December 24, 2013
Snowden: 'Mission Accomplished'
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden says his mission is "already accomplished," after revealing details of the NSA's surveillance programs.
Snowden, who is living under temporary asylum in Moscow, told The Washington Post said he is satisfied with what he has accomplished in leaking the information because members of the public now have access to it and can use it as they choose.
Snowden's disclosures, which first appeared in the Post and Guardian newspapers after he fled to Hong Kong, have revealed government secrets, such as the NSA's secret collection of telephone records from millions of Americans. A U.S. judge ruled December 16 that the program is likely unconstitutional.
In his ruling, Judge Richard Leon said he "cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion" of peoples' privacy than the government's collection of such information without prior judicial approval. Leon did not immediately enforce his ruling, giving the government a chance to appeal the decision to a higher court.
U.S. officials have sought Snowden's extradition to stand trial on espionage charges, but Russia has refused.