Speaking to a San Francisco technology conference via video, whistleblower Edward Snowden assures the audience he is not "an unhappy ending", but in fact "actually more fulfilled now".
The former US spy agency contractor wanted to encourage more whistleblowers to come forward at the RightsCon conference, which focused on free speech, The Guardian reports.
"I don't think I'm an unhappy ending. I don't think this is this great deterrent. I'm actually more fulfilled now, more connected now and more effective now in my work," he said.
Mr Snowden leaked classified programs and documents to media outlets three years ago, and currently lives in Russia.
It's the image of whether Snowden has suffered for his actions, which determines his influence on future whistleblowers coming forward, The Guardian reports.
Former Obama administration officials have suggested a possible plea deal with Snowden, and he says he would return to the US if he could be guaranteed a fair trial.
Many of the western surveillance programs he slammed continue to operate; however, Mr Snowden does draw crowds for his video appearances.
RightsCon organiser Amie Stepanovich said on stage the room was unusually full for an early morning session.