Edward Snowden recently advised priests, journalists, physicians and anyone else with confidential information about people to upgrade their online security because of the electronic surveillance used by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government spy agencies around the world.
"What last year's revelations showed us was irrefutable evidence that unencrypted communications on the internet are no longer safe," Snowden told The Guardian (video below). "Any communications should be encrypted by default."
According to RT.com, Snowden said that NSA employees "routinely" share “intimate, nude photos” of people in “sexually compromising” situations that are gleaned from online snooping.
Snowden was also critical of his host country Russia, where he currently has asylum.
"i've been totally open about the fact that I disapprove of the majority of the recent laws in Russia on Internet censorship and surveillance," Snowden stated.
Snowden denied that he was a Russian spy.
“If the [U.S.] government had the tiniest indication, the tiniest shred of evidence that, not even that I was working for the Russian government, that I was associating with the Russian government, it would be on the front page of The New York Times by lunchtime,” Snowden said.
Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. government under the Espionage Act, also claimed that his lawyers have been in negotiations with the U.S. about undergoing a fair jury trial, but the U.S. has refused.
Snowden added, "If I end up in chains in Guantanamo I can live with that."
The former NSA analyst says he lives on his savings and fees from awards and speeches that he has given on the web to different organizations.
Snowden added that he is currently working on developing encryption software that will help journalists.
Ross Anderson, a professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, told The Guardian that the British version of the NSA, the GCHQ, has access to private medical information in the U.K.
"If you think your HIV status is secret from GCHQ, forget it," Anderson stated. "The tools are available to protect data and communications but only if you are important enough for your doctor or lawyer to care."