US Opinion and Commentary

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In His Own Words – Snowden’s Ex-Boss Reflects

Posted September 21st, 2016 at 12:12 pm (UTC-4)
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I woke up early to attend a leadership meeting at Church. My attention in the meeting was frequently distracted with the events of the week….My phone had blown up with missed calls and text messages. The first text…simply read, “Looks like your worst nightmare came true. Wasn’t Ed your employee?”

Pardon Edward Snowden?

Posted September 16th, 2016 at 4:28 pm (UTC-4)
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Thanks largely to a movie debuting across the United States, Edward Snowden is back in the media spotlight and his fate debated anew.
Snowden is the former intelligence contractor who leaked sensitive documents about secret U.S. surveillance programs in 2013. He then fled the United States and has since been living in Moscow after Russia granted him political asylum.
Snowden claims to be a whistleblower who uncovered surveillance activity by the National Security Agency that was eventually deemed unconstitutional and then prohibited by congressional action. Federal prosecutors charged him with three felonies under the 1917 Espionage Act.
Three human rights organizations are urging President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden for his alleged crimes, which they characterize as “an act of conscience.” But a new House Intelligence Committee report portrays Snowden as “a serial exaggerator and fabricator” who caused” tremendous damage to national security.” The committee urged Obama against a pardon.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday Snowden should return to the U.S. and face the charges against him.
Edward Snowden: patriot or pariah?

Does Privacy Trump Security? Apple Thinks So

Posted February 18th, 2016 at 4:10 pm (UTC-4)
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It has been just over two months since a married Muslim-American couple opened fire on a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 co-workers. Since then, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been investigating the couple, who appear to have been inspired by Islamic State. But investigators have been unable to access information stored on one of the suspect’s password protected iPhone. Using an obscure law, written in 1789 — the All Writs Act — the FBI got a federal judge to order Apple to place a back door into its iOS software in order to gain access. This week, Apple CEO Tim Cook answered the FBI with a firm “no,” setting off a huge debate, much of it on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. The question of privacy versus national security is reminiscent of the revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which revealed the extent to which the U.S. government is “listening” to its citizens.Encryption, back doors, government spying all summon up the fantasy world of George Orwell’s famed novel “1984.” Sixty-seven years later, Americans ponder the same dilemma, while weighing legitimate needs of law enforcement.

The Snowden Effect on Government Surveillance

Posted June 5th, 2015 at 1:53 pm (UTC-4)
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Fan or not of exiled NSA leaker Edward Snowden, he has become the poster boy for online privacy. The US Congress gave Snowden supporters a victory this week by allowing sections of the Patriot Act to expire that gave the government the ability to scoop up and store telephone metadata from millions of Americans who have no connection to terrorism.

Expiration of US Patriot Act Sparks New Debate on Surveillance

Posted June 1st, 2015 at 2:03 pm (UTC-4)
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Ever since former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, now exiled in Moscow, leaked the reach of the US government’s surveillance on the public in the name of preventing terrorism, a new energy about official “spying” has erupted across the globe.