NSA spying: Snowden speaks, USA Freedom Act, privacy as human right

We’re watching, always watching for NSA spying news.

• Edward Snowden says he could “live with” ending up in Guantanamo. In an interview with the Guardian, the now-wanted former tech government contractor — who leaked the secret documents that have revealed massive government spying in the U.S. and elsewhere — said he would prefer to be tried in front of a U.S. jury instead of a single judge.

Snowden is living in asylum in Russia and says he spends his days working on encryption tools to help protect journalists’ sources and data. “An unfortunate side effect of the development of all these new surveillance technologies is that the work of journalism has become immeasurably harder than it ever has been in the past,” he told the Guardian.

• Meanwhile, will the Senate take action soon on reining in NSA surveillance? The House in May passed the USA Freedom Act, which will reform the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records, but Politico notes that the Senate has limited time and plenty on its plate, not to mention a possible lack of political will.

• Is digital privacy a human right? That’s what Navi Pillay, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, says, according to the Washington Post. In a report by her office, Pillay says “governmental mass surveillance [is] emerging as a dangerous habit rather than exceptional measure.” Pillay on Wednesday said “we owe a great deal to” Snowden for helping to start a worldwide discussion on pervasive surveillance in this day and age.


Photo: Edward Snowden speaks to European officials via videoconference during a parliamentary hearing on improving the protection of whistleblowers at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, eastern France, on June 24, 2014.  (Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • Udai Sastri

    It is better off you live and die in your present country. You are a traitor and exposed the lives of 300 million people and let the country in danger. There is no protection for you since you took away giving highly sensitive data to your host and others. You don’t deserve to be here . Perhaps try going to a middle east country and your life and your freedom days are over. Repent for the rest of your life and stop being a bully.

  • The U.S. Constitution is based irrevocably on a balance of power. The so-called intel agencies are acquiring a serious imbalance of power, and the major media being beholden to their advertisers are not going to go too far in threatening that power, and so in (noting the Patriot Act) we are in fact living under benign fascism, as Cokie Roberts said plainly a few years ago on national television. The constant consolidation of corporations with their mergers and acquisitions makes it ever more impossible to challenge the power imbalance, since the top level of corporate power is directly or indirectly contracted to government for products and services, much of which is related to information collection and surveillance. The only refutations I ever read on these issues are ad-hominem attacks against “conspiracy theorists” – never any real facts as Snowden has provided.

  • bobby Roper

    Snowden would do good going to Guantanamo Bay, they would just let him out in a little while anyway. The U.S. calls him a terrorist but the NSA and IRS who are destroying peoples lives they say are not terrorists. When did I wake up and find myself in communist Russia. I hope we can save our country, not looking good. Try the non tracking http://LookSeek.com leave me alone search engine.