In an encrypted email interview with the New York Times, Edward Snowden calms fears that the Russians and Chinese have gotten their hands on classified US documents. He claims "there's a 0% chance" that's happened, and the NSA knows that's the case. Why is he so confident? Snowden says he didn't bring any copies with him to Moscow "because it wouldn't serve the public interest." Instead, he gave the entirety of the paperwork to journalists while in Hong Kong. But don't fret: Snowden claims he has a firm grasp of Chinese spying operations because he targeted those very operations while working for the NSA, and so he knows the documents were protected on that front, too.
Snowden also shares with the Times what provoked him into leaking documents rather than complaining to the NSA after he stumbled on a classified 2009 report on warrantless wiretapping. "The system does not work," he argues. "You have to report wrongdoing to those most responsible for it." He adds that by taking that route he would've been "discredited and ruined," and his concerns "would have been buried forever." "The secret continuance of these programs represents a far greater danger than their disclosure," Snowden continues. Though he wouldn't speak on his life in Russia, Snowden's dad tells Reuters, " He's comfortable. He's happy. And he's absolutely committed to what he has done."