“I told the government I’d volunteer for prison, as long as it served the right purpose,” he said. “I care more about the country than what happens to me.

Development of a U.S. counterattack for cyberterrorism that could do more harm than good was one of the final events that drove Edward Snowden to leak government secrets, the former National Security Agency contractor tells Wired magazine.

Snowden, photographed for the story clutching an American flag, said the MonsterMind program was designed to detect a foreign cyberattack and keep it from entering the country. But it also would automatically fire back. The problem, he said, is malware can be routed through an innocent third party country.

“These attacks can be spoofed,” he told Wired. “You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia. And then we end up shooting back at a Russian hospital. What happens next?”

Snowden, 31, also told the magazine he hopes to return to the U.S. someday.

Continue reading →