Tags: Edward Snowden | NSA/Surveillance | Edward Snowden | NSA | court | ruling | vindicated

Supporters Say Snowden Vindicated by NSA Court Ruling

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 05:51 PM

Supporters of spy secrets leaker Edward Snowden say he's vindicated by the appeals court ruling that determined the National Security Agency's program that scoops up millions of phone records is illegal.

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who helped Snowden expose the bulk collection program in 2013 tweeted shortly after the ruling Thursday:
And though Jesselyn Radack, a member of Snowden’s legal team, didn't say if she'd talked to Snowden about the decision, tells Politico: "Obviously everybody in the transparency, accountability and anti-surveillance community is thrilled with this ruling."

"The same defective legal theory that underlies the phone-records program underlies many of the government’s other mass-surveillance programs," she said. “Today’s ruling merits reconsideration of all of those programs, and it underscores the need for comprehensive systemic reform."

Stephen Kohn of the National Whistleblower Center, in a statement, noted, "Whether you supported or opposed Edward Snowden's disclosure of this massive privacy violation committed by the NSA, the court's ruling today demonstrates the importance of whistleblowing."

The ruling hardly gets Snowden off the hook: The ex-NSA contractor first exposed documents about the program's existence in June 2013, but leaked documents that concerned other programs as well.

"This ruling would not have been possible and would not have occurred if his disclosures had not taken place," Steven Aftergood, a specialist on government secrecy, tells Politico.

But it "doesn’t address the larger issues in the scope of all that he disclosed."

And the Obama administration said nothing about a change in its stance toward Snowden.

"Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States," Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council, tells Politico.

"He should return to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections."

The court opinion released Thursday, written by Judge Gerard Lynch and joined by Judges Robert Sack and Vernon Broderick, only briefly mentioned Snowden, Politico notes.

"Americans first learned about the telephone metadata program that appellants now challenge on June 5, 2013, when the British newspaper The Guardian published a [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] order leaked by former government contractor Edward Snowden," Lynch’s opinion noted.

Sack wrote a separate opinion that concurred, but talked directly about the effects of Snowden's actions, and framed Snowden as part of an American tradition of whistleblowing.

"Secretive bureaucratic agencies, like hermetically sealed houses, often benefit from a breath of fresh air," he wrote, Politico reports.

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Supporters of spy secrets leaker Edward Snowden say he's vindicated by the appeals court ruling that determined the National Security Agency's program that scoops up millions of phone records is illegal.
Edward Snowden, NSA, court, ruling, vindicated
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2015-51-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 05:51 PM
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