Obama Appointee Praises Snowden for Putting ‘Spotlight’ on Privacy

FTC chairwoman says many were unaware how they could be tracked online.

The U.S. and Britain spied on OPEC, according to documents released by Edward Snowden.
National Journal
Brendan Sasso
Add to Briefcase
Brendan Sasso
Feb. 10, 2014, 7:24 a.m.

Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion Chair­wo­man Edith Ramirez said Monday that the leaks by Ed­ward Snowden about Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency sur­veil­lance have led to a pos­it­ive pub­lic dis­cus­sion about pri­vacy.

“It’s been a cata­lyst for very healthy de­bate for pri­vacy gen­er­ally,” she said dur­ing a dis­cus­sion at a tech­no­logy con­fer­ence at the Uni­versity of Col­or­ado, say­ing the leaks “put a spot­light on the is­sue more broadly.”

Ramirez em­phas­ized that her agency has jur­is­dic­tion over only the com­mer­cial sec­tor and that she wasn’t mak­ing any com­ment about the na­tion­al se­cur­ity im­pact of Snowden’s ac­tions. But she ar­gued that the news aler­ted people to how chan­ging tech­no­lo­gies have al­lowed for the track­ing and col­lec­tion of in­form­a­tion about nearly their every ac­tion on­line.

The FTC, an in­de­pend­ent ex­ec­ut­ive-branch agency, is the main reg­u­lat­or for com­mer­cial pri­vacy is­sues. The agency uses its power over “un­fair” or “de­cept­ive” busi­ness prac­tices to sue com­pan­ies like Face­book and Google that vi­ol­ate the terms of their own pri­vacy policies.

Obama named Ramirez as chair­wo­man of the agency last year. She had served as one of the five FTC com­mis­sion­ers since 2010. 

The Snowden leaks have also dam­aged the repu­ta­tion of the U.S. over­seas, Ramirez said at Monday’s con­fer­ence. She ar­gued that it’s im­port­ant that the United States co­ordin­ate its pri­vacy rules with au­thor­it­ies in Europe and else­where.

The news re­ports about how the NSA spies on for­eign cit­izens and lead­ers have un­der­mined trust in the United States on pri­vacy is­sues and hurt its abil­ity to ne­go­ti­ate, she said.

What We're Following See More »
SAYS TRUMP JUST ATTACKING REPUBLICANS
Former Top Aide to McConnell Says GOPers Should Abandon Trump
3 days ago
THE LATEST
“YOU CAN’T CHANGE HISTORY, BUT YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT”
Trump Defends Confederate Statues in Tweetstorm
3 days ago
WHY WE CARE
CEOS HAVE BEEN FLEEING FOR THE EXITS
Trump to End Business Councils
4 days ago
THE LATEST
FROM STATEMENT
McConnell: “No Good Neo-Nazis”
4 days ago
THE LATEST
NO FORMAL LEGISLATIVE EFFORT
CBC Members Call for Removal of Confederate Statues from Capitol
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are reviving calls to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol following the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia." Rep. Cedric Richmond, the group's chair, told ABC News that "we will never solve America's race problem if we continue to honor traitors who fought against the United States." And Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said, “Confederate memorabilia have no place in this country and especially not in the United States Capitol." But a CBC spokesperson said no formal legislative effort is afoot.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login