NSA Spying

Article submitted by guest contributor Ezra Van Auken.

How much is too much and how much is never enough? That’s the question National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, turned whistleblower, Edward Snowden asked himself before withdrawing from the agency in June. Certainly though, Snowden hasn’t fallen short of data leaks, releasing 200,000 documents to media outlets since his feat against government relations began. Of course, it isn’t the end, and officials know this.

Speaking to the NY Times, an anonymous senior official explained, “They’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of man-hours trying to reconstruct everything he has gotten, and they still don’t know all of what he took,” suggesting that the entire situation is crazy. Not only has whistleblower Snowden managed the largest government data leak in American history, but also the 30-year-old has left officials clueless with how much was comprised.

The task force team assembled after the Snowden leaks, believes the NSA leaker is still holding information, not yet leaked. Rick Ledgett, the leader of the task team, says a fear of more leakage is why administration officials are negotiating amnesty in the US for Snowden, if he decides to stop the Snowden storm. Of course, trusting the same administration that you’ve seemingly betrayed might be beyond Snowden at this point.

And the NSA whistleblower hasn’t hesitated when it comes to the disposal of information, at least to exclusive journalists and officials. Taking into consideration every move by Snowden, it’s almost in President Obama’s best interest to neglect Snowden’s amnesty request, if the option arose. Confirming that premise, the White House said last week that Snowden wouldn’t be rewarded with the option of amnesty.

Spokesperson Jay Carney noted, “Mr Snowden has been accused of leaking classified information and he faces felony charges in the US.” Telling reporters that the whistleblower, which is currently living in Russia, should be brought back to the US for due process. While the administration closes its doors to Snowden, it opens up to foreign countries, briefing officials on what Snowden took and allowing a forum to be adopted.

In all, since Snowden’s storm, the Obama administration has repeatedly moved away from transparency of the NSA. With continued push against privacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the smearing of Snowden and other tactics, Obama’s White House hasn’t been supportive of NSA transparency. In addition to fighting privacy groups, it’s also been the courts.

This past Friday, administration officials tried to pervert a California judge’s ruling on federal, warrantless surveillance. Along with the courtroom mess, the federal government however, did acknowledge their role in warrantless spying since 2001. Arguing in disclosing for information, the government insisted that despite Snowden’s leaks and constant NSA revelations, officials could not provide any more information to the court.

Charlie Savage wrote that officials argued, “Sensitive secrets remained at risk in any courtroom discussion of their details — like whether the plaintiffs were targets of intelligence collection or whether particular telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon had helped the agency.” Director of National Intelligent James Clapper explained that giving classified information to plaintiffs could result in security damage.

Clapper knew what came with the declining of information to California’s court, and that was the possibility of no ruling in the end, which for administration officials wouldn’t be a bad trade-off. Even the Justice Dept. worked to dismiss the entire case itself, asking for no ruling on the violation of the First or Fourth Amendments.

Savage summed up, saying, “The plaintiffs have until late January to file a response. Cindy Cohn, the legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is leading one of the cases, called the government’s assertion “very troubling.” She said that despite the Snowden revelations, it was still essentially saying, “We can’t say whether the American people have been spied on by their government.”

Plaintiffs have until January to reply to the federal government’s case.

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  • BambiB

    Imagine if a citizen were to argue in court that he couldn’t reveal evidence because it might not be in his favor.

    • Grizzly Joe

      That happens all the time … it’s called your 5th. Amendment protections against self-incrimination.

      • Dayton

        No not the same. Prosecutors can subpoena information and question people that have information on you. Any and everything the NSA does is classified so we as the public can not gather any information on them without the risk of of felony charges. It is a stacked deck and to say otherwise is being naive.

    • PJ London

      If I was a defence lawyer, my first resource would be to write Snowden and ask if he has any information that my client can use. If the Gov can hide it, than the defence can expose it.
      Claim that all the prosecution evidence is inadmissible as it came from illegal searches. Force them to prove that the “anonymous tip” came via public and not NSA.

  • Grizzly Joe

    Sorry … but that article was not well written at all.

  • Rich Burdette

    The govt is breaking the laws for sure. That is why they can’t say anything. They say to us: if you have nothing to hide why cant we look. I say the same shit right back at them and of course what is ok for them is not ok for us. This snowden guy, has made the biggest discovery in decades. The govt has been looking into your house with any camera they can, reading all your emails, credit card transactions, medical history, etc etc. They have been committing more corporate espionage than anything. Wonder how we keep the competitive edge….here is your answer. Can you believe the Supreme Court said we can not sue the NSA for violating our rights. Personally, to me, this is the biggest event since 911. There job is to regulate the branches of Govt….instead they have ok’d the tyranny. Now what do you do when they teach your kids the bill of rights, and constitution in middle school and brain wash them to think they have rights like to privacy when the supreme court says they dont. Shouldnt they change the lesson and tell the truth. I am really scared for what the future holds when THE GOVT has no accountability. NONE. Answer me this….who can stop the GOVT? Congress and Senate can not. The president can not. The Supreme Court WONT. Only the people could….but that is why they need to spy bc they know large groups of ppl are planning for a war with the Govt with guns, and computers. What we really need is a coup. For a general who has forces loyal to the constitution they took an oath to uphold to roll some tanks and f-18s into washington and put that “province” under martial law. Then we need to personally hunt down all the politicians,lobbyist, communist and corrupt judges, The FED, corrupt generals ,military leaders,CIA officials, warrantlessly sieze there assets, and force them under oath if need be, and question them. Any dodging of questions, lying, etc will be punished by death, whipping,or life in guantanmo. Yes I am dead serious. Yes it is XMAS so most ppl only care about whats under the tree…..just understand the govt knows what is under your tree already.

  • rcon1

    The False flag attack AKA 9-11 opened the for for this

  • RJ O’Guillory

    ….you might as well simply write that we have given up on The Constitutional form of government that we have been told to believe that we live by…..oh, no..wait..

    ….Now our “secret”…FISA Court that has been “looking out” for us..upholding The Constitution…(Ha!)…made up of government people for government people…and against “we the people”….what a joke….the government has no legal authority to tell anyone what to do…they will simply try to force people through the use of the gun…be ready….

    RJ O’Guillory
    Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family

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  • Nys Parkie

    LIKE !