In his first major interview since landing in Russia, Edward Snowden sounds victorious.
Speaking to the Washington Post, the former security-analyst contractor for the NSA says he believes his “mission’s already been accomplished.”
It’s been six months since Snowden, working together with journalists from the Post and the Guardian, unleashed a trove of classified data about the NSA’s extensive surveillance apparatus, something that’s severely weakened the United States government’s standing with its citizens, the rest of the world, and major technology companies.
“I already won,” Snowden continued. “As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.”
In the interview, Snowden dives into some of his experiences working for the NSA — he points out that he brought up concerns about the extent of the agency’s surveillance, something an NSA spokesperson denies — his life in Russia, and ever so briefly, his response to the plethora of personal attacks from politicians, security workers, and just about anyone else who believes the NSA’s extensive surveillance efforts are justified.
“Let them say what they want,” Snowden said. “It’s not about me.”