The father of National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has pleaded with his son to stop leaking information and to return home to the United States, the Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Snowden, 29, is hiding in Hong Kong after admitting to the most significant leak of classified US information in decades.
“We want you to be safe, we want you to be happy, but I know you’re your own man and you’re going to do what you feel that you have to do,” Edward’s father, Lonnie, said during an interview with Fox News.
“I believe firmly that you are a man of principle. I believe in your character,” he said. “I don’t know what you’ve seen, but I just ask that you measure what you’re going to do and not release any more information.”
Snowden also spoke of his concerns for his son and the way he was being talked about in the media.
“I'm here because I'm really concerned about the misinformation in the media. He is a sensitive, caring young man. This is the Ed that I know,” said Snowden.
“He just is a deep thinker.”
Snowden said he disagreed with the surveillance actions of the US government and security agencies, which his son revealed by leaking classified NSA documents to the Guardian.
"I don't want them reading my email," said Snowden.
"I don't want them reading my text. In my opinion they have no right. Not even under the guise of ‘Oh we need to keep you safe’.
"If we say, ‘Oh my gosh we're going to have to sacrifice our freedom because of the threat of terrorism,’ well then the terrorists have already won because it's our freedoms that make us Americans."