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Edward Snowden wishes he leaked NSA documents sooner

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden wishes he leaked the information on U.S. surveillance and internet monitoring sooner, before these systems were a regular occurrence for workers at NSA and U.S. politicians.

It follows an award for best documentary at the Oscars for Citizenfour, which is all about Snowden's life changing experience from the initial leak to hiding out in Moscow from U.S. authorities.

The Intercept Editor Glenn Greenwald, Citizenfour Director Laura Poitras and Edward Snowden all hosted a Reddit AMA before the Oscars, discussing privacy, the NSA and what can be done to stop surveillance.

Snowden claims momentum needs to continue to grow and questions need to be asked for Presidential candidates about privacy and security on the internet.

"Ultimately, if people lose their willingness to recognise that there are times in our history when legality becomes distinct from morality, we aren't just ceding control of our rights to government, but our agency in determining our futures," Snowden said. "Our rights are not granted by governments. They are inherent to our nature. But it's entirely the opposite for governments: their privileges are precisely equal to only those which we suffer them to enjoy."

Currently both parties in the U.S. endorse the surveillance committed by the NSA, however several party members are unhappy with the amount of surveillance and the lack of clear information by the agency regarding phone tapping and other illegal activities.

The recent spyware leak involving Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Iraqi and Afghani computers also sheds light on the extent of the U.S. surveillance, alongside reports the NSA helped UK agency GCHQ attack European companies like Belgacom and Gemalto.

Citizenfour is an eye-opener for anyone who does not quite understand the U.S. surveillance fiasco, and Poitras plans to make another documentary with more factual evidence on the issues with surveillance and global cyber spyware.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.