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U.S. surveillance hurts country, Snowden claims in video clips posted by WikiLeaks

| Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

MOSCOW — Former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden says surveillance programs used by the United States to tap into phone and Internet connections around the world are making people less safe.

In short video clips posted by the WikiLeaks website on Friday, Snowden said the NSA mass surveillance he revealed before fleeing to Russia “puts us at risk of coming into conflict with our own government.”

Snowden, who faces espionage charges in the U.S. over the leak, described the techniques as “dragnet mass surveillance that puts entire populations under sort of an eye that sees everything even when it's not needed.”

“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,” Snowden said.

The videos are the first of Snowden speaking since July 12, when he was shown at a Moscow airport pleading with Russian authorities to grant him asylum, which they did on Aug. 1.

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