As we reported earlier this week, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden recently emerged from hiding to receive the Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award.
Now, video footage of Snowden speaking has been released on the WikiLeaks website.
The whistleblower asserted that when the U.S. government taps into phone and Internet connections around the world, we are “at risk of coming into conflict with our own government.”
Snowden said the spying puts “entire populations under sort of an eye that sees everything even when it’s not needed.” He continued, “They hurt our economy. They hurt our country. They limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships and to associate freely.”
He slammed the U.S. government for attempting to punish him for the leaking. Government officials are “unwilling to prosecute high officials who lied to Congress and the country on camera, but they’ll stop at nothing to persecute someone who told them the truth,” he said.
On the day that the video was recorded, Snowden was given the Sam Adams Associates Integrity and Intelligence Award by a group of retired CIA officers. It is awarded each year to an individual who takes a stand against abuse of information gathering. Many of the award’s past recipients have been whistleblowers — in fact, the award itself is named after Vietnam whistleblower Samuel A. Adams. Wikileak’s Julian Assange received the award in 2010.