Editor’s note: This essay is adapted from the author’s coda to the forthcoming volume “Whistleblowing Nation: Disclosing U.S. National Security and the Challenge of Dissent,” edited by Kaeten Mistry and Hannah Gurman, Columbia University Press.
Latest in Surveillance: Snowden NSA Controversy
An apparent disclosure from a congressional staffer on the Lawfare Podcast has generated considerable buzz regarding the fate of a part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that currently
When reading about Snowden, keep in mind the dedicated NSA employees who strive to uphold the rule of law and protect their country.
In his recent book Beyond Snowden: Privacy, Mass Surveillance, and the Struggle to Reform the NSA, civil liberties activist and former intelligence official Timothy Edgar calls for a renewed conversation on mass surveillance reform in the global and digital age. This month, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Edgar on his new book at the Hoover Book Soiree.
Edward Snowden’s theft of files, whatever good it accomplished in igniting a national conversation on surveillance, also opened the door to more aggressive Russian intrusions in cyberspace. How could it not? According to the unanimous report of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Snowden removed digital copies of 1.5 million files; 900,000 of them originated not with the NSA but Department of Defense documents, and concerned, among other things, the newly created joint Cyber Command.
The House Intelligence Committee has made public its full 36-page report on Edward Snowden, which was previously classified. The Committee approved the report in September and previously released an unclassified executive summary. The document is included in full below and is also available here.
To see the Snowdenistas and many media elites clutching for their smelling salts, you’d think my former colleagues at the Washington Post editorial page had stabbed Edward Snowden in the back after swearing a blood oath to protect him to Bart Gellman and the Post’s news team.
Prior to last week, one might have been forgiven for thinking that Edward Snowden had fallen out of the news. Now, however, Oliver Stone’s new film Snowden and the ACLU-Amnesty International campaign to obtain a presidential pardon for the eponymous whistleblower have jointly revived the long-dormant debate over Edward Snowden’s fate.
Jack Goldsmith’s response to my call for a pardon for Edward Snowden deserves a reply. I also have a few thoughts on what Susan Hennessey and Ben Wittes have now added to the debate.
Let’s start with an obvious point: As Jack Goldsmith pointed out last week, President Obama is not going to pardon Edward Snowden. It’s just not going to happen. Period. And everyone involved in the campaign for a pardon for the Moscow-based fugitive is fully aware there is no hope it will come to fruition.