Edward Snowden takes extraordinary precautions in a "live chat."
NSA leaker Edward Snowden, answering questions Monday in a live blog on his revelations about the top-secret agency, denied charges he was spying for China and vowed to release more details on the NSA's "direct access" to the tech companies' servers
"Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped," Snowden said, according to The Guardian, which held the "live chat" on its website.
He said the U.S. government "is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me."
Snowden, a former NSA contractor who fled the United States after revealing top-secret details on the government's collection of Americans' phone and Internet records, has said he "does not expect to see home again."
Snowden, who took immediate refuge in Hong Kong, also denied any plans to give information to China in exchange for asylum.
Former vice president Dick Cheney told Fox News Sunday that he thinks Snowden is a "traitor" and warned that the analyst may be spying for the Chinese government.
"Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American," Snowden responded, "and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, (Sen. Dianne) Feinstein, and (Rep. Peter) King, the better off we all are."
He called Cheney "a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up" for the war in Iraq.
" Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now," he said.
Snowden did not elaborate on when he would reveal more information, but said, "the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc., analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on -- it's all the same."
SIGINT refers to "Signals Intelligence," or the collected communciations data.
He said the restrictions to getting such data is "policy-based, not technically based, and can change at any time."
In response to a question as to why he fled to Hong Kong, Snowden said the U.S. government "immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home" and declared him guilty of treason.
"That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it," he wrote.
He also suggested that it was easier to go to Hong Kong rather than risk being intercepted and arrested on the way to Iceland, another potential safe haven.
3 NSA veterans: 'We told you so'
On other issues:
• Snowden insisted that he did not reveal any U.S.operations against military targets.
"I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous," he wrote. "These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target."
• He said he was initially "very encouraged" by the public response to the leaked information. "Unfortunately, the mainstream media now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicionless surveillance in human history."
• He said he did not release the NSA documents during the prior administration because then-candidate Barack Obama's campaign promises and election "gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes."
"Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge."
• He said Google, Facebook and other tech companies had been "misleading" in their denials of a giant government surveillance program called PRISM.
"They are legally compelled to comply and maintain their silence in regard to specifics of the program, but that does not comply them from ethical obligation," he said. "If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?"
The British newspaper had asked readers to post their questions to Snowden and recommend their favorites.
The blog was monitored by reporter Glenn Greenwald, who broke the NSA story two weeks ago based on Snowden leaks.
Underscoring Snowden's delicate situation in taking on the NSA, the newspaper included what it called "an important caveat":
"(The) live chat is subject to Snowden's security concerns and also his access to a secure internet connection. It is possible that he will appear and disappear intermittently, so if it takes him a while to get through the questions, please be patient."