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Iran Press TV

Snowden: I passed no secrets to Russia

Iran Press TV

Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:5AM GMT

American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden says he has passed no classified US intelligence data to Russian security services since he was not in possession of such documents when he entered Russia.

"There's a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents," Snowden said in a New York Times interview conducted by encrypted email over the past month and published Friday.

He confirmed that he was mostly concerned that Americans were completely in the dark about the activities of the National Security Agency (NSA).

"So long as there's broad support amongst a people, it can be argued there's a level of legitimacy even to the most invasive and morally wrong program, as it was an informed and willing decision," Snowden stated.

"However, programs that are implemented in secret, out of public oversight, lack that legitimacy, and that's a problem. It also represents a dangerous normalization of 'governing in the dark,' where decisions with enormous public impact occur without any public input."

The American whistleblower added that he had provided all the classified documents he possessed to journalists before he departed from Hong Kong on a June 23 flight to Moscow.

Snowden said his final project at the NSA was on China's capabilities, adding that he had "access to every target, every active operation" that the NSA levied against the Chinese.

"If that was compromised," he said, the "NSA would have set the table on fire from slamming it so many times in denouncing the damage it had caused. Yet NSA has not offered a single example of damage from the leaks. They haven't said boo about it except 'we think,' 'maybe,' 'have to assume' from anonymous and former officials. Not 'China is going dark.' Not 'the Chinese military has shut us out.'"

A former contract employee for two major US spy agencies, the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Snowden is now considered a fugitive in United States on espionage charges for leaking details of a massive electronic surveillance program that was executed across America and throughout the world to monitor communication of senior government officials, foreign companies as well as ordinary citizens.

Snowden was eventually offered a temporary political asylum in Russia in August despite massive efforts by Washington to make governments across the globe not to protect the whistleblower.

Snowden told the New York Times that he handed the secret documents to journalists because he wanted his own bias "divorced from the decision-making of publication," and said that "technical solutions" were put in place to ensure that it would be impossible to interfere with journalists using the material.

According to the Times, Snowden refused to elaborate on his living conditions in Russia, but reiterated that he is free to move around and not under the control of the government.


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