Is Snowden a Hero, Traitor, or Something Else

Friday, June 14, 2013


This week, the rush was on to understand Edward Snowden's character and the conversation in the media quickly broke down in to one camp that holds Snowden up as a hero and another that condemns him as a traitor. Brooke examines that dichotomy and suggests another way to think about Snowden. 


Marcy Playgound - Emperor

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [6]

ivanobregon from nyc

Brooke is bothered by Snowden's decision to seek asylum in Russia as if Snowden would have been allowed to get it in Latin America, Europe or anywhere else for that matter. Have no idea what Snowden's or Putin's intentions are, but it is disingenuous to act as if the US' treatment of Manning, Assange or its systematic policies of human right infringements (Guantanamo, extraditions)or even its secret unconstitutional surveillance powers would give anyone reason to trust Obama's offer not to....torture him. Please take the flag off your eyes when taking the hero-sheen off the whistleblower, thanks.

Aug. 02 2013 07:38 PM
Shinji-kun from Tucson, AZ

Has Edward Snowden made fools of us all by “revealing” information already in the public domain on NSA’s own public website, ?

From the NSA website:

“The storage capacity of the Utah Data Center will be measured in ‘zettabytes’.” Using internet traffic figures from Wikipedia, a quick calculation shows that the Utah site can store many years of internet backbone traffic in the United States. All of it.

“Recently, our classified NSA Oak Ridge facility made a stunning breakthrough that is leading us on a path towards building the first exaflop machine… This will give us the capability to break the AES [128-bit] encryption key within an actionable time period and allow us to read and process stored encrypted domestic data as well as foreign diplomatic and military communications.”

Be sure to view “What Data We Collect,” (too long to reproduce here), and two NSA patents: “Biomimetic Voice Identifier” and “Method of identifying topic of text using nouns.” Voices and topics – that’s not metadata.

Perhaps the most startling information is found in the PowerPoint slides on the “Surveillance Strategy Page,” One cartoon shows “All internet traffic (emails, web browsing, transactions)” intercepted by a fiber optic splitter, one output of which goes to NSA, the other back to us. What part of “all” do Congress and the public not understand? Oddly, some of these slides are marked TOP SECRET.

No one should consider him- or herself informed on this topic without reading and digesting this website in its entirety, including the embedded links. If some of the information is too technical, quiz your local IT specialist (or a bright high-school student).

The government would not have invested upwards of $2 billion in this behemoth if it did not intend to use it.

Jun. 19 2013 02:52 PM
Idris from Washington DC

It's probably worth mentioning that despite Booz Allen's statement that Ed Snowden's salary was "at the rate of $122,000," that figure may not have included stock options, benefits, and bonuses that could have brought his actual remuneration closer to the $200,000 that Snowden claimed.

Jun. 16 2013 07:55 PM
Ramesh from NY

Snowden is a true patriot and went beyond useless flag waving.

He blew the lid off of secret relation between corporations and US Govt. This information shows that relation between corporations and Govt. is similar in the context of both China and US. Google made a big deal when Chinese Govt. requested for censoring (I am not defending Chinese Govt.), but same Google did not even issue a press release when NSA requested for user information. In some ways US is worse than China because US barred corporations for opening their mouth.

International implications are substantial: US Govt. and flagship corporations like Google no more hold high ground. US Govt. can not complain about Chinese hacking in to US computers because according to Glen Greenwald NSA hacked in to other countries including India, China etc..

Jun. 16 2013 06:26 PM

Regardless of his personal motivation it takes guts to expose secret information authorized by a secret decision issued through a issued by a secret court that generally cannot be discussed because it is.....drum roll please "secret." It is important to recognize that by making this Kafka like situation Manning and now Snowden need to be recognized as they are: heros.

Jun. 16 2013 09:53 AM

Transcript, please!

Jun. 14 2013 09:23 PM

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