Snowden: Yes, it was all worth it

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who disclosed classified information about U.S. government surveillance programs, said the steps he took in 2013 to reveal the surveillance practices were worth taking.

In an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel published Tuesday, Snowden said his actions were worth it, noting “the public has known what was until then forbidden knowledge” because he shared the classified information.

“The answer is yes. Look at what my goals were. I wasn't trying to change the laws or slow down the machine. Maybe I should have. My critics say that I was not revolutionary enough,” Snowden said.

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“But they forget that I am a product of the system. I worked those desks, I know those people and I still have some faith in them, that the services can be reformed.”

Snowden said his goal was not to take down the CIA or the NSA, but “to give the public a chance to decide where the line should be” on surveillance practices.

Snowden, who faces felony charges in the United States for espionage, has lived in Moscow under asylum since 2013.