RT: Assange to NSA whistleblower Snowden: ‘We are winning, but I hope you have a plan’

June 12, 2013 at 12:49 am Leave a comment

RT reports

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has voiced strong support for fellow whistleblower Edward Snowden, but urged him to escape Hong Kong immediately to avoid being “prosecuted for years”.

“I have called for exactly such actions in response to the surveillance state, and it is pleasing to see such simple, concrete proof,” Assange told RT, from the Ecuador embassy in London, where he has been holed up for a year.

Last week Snowden, a highly-paid software contractor, revealed the existence of PRISM, an overarching National Security Agency (NSA) program that collects vast amounts of personal online communication.

Assange said that he was aware that the US government was extensively collecting private citizens’ data, but admitted that he was “shocked” by how means of surveillance are “intermeshed into one single system”.

Classified documents leaked to the Guardian showed that the software, operational since 2007, was collating tens of millions of pieces of information each month from the protected inner servers of leading companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple.

On Monday, 29 year-old Snowden, a resident of Hawaii, disappeared from his hotel room in Hong Kong, where he has been for the past three weeks, and has not been contacted since Monday”

As much as this man has helped gained insight into workings of national security establishment, I still believe that he committed serious crime of disclosing top-secret information in a leak.  There other measures that could have been taken to disclose the information, but I think this guy wanted to be famous like Daniel Ellsburg.

At the time of Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsburg did a “crime of conscience”.   A “crime of conscience” is an act where somebody commits a serious crime of disclosing national security secrets for the greater good.  In my opinion, people who dilivuge such information as guilty of a crime.

Such action merit serious prison, but not life sentence unless the disclosure of information gravely harms US security.  In my opinion, this action does not merit grave security concerns, but rather discloses information that US citizens should know about.

However, disclosing classified information is serious felony.  While I believe that the government excessively overclassifies documents, I also believe that people who are entrusted with classified information have a moral duty not to disclose to the public.  A person should not have free reign to disclose classified information to the press unless there is imminent national security threat that threatens the citizens freedom.

The Prism program was a serious invasion of privacy, but it does not represent an imminent national security threat that threatens our democracy.   Rather, it shows the excessive reliance on gathering massive amount of metadata instead of properly targeting specific data from the technologies companies.  

In the end, there is needs to be special congressional investigation into the nature of these programs and proposed laws need to be design to prevent abuses of this technologies that are at the disposal at the NSA.     Snowden should be sentence to prison, but a mitigating circumstance should be noted in the sentencing because his work discloses potential abuses of federal government.   

If he make such reforms go through, Snowden will accomplish his goal even though he might to wear prison stripes for a few years.,

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