Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked secrets about widespread surveillance, has spoken to the press for the first time since getting asylum in Russia. New York Times reporter James Risen talked to the whistleblower through “encrypted online communications” over the course of the last week. Snowden maintained that his leaks helped, rather than hurt, US security. “The secret continuance of these programs represents a far greater danger than their disclosure,” he told the paper. Snowden went on to insist that the documents were leaked only to journalists, and there was a “zero percent chance” any had fallen into the hands of the Russian or Chinese governments.     

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