The former NSA contractor who leaked top-secret documents to The Intercept says he is leaving his job at the agency and turning over all of his emails to a group of activists in a bid to make the government open up its records to the public.
Edward Snowden, who was fired from the agency in 2013, first revealed the scope of the NSA’s surveillance operations to The Guardian and The Washington Post in 2013.
The whistleblower, who had access to classified NSA documents that The Intercept published in full in 2016, said he believes the agency has become a “police state” with sweeping surveillance powers and has been “an abomination for democracy.”
“I want to help the world, I want to fight injustice, I don’t want to be a tool of the government,” Snowden said during a radio interview on Wednesday.
“I just want to make a difference.”
Snowden’s departure from the NSA comes after the Senate Intelligence Committee announced it would investigate his claims, which are being reviewed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein Dianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein on Kavanaugh and Trump: ‘I will not vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh until we get answers’ Senate Democrats ask to interview White House aides about Kavanaugh MORE (D-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, said she will hold hearings on the allegations.
“I’m going to ask for your cooperation, but I’m also going to be looking at the evidence,” Feinstein said Wednesday on “The Today Show.”
“We are going to have to get the full picture of what happened, and we’re going to get a fair look at the NSA and what they’re doing.”
Feinstein has previously said she would not be satisfied until the U.S. government made public all of its information about Snowden.
The White House has declined to confirm the details of the allegations, which the U, NSA and the Senate have been unable to provide due to a federal judge’s order.
But a person familiar with the discussions said the White House was prepared to talk to lawmakers about the matter, even if it meant Snowden could not go public.
“They have been in touch with us.
We have been briefed on the facts of the matter,” the person said.
The official said that the White, House and intelligence agencies were looking to work out a way to move forward with the matter.
The NSA declined to comment on the specifics of the discussions, citing the ongoing investigation.
The intelligence community has been cooperating with the White and House on the matter as it continues to conduct its investigation.