November 3rd, 2013
10:20 PM ET

Report: NSA, GCHQ among worst surveillance offenders, Snowden says

By Chelsea J. Carter and Susanna Capelouto, CNN

Leaked classified documents show the U.S. National Security Agency and its British counterpart are among the "worst offenders" of mass surveillance without oversight, according to an open letter purportedly written by Edward Snowden and published Sunday by the German magazine Der Spiegel.

The publication of the letter, titled "A Manifesto for the Truth," comes as leaks by the former NSA contract analyst have roiled U.S.-European relations amid allegations that the NSA and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters monitored the communication data of some world leaders.

"The world has learned a lot in a short amount of time about irresponsibly operated security agencies and, at times, criminal surveillance programs. Sometimes the agencies try to avoid controls," Snowden wrote, according to the news magazine.

"While the NSA and GCHQ (the British national security agency) appear to be the worst offenders - at least according to the documents that are currently public - we cannot forget that mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution."

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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. AFriendlySuggestion

    Rot in A Gulag Traitor.

    November 12, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  2. john

    The purpose of the intelligence of every country in the interests of that country. Therefore, it might be possible to work with this country, but it is criminal to another nation or inconsistent with the interests of the international community in terms of a certain aspect. But ultimately, no matter what, those who do harm to the interests of their own country, contrary to the criteria of the leaders of his country for the development and survival of our country are a traitor. The guys that French law of their country will be the country's courts to punish him. It can not be denied.

    November 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  3. Jdghkfu Dserturt

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    November 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  4. Jdghkfu Dserturt

    Where is my backpack full of cash Americans query: http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/meet-the-private-companies-helping-cops-spy-on-protesters-20131024 -----Bghkll ghjl gyui guio drgjklut.

    November 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  5. buongiorno

    the most intelligent people in the world use their own brain

    November 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  6. JerseyJeff

    Three points I would like to make to Mr. Snowden:

    1) How does this have ANYTHING to do with American liberties and not with American foreign intelligence capabilities which are an important part of American security and intelligence for our leaders, officials and politicians in their decision making?

    2) You worked for the US, how would you know what other secret intelligence agencies unrelated to the United States are up to?

    3) I am shocked you think you deserve clemency while you continue to hide behind Putin's leg while releasing information aimed at damaging US foreign intelligence and US diplomatic relations with allies.

    Enjoy Russia, Ed. You deserve to be there. You might attempt to cloak yourself in righteousness, but your actions are overwhelmingly against the ability of US foreign intelligence to operate and US diplomatic relations, which is what a defector does, not a dissenter or "whistleblower."

    I'm not sure if you are just naive/misguided or just have an ax to grind with the United States for your personal reasons, whatever the case you are engaging in treason and any claim of legitimacy was lost as soon as you started releasing information aimed at damaging US foreign intelligence and the connections we have with our allies.

    November 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Good grief JerseyJeff, you sound like another dimwitted hillbilly Tea Partier from the South. Are you one by any chance? Edward Snowden did this country a great service as anyone with half a brain would know! Wise up!!!

      November 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  7. Random

    Stop leaking, come home, face what you did.....

    Snowdens response - leak more

    Take him out already he had his chance to change course.

    November 4, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • Random

      if reform was his goal he has met it. He keeps going. His goal is to incur as much damage as he can. The only path what he did could reform is if he had been involved in it. That would require stopping leaking and coming home, he didn't do that . IMHO it is clear now what his motivations are and he should be dealt with swiftly.

      November 4, 2013 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • USAPeasant

      If the government were to whack Snowden they would open a can of worms that you would wish were not opened I fear. Peace and reconciliation is a better way. You say he "keeps leaking" and this is justification for his death. It could be easily argued that the only things he's "leaked" are severe government abuses and furthermore that he should be encouraged to leak more if that is all the extent of his leaks are. He has given you a checklist of all America's problems and instead of fixing the problems the very same criminals that violated their oaths and caused the problems call for harm to Snowden.

      I see the concern in Snowden being overseas, but its the crooks that caused the problems he revealed that called for his literal death that drove him into the miserable world in the first place. If you are really concerned with getting him out of the world's hands you could give him clemency and get him a job at a government watchdog group, as a journalist, as whatever and vet him more, allow him to continue revealing the problems with America, and also make a lil bit of that tax money from him lol.

      Giving clemency to Snowden furthermore gives clemency also to the politicians that messed up and are the root cause of all these woeful mistakes that Snowden revealed. Giving Snowden clemency or immunity or a pardon is the best way foward. The best way is peace and reconcilation because it strengthens the whole system, nation, and culture. Anything short of that be it murdering him, imprisoning him, and so forth is only going to discredit our system, nation, and/or culture in the eyes of the world and a significant portion of our own people.

      November 4, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply
      • Random

        giving him a free pass does not work when he is using media to call for reforms and not being willing to even be in the country, let alone working to make that happen. Instead he is learning russian, russian history, and continuing to publicly post his grievances rather than even trying to speak to policy makers and negotiate ceasation of leaks , in exchange for meaningful input on the reforms he calls for.

        Look at his actions. He has zero desire to come back.

        November 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • USAPeasant

        You say he's at fault because he's not even in the country. What's he suppose to do? Come back to the country so that the same Senators and Congressmen that CREATED THE MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE can execute him like they said themselves they want to do? Are you really serious!? You are literally taking the side of the abuser instead of the person telling you that you are being abused.

        Even with Snowden in Russia amazingly he still has not broken any laws by revealling that America is spying on its closest allies. That is clearly exposing just how messed up the very same politicians that are hounding him have become. Instead of fixing the real problem the dumbo politicians that CAUSED THE MESS are witch-hunting the same person that exposed their mess. People like you are either falling right into the con or are being paid to promote this witch hunt to help the same people that caused the mess, but it is futile either way for you and them to do such. These politicians unless they shape up real fast are going to be remembered as traitors of the highest caliber for centuries hereafter. Don't think most the American people buys your crap, especially the young people who get to dictate how the legacies will be remembered. The issue of Snowden's fate and the reaction by the crooks in congress is particularly delicate too and could be just the spark that sets off a fire if they mistreat him.

        Go ahead and execute or imprison Snowden for exposing abuse, but then you're to blame for the violence that comes after and for the stain on the legacy of America's culture, system, and nation. Whatever you do to Snowden, the same or worse must be done to every politician that supported these grievious abuses of power and attempted to cover it up by deflecting blame to the messenger.

        November 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Random

        Most people who stand up for what they believe in have died threw out history. I think at best he would have spent some time in a cell, waiting for things to evolve. But at this point he would have likely been part of reform , not in cross hairs because he defected and has zero desire to come back.
        That is my point. Im fairly certain our authorities would allow him to come back if for no other reason than to get him off the world 'table' . He would need to stop leaking , which I also dont think he controls the information. The greenwald guy or what ever from the guardian controls the info. Snowden gave any control hehad away. I dont believe he can stop it if he wanted to and I dont believe he wants to fix the us , or even live here at this point no matter what concessions are made.
        I think giving him a free pass, while accepting he will be monitored for the rest of his life, and stopping public leaks , and taking a more effective route of discussing the issues with the oversight committees. Basically he would be allowed to say I am pleased with the efforts, or I am not pleased. That is it. This is a fair trade. It will never happen. Snowden doesnt care about the us any more.

        November 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • USAPeasant

        @Random: Lol, if by your standard then Snowden should be under something of a quiet forced retirement then I could live with that and of course also feel that should be applied to all the major politicians that championed the Problems of which Snowden revealed. That's what would hopefully be a good outcome. However, be realistic and just look at some of the stuff these same Senators and Congressmen are devising all sorts of ways to literally kill him. It's not easy to tell someone "come back to die" and expecting them to go do it.

        I think you are right about a lot of the info belonging to Greenwald and Putin now and even the other Euro leaders like Hollande and Merkel have been given the info. Heck Britain jacked all that stuff straight up from Greenwald so no need to speculate about the royals having possession of it. For the most part just like the wikileaks, what has it really shown? It has shown that our government officials have lost their grip man. Don't shoot the messenger. Snowden even compared to wikileaks is very tame indeed. So making the argument for his execution or covert hit is absurdly unjust.

        November 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • JerseyJeff

      In my shared opinion with you, Snowden is without a doubt a defector and engaging in treason.

      That being said – We are the United States. Not Russia and not China. We don't serve Polonium tea and we don't chase people down to stick ice picks in the back of their heads. We are better than that and better than them. Hopefully someday Snowden will be able to face a open and fair trial in the US and be punished in the US, but our ideals and laws are what make us who we are. If we went out and started assassinating defectors we would be no better than Russia, and that just isn't the American way.

      Look at it this way, at least he is exiled to a country where there REALLY is serious civil and human right issues, he is under constant security from Russia and he has to live the rest of his days in one of the most miserable countries on this planet. If US law doesn't catch up to him, at least feel better knowing Karma did.

      November 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  8. USAPeasant

    It is kind of funny that the politicians say that Snowden should not recieve clemency because he violated "his oath."

    If that's the case then every single member of Congress that knew about this program must be immediately arrested, detained, and then executed for severely violating their oaths to uphold the Const-itution and to protect the People. If Snowden is not granted clemency than the politicians that committed the crimes that Snowden revealed should certainly not be shown any mercy. If they want to show Snowden clemency, then it is appropriate to show the politicians clemency.

    For now its better that Snowden stay abroad for himself, for the Congress, and for the country. If the government takes Snowden to trial then the government is inviting an open revolution. If the government gives Snowden clemency, that be a good start to reconciliation.

    November 4, 2013 at 10:01 am | Reply
    • USAPeasant

      Just to clarify too, I hope that the path to reconciliation is taken because it bears more fruits and keeps the ball rolling on restoring America and keeping the peace, if not even potentially making us more United.

      Howver you gotta be realistic, this whole thing has become a circus really. The very same crooks who been spearheading these malignant policies are the same ones calling for all sorts of evil to be done to Snowden, whom merely exposed the sickness they've gone too. These people aren't even all bad and can be useful, but their thinking has just gone insane and its effects keep compounding into more malignant effects. They're digging this nation a hole in a metaphorical and ideological way, and they won't stop digging 'til we reach China (also metaphorical and ideological). Only way is to turn back and start climbing. Can't keep digging the hole, only way out of a hole is to climb out. You're in the hole with other people, you can't climb out by killing them or throwing them deeper into the hole. You gotta lift eachother up. America can do it, but we don't got much time to change back. If things keep up like this we're going to fall in a hundred different ways.

      Snowden himself is just one symptom and his treatment is just another way to fall further. We could bring Snowden back with peace and clemency thus extending peace and clemency it to the elites who erred in making these programs in the first place. If your concern is getting Snowden out of Putin's paws where he's sure to be a pawn then you can easily bring him back but its you who refuses to do it by calling for all sorts of harm to him. Don't shoot the messenger, we gotta tackle the serious stuff he's telling you to make this country better.

      November 4, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
  9. George patton

    Why should this be a particular surprise to anybody? Thanks to Edward Snowden, the proverbial lid is slowly coming off the proverbial garbage can. These agencies need to be held accountable for their actions and that's all there is to it. By the way, I would strongly advise Edward Snowden not to travel to Germany unless he has a reasonable guarantee that he will not be nabbed by U.S. or British agents trying to drag him back to this country where he will not stand a chance at getting a fair trial!

    November 4, 2013 at 12:29 am | Reply
    • marcwinger.com

      The NSA will have to be reigned in, as far as increased surveillance of Americans during obama's tenure in office. There is no lid slowly coming off. The surveillance is now public knowledge. The issue will be handled internally & the NSA will have to adjust.
      As far as Snowden's concerned; if he's brought back to the US he'll get a fair trial. Not that he deserves one. The self-righteous always lose in the end. It's the way of things.
      There are more issues than one happening with this Snowden problem. Compartmentalization is needed to understand. Try. The world just isn't black & white. Never has been.

      November 4, 2013 at 4:02 am | Reply
      • George patton

        Wrong, marcwinger. If the self righteous "lose in the end" like you say, then Edward Snowden had little to worry about since it's these self righteous fools who want to prosecute (or persecute) him once he's back in this country. As a nation, we Americans sorely need to overcome our arrogance and self righteousness if we're ever going to once again be respected on the world stage!!!

        November 4, 2013 at 9:31 am |

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