Edward Snowden has been laying low in Russia ever since he started handing out NSA secrets as if they were candies on Halloween night.
But this week the former NSA contractor was caught on camera by civil rights organization Democracy Now after receiving the Integrity Award from the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. The award was presented by four former U.S. government employees, including former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake, former U.S. Justice Department ethics adviser Jesselyn Radack, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, and former FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
Four months ago, Snowden released information for the first time about the NSA’s data collection program, PRISM, in which the government works with a number of technology companies to collect information on terrorist targets, potentially sweeping up lots of information on U.S. citizens in the process.
Snowden quickly left for Hong Kong and then made his way to Moscow after the revelations. After some time stuck in a Russian airport, he was granted political asylum and has been in Russia ever since. Snowden originally lived in Hawaii and was a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton.
In the video he speaks out against these programs saying they are bad for our economy and do not protect us in the ways they are intended to.
“They limit our ability to … associate freely,” said Snowden in the video. “This doesn’t make us more safe, it makes us less safe. It puts us at risk.”
Democracy Now also chatted with the four who met with Snowden about that experience. You can see that conversation below: