US surveillance whistle-blower Edward Snowden has spoken for the first time since being given asylum by Russia.
Snowden, a former US National Security Agency employee, has released some short video clips posted on the WikiLeaks website.
In the clips he says Washington's spy programs are now limiting the ability of US citizens to speak and think freely, diminishing their creativity, and making their lives insecure.
He has also been highly critical of the US government, which he says has been unwilling to prosecute high officials who have allegedly lied to Congress.
At the same time, he said the US government would "stop at nothing to persecute someone who told them the truth."
Underlining the dangers of NSA spy programs, Snowden said: "It's a sort of dragnet mass surveillance that puts entire populations under a sort of eye that sees everything, even when it's not needed. People all over the world are realizing that these programs don't make us more safe, they hurt our economy, they hurt our country, they limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships, to associate freely. If we can't understand the policies and programs of our government we can't grant our consent in regulating them."
Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia on August 1st had earlier leaked two top secret US government documents which detailed spying programs, under which he proved the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone and Internet records, with added information from Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.