Snowden’s Advice To Trump On Surveillance

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Above photo: Jeremy Scahill and Edward Snowden, from The Intercept.

NSA WHISTLEBLOWER EDWARD Snowden said on Tuesday that if Donald Trump is sincerely concerned about the government’s ability to listen in on his private communications, he should fix the NSA mass surveillance programs that collect data on every American.

Snowden, speaking remotely from Moscow, was interviewed by The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, for Scahill’s Intercepted podcast.

Snowden did not validate Trump’s wild accusation that President Obama had “tapped” the wires in Trump Tower. “If Donald Trump or anyone else wants us to take this seriously, they have to show evidence,” Snowden said. “And the fact that they have not despite the severity of this allegation means that they’re trying to make political hay — I suspect — out of something that affects all of us, which is that mass surveillance is making all of us vulnerable.”

Snowden explained that the NSA’s surveillance dragnet currently allows any analyst with an appropriate clearance to search a massive database of communications for phones or IP addresses related to anyone, including the president. He was describing the Upstream program conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, in which the NSA collects a vast number of American communications from internet cables entering and exiting the United States, ostensibly only “targeting” foreigners.

“If Donald Trump wants to take this seriously, he needs to fix the problem that everyone in America’s communications are being collected right now, without a warrant, and they’re going into the bucket, and they’re protected by very lax internal policy regulations, and this simply is not enough,” said Snowden.

“The problem is not, ‘Oh, you know, poor Donald Trump.’ You’re the president. You should be asking questions about ‘Why was this possible in the first place?’ and ‘Why haven’t I fixed it?’”

Far from trying to eliminate the NSA’s authorities under Section 702, Trump supports having Congress extend the programs past this year, when they would otherwise expire — while at the same time continuing President Obama’s refusal to give the legislative branch even a ballpark estimate of what proportion of domestic communications they capture.

Listen to the entire interview on the Intercepted podcast.

  • See also NSA whistleblower Russ Tice’s remarks about how the pattern of warrantless intercepts suggest the purposes are normally for politics and blackmail:

    FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds experience strongly supports the use of Intel agencies for political blackmail and widespread US govt. support for that:

    The above, btw, would be characterized by our blackmailed Congressional leaders as both “Russian propaganda” and “fake news” (“controversial” or “conspiracy”). Congress, Google, and the MSM are currently backing campaigns to blacklist all of the sites willing to share this type of whistleblower reporting with the general public.

  • skywryter

    Consider the source. This is being aired on RT, and Russian intelligence isn’t just collecting data on their citizens but murdering their opponents. -Hi Vlad!

  • kevinzeese

    Are you saying Snowden did not say this? That the video is false?

  • AlanMacDonald

    Did anyone watching Ken Burns’ PBS “Vietnam War” documentary film realize how much Marine Sgt. John Musgrave looks like Edward Snowden?

    I found it weird to the MAX. that John Musgrave who was the Marine with glasses who gave many of the interviews in Ken Burns’ “Vietnam War” Documentary on PBS Looks exactly like Edward Snowden!

    Now, how weird is that?? Here’s the url link to Burns’ “Vietnam War” documentary that shows pictures of the participants listed alphabetically:

    Musgrave IMHO is an exact ‘ringer’ for Snowden — don’t you think??