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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid