Snowden: ‘I’ve volunteered to go to prison’

National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden said on Monday he would serve prison time in exchange for returning to the U.S.

“I’ve volunteered to go to prison with the government many times,” Snowden said, according to The Guardian.

{mosads}“What I won’t do is I won’t serve as a deterrent to people trying to do the right thing in difficult situations,” he said.

“We are still waiting for them to call us back,” Snowden added of the Justice Department.

Snowden fled the United States after leaking the details of the NSA’s surveillance programs, which collected information on U.S. citizens and people around the world.

He first arrived in Hong Kong before going to Moscow.

Snowden’s leaks made him a hero to many but have left a bitter taste among people in the intelligence community. 

Former NSA Director Michael Hayden said on Monday that Snowden’s displacement is likely permanent given his impact on national security.

“If you’re asking my opinion, he’s going to die in Moscow,” he told The Guardian. “He’s not coming home.”

Snowden, meanwhile, argued on Monday that the global intelligence community is still peeking at private citizens’ communications.

“Smartphones can be taken over,” he said, according to BBC News.

“They want to own your phone instead of you,” Snowden said of intelligence agencies worldwide.

“They say, and in many cases this is true, that they’re not going to read your email, for example, but they can and if they did you would never know,” Snowden added.

“[It is done] without our knowledge, without our consent and without any sort of democratic participation.”

Snowden now advocates for digital privacy rights among the world’s civilian populations.

He joined Twitter last week, quickly amassing 1.36 million followers at last count.

Tags D.C. D.C. Edward Snowden Intelligence leakers leaks Michael Hayden Moscow National Security Agency NSA Privacy Russia Smartphones spying Surveillance United Kingdom United States Washington Washington whistleblowers

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