Snowden's father fears WikiLeaks may manipulate his son - report
MOSCOW, June 28 (RAPSI) - The father of Edward Snowden, who is being sought by the United States after leaking classified documents on the activities of US intelligence agencies, is afraid that his son imay be manipulated by WikiLeaks, NBC reported.
In an interview with the news channel, Lonnie Snowden said he has not spoken to Edward since April and expressed fear that his son may be manipulated.
"I don't want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him. I think WikiLeaks, if you've looked at past history, you know, their focus isn't necessarily the Constitution of the United States. It's simply to release as much information as possible," Lonnie Snowden told NBC.
WikiLeaks openly supported Edward Snowden when he released classified information about the US government's secret surveillance programs.
Media reports note that the website's representatives are accompanying him and providing him with legal support. They are also regularly posting information about Edward Snowden on WikiLeaks' Twitter accounts and other sources.
Lonnie Snowden said that his lawyer informed US Attorney General Eric Holder that his son would probably return home on the condition that the Justice Department doesn't detain him before trial or impose a gag order.
He further stated that although Edward has broken US law, his son is not a traitor. He explained, “And if folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact he has betrayed his government. But I don't believe that he's betrayed the people of the United States."
Edward Snowden is reportedly holed up in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport waiting for the Ecuadorean government to respond to his request for asylum.
Edward Snowden dominated international headlines this month after claiming responsibility for leaking top secret documents to The Guardian, detailing the National Security Agency's (NSA) capacity to access the systems of major US companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple. Google, Facebook, and Apple have all denied providing direct or backdoor access to their servers.
After the initial leak, Snowden went on to expose various other types of intelligence, including claims to The Guardian that the NSA had intercepted communications from Medvedev's delegation during the 2009 G20 summit in London, as well as claims during an interview with the South China Morning Post that the United States had been hacking into Chinese computers for years.
On June 14, the US authorities filed a criminal complaint advancing three charges, each carrying a punishment of up to 10 years in prison. He has been charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and the willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person, according to a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors.