In response to Clinton’s debate comments about tech and national security:
I would hope that, given the extraordinary capacities that the tech community has and the legitimate needs and questions from law enforcement, that there could be a Manhattan-like project — something that would bring the government and the tech communities together to see they’re not adversaries, they’ve got to be partners…Maybe the backdoor is the wrong door, and I understand what Apple and others are saying about that. I know that law enforcement needs the tools to keep us safe.
In an interview with BBC’s Panorama Snowden says he has offered to return to the United States and go to jail for leaking details of NSA programs, but had not received a formal plea-deal offer.
[I’ve] volunteered to go to prison with the government many times… So far they’ve said they won’t torture me, which is a start, I think. But we haven’t gotten much further than that…The question is, if I was a traitor, who did I betray? I gave all of my information to American journalists and free society generally. I have paid a price but I feel comfortable with the decisions I’ve made. If I’m gone tomorrow, I’m happy with what I had. I feel blessed.
Snowden joins Twitter. He only follows a single account, the NSA.
Snowden releases National Security Agency documents showing that in 2012 the Justice Department authorized the NSA to search Internet cables on American soil without a warrant for evidence of computer hacking schemes originating abroad, as well as targeting hackers even when it could not establish any links to foreign powers. The secret memos from 2012 say the NSA could watch Internet traffic flowing to suspicious addresses or containing malware, as well as monitor addresses and cyber signatures.
Snowden writes an op-ed for the New York Times on the second anniversary of the release of his disclosures:
Two years on, the difference is profound. In a single month, the N.S.A.’s invasive call-tracking program was declared unlawful by the courts and disowned by Congress. After a White House-appointed oversight board investigation found that this program had not stopped a single terrorist attack, even the president who once defended its propriety and criticized its disclosure has now ordered it terminated. This is the power of an informed public.
At the turning of the millennium, few imagined that citizens of developed democracies would soon be required to defend the concept of an open society against their own leaders…Yet the balance of power is beginning to shift. We are witnessing the emergence of a post-terror generation, one that rejects a worldview defined by a singular tragedy. For the first time since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we see the outline of a politics that turns away from reaction and fear in favor of resilience and reason. With each court victory, with every change in the law, we demonstrate facts are more convincing than fear. As a society, we rediscover that the value of a right is not in what it hides, but in what it protects.
Sources tell Yahoo News’s Isikoff that the FBI has identified an employee at a government contractor of being the suspected second leaker. The person is believed to have turned over documents about the government’s terrorist watchlist to Greenwald, who published an Aug. 5 story based on them on The Intercept, co-written with Deveraux and Scahill. One source says the Justice Department is now less eager to bring criminal charges against people who make unauthorized disclosures to news media:
There is no longer an appetite at Justice for these cases.
A Justice Department spokesman doesn’t comment on the investigation into the leak but says where such cases are concerned:
We’re certainly going to follow the evidence wherever it leads us and take appropriate action.
Investigators are continuing to pursue it, but are not ready to charge yet
Scahill declines to comment on his source for the leak, and says neither he nor The Intercept have been notified by federal officials about the investigation, but says they are not surprised:
The Obama administration in my view is conducting a war against whistleblowers and ultimately against independent journalism.