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Snowden: In spite of new 'Cold War,' U.S. spying more on own citizens than Russians

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/1/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Whistle-blower lambasts both the Senate and House Intelligence committees

With the annexation of Crimea and the continued bullying of Ukraine, it would appear that the United States has is in a new "Cold War" with Russia. Why is it then that the National Security Agency spies almost exclusively on Americans, and not Russians? That was the illustration whistleblower Edward Snowden used in his latest press conference.

'U.S. government policy directed by the NSA ... is now making a choice, a binary choice, between security of our communications and the vulnerability of our communications,' Edward Snowden said.

"U.S. government policy directed by the NSA ... is now making a choice, a binary choice, between security of our communications and the vulnerability of our communications," Edward Snowden said.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/1/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Edward Snowden, NSA surveillance, Ridenhour Award


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Edward Snowden told supporters this week that the U.S. government's surveillance programs collect more data on Americans than it does on any other country.

"Do you think its right that the NSA is collecting more information about Americans in America than it is about Russians in Russia?" Snowden said. "Because that's what our systems do. We watch our own people more closely than we watch any other population in the world."

Snowden also took the NSA and its top officials to task, criticizing the agency for wearing two contradictory hats of protecting U.S. data while exploiting security flaws to gather intelligence on foreign threats.
 
"U.S. government policy directed by the NSA ... is now making a choice, a binary choice, between security of our communications and the vulnerability of our communications," Snowden said. He inferred that the U.S. government is partial towards the later.

Snowden, a former NSA contractor was awarded the Ridenhour Award for Truth-Telling along with Laura Poitras, one of his chief confidants. The 30-year-old Snowden remains in Russia, where he fled and earned temporary asylum following his disclosures of classified information about the NSA's bulk data-collection practices.

Poitras was also present in a beamed-in performance from Berlin. The documentary filmmaker is believed to be one of only two people, along with journalist Glenn Greenwald to possess the entire cache of Snowden files.

Both Poitras and Snowden denounced both the Senate and House Intelligence committees for what they said was a failure of sufficient oversight of the intelligence community.

Nominated this year for the Nobel Peace Prize, Snowden was seen by some as a natural choice for the Ridenhour award. The honor has previously been bestowed upon journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas and Thomas Drake, a former NSA official who also exposed secrets kept by the spy agency.

The left-of-center group is named after Ron Ridenhour, a Vietnam veteran who helped expose the massacre of hundreds of unarmed civilians by U.S. soldiers at My Lai in 1968.

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