Barack Obomba and his minions have claimed that the metadata that their PRISM program is entirely benign as only certain information has tracked and recorded on millions upon millions of Americans. As though offering proof of that contention, they have said that they aren’t recording conversations, as though that would be the only actual intrusion into our privacy, and for recordings and transcripts, they would need warrants. Few warrants have ever been denied. But being ignorant of what these two different kinds of intrusions in fact entail, this interview was very helpful to my understanding, and I reckon that it might be for you, as well.
Also from Democracy Now this morning: Is Edward Snowden a Hero? A Debate with Journalist Chris Hedges & Law Scholar Geoffrey Stone; it’s a bit long, but Hedges makes it clear what’s at stake, and has distilled his talking points well.
Earlier today the Guardian reported that Snowden had met for an interview with the South China Morning Press in which he said he intends to “he intends to “ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” and was about to reveal new information. Interestingly, the SCMP website’s servers are down now. Hopefully they’ll be up again soon; journalist Lana Lam had promised an hour or two ago to have the full interview up soon. From Lam:
The ex-CIA analyst has been holed up in secret locations in Hong Kong since fleeing Hawaii ahead of highly sensitive leaks revealing details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance of its citizens.
Snowden’s actions have been both praised and condemned globally. But he told Post reporter Lana Lam: “I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.”
Today, he reveals:
*more explosive details on US surveillance targets
*his plans for the immediate future
*the steps he claims the US has taken since he broke cover in Hong Kong
*his fears for his family
Dave Lindorff, who speaks Chinese and lived in China for several years, has an interesting take on ‘Why did Edward Snowden go to Hong Kong?’; and is in direct opposition to Ken Klippenstein’s ‘Greenwald Botches NSA Leak’, which blames Greenwald for the danger that Edward Snowden faces in Hong Kong, and seems to believe that Glenn could have steered him toward a country in Latin America.
In case you’re interested in what one Democratic Senator from Minnesota had to say about recent revelations on all of this, Al Franken said that he knew all along this was going on, and:
“I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people,” Franken said.
Franken, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he got secret security briefings on the program and he says it prevented unspecified terrorist acts.
“I have a high level of confidence that this is used to protect us and I know that it has been successful in preventing terrorism,” Franken said. (It just struck me funny.)
Added: The Guardian has developed a tool that they say will allow you to discover what the metadata looks like for the services that you use. The page shows an example, and then shows what could be surmised in the conversations between David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell. Heh.
Stay safe, Edward Snowden. What an incredible service you’ve done for us, as have Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake, Julian Assange, and many other whistleblowers whose consciences would not allow them to remain silent. And thank you, as well, Glenn Greenwald, for your dedication to the truth and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
[Updated]: “As news of the NSA’s secret surveillance programs spread this weekend, Twitter did what it does best: mockery. User Darth asked followers to contribute titles for #NSAKidsBooks, which were then turned into beautifully hilarious works of art. Darth has kindly allowed us to share them.”