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  1. ITV Report

Edward Snowden: Being international fugitive is worth it

US whistleblower Edward Snowden pictured in February this year. Credit: Reuters

US whistleblower Edward Snowden has said becoming an "international fugitive" has been worth it.

The ex-National Security Agency (NSA) worker leaked thousands of top-secret documents on surveillance methods used in the US in 2013 before fleeing to Russia.

He is now wanted by US authorities.

But the 31-year-old said the experience had been "incredibly rewarding" because of the progress made in the two years since the leak.

"Although I can no longer see my family, I can no longer live in my home, I can no longer work with colleagues I respect, the things I've received personally, and we've all benefited from publicly, make it all worth it," he said during a video interview from Moscow to an Amnesty International event in London.

Snowden is wanted by US authorities after leaking top-secret documents.

Snowden revealed that he had applied for asylum in 21 countries but was still waiting to hear back.

Asked where he saw himself in five years' time, he said: "I think the most liberating thing about burning your life to the ground, and becoming an international fugitive, or so I'm told, is that you no longer have to worry about tomorrow, you think about today, and for me that's been a great experience, I'm actually quite grateful for it."

Snowden also accused the British Government of trying to reform laws in a very negative way, saying "rather than preserving civil liberties, they are trying to limit it".

He asked: "Do we really want the Government watching everybody all the time?"