News / USA

Privacy Advocates Praise NSA Contractor Who Exposed US Surveillance Program

Privacy Rights Advocates Praise NSA Contractor Who Exposed US Surveillance Programi
X
June 10, 2013 11:49 PM
Some national security advocates are calling for the prosecution of ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden, who leaked details of a top secret U.S. surveillance program. But Snowden’s supporters say he should be protected as a whistleblower for exposing U.S. constitutional violations of civil liberties. VOA's Brian Padden reports
Brian Padden
Some national security advocates are calling for the prosecution of ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden, who leaked details of a top secret U.S. surveillance program. But Snowden’s supporters say he should be protected as a whistleblower for exposing U.S. constitutional violations of civil liberties. 

To many who support increased security even at the cost of some personal privacy, Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who exposed vast government surveillance programs, is a villain.  

The information he revealed included NSA programs to collect phone records and gain access to the Internet usage of millions of Americans. U.S. officials say the programs are legal and the data they gathered has stopped several terrorist plots.  

Congressman Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wants Snowden to be tried for espionage.

“It's dangerous to our national security and it violates the oath of which that person took. I absolutely think they should be prosecuted," said Rogers.

But to others who think the NSA has exceeded its legal authority, Snowden is a hero for speaking out.  Jesselyn Radack is with the Government Accountability Project.

“I think he is a whistleblower and it was incredibly brave, well thought out, risky action that he took for the benefit of people in this country. So I can’t think of a better definition of a hero," said Radack.

She says the NSA data mining programs that Snowden leaked intrude on the privacy of Americans beyond the limits set by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 2008 and the Patriot Act.

“So the laws have been clearly broken and he definitely disclosed information that reveals massive waste, abuse and patent illegality on a grand scale that I have not seen in a long time," said Radack.

President Obama has said that while the programs are classified, they are authorized by Congress. White House spokesman Jay Carney declined Monday to comment on the ongoing investigation, but said the president has tried to balance privacy rights with keeping Americans safe.  

“I think the president’s record on making the kinds of changes that he promised he would make to the ways that we pursue our fight against al-Qaida and our fight against terrorists and extremists, he has lived up to," said Carney.

Snowden is currently in Hong Kong and plans to seek asylum from any countries that he says believe in protecting free speech and global privacy.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid