"Terrorists are incapable of destroying our rights or diminishing our society they lack the strength – only we can do that… Rights are lost by cowardly laws that are passed in moments of panic. Rights are lost to the cringing complicity of leaders who fear the loss of their office more than the loss of our liberties," Snowden said Tuesday, speaking at the Estoril Conferences in Portugal via a video link from Moscow, as quoted by the RT broadcaster.
In 2013, the whistleblower leaked classified documents on mass surveillance practices carried out by US authorities around the globe. Snowden fled to Hong Kong, then to Russia, which granted him asylum. In 2014, Snowden was given a temporary residence permit for three years, that was later renewed until 2020.