NSA

Editor's note on Aug. 17 at 11:25 a.m. ET: A clarification and links to the ombudsman's critique of this post have been added.

Leaders of high-tech companies, including Google and Facebook, descended on the White House Friday for a meeting with President Obama on the subject of privacy. The meeting itself was private. But aides say Obama wanted to hear from the CEOs about their concerns with the government's high-tech surveillance.

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has leaked large amounts of classified information about the agency's electronic surveillance programs, spoke via video to a sympathetic audience at South By Southwest Interactive on Monday.

Saying Edward Snowden has "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order" by exposing U.S. surveillance practices and forcing a new debate over security and privacy, two Norwegian politicians nominated the former intelligence contractor for the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday.

If he were to win the award, Snowden, who gave a trove of classified documents to media outlets last summer, would join the ranks of popular Nobel Peace laureates such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden says that when he leaked classified documents about some of the United States' most sensitive surveillance programs, he did so alone and without any help.

In an interview with The New Yorker, Snowden called whispers that he received help from Russia's security service "absurd."

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