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  •  Edward Snowden speaks via video link as he takes part in a round table on the protection of whistleblowers at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, March 15, 2019.

    Edward Snowden speaks via video link as he takes part in a round table on the protection of whistleblowers at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, March 15, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 September 2019
Opinion

Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 after he revealed details of secret surveillance programs by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Former United States spy agency contractor Edward Snowden hopes France will grant him asylum, according to a France Inter radio interview to be broadcast Monday. It was not immediately clear when or where the interview took place.

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"I would very much like Mr. Macron to grant me asylum," the famous whistleblower said in excerpts made available on the French radio station’s Twitter account, reminding his interviewers he did apply for asylum in France in 2013 with former President Francois Hollande. 

After escaping to Hong Kong from the U.S., Snowden made it to Russia where has been living since 2013 after revealing details of secret surveillance programs by U.S. intelligence agencies.

As a contractor and employee for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), he copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) revealing numerous global surveillance programs, many ran by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments.

Edward Snowden is the exceptional guest of Nicolas Demorand and Lea Salame, in the 7/9 of France Inter, Monday, Sept. 16 at 8h20. Find the first extract of this interview here.
 

On January 2018, the U.S. Congress renewed a bill to continue the warrantless internet surveillance program for six years. The bill allows the  NSA to resume eavesdropping on electronic communications via companies such as Facebook and Google once the U.S.

The relevance of the information blew a lid on the U.S.’ global surveillance program on governments and individuals. He soon became a household as the information was published by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged him with two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, following which the Department of State revoked his passport.

On Sept. 17, 2019, his memoirs titled "Permanent Record" will be published.

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