The Snowden Leak: U.S. Spying and National Security
In the vast, secretive world of U.S. intelligence -- a realm of clandestine agents, voracious super-computers and eagle-eyed satellites -- it turns out the IT guy is the weakest link. That vulnerability has been exposed by Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old contract worker at the National Security Agency who disclosed a program to collect Internet data and a massive culling of Americans' phone records. Now, amid warnings of compromised intelligence in a world of terror threats, members of Congress are calling for the prosecution of Snowden, champions are calling him a hero, libertarians are crying Big Brother, and Americans are trying to figure out how they feel about it all. Full coverage below.
The U.S. asked Russia to expel Edward Snowden so he can face charges back home for exposing classified government surveillance, as the former intelligence contractor sought asylum in Ecuador after leaving Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s decision to let Edward Snowden leave despite a U.S. warrant for his arrest spared the city a legal battle that would have left it trapped between the competing interests of Chinese and American leaders.
Edward Snowden, whose disclosure of U.S. electronic surveillance operations led to his being charged with espionage, faces the same question confronting earlier fugitives from American justice: where to run?
Hong Kong’s decision to let Edward Snowden leave despite a U.S. warrant for his arrest will hurt relations between U.S. and China, Representative Peter King, a New York Republican who serves on both the House Intelligence and Homeland Security committees, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV today.
Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, said his legal advisers have talked with lawyers for Edward Snowden to help arrange asylum in Iceland for the American contractor who leaked information on U.S. electronic surveillance methods to newspapers.
President Barack Obama and former national security contractor Edward Snowden are mounting public relations campaigns over a classified U.S. surveillance program leaked by Snowden, with Obama promising to declassify details and Snowden seeking vindication of his motives.
Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified documents about government surveillance programs, said he didn’t reveal any U.S. operations “against legitimate military targets.”
Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.
Counterintelligence and criminal investigators are examining whether Edward Snowden, the technology contractor who leaked details about classified U.S. spy programs, might have been recruited or exploited by China.
China should seek more information from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and demand the U.S. explain itself over the surveillance program he exposed, the nation's government-controlled media said.
Hong Kong civic groups plan a protest against any U.S. efforts to extradite Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has admitted revealing a secret U.S. electronic surveillance program.
The head of the National Security Agency said he would seek to make more information public about electronic surveillance of citizens while emphasizing that disclosure of the programs has done “great harm” to the U.S.
With the U.S. Justice Department working on possible charges, the former contractor who says he disclosed a government program to broadly collect telephone and Internet records said he would fight extradition from Hong Kong, where he fled before revealing his identity.
Worldwide attention on disclosures of once-secret U.S. surveillance programs may hinder efforts to track terrorist communications even though sophisticated terror groups almost certainly suspected the eavesdropping.
Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers, wrote a column this week praising Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor whose revelations have cast new light on the extent of the government’s electronic surveillance.
Senator Rand Paul is itching to challenge the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the American Civil Liberties Union has already filed such a suit. Justice Sonia Sotomayor might be glad to see them both there.
If everything Edward Snowden says is true, he is a criminal whose actions may have endangered American lives. He is also a conscientious citizen, risking career and liberty to expose what he believes to be grave wrongdoing. This is the paradox underlying government surveillance programs in general, and in particular the shaky foundations of the U.S. national security apparatus.