Edward Snowden on NSA Leaks: ‘I Already Won’

Snowden reflects on his goals in a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post

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Glenn Greenwald / Laura Poitras / The Guardian / Reuters

NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden in a still image taken from video during an interview by the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong on June 6, 2013

Edward Snowden has gloated that by exposing the National Security Agency (NSA) to public scrutiny, his mission was “already accomplished.”

In a series of interviews with the Washington Post, Snowden expressed satisfaction with his decision to leak classified documents to the press. He said his only concern in the months leading up to the decision was “public apathy,” but that the reaction he received has since allayed all of his concerns. “I already won,” he said.

He dismissed the idea that the leaks harmed the NSA, arguing that they would improve lax oversight of the agency’s spying operations. “I am still working for the NSA right now,” he said. “They are the only ones who don’t realize it.”

He deflected questions about his personal life, admitting that he spends most of his time indoors and subsists on a diet of ramen and chips, before steering the interview back to the issue of privacy rights.

[WP]

139 comments
haehc
haehc

I feel that those who think their inconsequential privacy is more worth while defending than preventing a terrorist attack  from happening are complete hypocrites especially if they were the same idiots wallowing in grief during the  after math of the 9/11

RicardoRivera
RicardoRivera

This man is annoying so now he thinks this was a game!He doesn't even realize the implications of his actions especially when he sounding like a celebrity or in my opinion doesn't even care since he has become this so called hero! He doesn't understand the whole picture and he keeps proving that! This was all about him thinking he knew what's best for all of us even though no one elected him into office. He decided on his own to jeopardize our security just because, his 28yr old self thought he understand the complexities of this program and the need for it since he acted on the feeling that the government is the boogie man not on anything factual!


RyanMasters
RyanMasters

I have read every single comment on this article. There were a lot of good arguments and points. I personally enjoyed the name calling :) Anyway's this is my take on this subject....I am not a super educated person or an expert on spying or government. Or am I claiming to be an expert on anything really. But I am a Army September  11 vet.. Served as  a 19 Delta for those of you that know what that is. So I know a little about how the government and war works.


I just watched a government official's response to this and she said "There are system's in place for whistle blowing and that he is full of him self and just looking for attention" Tho this explanation sound's good on paper...I hardly doubt I would of heard anything about this if he followed his chain of command or whatever procedures are in place for whistle blowing. I would not of heard it or would it of ever been addressed.


I have nothing to hide from the government. And personally I don't really care if the government looks through my stuff. But I am not everyone and I can see it bothering some people. And as an American its their right to not be spied on. Period.  


I have seen a lot of people talking about this man and judging him negatively. Saying he should of done this or that. Honestly I am assuming none of us have ever been in his position. So its easy to say I would do this or that. Even for me its easy. And what he did do took some guts. I know personally I would not of said a thing!! I have fought for this country but I don't have the coneys to piss off the CIA and whole American government. Your pretty much putting a 6 shooter in your mouth with 5 bullets in it and pulling the trigger. 


I feel what he did was right. And maybe he does like the celebrity status,,,Maybe its one of the reasons he did it. Who knows..But he did just ruin his entire life to inform everyone what was going on. So maybe a little star status is a fair reward.

EdwardDouglas
EdwardDouglas

I have stated several times, that the level of patriotism in the usa, will be the destruction of it and many comments on this site prove my point.  How many times have you heard both parties say this is the greatest country on earth, instead of promoting freedom and liberty (important ingredients to actually make us the best country).  When you become so patriotic, you start to become deluded into thinking the usa can do no wrong.  The reality is that this nation has made some terrible mistakes and is making more and more.  Make no mistake about it, I am not trying to bash this country but we have to acknowledge our major issues.


If many of you think that Snowden is a traitor,  I have to question your judgment and wonder if you are in that delusion. Instead of focusing on the larger issue of an out of control government,  you choose to focus on a man with more guts than most will ever have.  Just like a true totalitarian state, the US nowt thinks it is above the law...

RedEyedTreeFrog
RedEyedTreeFrog

Noticing that Comments on this and several other sites are becoming sharper in intent and accurate in correcting the less knowledgeable commenters.  Much more interesting and important on the road to repairing our country and regaining our Founding intentions.  Stay the Course.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to those who love Christ and Freedom in the USA. 

Gus4Free
Gus4Free

NSA officials violating constitutional protections of citizen rights appear to be guilty of greater treason.

NSA-collected info includes the “WHO and HOW” needed to ID and seize assets.  Leaks and corrupt officials could steer this info to those seeking to exploit it.  Leaked NSA info aids businesses specializing in payback to "targets" like whistleblowers. 

Snowden exposed what leaks are possible.  In doing so, he made himself a target.  A pardon might be in order.

US abuses have not matched Russia’s yet (eg "An Offer You Can't Refuse: Russia's Very Hostile Takeovers. In Russia a "hostile takeover" isn't just a turn of phrase. Ruthless businessmen are employing armed thugs to intimidate their rivals and force them to hand over their companies -- backed by corrupt policemen and courts”. Spiegel Online, August 27 2007).  (Does the “hang Snowden” crowd defend dishonesty and thievery legitimized by courts?)

Some US abuses were exposed - (eg, “Exclusive: IRS Manual Detailed DEA's Use of Hidden Intel Evidence”, Reuters, Aug 7, 2013.)

Those with "nothing to hide" ought to consider how powerful government and corporate interests abuse that info.  Goons leveraging government against citizens fill history books.

Justifying NSA abuses based on terrorism ignores failures to prevent the Boston Marathon bombings despite warnings about those terrorists.

Grannie's “metadata” is more likely to aid fraud than stop terrorism. 

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

He already won. His country already lost. Nobody fears America anymore. Doubtful if this was a Chinese or Russian spy he would be so brave to show his face to the world and make comments to the Press. Yet he is being hailed as a hero to some


twofacedcallout
twofacedcallout

His principle was moral in trying to expose the extent to which ordinary Americans are being spied on, but in the course of doing this he also did enormous damage to those ordinary citizens as well by giving national secrets to our abiding and eternal enemy, Russia.  Make no mistake, 2013 was a Golden Year for the enemy in the Kremlin and Snowden put the icing on the cake for Putin. 

AbrahamYeshuratnam
AbrahamYeshuratnam

In espionage history Snowden has outwitted all intelligence stalwarts. James Bond could crack KGB devices. But Snowden stands tall among all secret agents. He richly deserves Nobel Prize. EU has already shortlisted him for human rights protection award. Markel has high appreciation for the bold and innovative services of Snowden.

chrispy
chrispy

It's interesting to me how so many of the same people who are against the NSA spying are also using facebook and google. There's an argument to be made that those companies are much worse than the NSA. If you don't want to be a hypocrite, then quit google and facebook and switch to privacy-based sites, such as Ravetree, DuckDuckGo, HushMail, etc. You may not be able to get away from the NSA, but at least you can prevent google and facebook from exploiting the crap out of you.

Kinda_Like_Iron
Kinda_Like_Iron

Dr. Martin Luther King looked for freedom from oppression for black people.

Mr Snowden looked for freedom from authoritarian surveillance for everyone.

In 20 years I am sure we will look back on this and see him for what he truly meant. What change his actions made happen.

The people who are now still hell bent on keeping everyone under surveillance are also speaking up. Not condemning what governments are doing but condemning the whistle blower. Those people can rest assured that in this day and age , everything they say in public is recorded. They will be remembered as well.  


This: http://i.imgur.com/Zov5hwX.png


Irony makes it all ok in the end :)

GuiPacker
GuiPacker

Now THAT's the MAN of the year. Way to go, Edward Snowden. Real world HERO.

JeffSeussalias
JeffSeussalias

"A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program that collects millions of Americans' telephone records may be unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled in a lawsuit brought by conservative activist Larry Klayman that the legal challenge to the massive surveillance program — disclosed in full earlier this year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — would likely succeed.........

End (of the beginning) of the story...

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

If anyone has any doubts about snowdens motives now, they are truly delusional. He did this for his own conflated self-righteous ego, and did more harm than good. Life in prison is the only thing he deserves, and those who think he is a hero are at best confused, at worst they are unpatriotic, but should be ashamed of themselves regardless.

Karl
Karl

Of course Snowden ran rings around the NSA and official Washington. It's a fact to anybody paying attention. And to anyone who thinks Russia would want to deport this dude that Washington wants to get its' hands on, what are you smoking? 

prcouden
prcouden

This is the result of the Bush/Cheney drive to contract out America's security.  Private contractors, private business, private profits.  As for Snowden  this guy is a traitor who has been responsible for deaths of American heroes. The penalty for his treason is death.   The President should issue the order to "eliminate with extreme prejudice."  I believe Snowden's father and family were aware and complicit in his treason.  They should be locked up immediately. He believes he has won..... what a piece of sh#t

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@RedEyedTreeFrog If you love Christ as you say do something about the creeping secularization and the war on Christianity. Just now the VA hospital in Georgia refused to accept Christmas Cards sent by school kids, and another refused Christmas carols with religious overtones as it might offend non Christians. Put your money where your mouth is Froggy. Talk is cheap. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ReneDemonteverde Nobody fears America anymore.

What a stupid statement. Did they fear us when they killed 3,000 Americans in New York under Bush? How about hundreds of marines in Beirut under Reagan?


twofacedcallout
twofacedcallout

@chrispyInteresting, but what do you mean by "privacy-based"?  Can't anyone still look up your IP's and server thru a search site like WhoIs?  I think so. 

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

He's not a whistleblower because he didn't try to use valid avenues of disclosure. He's a TRAITOR because he offered this information to foreign governments and journalists who want to sell newspapers.

Jean-LouisViens
Jean-LouisViens

@GuiPacker We can detect a hero by the level of personal interest one has toward his action.  We can see that Edward Snowden had no personal interest in the actions he took but informing the public of how the NSA was assuming it's responsibilities toward the American citizens.  To me the real hero is Edward Snowden. Period!

JoeAmericanTime
JoeAmericanTime

@Ruleoflaw10Don't accuse me of being unpatriotic. I love my country. The colors of our flag represent why I love my country, the land of the FREE, home of the BRAVE. Red, for bravery (better to live with the risks associated with liberty than to sacrifice freedom for a false sense of security). White for purity and innocence (reminding us that there is due process of law and we are considered innocent until proven guilty instead of presumed guilty and treated as criminals) and Blue, which represents vigilance (being vigilant against Tyranny, my friend). The Declaration of Independence explains clearly an American's duty to be vigiant against tyranny, and describes well what tyranny is - one of the things that defines tyranny is when an individual or group of individuals acts to "render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power", which is essentially what the NSA has been doing by violating basic 4th Amendment rights, which all Americans can easily understand are necessary for a free and civilized society. I also love the Constitution of the United States - for its common sense in enumerating self-evident truths of essential rights that all men of sense know to be true and outline the essential belief that has long established American as the ideal (if not always fully realized) of what a civil society can be. As an American, I'm proud to be a citizen who bravely and vigilantly aims to reach that ideal and I am not the least bit confused that what Snowden did was a good thing. I can only judge his motivations by his actions and words. I can only judge the NSA by theirs. There may be members of the NSA who still value the sovereign citizen ideals of our great country and republican form of government and have not for some reason forgotten their oaths to defend the Constitution, but many of them (as well as certain Congressmen, such as Rogers of Michigan) seem to have done just that. And to speak of egos - when one group of people's egos have become so inflated as to think they have the right to eavesdrop on their fellow Americans without just cause... that's an epic ego problem to the level of megalomania. So: BECAUSE I am patriotic (and not blindly so), I support Snowden's actions. You should, too.

Heizzzenberg
Heizzzenberg

@Ruleoflaw10ego, un-partiotic? you're an idiot...which I normally don't resort to calling people...but you are truly an imbecile.

Karl
Karl

@Ruleoflaw10 Aint ashamed. He's my man of the year and will be history's.

JoeAmericanTime
JoeAmericanTime

@prcoudenTreason, in this country (I can tell you are bereft of information) consists only in waging wars against us and aiding ENEMIES. Why do you think that the American people are your enemies?

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@mantisdragon91 @ReneDemonteverde No they did not fear us. The killing of 3000 Americans started under Bill Clinton. There were already revelations about al Qaeda plans to hijack commercial airliners and smash into buildings by the CIA and submitted by George Tenet to Clinton. Research Operation Bojinka. That plan was revealed by the al Qaeda operative in the Philippines to assassinate Pope John Paul. But Clinton sat on it. Plus reports by the FBI about Arab Muslims taking flight lessons in Florida bout take offs but not landings, plus presence of two Saudi nationals in San Diego who were on their FBI watch list, plus the damning of all Clintons aborted the killing of bin Laden just when he was on their sights because he dont want to hit the mosque. Look Mantis I would not go far as to call your statements stupid, but dont you think you have to research a bit before opening your yap ? 

RedEyedTreeFrog
RedEyedTreeFrog

@ReneDemonteverde @AbrahamYeshuratnam Thumbs Down to you, Mr. FrenchGreenMountain who knows nothing of Americans.  Clue... we fought for Freedom in an honorable way, not offing heads of tyrants.  We well might change that before much longer and let some history of France "repeat" itself here.  Germany is on the right side, with Americans.  We are free today because of Americans like our Eddie... and those  in our warrior positions.  We will ALWAYS have Eddies because we are a FREEDOM-loving bunch of pesky Americans, and thanks to Eddie, we are getting inline with our Founders' directives to be VIGILANT.   Called the Home of the Brave for a reason, - anybody wanna find out why?  Never ever call a true Patriot American disgusting, MrLoisLernerType.

Kinda_Like_Iron
Kinda_Like_Iron

@aztecian @Kinda_Like_Iron  


I do agree to a certain point about a few aspects.


What he did he did the wrong way and maybe for the wrong reasons, idk, I can't look inside his head. I don't know if there was actually a right way to go about it.


What is happening now as a result of his actions, is something that is right.

Americans don't need to be spied on. And certainly not allied countries. The nerve. This class of data even existing is a horrible thought.. Most people read over such news without realizing what all the possible consequences could be of having our lives recorded.


Can you imagine a search engine, as fast as google. The data being transcripts of our whole life done electronically then indexed ?


Someone could type the name of their ex girlfriend and get transcripts of thousands of recorded phone calls  where that name was mentioned .. and If only phone calls were the only thing.


The fact data of this sort never disappears .. Half the people I know , were doing some pretty idiotic things when they were 18 years old. Having all that on record for the rest of their lives....


The current political climate may change ... who knows what will be seen as acceptable 40 years from now. Yet the data will still be there . Politicians do things now that would be unthinkable not so long ago.


The only safe way to handle these things is for this kind of data to not exist in the first place. No amount of security is enough. 


If this happened in the sixties or seventies the world would be in uproar , songs would be written , protest would be organized . Today's youth is not up to the task. The powers that be should praise their lucky stars for the current climate.


All in all , history has shown us that a lot of our heroes are accidental heroes. What the truth is , only a few people know , but that's not important. What is important is that now the world knows what is happening. There is some hope for a course reversal due to all this.



jmac
jmac

@Jean-LouisViens @GuiPacker He fled to China and was interviewed by the South China Press and told them how we spy on them.   China hacks us weekly.  If that's your idea of a hero, there's something amiss with your thinking.  


He just wrote a letter to Brazil saying he'll tell them how we spy if they'll take him in.   

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

People like you are the kind of people who write a book report based on 5 minutes of cliffnotes - you can sound "aware" of the issue but neither knowledgeable nor intelligent. I suggest you investigate exactly what he revealed, to who, and why. Just because you are patriotic doesn't mean you're not confused. I suppose your patriotism includes pride for the lands of freedom China and Russia? Snowden certainly does, and has actively aided them and more. perhaps in your confusion you equate patriotism with aiding our adversaries?

I guess you're more confused than I thought.

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

Says the person who supports the guy giving American secrets to the highest foreign bidder. Snowden can't even face the consequences of his actions, he just wants people like you who can't think independently to help him out. You're not even at a level to make a valid counterpoint so go rant on the side of a bathroom stall, right where your comments belong.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@JoeAmericanTime@prcoudenYou are correct. The real Traitors were GWB and Cheney who helped the Saudi officials who aided the 9/11 attackers out of the country and covered up their involvement.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@mantisdragon91 @ReneDemonteverde That is what I love about you Mantis. Feint and deflect to avoid answering because you do not have an answer. Anyway as Froggy says Have yourself a Merry Christmas, Mantis. Yours in Christ.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ReneDemonteverde@mantisdragon91 

So it was Clinton that redacted the 28 pages of the congressional report showing Saudi involvement? It was Clinton that was in office for 8 months when the attacks occurred and the authorized for the Saudi nationals who aided the attackers to be escorted out of the country and out of reach of US prosecutors?

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@RedEyedTreeFrog @ReneDemonteverde @AbrahamYeshuratnam True patriot. In another time and era Snowden would be hanging in the nearest oak tree. True patriot skeedadle to China first opportunity he got and unloaded his cache. True Patriot. secured the protection of Putin using his valuable trove of America`s secrets as bargaining too. True patriot continue to embarrass this country and offered to unload his goods on Brazil  You have a strange way of defining a true patriot, Froggy. Homer would never agree with you. We will always have Homers because he is counterpoint to people with an askewed definition of patriotism like you. And Homer will always be on watch. Fear him, Froggy.


ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@Kinda_Like_Iron These things never happened under Dubya. It is only during Obama. Just a hunch but he seems to delight in putting his country in a bad light.


Kinda_Like_Iron
Kinda_Like_Iron

@jmac

Intent , motivation , consequence put aside;


The main thing happening now is awareness of such practices going up and particular occurrences being put in the spotlight.  That is happening because of his actions. 


quote "world is spying on us" ... The US and it's allies have always exchanged intelligence data where relevant , yes . That being ramped up after 9/11 was normal. 

Getting up to a point where nsa workers are caught spying on their girlfriends and the German chancellor having her phone tapped is a whole lot of steps too far. 

These things would not have been investigated without what happened. 


Aren't being spied on... in words the average man speaks about 2000 worlds a way , the average woman 7000. Everything all 350 million Americans say from the moment they are born until they die takes up relatively little space. If you keep the audio it takes a little more. Happening or not , facilities are being built where multiples of that amount of data can be stored. What we do know is that it is very much possible to have any phone company keep all audio data from phone calls or send it directly to the relevant storage centers. The amount of things going on without us knowing about them is staggering. Let's label "don't know yet" what should , and not "impossible" because it makes for a better night rest.

Does data mining from social networks etc count towards spying ? Does keeping a record of your dns resolves count? Does keeping all html "get" requests count? Does your provider keep that data ? Is it available for the powers that be to look into that data? Does it gather that data on regular intervals? Phone calls aren't everything. Some countries have freedom laws where videotaping in public for one's own security is considered an infraction on the privacy of the people being filmed. These things are not matters of opinion or current political climate, they are things that need to be thought about and rewritten into law. Their current incarnations are not withstanding what is being done "in the name of".

jmac
jmac

@Kinda_Like_Iron @aztecian What is happening because of his actions?   Well, for one thing NSA will be stronger in preventing any leaks from po-dunk ideologues who take a job for three weeks just to download and dump.  


The president is stronger.   NSA can no longer look at foreign leaders without his say so.   I'm pretty sure that's not what Snowden wanted when you know he loved the spying under Bush (bring on more wars, he wrote).   


Americans aren't being spied on.   Our phone records are being kept for five years and tossed and only those records that show odd patterns overseas are look at.   "The world knows what is happening."   The world is spying on us as we spy on them!!   That's NOT going to change.  

RedEyedTreeFrog
RedEyedTreeFrog

@jmac @Jean-LouisViens @GuiPacker Two Thumbs Down on jmac....  Really... China hacks us WEEKLY?  Maybe checking on their major $loans to O?  Surely Brazil would wanna know O's orders to forceland their flight carrying their Prez just to see if the escapee freedom loving patriot fighter Eddie was onboard.  Inquiring minds with a purpose.  Hope Eddie tells Brazil and Brazil gets it out to Americans somehow... will be difficult with O's controllers handcuffs on the newsprint keys.  TELL US, BRAZIL, TELL US.