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It’s been half a year since NSA contractor Edward Snowden released the first in a series of leaks that showed how much of our online communcation was being intercepted by the US intelligence agency.
The Washington Post has been able to get the first extensive interview with Snowden since he went into exile in Russia. In the interview, Snowden admits that the leaks are having the effects he was hoping for.
He stated that:
“For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,”
as well as:
“I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated.”
It should be noted that Snowden did try initially telling 17 co-workers and superiors of the massive misconduct that was happening within the NSA from as early as October of 2012. The main program he was pointing to was the Boundless Informant program which was garner colossal amounts of data on United States citizens. But all his protests fell on deaf ears and so, half a year later, he began discussions with reporters
Snowden has also gone on record saying he is trying to help the NSA not go against it, this was just the only way he could make that happen:
“I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA,” he says in the interview. “I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don’t realize it.”
Since the leaks a federal judge declared the NSA’s collection programme unconstitutional. US president Barack Obama has meanwhile set up a presidential advisory panel which so far has suggested 46 changes to NSA operations.
Good job, Mr Snowden.