PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowdon has said that he has ‘no regrets’ about leaking information about the National Security Agency (NSA)’s secret international data collecting strategy as he seeks asylum in Russia.
Speaking from Moscow airport where he held talks with human rights groups and lawyers ahead of requesting asylum in the country, Snowden released a statement, which read: "That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets."
His statement added: "I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety.
“Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice."
He appeared at a conference held at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, where activists, lawyers and journalists convened to meet with Snoden and hear what he had to say in his first appearance since revealing his identity as The Guardian’s whistleblower over a month ago.
He highlighted that prior to his decision to leak NSA documents about PRISM, he lived ‘in great comfort’ but that he also had the ‘capability without warrant to search for, seize and read” other people’s communications, which he believed was a “serious violation of the law.”
Snowden then called for help for asylum within Russia and a guarantee of safe passage to Latin America.
It is understood that US President Obama and Russian President Valimir Putin have discussed by phone that Russia return Snowden to his home country to face charges of espionage.