Edward Snowden, the former security contractor who leaked and continues to publish classified NSA documents, participated in a Twitter Q&A today.
Under the hashtag #AskSnowden, people were asked to post their questions, and answers would be published on the Free Snowden website.
In total, Snowden answered 13 different questions, and here are just a few, followed by his response:
#ASKSNOWDEN They say it’s a balance of privacy and safety. I think spying makes us less safe. do you agree?
— mperkel (@mperkel) January 23, 2014
“Intelligence agencies do have a role to play, and the people at the working level at the NSA, CIA, or any other member of the IC are not out to get you. They’re good people trying to do the right thing, and I can tell you from personal experience that they were worried about the same things I was.”
“The people you need to watch out for are the unaccountable senior officials authorizing these unconstitutional programs, and unreliable mechanisms like the secret FISA court, a rubber-stamp authority that approves 99.97% of government requests. They’re the ones that get us into trouble with the Constitution by letting us go too far.”
Recently several threats have been made on your life by the intelligence community. Are you afraid for your life? Thoughts? #AskSnowden
— Jason Beck (@mrbass21) January 23, 2014
“It’s concerning, to me, but primarily for reasons you might not expect. That current, serving officials of our government are so comfortable in their authorities that they’re willing to tell reporters on the record that they think the due process protections of the 5th Amendment of our Constitution are outdated concepts.”
“These are the same officials telling us to trust that they’ll honor the 4th and 1st Amendments. This should bother all of us. The fact that it’s also a direct threat to my life is something I am aware of, but I’m not going to be intimidated. Doing the right thing means having no regrets.”
what’s the worst and most realistic harm from bulk collection of data? Why do you think it outweighs national security? #AskSnowden
— Greg Ferenstein (@ferenstein) January 23, 2014
“The first is the chilling effect, which is well-understood. Study after study has shown that human behavior changes when we know we’re being watched. Under observation, we act less free, which means we effectively *are* less free. The second, less understood but far more sinister effect of these classified programs, is that they effectively create “permanent records” of our daily activities, even in the absence of any wrongdoing on our part.”
“The fact that these records are gathered without the government having any reasonable suspicion or probable cause justifying the seizure of data is so divorced from the domain of reason as to be incapable of ever being made lawful at all, and this view was endorsed as recently as today by the federal government’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight board.”
For a full transcript of everything Edward Snowden had to say, you can visit Free Snowden.