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    Ex-CIA Employee Discloses US Secret Surveillance Programs (254)
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    Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden who revealed widespread surveillance programs said on Wednesday that the recent former CIA director's plea deal with the government has laid bare the US justice system's hypocrisy.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden who revealed widespread surveillance programs said on Wednesday that the recent former CIA director's plea deal with the government has laid bare the US justice system's hypocrisy.

    On March 3, ex-CIA Director David Petraeus agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of disclosing classified material and pay a $40,000 fine, thus avoiding trial and a potential prison sentence.

    In contrast, Snowden is wanted in the United States on a number of charges, including espionage and theft of government property, facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

    Speaking Wednesday at a conference organized by international computer expo CeBIT in Hanover, Snowden said the information that Petraeus passed to his mistress in 2011 was "more highly classified than" his own revelations.

    "They said that I stole the crown jewels, the keys to the kingdom. He provided things of a higher classification to his lover… And he's getting of course a deal that includes no prison time, a very nominal fine," Snowden said.

    Compared to other cases of "ordinary working-level" individuals disclosing information, he said the Petraeus deal "shows a fundamental unfairness in the justice system."

    The whistleblower that exposed 1.7 million classified documents in the summer of 2013 currently resides in Russia after having been granted a three-year residency permit last August.

    Snowden's leaks revealed the National Security Agency and other intelligence communities had gained access to billions of private messages from around the world, including the mobile communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and dozens of other world leaders.

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    Ex-CIA Employee Discloses US Secret Surveillance Programs (254)

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    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), David Petraeus, United States
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