Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak describes NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as a 'total hero'

Said that Snowden ' gave up his own life' to expose scale of NSA surveillance

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Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak has called NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a “total hero”.

Wozniak said Snowden’s relative youth when he informed the Guardian and The New York Times of the data leak – thus effectively ending the possibility of a normal life in the US – made him even more remarkable.

Snowden, who was 28 when he leaked thousands of highly classified documents he acquired while working for the US National Security Agency (NSA), has been both vilified and praised for his actions.

“Total hero to me; total hero," Wozniak told "Not necessarily [for] what he exposed, but the fact that he internally came from his own heart, his own belief in the United States Constitution, what democracy and freedom was about.”

The American inventor and electronics engineer, who set up Apple with Steve Jobs before leaving the company in the eighties, has defended Snowden before.

"So he's a hero to me, because he gave up his own life to do it," Wozniak told the technology paper.

"And he was a young person, to give up his life. But he did it for reasons of trying to help the rest of us and not just mess up a company he didn't like," he added. 

Almost two years on from Snowden’s leak, opinion still rages over the acceptable limits of government supervision and access to private individuals’ lives – a topic touched on by Wozbniak.

He told the newspaper he was concerned that his technological creations may have allowed authorities’ far greater access than any could have anticipated.