Edward Snowden, The Dark Prophet

He pulled off the year's most spectacular heist. Exiled from his country, the 30-year-old computer whiz has become the doomsayer of the information age

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Edward Snowden
Illustration by Jason Seiler for TIME

That is the thing that led him to break the law, the notion that mass surveillance undermines the foundations of private citizenship. In a way, it is the defining critique of the information age, in which data is increasingly the currency of power. The idea did not originate with Snowden, but no one has done more to advance it. “The effect has been transformative,” argues Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been helping Snowden from the confines of the Ecuadorean embassy in London. “We have shifted from a small group of experts understanding what was going on to broad public awareness of the reality of NSA mass surveillance.” If Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is the sunny pied piper of the new sharing economy, Snowden has become its doomsayer.

The Information Grid

When electronic surveillance began, with the invention of the telegraph and radio, the only way to record an intercept was with ink and paper. Now there are technologies that allow for the wholesale copying, sorting and storage of billions of records a day—everything that passes through a fiber-­optic cable, for instance, or gets beamed through the airwaves. By itself, this is a revolutionary development. But its real power comes from the way regular people have changed their behavior. In the 19th century, humans rarely produced electronic signals. Now almost every part of daily existence can cast off bits and bytes.

The cell phone in your pocket records your movements and stores that information with your service carrier. The e-mail, chat and text messages you create map your social relations and record your thoughts. Credit-card purchases show spending habits and tastes. Mass-transit databases note when you board subways and buses with fare cards. The search terms you enter into your ­laptop—preserved­ by Google in ways that can be used to identify your computer for a standard period of nine months—may tell more about your deepest desires than anything you would ever admit to a friend or lover.

Then there are the emerging technologies that will soon add even more information to the grid: The wearable-computing devices that monitor your pulse. The networked surveillance cameras rigged with facial-recognition software. The smart meters that record what time of night you turn out the lights. Retail companies like Nord­strom and Apple have debuted technologies that use your cell phones to track how long you linger before any single display. The possibilities are dizzying, and your information funds the whole enterprise. “Surveillance is the business model of the Internet,” explains Bruce Schneier, a security technologist who has access to some of the documents Snowden provided.

Snowden’s theft revealed a massive, secret U.S. national-security state—$52.6 billion a year, with more than 30,000 employees at the NSA alone—struggling to come to grips with this new surveillance potential in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Electronic intelligence historically focused on foreign governments and their public officials, but the hijackers who took down the World Trade Center were private individuals, born abroad and living in the homeland. So as the rubble still smoldered, the great arrays set up by the NSA turned inward and shifted focus. The subjects of collection grew to include patterns within entire populations and historical data that could literally retrace the steps of individuals years before they became suspects. The challenge, explained one NSA document made public by Snowden, was to “master global ­networks and handle previously unimagined volumes of raw data for both passive and active collection.”

So new databases were built, and ground was broken on a massive classified data center in the Utah desert that will need as much as 1.7 million gal. (6.4 million L) of water a day just to keep the computer servers cool. And the data was collected. Since 2006 the U.S. government has gathered and stored transaction records of phone calls made in America. For a time, the government sucked up similar metadata on Internet traffic as well. Cellular location data, mostly from foreign-owned phones, has also been collected, with some 5 billion records a day absorbed by databases that can later be used to reconstruct a person’s movements or find out who joins a meeting behind closed doors.

One NSA document released by Snowden estimated that 99% of the world’s Internet bandwidth in 2002 and 33% of the world’s phone calls in 2003 passed through the U.S., an accident of history that proved a gold mine to sift through, with or without the cooperation of American companies. The agency hacked overseas cables and satellites and surreptitiously sucked information transiting among foreign cloud servers of U.S. technology companies like Google and Yahoo. It harvested and stored hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant-messaging accounts on services like Yahoo and Facebook. A program called Dishfire sucked up years’ worth of text messages from around the world, and a database by the name of Tracfin captured credit-card transactions. “High performance computing systems must extract meaning from huge data sets and negate data encryption and computer access controls,” reads a 2007 classified NSA mission statement released by Snowden. “Fortunately, information management and mining is central to the Internet age.”

The NSA is not the only one playing the game. It just does it better, on a grander scale, than anyone else, at least so far. Russia and China have similar surveillance infrastructures, say current and former U.S. officials, and petty dictatorships the world over have been buying their ­technology on the open market. When rebels overthrew Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, they found a device from the French company Amesys that allowed the dictator to gather up and search in bulk the Internet traffic generated by his people. No Libyan activist had been safe to send an unencrypted e-mail or post a Facebook comment. The company’s sales pitch, later leaked to WikiLeaks, began with a slide that read, “From lawful to massive interception.”

Privacy Protections

With all this information now public, the important questions are easy to spot: What should distinguish democratic governments from totalitarian ones in an era of mass surveillance? Are privacy protections a human right or just a convenience of nationality? Can the massive U.S. ­national-security apparatus be trusted to make the right choices in secret when the next crisis comes? Even President Obama encourages the conversation as he continues to seek Snowden’s imprisonment. “I think it’s healthy for our democracy,” he said just weeks before the White House refused to confirm or deny its role in rerouting the plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales after a false rumor that Snowden was on board.

In an interview with Time conducted via e-mail in early December, Snowden ­explained his answers to those big questions, even as he allowed for the fact that the U.S. public he sees himself serving may not ultimately agree. The privacy of regular citizens, he believes, is a universal right, and the dangers of mass surveillance litter the dark corners of the 20th century. “The NSA is surely not the Stasi,” he argued, in reference to the notorious East German security service, “but we should always remember that the danger to ­societies from security services is not that they will spontaneously decide to embrace mustache twirling and jackboots to bear us bodily into dark places, but that the slowly shifting foundation of policy will make it such that mustaches and jackboots are discovered to prove an operational advantage toward a necessary purpose.”

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226 comments
GuenterFalz
GuenterFalz

PERSON OF THE YEAR is not necessarily a positive attribute. Hitler once was person of the year. I'd say, Snowden would be closer to THAT category than the positive one. Although nobody knew at the time Hitler became PERSON OF THE YEAR how brutal he would become,  the writings were on the wall.

ChandraZarembinski
ChandraZarembinski

I don't care if he felt like he was "saving" the poor misguided American people.  He could have handled this differently.  Instead, he has undermined our safety and our military's hard work.

JohnNagel
JohnNagel

On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA about this agency:


“In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.


If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.


I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."

MichaelWensink
MichaelWensink

IS THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY'S NAZI HERITAGE A FACTOR IN ITS CURRENT CULTURE

At the end of World War 2 the United States Army rounded up all of the Nazi intelligence officers it could locate. The most notable individual included in this group was Heinrich Muller who was know to be in the custody of the US Army in December of 1945. Muller was head of the Nazi Gestapo, the Nazi's homeland security service. Muller participated in the planning for the extermination of Europe's Jews and others the Nazis considered to be undesirable and ordered the murder of may Germans who opposed the Nazis and may others. Muller disappeared after World War 2 was never found and was never held accountable for his crimes. There is evidence that Muller was located in Washington DC, at Fort Mead between 1948 and 1952. Fort Mead is the location of the National Security Agency headquarters. Muller was also observed to be in the company of Allen Dulles who was head of US National Intelligence after the war and was instrumental in the development of America's intelligence community, including the NSA, after World War II. Muller was said to be Dulles' right had man, Muller was also Heinrich Himmler's right hand man.

MichaelWensink
MichaelWensink

Who would you rather have watching your back in a dangerous situation, Obama or Snowden?

bbowski
bbowski

Wow.  Time really missed their mark on this one.  Yes, the Pope was the clear choice if not for Edward Snowden.  But lets be serious....  the actions of this man are monumental not just for the moment, but for decades to come.  The involvement of two top world leaders, the nations top security agency and officials, congress, federal courts, the whole population of the United States watching, listening, learning, millions of national security documents in virtual limbo the list goes on and on.  One of our nation's greatest assets suddenly exposed as one of our greatest weaknesses by a 30 year old with a GED and the brains to pull it off.  There is no analogy to explain the impact of what Edward Snowden has done.  Even the debate of right verses wrong will be analyzed for years to come.  Conviction or amnesty? Previous winner and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg could barely scratch the surface of Edward Snowden's actions. Ted Cruz....  a clown in the circus of American politics to sum it up in 10 words or less; enough said.  I greatly respect the Pope and his influence on millions of Catholics in bringing the Catholicism into the 21st century.  But Edward Snowden has redefined the world in the 21st century and forced us to reassess what we want to make of it.  Winner.... Edward Snowden.  Loser..  Time Magazine. 

ChandraPanchabhikesan
ChandraPanchabhikesan

Snowdon has achieved notoriety and continues his treacherous path. The ex-NSA contractor has no scruples as he tries to sow discord through his revelations. As long as he is given asylum in Russia, he is relatively safe but how long will President Putin continue to protect him? Once a traitor always a traitor!


Pancha Chandra Brussels 

cyber_nicco
cyber_nicco

I would have liked to see Time have the courage to give Snowden the man of the year distinction.  If for no other reason than that I think the issue of corporate and government snooping needs to be on everyone's mind.

vbunkow
vbunkow

The NSA and our Government should give Snowden the Medal of Honor for bring out their weakness in Protecting this Nation before they hang him for Treason. You have to admit that he showed us our weak points even with all the Trillion dollar machinery and Technical  know-how. Basically we suck when it comes to common sense and human decency. It's always money, money by the jackasses. We have the worse politicians when it comes to honesty, morals or ethics. Our wars become entertainment while we kill innocent men, women and children and disrupt the lives of hundreds of million people including our own service men and women. And the laws we pass only favor money and the powerful. Our Presidents and Politicians lie without impunity. Maybe Snowden did us a favor even though as an American I think it was wrong.

deebeemoore
deebeemoore

WOW, the people of America never stop shocking me with their stupidity.  You don't like the people in government, then stop electing old white men who only want to control you, remember slavery is still alive in their minds.  LONG live the NSA and they should not trust any of you.  YOU can't be trusted!!!  Not even to pass a law that would stop the killing of our children in schools.  Snowden should be in jail and I live for the day, they put that COWARD right where he belongs on death row.  This man is just like a man carrying a gun into a mall, he has made it more dangerous for your children and their children.  The girlfriends, wives, boyfriends and husbands are checking your email, phones and asking you where have you been more than the NSA.  I know the court battle has begun for the NSA and maybe they think they have won, but they haven't just yet.  People should be more concerned with stopping their children from taking their guns and injuring and killing the innocent.  Focus on stopping government from making it harder to vote.  Focus on stopping your daughters from having children at young age.  Just saying if your not contacting terrorist, then worry about what's for dinner instead.

mapelp7
mapelp7

Edward Snowden managed to show the world that the emperor has no clothes. It's really ironic that in a world where our government spends billions of dollars to control the messages that the world sees and that most governments assent to, a young American manages to shatter this ilusion with the truth. While the US President keeps insisting that he will only consider vengeance againts the messenger that called his bluff, the world's opinion is reacting to the revealed truths and realizing that compasion, mercy and forgiveness are much better ways to solve our many problems. Mr. President, you really gave new meaning to your slogan, "yes we can."

LaurieDobson
LaurieDobson

Thank you, Edward Joseph Snowden, may you live long and prosper. PS please encourage the release of information regarding 911, for all those who believe the active involvement of our own government was the most massive heist of U.S. information, regarding the actual perpetrators, not just the purported hijackers.

andi-70
andi-70

Canonizing a person who purposefully wormed his way through all our safeguards and oaths, systematically stole millions of secrets, and took those secrets to our most ardent adversary is an affront to everything our elected government has been doing to keep us safe in an extremely unsafe world is wrong. His most ardent supporters appear to be a toxic mix of either seething former government insiders who now despise our system or people who know next to nothing about what is really going on. This activist could have become a potent force for corrective change within the US without stealing and lying and fleeing to Russia, of all places. The only thing he has accomplished now is to make us look weak and vulnerable. His acts were clearly premeditated so it is not possible to believe he acted alone or that he is the only worm. Spineless times we live in.

WilliamHamilton
WilliamHamilton

Besides being very frugal and kissing diseased homeless people, really just what has this new Pope done that can be considered a concrete achievement? Edward Snowden (on the other hand) has exposed a governmental police state in the making. We now are aware of the contempt congress has for the citizens that have elected it members. It appears to me that TIME has selected the Pope to lessen public push back and placate the religious right retards.

Whatanotion
Whatanotion

"What should distinguish democratic governments from totalitarian ones in an era of mass surveillance?"

Ed Snowjob cannot read the above quote from the article and infer "Sovereign Public;" and its ramifications such as self monitoring.  He should have stayed in school and read the history lessons instead of passing a slow ball GED. 

Snowjob reminds me of the kid who shows up late to the hunting party and shouts out "Be Quiet or THE DOVES WILL HEAR US !!"   Yes Snowjob; we know.


obummer
obummer

TRAITORS ARE NOW TIME'S HEROS.

I will remember as subscription time is near!

noun:  a person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc.:they see me as a traitor, a sellout to the enemy.

Greendogo
Greendogo

Time... why is a man of Mendelian courage 2nd to a rich capitalist hating religious thug?  Just because Pope Francis is a media darling and different from most popes?  Well Edward Snowden is different from the common man; he put himself in harm's way exposing the atrocities of a tyrannical superpower.  What did Francis do?  Get elected pope and make a few pronouncements supporting the poor?  Well bully for him, but that's not even close to what Snowden did - not even in the same universe.  Get over yourself Time, your list done, for me at least.  I'm no longer listening.

Winchestermom
Winchestermom

Did he ever try working things out inside the NSA or did he just go outside?

JamesR.Pannozzi
JamesR.Pannozzi

Appalling editorial COWARDICE on the part of Time.    How they have fallen, how sad. 


And.... "He pulled off the year's most spectacular heist" ??   A "HEIST" ??    That would be describing a bank robber or jewel thief involved in an activity for personal gain to improve their lives....


Snowden could not possibly have done this for personal gain and was well aware it would ruin his life to dare expose what was really going on at the top secret (laughter welcome) "Puzzle Palace"  which,  it turns out, was actually the "Contractor's Circus Tent" with perhaps your average Circus having better "security" than they did. 


Go ahead "Time", play it safe.   Even more reason to ignore you in the future.   


The Internet has exploded with sources of information,   the time of TIME...... is done.



paradigmshift
paradigmshift

"come to grips with this new surveillance potential in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks" -------- PAAHHAA! You really STILL believe the "official story" of 9/11?? Where have you been the last 12 years?

Duffman
Duffman

If only his family had more $ like that punk in Texas, he'd be on probation.

GaryRMcCray
GaryRMcCray

Edward Snowden has shown us the dangers of secrecy, wherever things are done in secret it is to the advantage of those with the secret information and to the disadvantage of everybody else.


We in the US supposedly live in a democracy championing liberty and equal rights above all.


Secrets are things to be taken advantage of by the few to control and manipulate the many.


Our countries very foundation is anathema to secrecy.


Our leaders fool themselves into thinking it is necessary for "National Security".


But in the end the power given to the few by the secrets always exceeds the value to the people.


And Snowden has allowed us to see just how far our leaders morality has fallen and how much it is about power and not about protecting us.


The danger to America is not in exposing our secrets it is in the mentality that our secrets are more important than the people are.


Snowden is a hero of the first order, he has literally sacrificed himself for us.


Heros are always traitors to somebody, it is the ones who think he is a traitor that we must beware of. 

PhillyCannabis
PhillyCannabis

A champion of freedom loses to a guy in a clown outfit. What? 

ChandraPanchabhikesan
ChandraPanchabhikesan

Sadly Snowdonhas has not distinguished himself in any positive way. Rather he has tried to use underhand ways of gaining fame, or more appropriately, notoriety. It is really sad that spies are given so much attention after stealing state secrets!


Pancha Chandra  Brussels

PoetUninspired
PoetUninspired

@GuenterFalz  So you're saying that Snowden is a traitor and does not deserve to be given any kind of praise for the American people now knowing about them being spied on?

LaurieDobson
LaurieDobson

And as for person of the year, who has permanently placed his life at extreme risk on behalf of humanity? Snowden, who reminds me of Jesus far more than the Pope. Like Jesus, he was the same age when he set about telling the truth and making some very powerful enemies whom he has exposed as lying hypocrites and frauds. Forget Time's cheap tribute; this man should instead be recognized for sainthood, and will be, in the annals of history.

Verratus
Verratus

@andi-70 He obeyed his oath to the Constitution which he kept at his desk at the NSA. The founders would be throwing Snowden a party and asking when they were going to take down the neo american empire.

DaaC
DaaC

@andi-70 What makes you think he purposely wormed his way through our safeguards? He was an OUTSIDE CONTRACTOR, not even a full-fledged employee of the US government, and had access to the NSA programs that could have allowed him to spy on current friends, enemies, exes, you name it. Not only is the NSA grossly violating the Constitution, their internal security SUCKS. The story, as Snowden says it, was that he was an outside contractor who slowly realized how unethical the NSA spy program was on its citizens. And then leaked the information he knew to the press.

wesleywt
wesleywt

@andi-70 I didn't know that the American public is the ardent enemy of the American government? 

JagPop
JagPop

@WilliamHamilton Thank you for your post and "exposed a governmental police state in the making"


In 2003 the NSA was an essential tool in a war of aggression.


"During the Nuremberg trials, the chief American prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, stated: To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."


The NSA was a maggot that gutted our democratic principles.


After the WMD pretext for invading Iraq rang hollow we defaulted to "promoting democracy". We were going to democratize Iraq and the world so that people would become accustomed to democratic principles and act accordingly. Nations would then interact with each other according to democratic principles and the world would become a more peaceful place.


So it was in 2003. The US and Britain took their grievances with Iraq to the United Nations. The Security Council supported inspections and **voted** "serious consequences" if Iraq did not comply.


Bush and Blair wanted war but "serious consequences" was not language that legitimized invasion. So Bush and Blair went back to the United Nations for another vote - a second resolution.


There were two factions at the UN, one faction supported continued inspections the other supported immediate invasion.


The US was and is the champion of democratic principles. Behind the Electronic Curtain was/is the NSA.


"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
-Joseph Stalin


Bush The Decider let loose his maggot and the NSA bugged the phones of the homes and offices of the UN delegations. The NSA also read the emails of the UN delegations. Those countries that were found by the NSA to be leaning towards voting for continued inspections were extorted, particularly through economic pressure.


Finally, as the day for the vote on the second resolution approached, the NSA gave it's count to Bush. Bush did not have the needed votes. The true act of voting was pre-empted and it was Decided that we had to pull the second resolution and substitute it with an illegal invasion - a War Of Aggression.


If the NSA had not gutted our democratic values and the second resolution had gone to a vote then Bush, no matter how criminally arrogant, would never have dared to invade. The UN would have explicitly and clearly voted against invasion. Inspections would have continued. Thousands of our soldiers would be alive today, tens of thousands of soldiers permanently injured would be whole today.

In 2003 the NSA was an essential tool in a war of aggression. Enveloped by the Electronic Curtain our belief and promotion of democracy is a true act of hypocrisy.



WilliamHamilton
WilliamHamilton

@obummer

Republican politicians in Congress are traitors and saboteurs!

They are traitors because for more than twenty years they have allowed their cronies in big business to ship our jobs and factories over seas.There is no question that they have been bought and sold by Wall Street.

They are Saboteurs because for the past five years they have sabotaged the function of Congress and have (unquestionably) become the party of “NO!”They continue to sabotage every effort to put Americans back to work. Not because they believe that it is in the best interest of the people, but rather they simply want to be contrary and childish.

To me that is clearly misfeasance and malfeasance and they need to be held accountable in a court of law.

MicanoHumble
MicanoHumble

@obummer He is not a traitor Bummer..... He is just a God sent messiah to the underpriveledge people of the world,WHOM AMERICANS HAS BEEN RIPPING OFF ALL ALONG!!!.... TOO bad

Bry2013
Bry2013

@Greendogo I think the biggest hurdle for anyone is to for them to get over themselves.  Could that be the reason why you are no longer listening???

MicanoHumble
MicanoHumble

@Greendogo Hey Dogo, i think before you start criticizing the opinions, you should first think of the criteria involved in the processing of selections. Just like you've said, they are both 2 different people with different impacts of people lives in the Universe...... So please be calm and stop procrastinating 

Outis
Outis

@Winchestermom

Ever heard of Thomas Drake or William Binney? They used to work within the NSA. They went through the system inside the NSA and tried to whistleblow that way. 

Whelp, they attempted to prosecute Drake through the Espionage Act, but they failed because he had no connections with foreign players.

Binney, on the other hand, had a lovely welcome from the FBI. Pointed guns at his son, his wife and himself (he was taking a shower). Asked to spill "intelligence" on Drake so they could prosecute him. 

Snowden did his research (said he admired the hell out of Drake, and was emotional when he came to award him with the Sam Adams award) and realized going within internal checkpoints would just isolate him as a target. 

T968rs
T968rs

"Hey guys, I know I'm just a contracted and therefore have no power within the actual NSA or the larger intelligence community, but after sitting here at my desk for a few years and reading all these documents...I am pretty sure you are all violating the basic human rights of millions of people and that this has well-funded authority of the highest official order, starting over a decade ago."

- not Snowden to NSA

Seriously?

Bry2013
Bry2013

@GaryRMcCray If it took this "Snowden" character to show you something then you really do have your head in the sand.  Where were you when the Patriot Act was passed.  Also, you are wrong some secrets are more important than people..  It just depends upon the circumstances.  If Snowden is your hero then the possibility exists that you may need to evaluate some things again.  

MicanoHumble
MicanoHumble

@GaryRMcCray YES THAT IS TRUE GARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMERICAN GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN LIVING IN THE CAMOUFLAGE WORLD!!!!.......................THANK GOD FOR SUCH BEING

MicanoHumble
MicanoHumble

@ChandraPanchabhikesan THIS IS NOT ABOUT STATE PRODUCTS SIR, IT IS ABOUT HUMAN INTEGRITY AND RIGHT TO PRIVACY WHICH THE AMERICAN GOVT HAS BEEN CAMPAIGNING TO THE WHOLE WORLD.... NOW WE HAVE KNOW THE REAL CAMPAIGN WORTH!!!..... SO I GUESS YOU SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE THAT YOUR CELL PHONE IS NO LONGER YOUR PERSONAL PRODUCT...HEHE

JohnNagel
JohnNagel

@Dawkale @MichaelWensink Actually, though I dont know about this specific case, it is a well known fact that Nazi scientists were recruited after WWII. Google Operation Paperclip and wake up.

DaaC
DaaC

@andi-70 Also, the idea that most Snowden supporters are former "government insiders" is laughable and naive. 

Bry2013
Bry2013

@MicanoHumble@obummer Did you say "God sent Messiah??"  Sounds like you have a problem with America versus anything else.  Your opinion and you are entitled to it as misguided and spiteful as it is. 

yuchmich
yuchmich

@Bry2013 Jeez, get the stick out of your ass. Most people don't give a flying **** about things like the PATRIOT Act, AUMF, NDAA budgets, etc, etc


So what, you know about these things for years . . .  millions of people do, and millions of people don't. And for those people, Snowden is important.

Bry2013
Bry2013

@MicanoHumble@ChandraPanchabhikesan My first question is why are you shouting??  Secondly, with the advent of the Internet and cell phones you haven't had privacy for a long time.  You have just been led to believe that or worse you have convinced yourself of something. 

GuenterFalz
GuenterFalz

@DaaC @andi-70 The Americans are paralyzed by the fear their government could turn into Talibans or worse. They have totally lost their sense for reality. That fear makes them buy guns like idiots: We have defend ourselves against an oppressive government. It's kind of in their genes. One of their greatest President's, Lincoln, was called a tyrant by his clueless opponents. They call Obama now "Emperor", not as bad as tyrant, but the same idea. History repeats itself.

denluvbug
denluvbug

@ChandraPanchabhikesan @Bry2013 @MicanoHumble well i agree to that perspective of a " TRAITOR"..... But now the real question is that, WHAT ID THE MOTIVES BEHIND SUCH DESIRES ARE ALL FOR THE BENEFIT OF MANKIND?\

Secondly, as he categorically stated that, He decided to reveal all those details because he just couldn't continue living his life peacefully knowing that hundres and thousands of Americans are been deprieved of their basic human rights daily and for decades to come!..

Now, isn't that a sign of a HONEST BEING IN THE HUMAN RACE???

ChandraPanchabhikesan
ChandraPanchabhikesan

@Bry2013 @MicanoHumble @ChandraPanchabhikesan 


Firstly I am not shouting but am trying to make you see reason  Here an ex-N.S.A contract official steals government documents and passes them to foreign governments. Obviously he has an axe to grind namely to discomfort the government and curry favour with foreign powers. His intentions are by no means pure at all. Hiding in Russia and trying to get the leadership there to protect him while he runs down his own government are the hall -marks of a traitor.

Pancha Chandra Brussels