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Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden today stated that the NSA told him to “stop asking questions” after he raised concerns regarding the legality of the U.S. agency’s mass surveillance programs.
Numerous officials have questioned Snowden’s decision to disclose documents to journalists instead of raising concerns internally at the NSA. NSA officials previously stated that Snowden should have used “official channels” before leaking details to the public.
In response to such statements, Snowden bluntly claimed in his first American television interview tonight with NBC that he “did go through channels” to report his concerns, “and that is documented.”
According to Snowden:
The NSA has records — they have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Council to their oversight and compliance folks from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities. I had raised these complaints, not just officially in writing though email, but to my supervisors, to my colleagues, in more than one office. I did it in Fort Meade. I did it in Hawaii. And many of these individuals were shocked by these programs. They had never seem them themselves — the ones who had said “you’re right…but if you say something about this, they’re going to destroy you.” I reported that there are real problems, and the response more or less was you should stop asking questions.
During the same interview, Snowden stated that he has “no relationship” with Russia at all.