MOSCOW (AP) -- Former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden says surveillance programs used by the United States to tap into phone and Internet connections around the world are making people less safe.
In short video clips posted by the WikiLeaks website on Friday, Snowden said the NSA mass surveillance he revealed before fleeing to Russia "puts us at risk of coming into conflict with our own government."
Snowden, who faces espionage charges in the U.S. over the leak, described the techniques as "dragnet mass surveillance that puts entire populations under sort of an eye that sees everything even when it's not needed."
"They hurt our economy. They hurt our country. They limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships and to associate freely," Snowden said.
The videos are the first of Snowden speaking since July 12, when he was shown at a Moscow airport pleading with Russian authorities to grant him asylum, which they did on Aug. 1.
That decision has strained the relations between the U.S. and Russia. President Barack Obama called off a meeting with President Vladimir Putin at a summit hosted by Russia in September.
Snowden said the U.S. government was "unwilling to prosecute high officials who lied to Congress and the country on camera, but they'll stop at nothing to persecute someone who told them the truth."
In a note accompanying the videos, WikiLeaks said Snowden spoke on Wednesday in Moscow as he accepted the Sam Adams Award, given annually by a group of retired U.S. national security officers and named for a CIA analyst during the Vietnam War who accused the U.S. military of deliberately underestimating the enemy's strength for political purposes.
Four former U.S. government officials who were at the ceremony told The Associated Press on Thursday that Snowden is adjusting to life in Russia and said they saw no evidence that he was under the control of local security services. They refused to say where they met with Snowden or where he is living.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to…
Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the…
Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get…
The Supreme Court is taking up a dispute between broadcasters and an Internet startup company that has the potential to bring big changes to…
Joss Whedon is releasing a film he wrote as a $5 digital download, bypassing the normal channels of independent film distribution.
A SpaceX commercial rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral on schedule Friday afternoon and is heading to the International Space Station.
Rumors of an Amazon smartphone reached a fever pitch this week, with several tech blogs speculating that the device could be due out this year.
Each week, we recap the stories and trends that made headlines in the digital world. Read on to see what you missed.
NASA's robotic moon explorer, LADEE, is no more. Flight controllers confirmed early Friday that the moon-orbiting spacecraft crashed into…
Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy…