Snowden: ‘No Chance’ of Fair Trial for Me in U.S.

The former NSA contractor answered questions Thursday culled from Twitter in a wide-ranging online session.

A portrait of Edward Snowden declaring him a 'hero' is seen during a protest against government surveillance on October 26, 2013 in Washington, DC. The disclosures of widespread surveillance by the US National Security Agency of US allies has caused an international uproar, with leaders in Europe and Latin America demanding an accounting from the United States. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
National Journal
Dustin Volz
Jan. 23, 2014, 11:01 a.m.

Fu­git­ive and former Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency con­tract­or Ed­ward Snowden called “in­dis­crim­in­ate mass sur­veil­lance” of com­mu­nic­a­tions a “glob­al prob­lem” Thursday and urged the United States to take the lead in re­form­ing the way gov­ern­ments col­lect and store bulk data.

“I think a per­son should be able to dial a num­ber, make a pur­chase, send an SMS, write an email, or vis­it a web­site without hav­ing to think about what it’s go­ing to look like on their per­man­ent re­cord,” Snowden said dur­ing an on­line ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion. “Par­tic­u­larly when we now have courts, re­ports from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, and even state­ments from Con­gress mak­ing it clear these pro­grams haven’t made us any more safe, we need to push back.”

The web­site frees­nowden.is hos­ted the live event, which came less than a week after Pres­id­ent Obama enu­mer­ated a series of re­forms to the NSA. The di­git­al event asked Twit­ter users to sub­mit ques­tions us­ing an #AskS­nowden hasht­ag.

Re­spond­ing to a ques­tion from CNN an­chor Jake Tap­per, Snowden said that re­turn­ing to the U.S. would be “the best res­ol­u­tion” for both him and the gov­ern­ment but that cur­rent es­pi­on­age laws mean there is “no chance to have a fair tri­al.” 

Snowden, who is be­lieved to still be liv­ing in Rus­sia after earn­ing tem­por­ary asylum there, has been busy try­ing to re­main rel­ev­ant in re­cent weeks. Last week the Free­dom of the Press Found­a­tion an­nounced Snowden’s ap­point­ment to its board of dir­ect­ors, a group that already in­cludes journ­al­ists Glenn Gre­en­wald and film­maker Laura Poitras. In Decem­ber, Snowden de­clared in an in­ter­view with The Wash­ing­ton Post that he had “already ac­com­plished” his mis­sion. 

Mean­while, a new poll finds a ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans be­lieve the gov­ern­ment should pur­sue a crim­in­al case against Snowden.

Snowden was also asked wheth­er it was “a shame” that the pres­id­ent out­lined his NSA re­forms be­fore the Pri­vacy and Civil Liber­ties Over­sight Board pub­licly re­leased its re­com­mend­a­tions, which were re­leased Thursday and called for an end to the NSA’s bulk col­lec­tion of tele­phone re­cords. Snowden said he thought Con­gress could not ig­nore the re­port “as it makes it clear there is no reas­on at all to main­tain” the tele­phone metadata col­lec­tion pro­gram.

Mem­bers of the PCLOB have in­sisted that they were able to fully coun­sel Obama on their opin­ions and that they har­bor no ill will against the pres­id­ent for the tim­ing of his speech.

This is Snowden’s second pub­lic Q&A ses­sion, fol­low­ing one with Gre­en­wald held shortly after his first leaks were pub­lished in June 2013.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
1 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×