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Comments about ‘My view: NSA, Edward Snowden and Utah’

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Published: Friday, July 18 2014 2:27 p.m. MDT

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happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

Gordon. Even though I don't defend some of Snowdens actions, I will admit that you make a compelling case about the potential government abuse. Isn't is surprising that this might be happening under a Democrat administration? Or is it? As a conservative I usually stand strong with the people who are charged with our defense and intelligence agencies. I wonder if this personal information would/could be used by politicans for political reasons. With what seems to be going on in Washington D.C. today, IRS for example, I say absolutely yes. Since I don't trust the current administration who are anything but "open and transparant" I do believe we as a people need to reign in this potential abuse of power before it can't be stopped. So, Gordon, largely thanks to the example of our current Administration, you may have a convert.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

From what I know of what he did (which is not everything)... I seriously doubt he did it just for patriotic reasons.

IF he was being patriotic... he would have exposed it to the US media, or one of the many US wistle-blower agencies (NOT China, and Russia).

The amount of sensitive defense related data he has turned over to China and Russia is staggering. Almost EVERY aspect of our military defenses and our intelligence gathering capabilities have now been compromised.

He didn't just take a little data about a controversial surveillance program. He downloaded almost everything before he took off for China. More data than most people can comprehend.

He may say he only revealed a little of what he took... but I guarantee you whether he allowed it or not... Russia has had full access to his hard drive by now. And they know how to circumvent our intelligence gathering AND our National Defense Systems.

============

He didn't reveal anything we didn't already know (or at least suspect) was going on. When we gave Government this liberty (in exchange for security)... we should have known it would be abused eventually...

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

One thing that really bugs me and makes me very suspicious about Edward Snowden is how on Earth in the U.S. today did this guy score jobs with NSA, Booz Allen Hamilton, ect. without a college degree? He even has a GED, not a high school diploma. I mean, in most cases you want a government job, or a job with a big defense contracter, non college grads need not apply. Especially to work in the high tech area. So, how did he get into such sensitive positions in the first place? Ones that seem to me would require a Top Secret security clearance? There are a lot of pieces missing to this story. I wonder if the whole truth ever came out about the Snowden affair, it would be embarrassing or even damaging to some powerful folks in D.C. Just wondering.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The 4th Amendment states:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Cell phones and computers would be classified as "effects". The Supreme Court has already ruled that information on our cell phones cannot be searched by the police without a warrant. Surely the Obama administration got the message, but everyday, as I drive past the NSA facility in Bluffdale, I see that it is still in operation.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

The amount of water that place uses is the alarming thing. Why don't we go there and force them to leave? It's as simple as that.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Anti Bush-Obama,
It's not really just as simple as that... and you know it. The rhetoric just got the best of your for a second.

=============

@Mike Richards,
If the Constitution guarantees the secrecy of our Cell phones and computers... why are Google, Hotmail, AOL, Comcast, Facebook, etc, free to scan everybody's correspondence and forward the best nuggets to THEIR data partners (and the Government)?

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

2 bits

Of course it is, . Just go onto their property and ask them to leave. No need to be violent even. If they are, it will be on youtube. I guess you just love your slavery.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Anti Bush-Obama,
So... just go over and ask them to leave... and we will find out who's right.

How did we get on "Slavery"?

VST
Bountiful, UT

@Anti Bush-Obama said, “Why don't we go there and force them to leave?”

“Force” them to leave? What is this “we” stuff? You have a mouse in your pocket?

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

"Suppose there is another person far less patriotic and obsessed by money and power still working for NSA at the same level as Snowden."

"Far less patriotic?" . . . Than Snowden??!

Snowden is NO patriot.

He is an opportunist who put the safety and security of our nation and its citizens in JEOPARDY so he could have his 15 minutes of fame.

Snowden is a traitor to this nation, who should be hunted down and dealt with HARSHLY . . . so that even the dimmest Americans will realize that betraying this nation is really NOT a good idea.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Gary,

It was not Snowden who spied on Americans, contrary to the 4th Amendment.

It was not Snowden who spied on the leaders of other nations without their knowledge and without their consent.

It was not Snowden who lied about that spying.

It was not Snowden who taxed us to build a huge NSA complex in Bluffdale.

Maybe, before you start demanding that he be given the harshest penalty possible, you should remember who actually did those things. When you remember who did them, then, if you're still so inclined, let's deal with them in the harshest way possible.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

This truly is an issue upon which Americans from all walks of life can fully agree. I am with Mike Richards 100% on his 7:02pm statement - that will likely never happen again Since most of us are united on this, we should be able to overcome this massive abuse of the 4th Amendment

GaryO - Provide some explicit proof that a single American (or our Nation for that matter) has been put in any jeopardy as a result of Snowden You should take some time to honestly review the filtering process that folks like Greenwald go through in order to ensure the data released to the public is sanitized from harming people This often includes sending copies to our Federal govt prior to publication so they can provide input As Mike Richards points out, you are literally attacking the person exposing the wrongdoing - he has done no calculable harm.

2bits - I'm sure if the amount of sensitive information Snowden shared w/ China/Russia is staggering then you must have substantiated/corroborated proof it did in fact occur. Mind sharing that proof with the rest of the world?

Spoc
Ogden, UT

Many voices are concerned that the Federal Government is collecting data on law abiding citizens, as it raises the potential for unlawful use of that data.

Yet many are the same voices champion the concept of the Federal Government collecting data on law abiding citizens and building a similar national data base when they buy a gun.

Though the purported purposes, no matter how noble sounding, are different, the potentials for misuse and tyranny are similar.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey "Stalwart" -

"Provide some explicit proof that a single American has been put in any jeopardy as a result of Snowden"

Well, for one thing, he let terrorists know we were monitoring their cell phones.

With that knowledge, they changed the means by which they communicate, making it much more difficult for our intelligence community to keep track of who is plotting with whom to cause terror and damage to Americans and our allies.

Our relative inability to surveil terrorists, as a result, leaves Americans and our allies more open to attacks, that would otherwise have been thwarted if Snowden had not betrayed this nation by letting our enemies know about our surveillance techniques.

During WWII, they said "loose lips sink ships." That's still true now.

It's wrong for any American to respect a man who deliberately turned information over to our enemies and put this nation in danger . . . Let alone elevate him to the status of hero.

Hey Mike Richards -

No, it wasn't Snowden to set up our nation's intelligence operations that have kept this nation safe from domestic and foreign aggressors, but it is Snowden who weakened America's ability to defend itself.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Maybe, before you start demanding that he be given the harshest penalty possible, you should remember who actually did those things. When you remember who did them, then, if you're still so inclined, let's deal with them in the harshest way possible.
7:02 p.m. July 18, 2014

=========

OK then -- it was;
George W Bush - Republican
Dick Cheney - Republican
Orrin Hatch - Republican,
every Republican [or even Democrat] who voted for the "Patriot Act",
and
Every American Republican who voted for them!

Ralph West Jordan
Taylorsville, UT

Gary O hits the nail on the head. I likewise think Snowden is a spineless traitor who has seriously compromised the security of our nation as has been outlined in previous posts.

I for one am glad there are agencies who monitor what is going on even if they happen to look over my shoulder, then again I have nothing to hide, also I am not afflicted with the paranoid, The sky is falling chicken little syndrome that is prevalent in a couple of the previous posts. Their Big Brother Boogie man is coming to get us, has reached the ridiculous stage and will only be cured by turning off the AM Radio. At least it is better than the funnies section!

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

GaryO

"Well, for one thing, he let terrorists know we were monitoring their cell phones."

You'll surely have to do better than that. I hate to break it to you but that has not put people in jeopardy because "the terrorists" were already painfully aware of this. Please review what a droned signature strike is and you'll find that many of those strikes are singularly based on the location of a cell phone believed to be owned by a terrorist. You'll further learn that many "terrorists" will intentionally trade cell phones in order to confuse our intelligence community - this was occurring long before Snowden's revelations. They've known that for years and we did too - Snowden's leaks simply provided specific instances of this occurring which finally gives individuals standing to challenge the activity in the court of law.

Finally, you can review how we caught UBL and you'll find he was very aware that cell phones were being monitored That is old news so try again.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey Stalwart -

" terrorists" were already painfully aware of this [that the NSA was monitoring their cell phone activity]"

WRONG

The NSA monitoring had been a highly successful operation before the traitor, Edward Snowden, decided to let our enemies know about our surveillance operations.

"Since news reports in early August revealed that the United States intercepted messages between Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the head of Al Qaeda, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, discussing an imminent terrorist attack, analysts have detected a sharp drop in the terrorists’ use of a major communications channel that the authorities were monitoring. Since August, senior American officials have been scrambling to find new ways to surveil the electronic messages and conversations of Al Qaeda’s leaders and operatives." - From the NY Times Sept 29, 2013

Face the facts.

People who betray this nation are traitors. And Snowden has betrayed this nation.

And that makes him what in your eyes? . . . A hero?

Maybe Snowden fans should reassess their priorities and take a long look at their system of values.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

GaryO - Did you read the article you quoted? The first paragraph reads, "the impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden." Translation: not Snowden.

That leak came from a discussion that occurred months after Snowden left for Hong Kong/Russia. The article literally draws the contrast between the leak you cite and Snowden's leaks. As I mentioned before, Greenwald et al have allowed the US gov't to proofread their articles in order to ensure no sensitive specific information is unintentionally contained in their articles. Further, there is zero credible evidence upon which to conclude NSA monitoring has been "highly successful" - quite the opposite is true.

What's more, the "major communications channel" was a specific phone line. Terrorists have known their phones were being tapped for years, again please read about signature strikes. This leak simply tipped them off that a specific line had been intercepted by US intelligence so they switched to a new one.

That's strike two for you. Perhaps your next swing will reveal any evidence Snowden caused a semblance of harm.

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