Snowden believes US intelligence follows him in Moscow
MOSCOW, August 14 (RAPSI) - Edward Snowden believes US intelligence agencies spy on him in Russia where he was granted a three-year residence permit earlier this month, RIA Novosti reports on Thursday citing Snowden's interview with Wired magazine.
“They’ve [CIA and NSA] got a team of guys whose job is just to hack me. I don’t think they’ve geolocated me, but they almost certainly monitor who I’m talking to online,” Snowden is quoted as having said.
“Even if they don’t know what you’re saying, because it’s encrypted, they can still get a lot from who you’re talking to and when you’re talking to them,” Snowden said who continues to live on New York time in order to not fall out of the US news cycle.
However, he does not have the highest opinion of the technology capabilities of the intelligence services. Snowden says when he stole some classified files he deliberately left a trail of “digital bread crumbs” so the investigators could find out which documents he had copied or smuggled out and which he had just touched. The NSA team did not discover those clues and reported only the total number of “compromised” documents, which is 1.7 million items. The whistleblower claims that the number of files he stole is much less.
“I didn’t figure they would be completely incapable,” he says.
Snowden added that he had planned to abandon his mission after Obama’s election as he had been influenced by the election campaign and the slogans about the protection of privacy as a basic right. He later realized that the president’s policy repudiated these statements.
In the summer of 2013, Edward Snowden, a computer specialist and former contractor for the US National Security Agency, leaked classified evidence of US government surveillance programs to The Washington Post and The Guardian.
He then fled to Hong Kong. On June 14, 2013, US authorities charged Snowden under three articles, each of them stipulating punishment of up to 10 years in prison. Two of the charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.
Snowden was in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport from June 23 to August 1, 2013, when he was granted temporary asylum. He is now living at an undisclosed location in Russia. In August 2014, Snowden was granted a Russian residence permit for three years.