Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

6/10/2013 (2 years 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

'We cannot succumb to fear': U.S. joins France in fight against ISIS Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack obama has decided to join forces with France in eliminating ISIS.


Following a meeting with French President François Hollande, United States President Barack Obama has proclaimed "total solidarity" with France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama believes the declaration of solidarity, alongside his trip to Paris for ... continue reading

U.S. throws doors open to Syrian refugees - despite identity of Paris terrorist suspect as disguised refugee Watch

Image of It's not yet known how many more additional refugees the U.S. may take in beyond the originally state 10,000. Two senior administration officials say they are seeking ways to take in even more.


Even after it was learned that a key terrorist in the recent attacks in Paris, 25-year-old Ahmed Almuhamed, snuck into France after he was rescued from a sinking shop off the coast of Greece posing as a Syrian refugee, the Obama administration continues to ... continue reading

Supreme Court to hear arguments over Texas abortion clinic ruling Watch

Image of Lawmakers have put major restrictions of abortion since 2010, but none as far-reaching and strict as Texas' HB2.


A measure passed in the State of Texas, HB2 in 2013 has led to the closure of half of that state's abortion clinics. Now, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the Texas law that has been among the most crucial in the ongoing national dialogue regarding ... continue reading

PUT TERRORISTS IN COLORADO? Law enforcement officials question Guantanamo Bay closure Watch

Image of Obama's Defense Secretary recently said that around half of the remaining 112 prisoners at Gitmo must be locked up


United States President Barack Obama has long promised to close Guantanamo Bay, a holding facility for suspected terrorists at a U.S. naval facility in Cuba. The question, as posed by dozens of law enforcement officials in a letter to the president . where do ... continue reading

What has the United States Government done with $5.9 billion? Watch

Image of American taxpayers gave the United States government $5.9 billion in foreign military financing last how was it distributed?


Each year Americans complain about paying taxes, much of which is distributed to foreign military aid. So where have all the funds gone? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the United States government's Foreign Assistance report, $5.9 billion was directed ... continue reading

You won't believe how Trump and Carson have become a disrupting force in the Republican Party! Watch

Image of Donald Trump and Ben Carson's popularity has other Republican presidential candidates sweating.


Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Donald Trump have disrupted Republican politicians and have many questioning where the United States is headed should either become the next American President. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Members of the ... continue reading

Fourth Presidential debate asks the hard questions Watch

Image of The Fourth Republican Debate gave presidential candidates several opportunities to shine -but who took advantage of the spotlight?

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The fourth Republican presidential debate took place at the Milwaukee Theater Tuesday night. Candidates were asked the big questions ranging from how they felt about protester demands for a $15 minimum wage to the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants in the ... continue reading

Court halts Obama's executive orders with Obama's own words! What were they? Watch

Image of Obama's own words were used to stop him from changing the law as he pleased.

By David Drudge (California Network)

A federal appeals court has used Obama's own words to halt his growing use of executive orders that allow him to rule by edict. Their decision specifically halts his edict that shields 5 million illegal immigrants from imminent deportation and that he does not have the ... continue reading

Social Security administration hits unbelievably new record in spending - You won't believe the numbers! Watch

Image of This latest figure represents a substantial increase from the $910,394,720,000 the Social Security Administration spent in fiscal 2014.


Hitting a record $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015, the Social Security Administration reached an all-time in spending. The inclusive payments for this bureau include payments for Social Security and disability benefits in addition to Supplemental Security Income ... continue reading

Obama's executive order gets blocked and why that's a disaster for thousands of Catholic families Watch

Image of President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants falls flat.


On Monday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a lower court did not "abuse its discretion" when it claimed President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration were unlawful. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama's executive ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 6:12-28
12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realise ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2015 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at ... Read More