National Security Brief: NSA Whistleblower Explains Why Americans Should Be Concerned About Surveillance

The Guardian on Sunday revealed the identity of the whistleblower — and his request — who leaked classified information about the National Security Agency’s massive program that collects phone and internet data records of foreigners and Americans.

As an employee with government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, Edward Snowden had access to some of the most secret intelligence programs run by the CIA and the NSA. “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” he said in an interview with the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

Snowden explained why he thinks the average person should be concerned about the government’s surveillance abilities:

GREENWALD: Why should people care about surveillance?

SNOWDEN: Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capabilities of these systems increases every year, consistently, by orders of magnitude and it’s getting to the point, you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call. And then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made. Every friend you’ve ever discussed something with and attack you on that basis to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life an paint anyone in the context of a wrong-doer.

Watch the full interview here.

In other news:

  • USA Today reports: The number of car and truck bombs used in the Syrian war has skyrocketed this year, according to U.S. military statistics, reflecting a widening of the war and the growing influence of Islamic militants in the conflict.
  • Los Angeles Times reports: Two years into a civil war that shows no signs of ending, the Obama administration is considering resettling refugees who have fled Syria, part of an international effort that could bring thousands of Syrians to American cities and towns.
  • The New York Times reports: The Obama administration has begun helping Middle Eastern allies build up their defenses against Iran’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons, and will be doing the same in Asia to contain computer-network attacks from North Korea, according to senior American officials.
  • The Washington Post reports: As Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan debates how to quiet the tens of thousands of protesters who are entrenching themselves in dozens of Turkish towns, he upped the ante on Sunday, denouncing them as “anarchists and terrorists” who have taken over the squares of the country.