Friday, January 24, 2014

Sorry, Justice Department, Edward Snowden Makes Sense

Snowden's first mistake was telling the truth.

More than the Justice Dept. needs to be sorry. We should all be sorry that we live in a country in which 61 percent believe Edward Snowden should be tried in court for his crimes. Forget that he's being charged with a hundred-year-old law that wasn't meant to apply to his case. But that's the way we roll in wacky "real" Merka these days.

Let's hear from the criminal himself. He held a Twitter press conference yesterday. Here's one of the criminal's responses:
Not all spying is bad. The biggest problem we face right now is the new technique of indiscriminate mass surveillance, where governments are seizing billions and billions and billions of innocents’ communication every single day. This is done not because it’s necessary — after all, these programs are unprecedented in US history, and were begun in response to a threat that kills fewer Americans every year than bathtub falls and police officers — but because new technologies make it easy and cheap.
I think a person should be able to dial a number, make a purchase, send an SMS, write an email, or visit a website without having to think about what it’s going to look like on their permanent record. Particularly when we now have courts, reports from the federal government, and even statements from Congress making it clear these programs haven’t made us any more safe, we need to push back.
This is a global problem, and America needs to take the lead in fixing it. If our government decides our Constitution’s 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable seizures no longer applies simply because that’s a more efficient means of snooping, we’re setting a precedent that immunizes the government of every two-bit dictator to perform the same kind of indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance of entire populations that the NSA is doing.
It’s not good for our country, it’s not good for the world, and I wasn’t going to stand by and watch it happen, no matter how much it cost me. The NSA and the rest of the US Intelligence Community is exceptionally well positioned to meet our intelligence requirements through targeted surveillance — the same way we’ve always done it — without resorting to the mass surveillance of entire populations.
When we’re sophisticated enough to be able to break into any device in the world we want to (up to and including Angela Merkel’s phone, if reports are to be believed), there’s no excuse to be wasting our time collecting the call records of grandmothers in Missouri.
Lock this madman up. Who cares if he's right or if he makes a lot of sense? We have to be safe!

I include this video because, though CBS has somewhat moved over to the dark side, I still watch its nightly news to see how the media powers that be view America and what they think "we" should know each evening. I was sure this segment was going to revel in the recent "Edward Snowden spied for Russia or China or somebody" nut-wing gabfest, but, surprisingly, it didn't. It's balanced.

It's beyond weird that the former deputy director of the CIA would move to his new job as senior security contributor to CBS, but let's just accept that in wacky "real" Merka for now. At least what the guy says makes sense. The funny part is that we can count on Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald to keep our "secrets" better than the surveillance establishment can. Bizarrely, Edward Snowden is living proof of that.

Bonus fun fact: Type "edw" into a Google search bar and the auto-complete shows "edward snowden" at the top. High profile dude.

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