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 (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 — 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.
(AP) The German government wants “trust restored” with the United States following reports that American intelligence agencies bugged European Union offices, and has invited the U.S. ambassador in Berlin to the Foreign Ministry for a meeting on Monday.