Whistleblower Edward Snowden says that he is satisfied by the aftermath of the NSA data that he leaked to the public, adding that he has achieved what he set out to accomplish.
Snowden agreed to an extensive interview with The Washington Post, the first he has had with American media since arriving in Russia late this Spring.
While no reform has been made just yet regarding the National Security Agency’s mass collection of call logs and phone data, Snowden said the recent critiques of the NSA’s actions are a victory for him.
“For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,” Snowden said. “I already won.”
He said his mission was not to jeopardize national security, although that has been heavily debated within U.S. borders.
Snowden also said that he didn’t intend to change society without help.
“As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated,” he said. “I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.”
Snowden is still currently in Russia where he has been granted temporary asylum to avoid U.S. charges of espionage and felony theft of government property.
“I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA,” he said. “I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don’t realize it.”
He also shot down accusations that he entered agreements with foreign governments or their political leaders to plot against the U.S.
“There is no evidence at all for the claim that I have loyalties to Russia or China or any country other than the United States,” he said. “I have no relationship with the Russian government. I have not entered into any agreements with them…If I defected at all, I defected from the government to the public.”
He refused to to give any direct answers about his personal life, other than saying his diet has been comparable to that of the average first-year college student as he’s been living mainly on ramen noodles and chips.
He said he didn’t have much of a social life and has opted to remain indoors for most of his stay in Moscow.
“As long as I can sit down and think and write and talk to somebody, that’s more meaningful to me than going out and looking at landmarks,” he said.
Snowden’s decision to leak information from the NSA has resulted in calls for agency reform and a presidential advisory panel has suggested over 40 possible changes to its operations.