The BriefGet Up To Speed
Has Edward Snowden done the U.S. a great service? There is no doubt that his release of highly classified stolen documents has sparked an important public debate, even forcing what could be a major presidential overhaul of the NSA's surveillance programs. But have his actions, which include the downloading of an estimated 1.7 million files, tipped off our enemies and endangered national security? Is Snowden a whistleblower, or is he a criminal?View Debate Page
- Fmr. U.S. Military Analyst & Pentagon Papers Whistleblower
What needs disclosure is the full internal controversy, the secret critiques as well as the arguments and claims of advocates of war and nuclear options the Pentagon Papers of the Middle East.
Crooked politicians will be held accountable. It's in your hands to be on the right side of history and accelerate the process.
Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I dont agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago.
In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowdens release of NSA materialand that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago.
As an urgent matter, the existing secrecy system should be radically contracted and monitored, its current contents generally released (American 'glasnost'), its presumptions debated, challenged and changed.
- Legal Adviser to Edward Snowden & Attorney, ACLU
The ACLUs Ben Wizner discusses whether Snowden is looking for an amnesty deal and the latest developments surrounding the former NSA contractor.
Its long past time for Congress to update our surveillance and privacy laws to ensure that before the government can go digging through our digital lives, it needs to demonstrate to a judge that it has good reason to believe weve done something wrong.
Andrew C. McCarthy
- Fmr. Federal Prosecutor & Contributing Editor, National Review
By disclosing national defense secrets allegedly purloined by a rogue soldier, Assange has damaged American combat operations, intelligence collection and diplomacy.
Yet again, the New York Times was presented with a simple choice: help protect American national security or help al Qaeda. Yet again, it sided with al Qaeda.
To the extent that there is a public right to know, there must also be limitations on that right, fixed in accordance with the kind of country the public wants the United States to be.
As the crusader for liberty Edward Snowden chooses to flee to totalitarian Russia in anticipation of finding a final soft place to land in some socialist dictatorship, Senator Rand Paul continues to defend him as a truthteller.
Being right on the adequacy of the NSA programs structural safeguards, and being right on the law, will count for nothing if Americans are not convinced quickly that there is a real, material, comprehensible connection between the massive data collection and the prevention of terrorist attacks.
Representative Sensenbrenner does not appear to have read the law he wrote.
Ambassador R. James Woolsey
- Fmr. Director, CIA & Chairman, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Snowden has caused great damage to the United States and put a number of people at risk of losing their lives, intelligence officers, intelligence agents and others. (For Woolsey segment, scroll midway down page.)
Former CIA Director James Woolsey had harsh words for anyone thinking about giving Edward Snowden amnesty, and argued the NSA leaker should be hanged if hes ever tried and convicted of treason.
I think Mr. Snowden should get a fair trial, once we can get him as a result of extradition or something. And if I were on the jury, I would vote for as long a penalty as possible to give under the statute.
Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not.
It is clear that the promises of the president and many Democrats were simply untrue.
Why treason charges against the NSA whistleblower don't hold up.
Snowden has committed serious crimes, but he has also performed a considerable public service.
He went too far to be considered just a whistleblower.
Stewart Baker, former NSA general counsel, tell Morning Edition that Edward Snowden advertised his theft of government secrets as an act of civil disobedience and should take responsibility.
For U.S. intelligence officials, the far bigger concern is what foreign intelligence services are learning from Snowden that has not made the front pages of the world's newspapers.
Whether he's a hero or traitor, Americans are already so acclimated to the loss of privacy that his revelations won't unnerve them much.
What was leaked?
An abridged recount of the major 2013 revelations.
This page catalogs various revelations by Edward Snowden, regarding the United States surveillance activities.
The N.S.A. and Britains Government Communications Headquarters were working together on how to collect and store data from dozens of smartphone apps by 2007.
Former NSA contractor tells a German broadcaster that the US agency would collect intelligence from foreign companies that had no national defense value.
To the prosecutors pursuing him, Edward J. Snowden has committed espionage by divulging national secrets. But the growing backlash against government surveillance has spurred a spirited debate about whether he should be forgiven.
If Snowden can be seen as either a brave whistle-blower or a reckless traitor, how should the government handle his case?
Snowden was charged with theft, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person, according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.
Who is actually bringing injury to America: those who are secretly building a massive surveillance system or those who inform citizens that it's being done?
The president's remarks on changes to National Security Agency programs.
See how the president's reforms match up to the views of his own surveillance review board, and to the USA Freedom Act, the leading congressional proposal to rein in NSA spying.
<a title="USA Freedom Act " href="http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/legislation/theusafreedomact.htm">The USA Freedom Act</a> is proposed legislation from Senators Leahy and Sensenbrenner to provide stronger privacy safeguards with respect to a range of government surveillance programs.
The final report of the Review Group with recommended changes to intelligence collection activities.
An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency's program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only minimal benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down.<a name="telephonerecords" id="telephonerecords"></a>
The daily governmental collection of the telephone calling records of nearly every American has deep privacy ramifications, fundamentally alters the relationship between citizens and the state, and threatens to substantially chill the speech and associational freedoms that are essential to our democracy. Any governmental program that entails such costs requires a strong showing of efficacy. We do not believe the NSA's telephone records program conducted under Section 215 meets that standard.
Most say U.S. should pursue criminal case against Snowden.