In May of 2013, Edward Snowden began sending some documents to journalists at the Washington Post. At this time, Snowden left Hawaii where he was working for the NSA, telling his supervisor he was going to undergo treatment for epilepsy. He actually went to Hong Kong in anticipation of the backlash for his actions against the NSA. From Hong Kong, he transferred to Ecuador. After a brief time in Ecuador, he was granted temporary asylum by Russian, where he stays to this day.
In a March, 2014 TED talk, Snowden addressed an audience of listeners, via web cam atop a roving robot, which he could control from his location in Russia. During the interview, Chris Anderson asks several questions calling Snowden to defend his actions. Snowden says he’s been called a whistleblower, a hero, and a traitor for revealing the NSA’s controversial practices, but says he sees himself as an American and as a citizen with a right to privacy.
The TED talk can be viewed here: