Edward Snowden, a fugitive and former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who leaked information from the agency in 2013, warned Saturday that all people in Japan are subjected to mass surveillance initiated by the U.S. government.
Snowden lived in Japan from 2009 to 2011. At the time, he was an employee with computer giant Dell Inc. contracted out to the NSA, where he worked on a surveillance program at the U.S.’s Yokota airbase in Fussa, Tokyo.
“They know your … religious faith. They know whom you love. They know whom you care about … This was our job to establish the pattern of life of any individuals,” he said.
Snowden made the comments via video conferencing from Russia, where he resides to avoid U.S. criminal prosecution, during a symposium Saturday in Tokyo on surveillance in contemporary society.
More than 200 people, including lawyers, journalists, and others, attended the discussion held in an auditorium on the University of Tokyo campus.