Snowden to Answer Questions Live Online

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Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 08:37 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Edward Snowden, the leaker of the documents revealing the National Security Agency's top-secret phone and Internet surveillance program, will be answering questions live Thursday on the "Free Snowden" website.

Snowden is expected to give his first reaction to  Barack Obama's Jan. 17 speech in which when the president announced a number of significant reforms to NSA programs, including a ban on U.S. eavesdropping on allies, and new limitations to the scope of the collection of Americans' phone data.

This will be Snowden's first live chat since June when he discussed his thoughts online through the website of Britain's Guardian, the newspaper that first reported his revelations of NSA monitoring.

Latest: Is Snowden a Hero or Traitor – Vote in Urgent Poll

The former NSA contractor, who remains in exile in Russia, this week refuted suggestions that he was a Russian spy and might have had help from Russia in leaking the classified information.

Snowden's initial disclosures in June triggered an outcry about the extent of the NSA's programs, prompting the president to issue a review of the agency's monitoring activities amid widespread concern about privacy issues.

A Pew Research Survey released Tuesday showed that 56 percent of Americans believe Snowden should be brought up on criminal charges for leaking the classified information to the press, while 32 percent were opposed. Meanwhile, 45 percent of respondents said his revelations served the public interest compared to 43 percent who said they harmed the public interest.

Questions to Snowden can be submitted using the #AskSnowden hashtag on Twitter, and answers during the one-hour session will be posted on freesnowden.is

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