You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Snowden says he took no secret files to Russia

Oct. 18, 2013 - 08:58AM   |  
  • Filed Under

Edward Snowden says he left all classified documents in Hong Kong and took none to Russia after fleeing from his job at the National Security Agency, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The former NSA contractor also said he protected the files from China's intelligence agents.

"There's a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents," he declared in what the newspaper described as an "extensive interview" over several days the past week using encrypted communications.

Snowden, who fled Hawaii in June, defended his actions, maintaining that they helped U.S. national security by igniting a debate about the extent of telephone and Internet surveillance programs. He said their "secret continuance" posed "a far greater danger than their disclosure."

He told the Times he left all sensitive files outlining the agency's surveillance techniques with journalists in Hong Kong before flying on to Moscow, where he has been granted temporarily asylum.

He said it would not "serve the public interest" to have taken the documents to Russia.

"What would be the unique value of personally carrying another copy of the materials onward?" he asked.

The Times writes that Snowden said he made the revelations that he no longer had any NSA documents "to explain why he was confident that Russia had not gained access to them. He had been reluctant to disclose that information previously, he said, for fear of exposing the journalists to greater scrutiny."

U.S. officials have expressed fears that other governments may have obtained the secrets, but Snowden said he believes that the NSA knows he didn't give anything to Russia or China.

Snowden considers himself a whistleblower. The Obama administration has charged him with violating the Espionage Act.

In the interview, the 30-year-old Snowden "offered detailed responses to accusations that have been leveled against him by American officials and other critics, provided new insights into why he became disillusioned with the N.S.A. and decided to disclose the documents, and talked about the international debate over surveillance that resulted from the revelations," the Times writes.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

First sergeant vs. master sergeant
Choose the rank that's best for your career

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook