Snowden to newspaper: I took contractor job to gather evidence

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Story highlights

  • NSA leaker tells Hong Kong newspaper he took job to find evidence of U.S. surveillance
  • Edward Snowden says he has more documents he wants to release
  • He's thought to be headed for Ecuador to avoid prosecution on espionage charges

Edward Snowden took a job with a firm that provides contractors to the National Security Agency solely to gather evidence about U.S. surveillance programs, the self-avowed leaker told the South China Morning Post Newspaper.

"My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked," the Post quoted him as saying in a story published Monday. "That is why I accepted that position about three months ago."

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The documents Snowden has revealed so far -- he claims to have thousands more -- revealed classified details of U.S. programs to monitor domestic telephone traffic, as well as the activities of Internet users overseas.

Where could Snowden go next?

He has also said the National Security Agency hacks into major Internet pipelines to intercept millions of communications flowing through them each day.

Snowden said he obtained the documents in April, and intends to release more after he has a chance to review them, the newspaper reported.

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    Read Snowden's interview

    "If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of US network operations against their people should be published," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

    Opinion: Why Ecuador might shelter Snowden

    Snowden left Hong Kong on Sunday. The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, which is aiding his efforts to find a haven from U.S. espionage charges, said he had traveled to Moscow, but he has not been publicly sighted there, except for an airline passenger who identified a picture of him.

    He has formally applied for asylum in Ecuador and also is asking for shelter in other nations, including Iceland, a WikiLeaks attorney said Monday.

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