The Chinese organ Xinhua reports that Ecuador might offer asylum to Edward Snowden.
"Ecuador would consider granting asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA employee who single- handedly disclosed the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)'s PRISM mass-surveillance program, a top Ecuadorian official said Monday," the outlet claims.
"Mr. Snowden may ask the Ecuadorian government for asylum, if he wants, and of course we will examine his request, as we did with Assange (WikiLeaks founder)," Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino was quoted by local media as saying.
Ecuador "is firmly committed to protecting human rights," said Patino, adding that the WikiLeaks founder, who was granted asylum by Ecuador last June but has been holed up at its embassy in Britain, is prepared to stay at Ecuador's embassy in Britain for five years.
Snowden, 29, exposed the NSA's global spying program, which collects and analyzes Internet data from around the world. The United States has launched a criminal investigation into the disclosure.
Texas senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, told viewers on Fox News Monday morning that Americans should avoid a "rush to judgment" on the leaking of classified information by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency systems analyst. The Washington Examiner has the video:
Edward Snowden says "lies" from the Gang of 8 are part of the reason he felt "compelled ... to act." He made the statement in response to a question about his motivations in releasing classified information on the Guardian's website.
In a Sunday evening statement, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Public Affairs Office released this statement, meant to clear up information on the National Security Agency’s data program.
Members of the U.S. Senate were given the opportunity to attend a briefing on Thursday that would bring them up to speed on the NSA surveillance operations, among other things. The briefing would be conducted by James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, not some low-level staffer.
Politics can seem frustratingly complex. It can be a challenge to grasp that the targeting of conservatives by Internal Revenue Service officials over the last few years constitutes a genuine scandal, while the lawful activities of employees of the National Security Agency do not. It can be a strain to distinguish the illegitimate and arbitrary use of government power to harass American citizens exercising their constitutional rights from the legitimate use of government power to protect the nation from our enemies abroad.
One might expect Keith Alexander to advocate on behalf of the two programs at the center of our national debate about terrorism and surveillance. He is, after all, the head of the National Security Agency, which runs them. “It’s dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent—both here and abroad—in disrupting or contributing to the disruption of terrorist attacks,” Alexander testified last week.
Should Americans fear the possible abuse of the intercept power of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland? Absolutely. In the midst of the unfolding scandal at the IRS, we understand that bureaucracies are callous creatures, capable of manipulation. In addition to deliberate misuse, closed intelligence agencies can make mistakes in surveilling legitimate targets, causing mountains of trouble. Consider Muslim names.
The Scrapbook’s hypothesis that the substance of blockbuster news stories tends to diminish with time—there’s less here than meets the eye—is borne out most of the time. Which, as nonscientific theories tend to go, is an enviable record.
[W]e still don’t know (at least publicly) exactly what Snowden’s job was. So questions remain about whether he should have had access to the materials he passed along to the Guardian and the Washington Post. Or is there some “hole” in the NSA’s internal IT system that allowed him to get around and get to materials he should not have been able to see, let alone download?