October 19, 2013
Former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden says that he decided to expose the NSA's mass surveillance program to the public and to flee the United States because he had no faith in the internal reporting process of complaints that government workers have with the U.S. In an interview with the New York Times, Snowden insists that if he had filed a complaint with the NSA over its secret surveillance program (something President Obama believes he should've done), the NSA would've still swept it under the carpet and possibly even discredited and ruined the former NSA worker.
In addition to Snowden's lack of confidence in the legal system, Snowden ascertains that the classified NSA documents pertaining to the mass surveillance program were never in any danger of being obtained by Chinese or Russian authorities. He says that as a former NSA worker who had targeted China himself, he knew how to keep the information away from them. Snowden adds that the remainder of the leaked documents are in the possession of the two Guardian reporters he originally confided in, Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.
Snowden is currently in Russia after being granted one year of political asylum, after the U.S. revoked his passport. This prevented Snowden from traveling to Latin America where he had also applied for asylum.