National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden said Monday that he’s willing to return to the U.S. and serve time in prison but won’t allow the government to use him to punish other whistleblowers. “I’ve volunteered to go to prison with the government many times,” Snowden told the BBC’s Panorama. Snowden fled the U.S. after leaking sensitive information about the NSA that outraged the public. He’s currently in Russia. “What I won’t do is I won’t serve as a deterrent to people trying to do the right thing in difficult situations,” Snowden said. The NSA leaker told the BBC that the U.S. Department of Justice has yet to respond to his offer. Despite his willingness to pay the price for leaking U.S. secrets, Snowden hasn’t softened his criticism of government surveillance efforts. The whistleblower outlined a number of spy tools used by the British GCHQ intelligence agency, which shares assets with the United States’ NSA. “They want to own your phone instead of you,” he said of the agency’s “Smurf Suite” of phone hacking technology. “Dreamy Smurf is the power management tool which means turning your phone on and off with you knowing,” he said. “Nosey Smurf is the ‘hot mic’ […]
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