Snowden fields questions about the “permanent record” and returning to the US

Today in an online session orchestrated by the “Free Snowden” group (which is supported by the Courage Foundation, formerly the Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund), former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden answered 13 questions posed by Twitter users. Snowden, who is currently living under temporary asylum in Russia, discussed his reasoning behind his actions and his hope for the future of intelligence programs in America.

In his typed answers, Snowden repeatedly invoked a report presented on Thursday morning by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), which offered a harsh and unprecedented critique of the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program. According to PCLOB, this program in which the NSA collects millions of records of metadata on phone calls placed by American citizens daily, “was built on a murky legal foundation that raises many constitutional questions and has been proven to be an ineffective tool for collecting unique intelligence information.”

Snowden echoed that belief, writing, “The fact that these records are gathered without the government having any reasonable suspicion or probable cause justifying the seizure of data is so divorced from the domain of reason as to be incapable of ever being made lawful at all, and this view was endorsed as recently as today by the federal government’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight board.”

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

via Ars Technica


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