"As an employee of a private company rather than a direct employee of the US government, I was not protected by US whistleblower laws, and I would not have been protected from retaliation and legal sanction for revealing classified information about lawbreaking in accordance with the recommended process."
"In an August news conference, President Obama said there were 'other avenues' available to someone like Snowden 'whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.' Obama pointed to Presidential Policy Directive 19 -- which set up a system for questioning classified government actions under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. However, as a contractor rather than a government employee or officer, Snowden was outside the protection of this system. 'The result,' Snowden said, 'was that individuals like me were left with no proper channels.'"