The Real NSA Scandal is Overseas

June 4, 2014 by  

The Real NSA Scandal is Overseas, Last week Edward Snowden popped up from his exile in Moscow for an exclusive interview with NBC News anchor Brian Williams. Like much of the public narrative that has emerged since Snowden absconded with reams of classified documents from the National Security Agency, the interview further muddied the waters about what his historic leaks have revealed.

Snowden claimed, for example, that “the Constitution of the United States has been violated on a massive scale” and that “the Fourth Amendment as it was written – no longer exists.” That’s simply not true.

He said the “government” had “gone too far and overreached.” That is true, but not in the way Snowden means. He described how metadata could be used to get a clear picture of someone’s life while failing to provide evidence that the U.S. government is compiling such comprehensive profiles of American citizens without legal permission.

Finally, he asked: If the U.S. government “can’t show a single individual who’s been harmed in any way by this reporting, is it really so grave?”

This was one of the interview’s most unintentionally revealing moments because, while the agency’s domestic data gathering raises serious privacy concerns, Snowden’s question can be turned back on him. Can he point to a single American who’s been harmed by the NSA’s actions?

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