Edward Snowden is answering questions on the Guardian website now.
Glenn Greenwald is moderating: "Let's begin with these:"
1) Why did you choose Hong Kong to go to and then tell them about US hacking on their research facilities and universities?
2) How many sets of the documents you disclosed did you make, and how many different people have them? If anything happens to you, do they still exist?
1) First, the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.
Second, let's be clear: I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target. Not only that, when NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash. Congress hasn't declared war on the countries - the majority of them are our allies - but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people. And for what? So we can have secret access to a computer in a country we're not even fighting? So we can potentially reveal a potential terrorist with the potential to kill fewer Americans than our own Police? No, the public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the "consent of the governed" is meaningless.
2) All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.
Not sure how much of this I can paste within the rules. If anyone knows please answer asap.
Otherwise if you are interested, chime in.
Hat tip greenbird
8:31 AM PT: Snowden explains the salary discrepancy. Said he took a paycut...
8:35 AM PT: More detail on how direct NSA's accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on - it's all the same.
8:45 AM PT: "NSA likes to use "domestic" as a weasel word here for a number of reasons. The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant." ~ Snowden
8:57 AM PT: You don't have to #AskSnowden what you need to do to bring about a free, open society. You know what you have to do. It's time to do it.
— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) June 17, 2013
Hat tip Lady Libertine
10:00 AM PT: Initially I was very encouraged. Unfortunately, the mainstream media now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicionless surveillance in human history.