The Justice Department has filed a civil complaint against Edward Snowden alleging that he violated non-disclosure agreements he signed with the CIA and NSA by both giving interviews he and failing to submit his new book for pre-publication review. The government is also suing the publisher of Snowden’s book to ensure that no profits from book sales are transferred to Snowden before the suit is resolved. The complaint can be read here and below.
Latest in Surveillance: Snowden NSA Controversy
If Snowden is the emblematic national security whistleblower of our age, what does civil disobedience theory have to tell us about Snowden’s case? And what does Snowden’s case have to tell us about civil disobedience theory?
The USA Freedom Act was supposed to preserve the core of the NSA’s telephone metadata contact-chaining program. Has it doomed it instead?
When reading about Snowden, keep in mind the dedicated NSA employees who strive to uphold the rule of law and protect their country.
In his recent book Beyond Snowden: Privacy, Mass Surveillance, and the Struggle to Reform the NSA, civil liberties activist and former intelligence official Timothy Edgar calls for a renewed conversation on mass surveillance reform in the global and digital age. This month, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Edgar on his new book at the Hoover Book Soiree.
Edward Snowden’s theft of files, whatever good it accomplished in igniting a national conversation on surveillance, also opened the door to more aggressive Russian intrusions in cyberspace.
The House Intelligence Committee has made public its full 36-page report on Edward Snowden, which was previously classified.
The Washington Post editorial page has no institutional duty whatsoever to defend a source simply because the news side won a Pulitzer based on his criminality. The editorial staff is not tasked with deciding whether or not to publish Snowden documents. The news staff is not tasked with opining on whether Snowden should get a pardon.
The argument over whether Edward Snowden should or should not be pardoned will tend to become an argument over the proper use of the pardoning power—or, to put it another way, whether a pardon for Snowden would constitute an appropriate instance of clemency. But by its very nature, the rights and wrongs of presidential clemency can’t be described or defined to an extent sufficient to resolve this debate.
Jack Goldsmith’s response to my call for a pardon for Edward Snowden deserves a reply. I also have a few thoughts on what Susan Hennessey and Ben Wittes have now added to the debate.