
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.
Snowden, now 30, said he is not being disloyal to the US or to his former employer.
“I 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.''
Asked 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 US as soon as possible, where he will be afforded due process and all the protections of our criminal justice system.''

   
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