Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden has lived in Moscow for about two years, but says he is willing to return to the U.S. and do time in jail (video below).
Snowden told the BBC News TV program "Panorama" on Oct. 5 that he had "volunteered to go to prison with the government many times," reports ABC News.
"But what I won't do is won't serve as a deterrent for people who want to do the right thing," Snowden added.
"Well, so far they've said they won't torture me, which is a start, I think," Snowden added. "But we haven't gotten much further than that ... We're still waiting for them to call us back."
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.
Snowden was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 after he provided information about the NSA's spying activities on Americans and surveillance techniques used by other countries (on their own people) to journalist Glenn Greenwald and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras in Hong Kong in 2013. Snowden then flew to Moscow en route to Central America, found his passport was canceled by the U.S., but was given temporary asylum by Russia.
Snowden told the BBC News that the Espionage Act "finds anyone guilty who provides any information to the public regardless of whether it's right or wrong."
The BBC News asked Snowden if he was a traitor, and he replied, "Of course not. The question is, if I was a traitor, who did I betray?"
Snowden also explained how the GCHQ (UK intelligence agency) uses a electronic spying tool called the "Smurf Suite."
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:
Snowden said that the "Dreamy Smurf" tool is used by the GCHQ to turn people's cell phones on without their knowledge, while "Nosey Smurf" can listen in to "everything that is going on around you."
Snowden said that "Tracker Smurf" is used to track the cell phone user with greater accuracy than cell phone towers.
"They want to own your phone, instead of you," Snowden added.
GCHQ would not confirm or deny Snowden's claims, and would only say that what it does is legal.
(Note: Jail questions are 25:45 mark)