BERLIN (Reuters) – Fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden said calls for more oversight of government intelligence agencies showed he was justified in revealing the methods and targets of the US secret service.
Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency (NSA), from its alleged mass scanning of emails to the tapping of world leaders’ phones, have infuriated US allies and placed Washington on the defensive.
In “A Manifesto for the Truth” published in German news magazine Der Spiegel yesterday, Snowden said current debates about mass surveillance in many countries showed his revelations were helping to bring about change.
“Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested,” the 30-year-old ex-CIA employee and NSA contractor wrote.
“Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.”
Snowden is in Russia, where he has been given asylum for at least a year.