Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Snowden explains the danger the program presents to you.

Edward Snowden, the individual who blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's massive data gathering program, has revealed a number of personal details about himself, including his motives with the Guardian.

Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Snowden, whistleblower, NSA, surveillance, program, leak, classified, Obama, Bush, disappearance


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Edward Snowden is 29 years old. Just today, he disappeared from his last known location in a Hong Kong hotel. He has good reason to disappear. He is a wanted man.

Last week, Snowden disclosed to journalists whom he carefully selected, that the National Security Agency has been spying on all Americans, aggregating data about their online activity, their phone calls, and more.

Edward Snowden, until recently, lived a very comfortable life. Formerly employed by the CIA and a defense contractor, he had the opportunity to see the inner workings of one of the world's most comprehensive data mining programs.

During his time as an operative for the CIA, and later as an employee for the Booz Allen Hamilton, a defense contractor for the CIA, Snowden was able to obtain documents that revealed the extent of the domestic surveillance program.

Snowden released his identity this week, speaking to reporters and appearing on camera. He has revealed intimate details about his life, including his Social Security number, his expired diplomatic passport, and other personally identifying information.

Despite his coming out of the woodwork, he has stated that he does not want attention to be focused on him, but rather the programs that he feels are eroding privacy and freedom in the United States.

He has not sought money, nor does he seek notoriety, although he does seek asylum as he fears he may be killed or imprisoned for his disclosure. Snowden insists however, that he has done nothing wrong, and therefore he should not have to fear going public.

Snowden described his motivation saying, "I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in. My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

Snowden explained what is happening and why it's dangerous to you. "Even if you're not doing anything wrong you're being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call."

"Then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer."

That's a lot of power.

According to his interview with the Guardian, Snowden made his final preparations three weeks ago. He photocopied carefully selected documents. Those documents were chosen specifically to prevent harm to individuals. They do not name specific people, but rather simply disclose the nature of the monitoring program.

According to the Guardian, Snowden has hardly left his room since arriving in Hong Kong. He has worked very diligently, leaking documents to various journalists and waiting for the news to break. He has taken many precautions to ensure his safety, and to prevent from being spied on. He always lines the crack of his door with pillows to prevent anyone from the outside hearing in, and when he logs into his computer, he covers his head and laptop with a large good to prevent any hidden cameras from seeing his password.

Snowden is aware that the most powerful secret agency in the world is looking for him. He is also keenly aware that the Chinese could arrest him to question him for information, or that the CIA could even pay off criminal gangs in Hong Kong to hunt him down and murder him. He told his interviewer, "I don't expect to see home again."

Snowden told reporters he was leaking the documents because he believes what the government is doing is wrong, and has a corrosive effect on privacy and freedom.

Snowden said he first became aware of the program when he started working for the CIA in Switzerland, under the Bush administration. He did not come forward at that time because he said he was hopeful that Obama would pull back some of the emerging policies of the Bush administration that he felt were intrusive. Instead, the Obama administration literally doubled down on Bush's policies. He witnessed things become worse, not better.

Thus disillusioned, he resolved that he would have to make the American public aware of what was being done to them, even if it meant great personal sacrifice on his behalf.

"You can't wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act," he told his interviewer.

Stone said that he believes the NSA's surveillance net will soon become irrevocable, and that "what they are doing poses an existential threat to democracy."

For Snowden, the issue is so great that he seems willing to sacrifice his comfortable life: a home in Hawaii, a girlfriend, a generous salary with benefits, and a prestigious job to expose what may be one of the greatest government infringements on personal liberty in history.

What is becoming clear, is that over the past decade, the federal government has continued to encroach on the individual liberties of Americans, in the name of safety. These surveillance programs were all launched as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Now, 13 years later, we see that the target of the terrorist attacks wasn't merely the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, but rather reached into the very fabric of American society itself. Our fundamental rights and freedoms have may have been undermined by a security agency and two administrations which have used fear improperly to expand power and reach to an unprecedented degree.

The terrorists may have already progressed toward one of their objectives. They have turned us against ourselves, and we now live in fear, without the consolation of even the protection of privacy.

The words of Benjamin Franklin may prove prophetic, "Any society that would give up a little agree to gain any little security will deserve neither and lose both."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Why did Obama lie to the American people about ISIS? Watch

Image of Obama blamed his failure on ISIS on the intelligence community.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama has found someone to blame for the rise of the Islamic State, and it's the intelligence community that supports him. According to Obama during a 60 Minutes interview, the intelligence community failed to warn him of the rise of the Islamic State. LOS ... continue reading


From the Values Voter Summit: Values, Citizenship and Hope Watch

Image of The birth certificate of this nation was called a Declaration of Independence because it declared independence from an unjust civil ruler. It did not declare independence from a just God.

By Keith A. Fournier

I write from Washington DC where I have been participating in the Values Voter Summit cosponsored by numerous organizations, associations and alliances dedicated to the moral values which ensure a truly free society. I was invited to participate by my friend, a ... continue reading


As the Election Season Begins, Time for a New Christian Social Movement Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

As the political season in the United States of America moves into full gear with the midterm elections opening up into the 2016 presidential campaign, my mind turns again to political and social participation. I will attend the Values Voter Summit this weekend ... continue reading


Too hot in the kitchen? Eric Holder resigns Watch

Image of Eric Holder may be fleeing the heat he's feeling for his refusal to cooperate with Congress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eric Holder is preparing to announce his resignation as attorney general, following a five-and-a-half year stint fraught with controversy. WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Eric Holder, 63, will be announcing his resignation as attorney general after more than five ... continue reading


'The alarm bells keep ringing' says Obama at climate change summit in New York Watch

Image of Actor Leonardo DiCaprio was among the hundreds of international leaders and spokespeople who attended the global climate change summit held in New York.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During the United Nations Climate Summit meeting in New York on September 23, President Obama appealed to the international community to make greater strides towards creating and enforcing carbon caps, explaining that climate change is happening at a faster pace ... continue reading


Rockefellers to sell investments in fossil fuel to switch to 'clean energy' Watch

Image of From left to right: Stephen Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, the chair of the fund, and Steven Rockefeller, a son of Nelson Rockefeller and a trustee of the fund, in New York, Sept. 16, 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a bold move that illustrates just how far climate change has reached the public's consciousness, heirs to the Rockefeller family have announced that they intend to sell investments in fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy. The announcement is a ... continue reading


CAN'T KEEP UP: So many employees leaving Department of Homeland Security, it poses risk to U.S. Watch

Image of The vacating of those in top management positions in the Department of Homeland Security has helped slow the rollout of key cybersecurity initiatives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Department of Homeland Security, or DHS has seen an exodus of employees over the past four years. According to officials, this is leaving the United States open to potential terrorist strikes and cyber-attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Employees ... continue reading


Shell game in Kansas - why Democrats don't have to win Kansas to win the Senate Watch

Image of Independent investor Greg Orman seems to have the advantage in the newly-reshaped senate race.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The race for Senate in Kansas may suddenly be the most crucial contest in the nation as Republicans scramble to protect their longtime incumbent, Bob Dole is back on the campaign trail, Democrats are being as quiet as possible about not having a candidate, and a ... continue reading


Are they on to something? Judicial Watch says terrorists are operating in Mexico Watch

Image of Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat who represents El Paso in the U.S. House of Representatives, called the area offices of various government agencies in response to a report that Middle Eastern terrorists were operating across the border in Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Judicial Watch, a controversial Web site that maintains that Middle Eastern terrorists are operating just cross the border from the United States from Mexico is evidently stirring up waves. Federal law enforcement sources in El Paso, Texas say that a United ... continue reading


CLOTHES HORSE: Wasserman Schultz losing confidence among Democrats Watch

Image of Stylish  Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman has alienated members of her own party by reportedly demanding that the party pick up the tab for her wardrobe!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two "faux pas" have alienated Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz from her party. Her criticism of the White House's handling of the border crisis and comparing tea party members to abusive husbands have alienated her constituency at ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 1st, 2014 Image

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter