Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who turned into a whistleblower provided answers to those interested in the story of a modern Robin Hood who takes information from the NSA and gives it to the people. In the first live Q&A session since last June, Snowden talked about his plans of returning to the U.S. and shared his opinion regarding the indiscriminate mass surveillance and the future of the country.
Snowden bonded his fate with Thomas Drake’s, another NSA whistleblower who was declared “an enemy of the state” after willfully retaining top-secret defense documents. During the live Q&A, Snowden reminded his digital audience that his case is no different from Drake’s, which clearly shows that “the government doesn’t have a good history of handling legitimate reports of wrongdoing within the system.” The fugitive took over the role of a modern Robin Hood, but not before he “made tremendous efforts to report these programs to co-workers, superiors, and anyone with the proper clearance who would listen.” However, as Snowden emphasized during the Q&A, “no one was willing to risk their jobs, and possibly even freedom.”
Snowden also cleared the air regarding any accomplices that he might have had and stood up to his previous declarations, namely that he worked alone.
Obama and the Whistleblower Finally on the Same Page
Snowden, the modern Robin Hood of the US as some people name him emphasized the fact that he will not return to his country anytime soon because of the current Whistleblower Protection Act. “Even the President seems to agree [reform] needed to be done,” Snowden said.
The whistleblower pointed his finger at NSA’s surveillance which has been declared by Judge Patricia Wald “illegal.” The federal government found out that “the NSA violated the Constitution at least 120 million times under a single program,” but the mass surveillance had “0% success rate.”
Snowden chose the whistleblower life because he believed that the NSA’s mass surveillance was in contradiction to the idea of a free, democratic U.S. “I wasn’t going to stand by and watch it happen, no matter how much it cost me,” Snowden said. He acknowledged the bravery of Fidel Narvaez, the Ecuadorean Consul in London who lost his job while protecting the whistleblower and emphasized again the importance of “doing the right thing” not only with regard to Narvaez, but also to himself.
Doing the right thing means having no regrets.
Snowden did not throw bitter comments at people who work at NSA or CIA, but urged the Americans to beware of senior officials who authorize “these unconstitutional programs” and the secret FISA court, an “authority which approves 99.97% of government requests.”
Edward Snowden, a modern Robin Hood who willingly decided to risk his liberty and life for the American people’s privacy encouraged each individual to contact members of Congress and put an end to what appears to be a global problem. Although the whistleblower refuses to return home in the current circumstances which “do not protect contractors in the national security arena,” he remains deeply involved in his plan to end mass surveillance.
By Gabriela Motroc
The Day We Fight Back