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Whistle-blower Snowden says Obama can still save face after PRISM debacle

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 17th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A man identifying himself as whistle-blower Edward Snowden made a series of blog posts saying that there is still time to make amends fro the PRISM scandal. Snowden says that he leaked classified details about U.S. surveillance programs because U.S. President Barack Obama worsened "abusive" practices in lieu of lessening them, promises that he made as a presidential candidate.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The person who identified themselves as Snowden chatted with Britain's Guardian newspaper and Web site. Online, the entity insisted that U.S. authorities have access to phone calls, e-mails and other communications - which is far beyond constitutional bounds.

Legal restrictions, the blogger identified as Snowden said, can be easily skirted by analysts at the National Security Agency, FBI and CIA. He stopped short of accusing authorities of violating specific laws. Worthless regulations and policies, he said, were to blame for what he called "suspicion-less surveillance." He warned that policies can be changed to allow further abuses.

"This disclosure provides Obama an opportunity to appeal for a return to sanity, constitutional policy, and the rule of law rather than men," he posted. "He still has plenty of time to go down in history as the president who looked into the abyss and stepped back, rather than leaping forward into it."

To date, the president, top legislators and national security officials defend the surveillance programs as necessary to combat terrorism, arguing that some privacy must be sacrificed in a balanced approach.

The writer identifying themselves as Snowden contended the government's overbroad collection of information violated rights of innocent Americans who have no links to suspicious activity.

"The reality is that ... Americans' communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant," one Snowden post said. "They excuse this as 'incidental' collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications."

Another post warned that restrictions against unauthorized access to the content of communications, such as listening to phone calls or reading e-mails -- were based on policy rather than technology and therefore "can change at any time."

According to Snowden, Obama "closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge," a blog post said.

Snowden also said that he had to get out of the United States before the leaks were published by the Guardian and Washington Post to avoid being targeted by the government.

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