The former National Security Agency systems analyst, Edward Snowden, said that the mass 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 that the NSA's mass surveillance, which he disclosed before fleeing to Russia, "puts us at risk of coming into conflict with our own government."
A U.S. court has charged Snowden with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing those programs.
Snowden described them as a "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.