Snowden: 'I Am Not Anti-Secrecy, I'm Pro-Accountability'

Image: Snowden: 'I Am Not Anti-Secrecy, I'm Pro-Accountability'

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 07:11 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Edward Snowden says he has nothing against "secrecy and spying," insists that he is not an agent for any "foreign government," and describes his politics as "moderate" in an interview with Vanity Fair.

The magazine, whose May issue will carry a long article on Snowden, reported that the National Security Agency leaker is interested in leaving Russia for asylum in a democratic country if he cannot return to the United States.

Snowden says that he did protest NSA policies while he worked as a contractor at the agency. He made his concerns known to NSA lawyers, including by email. Reports that he is holding 1.7 million secret documents are untrue and intended as a government scare tactic, he told the magazine.

"What senior official is going to go in front of Congress and say, 'We have no idea what he has, because the NSA's auditing of systems holding hundreds of millions of Americans' data is so negligent that any high-school dropout can walk out the door with it?'"

He says he has "zero" documents – and no "doomsday cache" to be used in case he is killed. He claims that having one would only increase incentives to kill him.

Snowden sees a developing bipartisan political trend populated by a "post-terror generation" that rejects the notion the Constitution can be ignored in order to "save it."

Until November, he was collaborating with WikiLeaks researcher Sarah Harrison. He says that he and Julian Assange, who founded WikiLeaks, do not "share identical politics." He describes himself as "not anti-secrecy" but "pro-accountability."

Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton described Snowden as "an imperfect messenger," ABC News reported. The Snowden case raised questions about how technology can be used to "protect national security without destroying the liberty, which includes the right to privacy," Clinton said.

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