There is "no doubt" the U.S. engages in industrial espionage, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said in an interview broadcast Sunday in which he also asserted that he worked alone in disclosing spy agency's mass surveillance.
The whistle-blower, now a fugitive in Russia, told a German TV station that if a company such as Germany's Siemens AG was found to have information useful to the U.S. government, the NSA would use it, he said.
Snowden dismissed accusations from members of Congress that he acted as a foreign agent.
"I worked alone; I didn't need anybody's help," Snowden said in the interview with German broadcaster ARD. He said the wealth of data he took is now in the hands of journalists and that the U.S. public benefited from knowing what the government was doing. "If I'm a traitor, who did I betray?" Snowden asked.
Snowden said his disclosure of the NSA surveillance was "the right thing to do" and that he meant to raise awareness about U.S. authorities who "create systems that see everything."
By Aaron Stipkovich: Edward Joseph Snowden (born 1983) is an American technical contractor, whistleblower and former United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA). Snowden released classified material on top-secret NSA programs. | Photo: Aaron Stipkovich | Link | Edward Snowden, Cia, Nsa, Glee, Press, Russia, Traitor, Leak, Secret, Whistleblower,
On the same program, Snowden voiced fears that U.S. "government officials want to kill" him. The comment comes just days after Snowden's Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said the American feared for his life, following a report by U.S. website BuzzFeed of explicit threats against him from unnamed Pentagon and NSA officials.
Snowden also told the German broadcaster: "These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head or poison me when I come out of the supermarket, and then watch as I die in the shower."