Snowden Says He Didn’t Take Secret Documents to Russia

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 17 2013 8:32 PM

Snowden Says He Didn’t Take Secret Documents to Russia

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A frame grab of Edward Snowden made from AFPTV footage reportedly taken on October 9, 2013.

Photo by AFPTV/AFP/Getty Images

Edward Snowden tells the New York Times that he did not take any top secret documents to Russia when he fled to the country in June seeking asylum. Snowden also says he didn’t make copies for himself and that he left the documents he had obtained with journalists he met in Hong Kong.

Snowden told the Times he didn’t take the documents to Russia with him because “it wouldn’t serve the public interest.” Here’s more from Snowden’s interview with the Times:

[Snowden] also asserted that he was able to protect the documents from China’s spies because he was familiar with that nation’s intelligence abilities, saying that as an N.S.A. contractor he had targeted Chinese operations and had taught a course on Chinese cybercounterintelligence.
Mr. Snowden said his decision to leak N.S.A. documents developed gradually, dating back at least to his time working as a technician in the Geneva station of the C.I.A. His experiences there, Mr. Snowden said, fed his doubts about the intelligence community, while also convincing him that working through the chain of command would only lead to retribution.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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