Snowden: The NSA is also engaged in industrial espionage

The whistle-blower will appear on German television Sunday night with new claims about the U.S. intelligence agency

Published January 26, 2014 2:40PM (EST)

It's not just national security: in an interview with German television, former U.S. intelligence contractor turned whistle-blower Edward Snowden alleged that the NSA is also spying on foreign industry.

"I will say is there is no question that the U.S. is engaged in economic spying," Snowden said in a teaser released by German public television broadcaster ARD.  For example, he said, "If there is information at Siemens that they think would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they'll take it."

Filming from an undisclosed, highly protected location in Russia, where he's been granted temporary asylum, Snowden also told the interviewer that he's no longer in possession of the stolen NSA data, having entrusted it instead to "selected journalists." He added that he's no longer involved in deciding what information should be made public.

ARD didn't provide any further context for Snowden's claims about industrial espionage, according to the Associated Press -- meaning we'll have to wait for Snowden's television appearance to find out precisely what he's accusing the NSA of doing with that information.

By Lindsay Abrams

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