National Whistleblower Day: Stop Prosecuting Whistleblowers

WHistleblowers are heroes 2

By Staff for Reporters Without Borders. To commemorate National Whistleblower Day (July 30), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is urging the United States government to stop using legislation meant to prosecute spies and traitors against whistleblowers who leak information of public interest to the press. The heavy-handed prosecution of whistleblowers seriously undermines the First Amendment. Edward Snowden, the US’ most famous whistleblower, is still living in exile since he revealed the National Security Agency’s extensive surveillance of American citizens. If he ever returns home, he could face at least 30 years in prison for charges he faces under the Espionage Act. Less than six months into Trump’s term, former NSA contractor Reality Winner was arrested and charged with gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information under the same Act. The government’s charges came shortly after online news outlet The Intercept published a story featuring a leaked NSA document showing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Winner’s case could be the beginning of a series of leak prosecutions to come under President Trump. Yet his predecessor famously prosecuted more whistleblowers than any previous administration combined.

Snowden’s Hong Kong Lawyer Being Threatened By Authorities


By Raquel Carvalho for South China Morning Post – Barrister Robert Tibbo says he is facing complaints from Immigration Department accusing him of having conflicting interests and breaching professional code of conduct. The Immigration Department has asked to replace the lawyer for the seven asylum seekers who sheltered American whistle-blower Edward Snowden in 2013, accusing him of breaching the professional code of conduct and of having conflicting interests, as fears of detention among the refugees grow stronger. Canadian barrister Robert Tibbo said that formal complaints were filed against him on July 13, and he was made aware of them late that Friday afternoon, just days before the seven asylum seekers – who had their protection claims rejected in May – attended their first hearing at the Torture Claims Appeal Board on Monday. “It’s another desperate attempt to prevent me from providing legal services to my clients,” he claimed. Tibbo said that the immigration director had previously tried to remove him from their cases. “They have systematically made efforts to remove me … They have come up with a myriad of excuses and allegations that were completely without any merit,” he added. According to Tibbo, the Immigration Department filed a complaint with the Hong Kong Bar Association on July 13 accusing him of a possible breach of the bar’s code of conduct.

Edward Snowden Comes To Defense Of Jailed NSA Contractor Reality Winner

Reality Winner, a 25-year-old NSA contractor, has been arrested by the FBI and charged under the 'Espionage Act' for allegedly leaking to the press a classified document about Russia meddling in last year's elections. (Photo: via Facebook)

By Staff of Common Dreams – A day after her arrest was announced publicly by the U.S. Justice Department, Reality Winner, the 25-year-old alleged source of a leaked National Security Agency document detailing Russian hacking efforts, has found a vocal ally in the world’s best known whistleblower of the contemporary era: Edward Snowden. Snowden, who first made headlines around the world in 2013 when he went public as the source of a massive trove of NSA documents detailing the agency’s global “collect-it-all” surveillance dragnet, released a statement Tuesday evening saying that while much remains unknown about the details of the case, the Justice Department’s decision to file charges under the ‘Espionage Act’ is deeply troubling. “This often-condemned law,” he explained, “provides no space to distinguish the extraordinary disclosure of inappropriately classified information in the public interest—whistleblowing—from the malicious disclosure of secrets to foreign governments by those motivated by a specific intent to harm to their countrymen.

Snowden's Advice To Trump On Surveillance


By Alex Emmons for The Intercept. 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.

Is Russia Handing Over Edward Snowden As Gift For Trump?

Edward Snowden called on journalists to propel a public debate on mass surveillance. (Screenshot: Global Editors Network/YouTube)

By Jessica McBride for Heavy – Russia is considering turning over former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a gift to Donald Trump, according to several published reports. The news was broken by NBC, which wrote that “a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to ‘curry favor’ with Trump” that the Russian government is supposedly considering. NBC reported that U.S. intelligence had collected information pointing to the possibility of a Snowden handover. Of course, the American president has long been criticized by opponents for supposedly being too favorable to Russia.

Snowden Document Reveals What NSA Knew About Previous Russian Hacking

Soohee Cho for The Intercept

By Sam Biddle for The Intercept – TO DATE, THE only public evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacks of the DNC and key Democratic figures has been circumstantial and far short of conclusive, courtesy of private research firms with a financial stake in such claims. Multiple federal agencies now claim certainty about the Kremlin connection, but they have yet to make public the basis for their beliefs. Now, a never-before-published top-secret document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden suggests the NSA has a way of collecting evidence of Russian hacks, because the agency tracked a similar hack before in the case of a prominent Russian journalist, who was also a U.S. citizen.

Snowden Docs Show Israel ‘True Threat’ to Middle East

Stop Israeli Terrorism, outside SXSW Conference 3-20-16 in Texas

By Haaretz and JTA in Reader Supported News. British intelligence spied on Israeli diplomats and firms in addition to its military, the French daily Le Monde reported on Wednesday, based on leaked documents that came into the possession of whistleblower Edward Snowden. In one of the files, Britain’s GCHQ intelligence-gathering apparatus defined Israel as “a true threat” to the Middle East. “The Israelis constitute a true threat to regional security, notably because of the country’s position on the Iran issue,” a leaked top secret document from 2009 said. According to Le Monde, the GCHQ collected information on Israeli diplomats, including a person described by the newspaper as the second-highest ranking official in the Israeli foreign ministry. That person was not named. The British also spied on the Palestinian Authority, the report said.

Obama Rejects Pardon For Snowden

Edward Snowden called on journalists to propel a public debate on mass surveillance. (Screenshot: Global Editors Network/YouTube)

By Jerry White for WSWS – In an interview published Friday, President Barack Obama told Der Spiegeland German public broadcaster ARD that he would not pardon Edward Snowden before leaving office in January. The former National Security Agency contractor remains in exile for exposing the illegal surveillance operations of the NSA and other U.S. spying agencies, which target countless millions of people in the U.S. and around the world.

Snowden: ‘Journalists Are A Threatened Class’ In Era Of Mass Surveillance

Edward Snowden called on journalists to propel a public debate on mass surveillance. (Screenshot: Global Editors Network/YouTube)

By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – “Journalists are increasingly a threatened class when we think about the right to privacy,” Snowden said. “Yes, I can give you tips on how to protect your communications, but you are going to be engaging in an arms race that you simply cannot win. You must fight this on the front pages and you must win, if you want to be able to report in the same way that you’ve been able to do in the previous centuries.”

Snowden 2.0: NSA Contractor Arrested For Stealing Malware


By Staff of RT – The FBI “secretly arrested” a National Security Agency contractor on suspicion of stealing and revealing malware the NSA used to hack foreign governments, according to The Justice Department. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed the existence of the malware, which was leaked in August. Portions of the classified computer codes used by the NSA were posted online, with hacking group “ShadowBrokers” offering the full program up for sale. US officials have blamed the hack on Russia

Look Back At What Snowden Told World About U.S.-Israel Relationship

A photo of Edward Snowden on the cover of Wired magazine.
Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr

By Alex Kane for Mondoweiss and Transcend Media Service – 29 Sep 2016 – Edward Snowden remains exiled in Russia. But the former intelligence contractor and National Security Agency-whistleblower has captured headlines in recent weeks, thanks to a confluence of events. Snowden is the focus of Oliver Stone’s new biopic, aptly called “Snowden,” which focuses on how Snowden went from a right-leaning CIA employee and NSA contractor to an internationally renowned leaker and whistleblower who blew the lid off mass surveillance in the digital age.

Europe’s Top Human Rights Court Considers Legality Of Actions By Edward Snowden

Rolf Haid/AP Images

By Ryan Gallagher for The Intercept – HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS have launched a major new legal challenge over mass surveillance programs revealed by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Ten organizations — including Privacy International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International — are taking up the landmark case against the U.K. government in the European Court of Human Rights (pictured above).

How ‘Snowden’ Film Could Help Win Pardon For Snowden The Man

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden in 'Snowden.' Courtesy of Open Road Films

By James Bamford for Reuters – The days leading up to last Friday’s release of director Oliver Stone’s Snowden looked like one long movie trailer. The American Civil Liberties Union and other human-right groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to win a presidential pardon for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of its highly classified documents to journalists.

Justice For Chelsea Manning And Edward Snowden


By Scott Tucker for Popular Manning’s situation in prison is indeed urgent, we can expect the corporate state and career politicians to respond to such cases with miserly pardons and small portions of charity. In the last days of his presidency, Obama has been pardoning some deserving people, and he could easily include both Manning and Snowden (among other honorable whistleblowers like John Kiriakou) with the stroke of a pen. But this president only finds his “courage” on a dwindling timeline, and is stingy as a banker in spending political capital. Why would this Nobel Peace Prize winner pardon citizens who have already paid a heavy price in exile and prison for their own sacrifices on behalf of peace and democracy? To ask the question is to answer it. Under Obama’s “progressive” administration, we have witnessed a vast expansion of state surveillance and of bombing by drones. Of course, we should still support any public campaign urging holders of high offices to show more courage. But let’s also be honest. We are talking about the kind of courage that could end careers in the capitalist parties. A fraction of the ruling class does become class conscious, and sometimes will take just such risks. The exceptions prove the rule. The drive toward war and empire is bipartisan and corporate.

Why Oliver Stone’s Snowden Is The Best Film Of The Year

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. (photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters)

By David Swanson for Counter Punch – Snowden is the most entertaining, informing, and important film you are likely to see this year. It’s the true story of an awakening. It traces the path of Edward Snowden’s career in the U.S. military, the CIA, the NSA, and at various contractors thereof. It also traces the path of Edward Snowden’s agonizingly slow awakening to the possibility that the U.S. government might sometimes be wrong, corrupt, or criminal. And of course the film takes us through Snowden’s courageous and principled act of whistleblowing.