Edward Snowden says he would be able to live in U.S. captivity, if it came to that.
“Regardless of what happens, if I end up in chains in Guantanamo, I can live with that,” the National Security Agency (NSA) leaker told the Guardian in a wide-ranging interview posted on Thursday.
While he feels “very fortunate” to have been granted asylum in Russia, Snowden has repeatedly said that he would prefer to come home to the United States, as long as he received a “fair” trial for the espionage charges leveled against him.
If he was allowed to make his case in front of a jury, Snowden predicted that he would have a largely sympathetic audience.
”I think it would be very difficult to find any 12 Americans in the United States right now who would uniformly agree that the last year’s revelations about the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance programs did not serve the public interest,” he said.
“I’m not going to presume to know what a jury would think or to say what they should or should not think, but I think it’s fair to say that there are reasonable and enduring questions about the extent of these surveillance programs, how they should be applied and that should be the focus of the trial.”
Snowden has been camped out in Russia for the past year evading the U.S. charges, which could land him in prison for decades. He applied to renew his asylum just last week, and is likely to stay in the country for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, Snowden said that he has been learning some Russian and staying away from services like Skype and Google.
“I have used Skype and Google Hangouts, which are great but unfortunately security-compromised services, for public talks where they are required, but wouldn’t use it for personal communications,” he said. "We shouldn’t trust them without verifying what their activities are, how they are using our data and deciding for ourselves whether it’s appropriate where they draw the lines.”