Actor Zachary Quinto, who plays journalist Glenn Greenwald in the upcoming Edward Snowden biopic, said he believes the former NSA contractor should be allowed to return to the United States, and that it's wrong to brand him as a "treasonist."
"I think it’s a very complicated issue in terms of how that would happen," the Star Trek actor commented at the "Snowden" premiere in Toronto, Canada, reports The Guardian. "The idea of him being charged under the Espionage Act or branded as a treasonist is absurd. I think he is someone of great integrity and great courage. I think what he did is underestimated now, in a lot of ways, but I think will be looked back on with the magnitude it deserves."
Further, Quinto said he hopes Snowden, who has been living in exile since 2013, will one day be able to enjoy some freedoms, as "he deserves that, in my opinion."
On Saturday, Snowden suggested Russian officials have been behind the hacking of U.S. security networks, and criticized the Kremlin's human rights record.
The Russians, Snowden said, have "gone very far, in ways that are completely unnecessary, costly and corrosive to individual and collective rights” to monitor its citizens, and called last month's leak of National Security Agency espionage tools as a threat to the American government.
Snowden fled to Russia through Hong Kong in 2013, along with thousands of stolen documents, and faces charges in the United States of theft of government property and espionage. If he returns to the United States, he faces prosecution and up to 30 years in prison.
His lawyers, though, hope President Barack Obama will pardon Snowden before he leaves office early next year, and some commentators say Snowden is increasing his criticism of the Russian government in hopes of securing that pardon.
Saturday, Snowden commented that he is not able to fix Russia's human rights situation, and he is more concerned with the United States.
He does believe the world is experiencing increased computer security issues, and that "hacks will continue unpredictably and they will have increasingly larger effects and impacts.”
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