Snowden denies taking leaked documents to Russia
Whistleblower Edward Snowden has denied leaking or taking with him any documents to China or Russia.
The former National Security Agency analyst who had leaked details of the agency’s surveillance programs said yesterday in an interview with the New York Times that he did not take any classified NSA documents in his possession to Russia and had left them all with a group of Hong Kong journalists before he fled to Moscow in June.
Snowden said as a part of his work for the NSA that he routinely targeted Chinese intelligence operations and is familiar with Beijing’s intelligence capabilities and the way they operate. However, he insisted, “there’s a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents.”
In the interview Snowden mentioned that he felt his leaks had helped US national security far more than harming it. He said: “The secret continuance of these programs represents a far greater danger than their disclosure.”
The 30 year old has been in Russia since June. The Kremlin has offered him protection and a visa for one year while they look into his asylum application which, if rejected, would send him back to the US where he would face up to 30 years in prison.