The founder of the WikiLeaks website said on Saturday that President Obama’s announcement of changes to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance program this week vindicated Edward Snowden’s release of information about the program.

“Today the President of the United States validated Edward Snowden’s role as a whistleblower by announcing plans to reform America’s global surveillance program,” WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange said in a statement.

“But rather than thank Edward Snowden, the president laughably attempted to criticize him while claiming that there was a plan all along, ‘before Edward Snowden,’” Assange continued. “The simple fact is that without Snowden’s disclosures, no one would know about the programs and no reforms could take place.”

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