14:19 GMT22 February 2020
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    Edward Snowden said that the US government operates outside the law and is completely unrestrained in its monitoring activities on all Americans.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US government operates outside the law and is completely unrestrained in its monitoring activities on all Americans, former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden said.

    "We have a government that seems to be almost completely unrestrained," Snowden stressed on Friday, speaking by telecast from a location in Russia to a conference hosted in Tucson by the University of Arizona College of Behavioral Sciences. "We were operating above the law," he added.

    Snowden started making revelations about widespread US global surveillance in 2013. The same year, Russia granted the whistleblower temporary asylum for one year. In August 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit to live in Russia.

    In the United States, he faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of espionage and theft of government property. Snowden has repeatedly said that he would return to the United States if Washington guaranteed him a fair trial.


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