The live Q&A with the ever popular whistleblower Edward Snowden concluded not long ago after going into overtime, the overall conversation at #AskSnowden re-affirms his position on spying and details his reaction to President Obama’s speech about the NSA and if he would like to come back to the US.
Picking and choosing questions from the loudly chirping twitter feed #AskSnowden, many of the relevant and politically safe questions were responded to in depth. Despite the request from Jason Kirell @jaykirell for Snowden to talk Putin into kidnapping Justin Bieber, more personally relevant questions were answered such as posed by CNN’s Jake Tapper-
“Under what conditions would you agree to return to the U.S.?”
Snowden responded, “Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public and myself, but it’s unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws,” which do not protect independent contractors for the National Security Agency, like Snowden.
On the subject of spying and privacy rights, Snowden that this is a global problem, not isolated to the U.S. and is a necessary evil in maintaining national securities. The NSA’s vast and non-discriminatory program, similar to a “dragnet surveillance” is a clear violation of the Constitutional 4th Amendement.
Snowden noted that the sophisticated abilities our surveillance programs have in place should not include “grandmothers in Missouri.”
Glenn Greenwald took the tweeting (or fleeting) opportunity to tease his ol’ partner asking “As a Russian spy, wasn’t it weird you chose Hong Kong as your place to go? Did you think it was near Moscow?” Nearly 200 followers at #AskSnowden chose to favorite Greenwalds (rhetorical) question.
While Snowden may be miles away from the U.S. , perhaps due to the upcoming Olympics or the governments new independent PCLOB report on the NSA, his mind is obviously on Americans still.
NSA Public Relations @NSA_PR “What is your exact location #AskSnowden”-Retweeted by Glenn Greenwald
Laying out the problem mathematically, Snowden cited the new federal government PCLOB report regarding the NSA and the massive phone surveillance facet, which amounts to at least 120 million Americans, yet the report concluded that not a single instance of terrorism or terrorist plotting could be found from this information. In Snowdens opinion, if the “NSA violated the constitution at least 120 million times under a single program but failed to discover even a single ‘plot’, it’s time to end” a considered failed program.
The news of Edward Snowden to Address Obamas speech reignited a firestorm of both comical and heated opinions, but moreover the volume of people asking questions, confirms his approval rating is definitely higher than Obamas, at least today on Twitter.
A complete archive of the questions that Edward Snowden responded to as well as all relevant documentation to the Snowden snowball effect are archived on the Free Snowden campaign with The Courage Foundation.