Whistle blower, hero, terrorist…all words used to describe former NSA Intelligence Contractor Edward Snowden. Which one he is however, is up for debate and of course, all depending on who you speak with. As Americans, we wonder why he would risk his life to let information loose on just just our own country, but several others.
Snowden has made several enemies since he let his first bit of information loose some time ago. Some want him dead, some want him in prison, and some want him to get a Noble Peace Prize. Regardless of how anyone feels about Snowden, it doesn’t seem like he is willing to stop doing what he calls “the greater good”.
Edward appeared on TED for a Talk recently. He spent over 30 minutes talking about Internet safety and security as well as things that the NSA was doing. He claimed that there were things that the NSA did even behind Congress’ back. On top of this, they would form secret courts that were, of course, bias. This was all in an effort to get what they wanted in some form of legal terms that was technically, illegal.
Edward did not appear live in front of the Canadian TED crowd, rather appeared on the screen of a telepresense robot. He was of course in hiding somewhere in Russia. You wouldn’t have expected anything different from Snowden, would you?
Snowden mentioned that the NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year. He claimed that officials would say that no rules were broken, yet they broke literally their own rules. He claims one event on it’s own out over 2,000 rule breaks affected more than 3,000 people. Snowden said in another event that intercepted all of the calls in Washington D.C by accident.
What was most alarming, according to Snowden, was that the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein had not seen this report until the Washington Post contacted her for comment. She of course then requested a copy from the NSA. Snowden proceeded to ask the audience, “what does that say about the state of oversight in American intelligence when the Chairman has no idea that rules are being broken thousands of times every year?”
Snowden went over a lot about what was hidden from the American people as well as those around the world. The Internet is a valuable tool and journalists as well as normal people should be able to know what it going on. We shouldn’t have our privacy invaded.
Of course, due to this, there was of course going to be people from the NSA who did not agree with Snowden.
NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett happened to be one of those people, shocker right?
What really sent Ledgett over the edge, potentially, was that at the end of the Talk, Snowden claimed that this was not the last of his revelations, saying:
“There are absolutely more revelations to come. Some of the most important reporting to be done is yet to come.”
That obviously would make the NSA go on edge a bit, including a certain Deputy Director. Ledget said, regarding Snowden:
“He absolutely did have alternatives. I think that characterizing him as a whistleblower hurts legitimate whistle-blowing activities.”
Obviously, the NSA and other organizations outside of the country do not want to see Snowden get away with more things being released. They are at his whim, it seems. Snowden admitted that he had been given the opportunity to return to the United States and would love to come back. Yet, he would not be making a deal to do so. Edward claimed that he, by no means, is doing this for anything more than the greater good. So, it will not take deals just to benefit himself.
Ledgett tried to disclaim several things Snowden said in his talk just days prior with his own TED Talk. Yet most of us know this is mostly a damage control tactic.
Of course, this is a commendable act by the former NSA member. What exact does Edward Snowden mean by more revelations to come however? He also says that some of the most important things have yet to come out, so, could we see some earth shattering news in the coming months? Time will tell.
Check out Edward Snowden’s full TED Talk below: