Edward Snowden: I Took No Secret Files To Russia
A few days ago, news outlets including Reuters reported that the computers Edward Snowden brought with him to Russia were decoys devoid of leaked documents concerning the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs. In today’s NY Times, Snowden says he did not take any secret files with him to Russia:
Mr. Snowden said he gave all of the classified documents he had obtained to journalists he met in Hong Kong, before flying to Moscow, and did not keep any copies for himself. He did not take the files to Russia “because it wouldn’t serve the public interest,” he said.
“What would be the unique value of personally carrying another copy of the materials onward?” he added.
He also asserted that he was able to protect the documents from China’s spies because he was familiar with that nation’s intelligence abilities, saying that as an N.S.A. contractor he had targeted Chinese operations and had taught a course on Chinese cybercounterintelligence.
“There’s a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents,” he said.
American intelligence officials have expressed grave concern that the files might have fallen into the hands of foreign intelligence services, but Mr. Snowden said he believed that the N.S.A.