In this video frame grab provided by LifeNews via Rossia 24 TV channel, Edward Snowden looks over his shoulder during a boat trip on the Moscow River.(Photo: AP/LifeNews via Rossia 24 TV)
Edward Snowden has written an "open letter to the people of Brazil" offering to help Brazil's government investigate allegations of U.S. spying, but on the condition that he be granted permanent political asylum.
The letter was first published Tuesday in Brazil's Folha newspaper.
"I've expressed my willingness to assist where it's appropriate and legal, but, unfortunately, the U.S. government has been working hard to limit my ability to do so," the letter says.
The letter was first made available on the newspaper's website in Portuguese. USA TODAY read a version of the letter using online translation software. It was subsequently posted on Facebook by an account apparently belonging to David Miranda, the partner of former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based American journalist who was the recipient of thousands of documents detailing the National Security Agency's spying programs.
It was not entirely clear from the letter whether Snowden was suggesting that the South American nation should grant him asylum in return for help in probing claims that the U.S. has spied on Brazil.
"Until a country grants me permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak out," Snowden writes in the letter.
He says that, "Many Brazilian senators agree and asked me to help their investigations into suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens."
In response to a tweet Tuesday, Greenwald told USA TODAY that "if media outlets want to report what they think is the "sub-text," that's fine - but they should report its actual content." Earlier, Greenwald characterized many media summaries of the letter to Brazil as "wrong."
On Monday. Snowden said he felt vindicated by a federal judge's ruling that the collection of data by the National Security Agency was most likely unconstitutional.
"Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans' rights. It is the first of many," the former NSA contractor said in a statement.
Snowden has been granted asylum in Russia until next summer.
"Six months ago, I revealed that the NSA wanted to listen to the whole world. Now, the whole world is listening back, and speaking out, too. And the NSA doesn't like what it's hearing," he says in Tuesday's letter.