US & Canada

Edward Snowden hits out at critical report into his activities

Edward Snowden speaks via video link at launch of Pardon Snowden campaign on 14 September in New York Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Edward Snowden fears he will not get a fair trial if he returns to the US

Edward Snowden has dismissed a report by the House of Representatives intelligence committee that heavily criticised his activities.

It rejected his view of himself as a whistleblower, and said he was a disgruntled employee whose actions did nothing more than help US enemies.

The report comes a day after two rights groups launched a campaign for President Obama to pardon Mr Snowden.

The White House has rejected the possibility of a presidential pardon.

The release of the report, two years in the making, also coincides with that of the film "Snowden", directed by Oliver Stone.

In a series of tweets, Mr Snowden dismissed the report's findings, writing: "Their report is so artlessly distorted that it would be amusing if it weren't such a serious act of bad faith."

Mr Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, has been living in Russia since 2013, when he gained notoriety for releasing thousands of classified documents that revealed mass phone and internet surveillance put in place after the 9/11 attacks.

Releasing a summary of its 36-page investigation into the case, the House committee said Mr Snowden had fallen out with his colleagues and lied about his background while at the NSA.

It says that most of the material he leaked related to military secrets that had nothing to do with Americans' privacy but were to "protect American troops overseas and... provide vital defenses against terrorists and nation-states".

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Media captionSnowden has continued his activism - revealing UK phone-hacking capabilities "named after Smurfs" last year

Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union launched their 'Pardon Snowden' campaign on Wednesday, urging President Obama to do so before he leaves office in January 2017.

Amnesty said no-one should be prosecuted for exposing human rights violations, which, it claimed, is what "indiscriminate mass surveillance of communications" amounts to.

The ACLU acts as Snowden's legal adviser, and called him "a great American who deserves clemency for his patriotic acts".

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