Skip to comments.NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to hold Q&A Thursday
Posted on 01/23/2014 8:02:21 AM PST by MeshugeMikey
Edward Snowden is expected to offer his opinion of President Obama's NSA reforms during a Webcast question-and-answer session on Thursday. It will be Snowden's first live chat since he began releasing classified internal documents last June that revealed the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, according to FreeSnowden.is, the support site hosting the hour-long Q&A. Snowden, who is currently living in exile in Russia, was charged with espionage after reportedly stealing 1.7 million classified documents from US government computers.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.cnet.com ...
There's a reason for that; it's not that they hate America (though I'm sure some do), it's because the violations he exposed were terrible injustice — the "other side" likes to conflate things using the basic-idea/faulty-logic that to discriminate is bad, so to be indiscriminate is good. (Hour long vid explanation.)
But there's something good there that's being co-opted: a desire for Justice. (Satan tries to turn what is good to evil purposes.)
In the article John Boyds Roll Call: Do You Want to Be Someone or Do Something?
[direct link], Col. Boyd phrased things this way:
Tiger, one day you will come to a fork in the road: And youre going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go.Snowden chose to do something.
He raised his hand and pointed. If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments.
Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed another direction. Or you can go that way and you can do something something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you wont have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. Thats when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?
“Cheney, Bolton and Michelle Bachmann have condemned him as well.”
I always wonder how it was possible to start a impeachment process against Bill Clinton for not keeping his wiener under control, when the house misserably fails to start a impeachment process on Obama for spying millions of US citizens ?
Because Clinton's impeachment was about perjury and Broderick's rape, not sex. To date, Obama has not been caught. Perhaps Snowden has the evidence.
Is anybody following on Twitter? I don’t know how to maneuver around Twitter...I’m hangin’ around in hopes somebody will be tossing us some crumbs. :p
Found this: http://www.freesnowden.is/asksnowden/
@VilleThompson What do you think about Obamas whistleblowing protection act? #AskSnowden
One of the things that has not been widely reported by journalists is that whistleblower protection laws in the US do not protect contractors in the national security arena. There are so many holes in the laws, the protections they afford are so weak, and the processes for reporting they provide are so ineffective that they appear to be intended to discourage reporting of even the clearest wrongdoing. If I had revealed what I knew about these unconstitutional but classified programs to Congress, they could have charged me with a felony. One only need to look at the case of Thomas Drake to see how the government doesnt have a good history of handling legitimate reports of wrongdoing within the system.
@auerfeld #AskSnowden do you think its a shame that #Obama gave his #NSA speech before his Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board reported?
The timing of his speech seems particularly interesting, given that it was accompanied by so many claims that these programs have not been abused.
Even if we accept the NSAs incredibly narrow definition of abuse, which is someone actually broke the rules so badly we had to investigate them for it, weve seen more instances of identified, intentional abuse than we have seen instances where this unconstitutional mass phone surveillance stopped any kind of terrorist plot at all even something less than an attack.
To back that up with the governments own numbers, according to the NSA Inspector General, weve seen at least 12 specific, intentional cases of abuse by the NSA.
In contrast, the federal governments independent PCLOB report on the NSAs mass phone surveillance today (which stated the NSA has spied on at least 120,000,000 American phones under this program) said this:
We are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack.
At the press conference, Judge Wald stated this program, which has been operated in secret for years, has no basis in law. The panel determined this kind of mass surveillance is illegal and should be ended.
When even the federal government says the NSA violated the constitution at least 120 million times under a single program, but failed to discover even a single plot, its time to end bulk collection, which is a euphemism for mass surveillance. There is simply no justification for continuing an unconstitutional policy with a 0% success rate.
In light of another independent confirmation of this fact, I think Americans should look to the White House and Congress to close the book entirely on the 215 BR provision.
@MichaelHargrov1 #AskSnowden Was the privacy of your co-workers considered while you were stealing their log-in and password information?
With all due respect to Mark Hosenball, the Reuters report that put this out there was simply wrong. I never stole any passwords, nor did I trick an army of co-workers.
@RagBagUSA #AskSnowden what (in your opinion) is the appropriate extent of US national security apparatus? Surely some spying is needed?
Not all spying is bad. The biggest problem we face right now is the new technique of indiscriminate mass surveillance, where governments are seizing billions and billions and billions of innocents communication every single day. This is done not because its necessary after all, these programs are unprecedented in US history, and were begun in response to a threat that kills fewer Americans every year than bathtub falls and police officers but because new technologies make it easy and cheap.
I think a person should be able to dial a number, make a purchase, send an SMS, write an email, or visit a website without having to think about what its going to look like on their permanent record. Particularly when we now have courts, reports from the federal government, and even statements from Congress making it clear these programs havent made us any more safe, we need to push back.
This is a global problem, and America needs to take the lead in fixing it. If our government decides our Constitutions 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable seizures no longer applies simply because thats a more efficient means of snooping, were setting a precedent that immunizes the government of every two-bit dictator to perform the same kind of indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance of entire populations that the NSA is doing.
Its not good for our country, its not good for the world, and I wasnt going to stand by and watch it happen, no matter how much it cost me. The NSA and the rest of the US Intelligence Community is exceptionally well positioned to meet our intelligence requirements through targeted surveillance the same way weve always done it without resorting to the mass surveillance of entire populations.
When were sophisticated enough to be able to break into any device in the world we want to (up to and including Angela Merkels phone, if reports are to be believed), theres no excuse to wasting our time collecting the call records of grandmothers in Missouri.
@Valio_ch #asksnowden Do you think that the Watchdog Report by Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board will have any impact at all?
I dont see how Congress could ignore it, as it makes it clear there is no reason at all to maintain the 215 program. Let me quote from the official report:
Cessation of the program would eliminate the privacy and civil liberties concerns associated with bulk collection without unduly hampering the governments efforts, while ensuring that any governmental requests for telephone calling records are tailored to the needs of specific investigations.
12 p.m. PT Thursday
Questions for Snowden can be submitted on Twitter on Thursday using the #AskSnowden hashtag.
@jaketapper #AskSnowden Under what conditions would you agree to return to the U.S.?
Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but its unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which through a failure in law did not cover national security contractors like myself.
The hundred-year old law under which Ive been charged, which was never intended to be used against people working in the public interest, and forbids a public interest defense. This is especially frustrating, because it means theres no chance to have a fair trial, and no way I can come home and make my case to a jury.
Maybe when Congress comes together to end the programs the PCLOB just announced was illegal, theyll reform the Whistleblower Protection Act, and well see a mechanism for all Americans, no matter who they work for, to get a fair trial.
Hi Jim. I am sitting here in the lounge at KGB headquarters with my new best pal, Vlad. We are going over old reports of just where to land nukes on Langley. Oh, and we KNOW the exact GPS coordinates. Smile.
@mperkel #ASKSNOWDEN They say its a balance of privacy and safety. I think spying makes us less safe. do you agree?
Intelligence agencies do have a role to play, and the people at the working level at the NSA, CIA, or any other member of the IC are not out to get you. Theyre good people trying to do the right thing, and I can tell you from personal experience that they were worried about the same things I was.
The people you need to watch out for are the unaccountable senior officials authorizing these unconstitutional programs, and unreliable mechanisms like the secret FISA court, a rubber-stamp authority that approves 99.97% of government requests (which denied only 11 requests out of 33,900 in 33 years http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/fisa-court-nsa-spying-opinion-reject-request. Theyre the ones that get us into trouble with the Constitution by letting us go too far.
And even the President now agrees our surveillance programs are going too far, gathering massive amounts of private records on ordinary Americans who have never been suspected of any crime. This violates our constitutional protection against unlawful searches and seizure. Collecting phone and email records for every American is a waste of money, time and human resources that could be better spent pursuing those the government has reason to suspect are a serious threat.
Im going to stop here. My deepest thanks to everyone who sent questions, and whether or not we agree on where the lines should be drawn, I encourage you to contact your members of congress and tell them how you feel about mass surveillance. This is a global problem, and the first step to tackling it is by working together to fix it at home.
If youd like to more ideas on how to push back against unconstitutional surveillance, consider taking a look at the organizations working together to organize https://thedaywefightback.org/ .
The problem for the intel community is that they’re providing no net benefit for all their snooping:
The money quotes:
We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation...”
The failure to identify Mihdhars presence in the United States stemmed primarily from a lack of information sharing among federal agencies, not of a lack of surveillance capabilities, the report said, noting that in early 2000 the CIA knew Mihdhar had a visa enabling him to enter the United States but did not advise the FBI or watchlist him. ...This was a failure to connect the dots, not a failure to connect enough dots.
That wraps it up for me. If the NSA can’t point out actual wins, then roll them up, turn the building over to the private sector for commercial real estate and call it done. With the room-temperature IQ of some of the terrorists out there, if they can’t find actionable intel with all the capabilities they have, then the NSA is worse than useless.
I so agree. Can’t make myself see Snowden as anything but a whistle blower for the sake of the American people, willing to pay a terrible price— maybe the ultimate one before this ends.
As for his escape to Russia, why not Russia? Putin at this time is more alligned with the American *right* than Obama ever was, and has the same contempt. Who else offered to accomodate Snowden, big enough to make Obama back off?
As for the “secrets”, Snowden already distributed them to reporters in London.
Where would we be without Snowden.?
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