Former CIA employee Edward Snowden has admitted he is the source of leaks about US surveillance programmes which have rocked the country’s National Security Agency.
Snowden said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper that he had acted out of conscience to protect ‘basic liberties for people around the world”.
“When you see everything, you see them on a more frequent basis and you recognise that some of these things are actually abuses. But over time, that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about. And the more you talk about it, the more you’re ignored , the more you’re told it’s not a problem, until eventually you realise that these things need to be determined by the public, not by somebody who’s simply hired by the government,” said Snowden speaking from a hotel in Hong Kong to where he fled after he allegedly copied the secret documents.
The surveillance programme code-named PRISM is said to enable the NSA to tap directly into servers of nine internet firms including Facebook and Google.
It means the security agency has access to emails, web chats, passwords and other communications which it says are vital in their fight against terrorism.