Absolutley! The people have the right to know!
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
"True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero
A government of for and by the people should be accountable to the people and the people should know what their government is doing. I don't concede authority to the government to spy on me, it is the consent of the governed where our government is suppose to derive its authority. If this isn't the case than we are all living under despotic rule.
Yes he is a patriot. He is more deserving of the nobel peace prize than that asshole Obama.I do wonder if Obama wears it when he is droning little kids.
"This past January, Laura Poitras received a curious e-mail from an anonymous stranger requesting her public encryption key. For almost two years, Poitras had been working on a documentary about surveillance, and she occasionally received queries from strangers. She replied to this one and sent her public key — allowing him or her to send an encrypted e-mail that only Poitras could open, with her private key — but she didn’t think much would come of it. The stranger responded with instructions for creating an even more secure system to protect their exchanges. Promising sensitive information, the stranger told Poitras to select long pass phrases that could withstand a brute-force attack by networked computers. “Assume that your adversary is capable of a trillion guesses per second,” the stranger wrote. Before long, Poitras received an encrypted message that outlined a number of secret surveillance programs run by the government. She had heard of one of them but not the others. After describing each program, the stranger wrote some version of the phrase, “This I can prove.”
Seconds after she decrypted and read the e-mail, Poitras disconnected from the Internet and removed the message from her computer. “I thought, O.K., if this is true, my life just changed,” she told me last month. “It was staggering, what he claimed to know and be able to provide. I just knew that I had to change everything.”
Poitras remained wary of whoever it was she was communicating with. She worried especially that a government agent might be trying to trick her into disclosing information about the people she interviewed for her documentary, including Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks. “I called him out,” Poitras recalled. “I said either you have this information and you are taking huge risks or you are trying to entrap me and the people I know, or you’re crazy.”
The answers were reassuring but not definitive. Poitras did not know the stranger’s name, sex, age or employer (C.I.A.? N.S.A.? Pentagon?). In early June, she finally got the answers. Along with her reporting partner, Glenn Greenwald, a former lawyer and a columnist for The Guardian, Poitras flew to Hong Kong and met the N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, who gave them thousands of classified documents, setting off a major controversy over the extent and legality of government surveillance. Poitras was right that, among other things, her life would never be the same. "
When you delegate authority to the Federal Government, these are the types of activities that they engage in. I have seen many characterizations of this as wiretapping and it definitely is not that; however, it is keeping a massive index of linkages between phone numbers and presumably locations, etc. If this information is being accessed without controls, then that is definitely wrong. If it is being accessed with court approval in specific cases for any number that is associated with a specific number, then I see no objections.
Having a terrorist mistakenly call you is probably going to be very inconvenient. If this is everything that is being presented, then no, Snowden is not a patriot.
"If it is being accessed with court approval in specific cases for any number that is associated with a specific number, then I see no objections."
The FISA court is approving 3 month intercepts of ALL Verizon phone data. Not specific phone numbers, etc. It is doing the same thing with all carriers including ISPs, etc. They can listen to any or all of those calls and as I understand it, they can reconstruct any from the Utah storage depot.
"The FISA court is approving 3 month intercepts of ALL Verizon phone data. Not specific phone numbers, etc. It is doing the same thing with all carriers including ISPs, etc. They can listen to any or all of those calls and as I understand it, they can reconstruct any from the Utah storage depot."
You are mixing up the consolidation of the information (indexing and storage in a database) with accessing that information. You are making up the part about "listening to any and all of those calls". It is the accessing of that information which requires approval on a case-by-case basis and I've seen stories that indicate how many times that has happened--I don't have it handy.
I would prefer that it not be the government that is consolidating the information but I can understand their desire to do so. There are variances in formatting, differences in information captured and the logistics of having all the telco's and ISP's transferring the information. Data is powerful, but it is never pretty.
You should be more concerned about what each individual company does with that information and anything the government would do can't penetrate aluminum foil.
I believe Snowden is a whistleblower and a patriotic American and its almost criminal the way he is treated. The American people have a right to know all the corrupt decisions Obama and his administration are making.
"God Bless Our Troops in Harms Way."
That is not legal, and it is an example where the NSA has went beyond just terrorism and into ordinary crimes by American citizens.