By James Bamford for Reuters – The days leading up to last Friday’s release of director Oliver Stone’s Snowden looked like one long movie trailer. The American Civil Liberties Union and other human-right groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to win a presidential pardon for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of its highly classified documents to journalists.
By David Swanson for Counter Punch – Snowden is the most entertaining, informing, and important film you are likely to see this year. It’s the true story of an awakening. It traces the path of Edward Snowden’s career in the U.S. military, the CIA, the NSA, and at various contractors thereof. It also traces the path of Edward Snowden’s agonizingly slow awakening to the possibility that the U.S. government might sometimes be wrong, corrupt, or criminal. And of course the film takes us through Snowden’s courageous and principled act of whistleblowing.
By Ewen MacAskill for The Guardian – Edward Snowden has set out the case for Barack Obama granting him a pardon before the US president leaves office in January, arguing that the disclosure of the scale of surveillance by US and British intelligence agencies was not only morally right but had left citizens better off. The US whistleblower’s comments, made in an interview with the Guardian, came as supporters, including his US lawyer, stepped up a campaign for a presidential pardon. Snowden is wanted in the US, where he is accused of violating the Espionage Act and faces at least 30 years in jail.
By James Bamford for Reuters – In the summer of 1972, state-of-the-art campaign spying consisted of amateur burglars, armed with duct tape and microphones, penetrating the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Today, amateur burglars have been replaced by cyberspies, who penetrated the DNC armed with computers and sophisticated hacking tools. Where the Watergate burglars came away empty-handed and in handcuffs, the modern- day cyber thieves walked away with tens of thousands of sensitive political documents and are still unidentified.
By Andy Greenberg for Wired – WHEN EDWARD SNOWDEN met with reporters in a Hong Kong hotel room to spill the NSA’s secrets, he famously asked them put their phones in the fridge to block any radio signals that might be used to silently activate the devices’ microphones or cameras. So it’s fitting that three years later, he’s returned to that smartphone radio surveillance problem. Now Snowden’s attempting to build a solution that’s far more compact than a hotel mini-bar.
By Russell Brandom for The Verge – For the last three years, one month, and seven days, Edward Snowden has been living in exile from the United States. On May 20th, 2013, he boarded a flight from Hawaii to Hong Kong after setting in motion the most powerful public act of whistleblowing in US history. In the months that followed, the public learned about programs collecting data on every phone call in the United States, attacking private networks run by Google and Yahoo, and hacking into the web’s advertising networks to turn them into tools of surveillance.
By Andrew Rice for NY Magazine – Edward Snowden lay on his back in the rear of a Ford Escape, hidden from view and momentarily unconscious, as I drove him to the Whitney museum one recent morning to meet some friends from the art world. Along West Street, clotted with traffic near the memorial pools of the World Trade Center, a computerized voice from my iPhone issued directions via the GPS satellites above. Snowden’s lawyer, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, was sitting shotgun, chattily recapping his client’s recent activities. For a fugitive wanted by the FBI for revealing classified spying programs who lives in an undisclosed location in Russia
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams – Three years ago on Monday, the world was shattered by news that the United States was conducting sweeping, warrantless surveillance of people, heads of state, and organizations across the globe. To mark the anniversary of those revelations, brought forth by a then-unknowncontractor working for the National Security Administration (NSA), a coalition of public interest groups have launched a new campaign fighting for the expiration of the law that the government claims authorizes its mass spying.
By Jason Leopold, Marcy Wheeler, and Ky Henderson for Vice News – On the morning of May 29, 2014, an overcast Thursday in Washington, DC, the general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Robert Litt, wrote an email to high-level officials at the National Security Agency and the White House. The topic: what to do about Edward Snowden. Snowden’s leaks had first come to light the previous June, when the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman published stories based on highly classified documents provided to them by the former NSA contractor.
By Lauren C. Williams for Think Progress – While police departments flock to use technology that predicts crime, the U.S. military is building a database that goes a step further — predicting who is most likely to reveal state secrets. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is developing a data system that collects information on government employees and contractors with security clearances in hopes of being able to pinpoint those with the potential to become whistleblowers, Defense One reported.
By Trevor Timm for The Guardian – As he wraps up his presidency, it’s time for Barack Obama to seriously consider pardoning whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Last week, Manning marked her six-year anniversary of being behind bars. She’s now served more time than anyone who has leaked information to a reporter in history – and still has almost three decades to go on her sentence.
By Kit O’Connell for Mint Press News – AUSTIN, Texas — Water skiing in the morning, supervising the torture of a prisoner of the global war on terror in the afternoon — that’s just a typical day for National Security Agency personnel. That’s one of the many glimpses of National Security Agency life found in newly released documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks, which reveal the NSA’s intimate involvement with Guantanamo Bay interrogations and the Iraq War, as well as the dramatically increased demand for intelligence after 9/11.