I have signed on to the letter asking President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden that was released today. I know this will be an unpopular position among many of my former colleagues in the national security community. My reasons for doing so are not fully captured by that letter. They are different from those who see Snowden simply as a hero and the NSA as the villain.
Latest in Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden criticizes Russia’s mass surveillance law, and a Russian official retaliates by outing him ‒ as a Russian intelligence source. Silent Circle, the phone company that built its marketing on fear and loathing of the NSA, is nearing bankruptcy.
Our guest for episode 119 is Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired Magazine and author of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces that will Shape our Future. Kevin and I share many views – from skepticism about the recording industry’s effort to control their digital files to a similar skepticism about EFF’s effort
Over the weekend, VICE published a story entitled “Exclusive: Snowden Tried to Tell NSA About Surveillance Concerns, Documents Reveal.” If you haven’t read it, don’t bother. By its incendiary headline, the story—the product of documents released as part of a FOIA lawsuit—would purport to be an outright validation of Edward Snowden’s claims that he repeatedly tried to raise surveillance concerns with NSA officials but was ignored.
I’ve read the Vice News report based on the FOIA-released documents three times now, and still do not see within it support for the headline, “Exclusive: Snowden Tried to Tell NSA About Surveillance Concerns, Documents Reveal.”
In 2013, in the early days of the Snowden leaks, Harvard Law School professor and former Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith reflected on the increase in NSA surveillance post 9/11. He wrote:
Last week, the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted Ben, along with Laura Donohue of Georgetown law school, former NSA Director Michael Hayden, and Robin Simcox of the Henry Jackson Society, to discuss the future of surveillance reform in a post-Snowden world. What have we learned about NSA surveillance activities and its oversight mechanisms since June 2013? In what way should U.S. intelligence operations be informed by their potential impact on U.S. on economic interests?
In my last post, I said that the European Court of Justice decision in Maximillian Schrems v. Data Protection Commission ignores some inconvenient truths. US frustrations with European double standards on surveillance are understandable. They are also beside the point. The US must reform surveillance law – specifically, Section 702 of FISA – if it wants to restore safe harbor.
Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #83: An Interview with Bruce Schneier at "Privacy. Security. Risk. 2015"
Bruce Schneier joins Stewart Baker and Alan Cohn for an episode recorded live in front of an audience of security and privacy professionals. Appearing at the conference Privacy. Security. Risk.
A friendly suggestion for your new account: engage with your critics.