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

Snowden’s hope, he continued, is that the disclosure will force five distinct civic bodies—the public, the technologist community, the U.S. courts, Congress and the Executive Branch—to reconsider the path ahead. “The President,” Snowden wrote, “could plausibly use the mandate of public knowledge to both reform these programs to reasonable standards and direct the NSA to focus its tremendous power toward developing new global technical standards that enforce robust end-to-end security, ensuring that not only are we not improperly surveilling individuals but that other governments aren’t either.”

As for the technologists like him, it is important that they know as well what is being done, so they can invent new ways to protect citizens. “There is a technical solution to every political problem,” Snowden argued. One of the NSA programs he revealed, called Bullrun, described a $250 million annual effort to engage with “the U.S. and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products’ designs,” providing the spies a back door to encrypted communications. Though the law-­enforcement purpose of such an effort is clear, as terrorists and foreign powers experiment with encryption, Snowden believes private citizens also have a right to create unbreakable encryption software. “In general, if you agree with the First Amendment principles, you agree with encryption. It’s just code,” he wrote in an e-mail to Time. “Arguing against encryption would be analogous to arguing against hidden meanings in paintings or poetry.”

America In the Dark

The NSA, for its part, has always prided itself on being different from the intelligence services of authoritarian regimes, and it has long collected far less information on Americans than it could. The programs Snowden revealed in U.S. ­surveillance agencies, at least since the 1970s, are subject to a strict, regularly audited system of checks and balances and a complex set of rules that restrict the circumstances under which the data gathered on Americans can be reviewed. As a general rule, a court order is still expected to review the content of American phone calls and e-mail ­messages. Unclassified talking points sent home with NSA employees for Thanksgiving put it this way: “The NSA performs its mission the right way—­lawful, compliant and in a way that protects civil liberties and privacy.” Indeed, none of the Snowden disclosures published to date have revealed any ongoing programs that clearly violate current law, at least in a way that any court has so far identified. Parts of all three branches of government had been briefed and had given their approval.

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↳ Click to enlarge | TIME Graphic by Heather Jones

But the court rulings and briefing books that undergird the surveillance programs have long been so highly classified and technically complex that they remained opaque to the public. Snowden believed that the standard for review needed to be different, with transparent public debate and open court proceedings. In the tradition of other national-security whistle-blowers, who have played a role in the messy American system of checks and balances by leaking the Pentagon Papers and the details of President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, Snowden decided he had an individual obligation to defy his government and his own contractual obligations. “What we recoil most strongly against is not that such surveillance can theoretically occur,” he wrote to Time, “but that it was done without a majority of society even being aware it was possible.”

At the time Snowden went public, the American people had not just been kept in the dark; they had actively been misled about the actions of their government. The provision of the 2001 Patriot Act that allowed for the collection of American phone records, for instance, was publicly described as analogous to a grand jury subpoena by the Department of Justice, suggesting individual secret warrants. But secret interpretations told a different story. “Tell me if you’ve ever seen a grand jury subpoena that allowed the ­government on an ongoing basis to collect the records of millions of ordinary Americans,” said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a longtime critic of the programs, in a recent speech.

In a 2012 speech, NSA director Alexander said, “We don’t hold data on U.S. citizens,” a statement he apparently justified with an unusual definition of the word hold. Months later, National Intelligence Director James Clapper told Congress in an open session that the NSA did not “collect” any type of data on millions of Americans. After the Snowden documents were leaked, Clapper apologized for his “clearly erroneous” answer, saying he was only giving the “least untruthful” response possible in an unclassified setting. “When someone says ‘collection’ to me, that has a specific meaning, which may have a different meaning to him,” Clapper said.

Intelligence officials have now been forced to join the public debate, and Obama has authorized the declassification of thousands of pages of documents. Nonetheless, current and former government officials say the way Snowden went about leaking his documents and the documents he selected will cause clear harm to his country’s legitimate interests. “We have seen, in response to the Snowden leaks, al-Qaeda­ and affiliated groups seeking to change their tactics,” warned Matthew Olson, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, in July. Snowden has maintained that he did not download information that would put other intelligence officials in danger or give up sources and specific methods to foreign rivals of the U.S. But his disclosures were also not limited to revealing the mass surveillance of otherwise innocent civilian populations.

In late June, Snowden was booked in window seat 17A of this Aeroflot plane flying from Moscow to Havana, but he never boarded.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

In late June, Snowden was booked in window seat 17A of this Aeroflot plane flying from Moscow to Havana, but he never boarded.

While in Hong Kong, Snowden gave an interview and documents to the South China Morning Post describing NSA spying on Chinese universities, a disclosure that frustrated American attempts to embarrass China into reducing its industrial-espionage efforts against U.S. firms. A story that showed up in Der Spiegel, using Snowden documents, showed how British spies working with the U.S. used fake Linked­In accounts to install malware on the computers of foreign telecom providers. Other stories have given details on NSA spying operations on traditional surveillance targets like diplomatic delegations at international summits. And many of the most controversial disclosures in the Snowden documents concern not mass surveillance but the targeting of foreign leaders. “They’re being put out in a way that does the maximum damage to NSA and our nation,” says Alexander. “And it’s hurting our industry.”

American technology and telecommunications companies, some of which have long histories of cooperating with the NSA, have also suffered as a result, and they are scrambling to increase encryption of their systems and assure foreign customers of their commitment to privacy. A December paper by eight U.S. technology giants, including Apple, Facebook and Google, called on the U.S. government to end to “bulk data collection of Internet communications” and “limit surveillance to specific, known users for lawful purposes.” In India, government officials may soon be barred from using e-mail with servers located in the U.S., and recent estimates say the risk to American firms in the emerging marketplace for cloud computing could reach $180 billion. In a recent earnings call, Robert Lloyd—­president of development for Cisco Systems, a provider of Internet hardware—said the revelations were already affecting overseas sales. “It’s certainly causing people to stop and then rethink decisions, and that is, I think, reflected in our results,” he said.

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232 comments
TheAmazingvishal
TheAmazingvishal

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.

TheAmazingvishal
TheAmazingvishal

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

ThisIsNotJohn
ThisIsNotJohn

The pope is such a snazzy dresser; and there are so many more Catholic magazine buyers.


This one is a no-brainer.  It's a miracle Snowden got runner-up.


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. 

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?

MariaNedry
MariaNedry

Snowden. Obama is stabbing our backs.

MariaNedry
MariaNedry

Your not American. You don't what traitor Is!

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

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.

ChandraPanchabhikesan
ChandraPanchabhikesan

@MariaNedry


One does not need to be American to see right from wrong. As a fair minded person, one sees how Snowdon abused the trust placed on him. He simply blew it and has only himself to blame for his current difficulties with the American Administration. Divulging your country's secrets to foreign powers is certainly not done.

Pancha Chandra  Brussels

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.

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.

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