It’s been a few months since we heard from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but the former contractor broke his silence via a statement read at the “Stop Watching Us” Rally in Washington, DC.
Read by Justice Department whistle blower and attorney with the Government Accountability Project, Jesselyn Radack and published here, Snowden claimed that what we had learned in the last four months was that “no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA” and “no internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA’s hands” and claimed that “neither is it about terrorism”.
Snowden said: “It is about power, control and trust in government; about whether you have a voice in our democracy or decisions are made for you rather than with you. We’re here to remind our government officials that they are public servants, not private investigators.
“This is about the unconstitutional, unethical, and immoral actions of the modern-day surveillance state and how we all must work together to remind government to stop them. It’s about our right to know, to associate freely, and to live in an open society.”
He concluded by citing the Fourth Amendment in our Bill of Rights, that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause, and declared that “mass surveillance has no place in this country”.
He concluded by saying that “it is time for reform, elections are coming and we’re watching you”.
This weekend also saw revelations that 35 world leaders were monitored by the NSA, with the Guardian reporting that a confidential memo reveals that the NSA encouraged senior officials in departments such as the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their “Rolodexes” so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems. One unnamed US official apparently handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom were named.