LONDON – National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden invoked George Orwell and warned of the dangers of unchecked government surveillance Wednesday in a televised Christmas message to the British people that reflected his growing willingness to take a public role in the debate he ignited.
Speaking directly into the camera from Moscow, where he took refuge after leaking vast troves of information on NSA spying, Snowden said government surveillance methods far surpassed those described in Orwell’s novel 1984.
“The types of collection in the book – microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us – are nothing compared to what we have available today,” he said. “We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person.”
Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WASHINGTON (AP) — New revelations from leaker Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency has overstepped its authority thousands of times since 2008 are stirring renewed calls on Capitol Hill for serious changes to NSA spy programs, undermining White House hopes that President Barack Obama had quieted the controversy with his assurances of oversight.
An internal audit provided by Snowden to TheWashington Post shows the agency has repeatedly broken privacy rules or exceeded its legal authority every year since Congress granted it broad new powers in 2008.
In one of the documents, agency personnel are instructed to remove details and substitute more generic language in reports to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — reports used as the basis for informing Congress.
MOSCOW – National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden left the transit zone of a Moscow airport and entered Russia after authorities granted him asylum for one year, his lawyer said today.
Anatoly Kucherena said that Snowden’s whereabouts will be kept secret for security reasons. The former NSA systems analyst was stuck at Moscow‘s Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23.
“He now is one of the most sought after men in the world,” Kucherena told reporters at the airport. “The issue of security is very important for him.”
The U.S. has demanded that Russia send Snowden home to face prosecution for espionage, but President Vladimir Putin dismissed the request.
Edward Snowden plans to seek asylum in Russia, a Parliament member who was among those meeting with the NSA leaker said Friday.
Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov told reporters of Snowden’s intentions after he and a dozen other prominent officials and activists met with Snowden in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, where Snowden has been marooned since June 23.
Snowden is believed to have been stuck in the airport’s transit zone since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23, as he negotiates for asylum in another country.
The activists included Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International’s Russia office, and Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch. Also taken into the meeting room were Russia’s presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, prominent attorney Genri Reznik, and Nikonov.
MOSCOW (AP) – NSA leaker Edward Snowden accepted Venezuela‘s offer of political asylum, according to a posting Tuesday on the Twitter account of a Russian lawmaker with close ties to the Kremlin. However, the tweet disappeared a few minutes later.
It was not possible to immediately reach Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee who has acted as an unofficial point-man for the Kremlin on the Snowden affair.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – The presidents of Nicaragua and Venezuela offered Friday to grant asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, one day after leftist South American leaders gathered to denounce the rerouting of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane over Europe amid reports that the American was aboard.
Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua made their offers during separate speeches in their home countries Friday afternoon. Snowden, who is being sought by the United States, has asked for asylum in numerous countries, including Nicaragua and Venezuela.
“As head of state, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden so that he can live in the homeland” of independence leader Simon Bolivar and the late President Hugo Chavez without “persecution from the empire,” Maduro said, referring to the United States.
Chavez often engaged in similar defiance, criticizing U.S.-style capitalism and policies. In a 2006 speech to the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders, Chavez called President George W. Bush the devil, saying the podium reeked of sulfur after the U.S. president’s address. He also accused Washington of plotting against him, expelled several diplomats and drug-enforcement agents and threatened to stop sending oil to the U.S.
CARACAS, Venezuela — The geopolitical storm churned up by Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, continued to spread on Wednesday as Latin American leaders roundly condemned the refusal to let Bolivia’s president fly over several European nations, rallying to his side after Bolivian officials said the president’s plane had been thwarted because of suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on board.
Calling it a grave offense to their entire region, Latin American officials said they would hold an emergency meeting of the Union of South American Nations on Thursday.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina said the episode had “vestiges of a colonialism that we thought was completely overcome,” describing it as a humiliating act that affected all of South America.
President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said in a post on Twitter that the situation was “EXTREMELY serious” and called it an “affront to all America,” referring to Latin America.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The father of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden said in an interview that while he has not had recent contact with him, he is reasonably confident his son would return to the United States if certain conditions were met.
Those conditions could include not detaining Snowden before trial, not subjecting him to a gag order and letting him choose the location of his trial, NBC News said on Friday.
The NBC report added that Lonnie Snowden plans to make those points in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to be sent through his lawyer later on Friday. Representatives for the Justice Department could not be reached immediately for comment on the letter.
MOSCOW — Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for leaking classified documents about global American surveillance, fled his Hong Kong hide-out for Moscow on Sunday aboard a commercial Russian jetliner, in what appeared to be the first step in an odyssey to seek political asylum in Ecuador.
In a day of frustrated scrambling by American officials who are seeking Mr. Snowden’s extradition — and had annulled his passport in attempts to foil any escape — he boarded an Aeroflot jetliner in Hong Kong that reached Moscow on Sunday afternoon. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Mr. Snowden was in a Moscow airport transit area, apparently awaiting a connection to another country.
Ecuador’s foreign minister said that Mr. Snowden had submitted a request for asylum, an assertion corroborated by WikiLeaks, the organization that discloses government secrets and has come to the assistance of Mr. Snowden. In a statement on its Web site, WikiLeaks said “he is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.”
English: Nancy Pelosi photo portrait as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SAN JOSE, Calif. — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was heckled and booed by liberal activists Saturday when she said that Edward Snowden broke the law when he revealed classified information about secret surveillance programs.
Another round of disapproval came when the former House speaker said Americans’ rights to privacy must be balanced with the nation’s security needs.
Snowden “did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents,” she said during a luncheon Q-and-A on the closing day of Netroots Nation, an annual gathering of thousands of liberal activists and bloggers.
WASHINGTON – Consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton said Tuesday that it had fired Edward Snowden “for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy” after the 29-year-old admitted he leaked secrets of the U.S. government’s surveillance programs to the news media.
The company said that Snowden, who had been assigned to a team in Hawaii for less than three months, was earning a salary “at a rate of $122,000.” Snowden claimed he made about $200,000, a figure that could have included overtime pay and other bonuses.
Snowden, a computer technician from Maryland who previously worked for the CIA and the National Security Agency, had been holed up in a sleek hotel in Hong Kong for weeks before checking out on Monday. His whereabouts are unknown.
The father and stepmother of Edward Snowden, the man who said he leaked news of the government’s classified surveillance program, live in Upper Macungie Township and were visited Monday afternoon by two people who identified themselves as FBI agents.
Karen Snowden, 48, said the couple had been “bombarded” by media, including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” since the story broke Sunday.
Her husband, Lonnie Snowden, 52, briefly spoke to ABC News on Sunday, saying he had last seen his son months ago for dinner and the two parted with a hug. The elder Snowden told the network he was still “digesting and processing” the news about his son.