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It is believed that Snowden had access to about 1.7 million files and only 1 percent have been published

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is reportedly considering granting Edward Snowden an amnesty deal. However, the NSA's director isn't onboard, saying too much damage has already been done.

According to BBC News, Richard Ledgett -- head of the NSA taskforce looking into the Snowden leaks -- said he would be open to granting Snowden amnesty as long as the now-famous NSA leaker stops revealing the agency's secrets. 

"I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured, and my bar for those assurances would be very high, would be more than just an assertion on his part," said Ledgett. 

This would be great news for Snowden, who began leaking details on top secret NSA surveillance programs to the media earlier this year. Snowden is a former NSA contractor who gained access to the surveillance program documents and downloaded them illegally. 

Despite Ledgett's views, NSA Director Gen Keith Alexander made it clear that he does not agree with the possibility of an amnesty deal. 

"This is analogous to a hostage taker taking 50 people hostage, shooting 10, and then say, 'if you give me full amnesty, I'll let the other 40 go'. What do you do?" said Alexander. 

For it's part, the White House has maintained that there should be no amnesty provided for Snowden. "Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States," said Security Council spokesman Caitlin Hayden to USA Today. "He should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections."


It is believed that Snowden had access to about 1.7 million files, and only about 1 percent of those files have been published by the media. Recognizing that a lot more could roll down the pipeline, Ledgett is likely trying to prevent further catastrophe for the NSA. 

So far, the U.S. has charged Snowden with theft of government property and unauthorized communication of national defense information as well as willful communication of classified communications intelligence. Each of these charges comes with a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Last week, it was reported that a a presidential review panel is working on draft recommendations that aim to change how the NSA collects and accesses Americans' data such as phone records. They were to be turned in to the White House yesterday. 

Source: BBC News



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By GotThumbs on 12/16/2013 2:03:39 PM , Rating: 5
I see Snowden as a whistle blower and as long as he does not directly hand over specific details/schematics, he will remain so. People need to wake up and take back the freedoms we once had.

We also need to re-raise our expectations for all living within our society. Too many standards/laws have been lowered/ignored. Be proud of our nation and lets not allow others to abuse/use it.

We have to accept a certain amount of risk in our lives, in order to live free.

Think about the movie I-Robot. The only logical way to stop the human race from imploding on itself....was to restrict and control it.

I would rather live with the risks, then have our nation remain under such tyranny.

~Best wishes keeping what you earned.




By GotThumbs on 12/16/2013 2:06:21 PM , Rating: 5
BTW.

I don't think I would trust our government/"leadership" at all when it comes to following through on their word "Period".

Snowden should be very cautious if he is offered amnesty from our current government.


By bitmover461 on 12/17/2013 9:37:42 AM , Rating: 5
The recent ruling that NSA activities are unconstitutional basically proves that he is a whistle-blower, and deserves full amnesty and protection. In fact I'd call him a National hero.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/17/2013 10:33:09 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately he still broke laws. Whether or not the NSA's activities are legal is irrelevant. He did the right thing to be sure. But he can still be nailed for how he did things and the laws he broke.

Sadly right and wrong doesn't always jive with legal and illegal, especially when it comes to this stuff.

quote:
In fact I'd call him a National hero.


Well so was Mandella. But they still threw him in jail for 20-something years...


By flatrock on 12/18/2013 9:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
The NSA's actions have already been approved and re-approved by many judges in the past. I agree with you that the actions should be unconstitutional, but it's the Supreme Court's opinion not mine, not yours, and not that of the judge that granted a preliminary injunction (which he himself stayed since he knows it will be appealed). Smith v Maryland is long settled precedent, and ruling the NSA's actions would bring into question the constitutionality of over 3 decades of pen register evidence.

It is extremely, extremely unlikely that this district Judge's preliminary ruling will stand, and even he hasn't ruled the NSA's actions unconstitutional yet.

And even if those actions were unconstitutional and therefore illegal, Snowden released a massive amount of documents, not a very narrow leak about illegal activity. While he can't be prosecuted for exposing illegal activity by the government, he went way beyond what might be allowed as a whistle blower. While some of his actions may have been those as a whistle blower too many others were simply him placing his opinions above the law, and above his oat to keep the secrets he was entrusted with. He betrayed that trust. He betrayed his coworkers who foolishly trusted him with their passwords.

Notice that he didn't even bother with any leaks about intelligence gathering by anyone but the US and their closest allies. Counterintelligence is also a primary role of the NSA. He didn't try to expose the spying of everyone, just the US and it's allies.

There is no way the government can or should grant him immunity. I'm glad that some good may come from his actions, but he still deserves to rot in jail.


By Uncle on 12/19/2013 8:52:37 PM , Rating: 2
"There is no way the government can or should grant him immunity." Exactly I would rather he keep leaking documents. It sure was a wake up call to Canadians. Its so good and quiet that the people with the "Take your tin Foil Hat off" seem to have disappeared. They finally see the light.


Why aren't you in prison?
By rountad on 12/16/2013 2:57:00 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
"This is analogous to a hostage taker taking 50 people hostage, shooting 10, and then say, 'if you give me full amnesty, I'll let the other 40 go'. What do you do?" said Alexander.


If it were me, I'd order some Romulans to come onto the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and arrest you for perjury, among other crimes.




RE: Why aren't you in prison?
By The Von Matrices on 12/17/2013 1:46:21 AM , Rating: 2
It's not far fetched. After all, the NSA does have the Starship Enterprise.

http://www.dailytech.com/NSA+Chief+Built+Starship+...


RE: Why aren't you in prison?
By rountad on 12/17/2013 11:05:39 AM , Rating: 3
That was my point


Due Process
By ResStellarum on 12/16/2013 6:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"He should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections."

Yeah right. Like Bradley Manning was? He'd be locked up in a secure location never to see the light of day again.

The USA is the most tyrannical country in the world. I'd hate to be accused of a crime in that country. The police run wild, the politicians work directly for the plutocracy (corporations), and the government is spying on citizens wholesale.




RE: Due Process
By Bateluer on 12/17/2013 5:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could be accused of a crime in say . . Italy, where they'll just re-try you over and over until they get the verdict they want. Or in North Korea, where they'll simply execute you, then throw the next 3 generations of your family into prison camps. Such a tyrannical nation, the US is.


RE: Due Process
By Nagorak on 12/18/2013 4:50:12 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, let's not be ridiculous. You can have criticisms of our country without exaggerating things to the point of absurdity. The U.S. wouldn't even be in the top 50 tyrannical countries. Every dictatorship would rate higher.


Doesn't make any sense
By flatrock on 12/17/2013 3:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
First of all the NSA doesn't have anything to do with an amnesty offer. That's a DOJ issue.

It's also clear that Snowden has already turned over large amounts of documents to the press and that the press is now dictating when they are released. There's really not much benefit in demanding Snowden keep his mouth closed at this point.

It seems that Snowden wasn't an analyst and didn't have first hand access to most of these programs and databases anyway. He got other people with access to documents to give him their passwords so he could steal documentation, but he doesn't seem to have much inside insight into the programs themselves despite some of his early claims.

What he had were documents, and he has already passed those on. He really doesn't have anything to bargain with anymore. At the same time there's not any urgency to silence him.

Some of what he released demonstrated how the government is getting out of hand even if they are operating within the law. Some seemed to just be released out of spite to make the US government look bad. He did a lot of damage to the credibility of the US and lessened the pressure on the Chinese and others who have much more aggressive programs.

The problem with him being a whistle blower is that he didn't keep his leaks narrow and focused. There's also the problem that most if not all of what he revealed doesn't appear to be illegal. You don't generally get immunity from prosecution for revealing legal classified programs. Our government can't simply let each individual decide it's OK to expose classified programs they don't like, and especially with such a large number of documents about programs being leaked.

I don't think the government can offer him immunity.




RE: Doesn't make any sense
By Totally on 12/19/2013 12:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
[quote]Some of what he released demonstrated how the government is getting out of hand even if they are operating within the law. Some seemed to just be released out of spite to make the US government look bad. He did a lot of damage to the credibility of the US and lessened the pressure on the Chinese and others who have much more aggressive programs.

The problem with him being a whistle blower is that he didn't keep his leaks narrow and focused. There's also the problem that most if not all of what he revealed doesn't appear to be illegal. You don't generally get immunity from prosecution for revealing legal classified programs. Our government can't simply let each individual decide it's OK to expose classified programs they don't like, and especially with such a large number of documents about programs being leaked.[/quote]

That's a bit of a jump, you sound like you have first hand knowledge of Snowden has got his hands on and will or will not release.


RE: Doesn't make any sense
By Adonlude on 12/19/2013 7:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised that the US government doesn't just make it really illegal for any media source to discuss any classified information it may be given. Sure other countries media could release it but if US media couldn't talk about it I'm betting most Americans would never hear about it.

It would violate necessary freedom of the press but the way the US is going I can see them trying this.


Which oath?
By PaFromFL on 12/17/2013 8:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
Amnesty would make it clear that the U.S. oath to defend the constitution against foreign and domestic threats trumps the oath to keep embarrassing secrets that would weaken the rich and powerful. Given the recent trend toward a police state, I'm not betting on amnesty. The press is afraid to do its job, and I honestly can't blame them.




Alexander has it backwards
By DT_Reader on 12/18/2013 3:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"This is analogous to a hostage taker taking 50 people hostage, shooting 10, and then say, 'if you give me full amnesty, I'll let the other 40 go'. What do you do?" said Alexander.
No, this is analogous to a citizen rescuing 50 people from a burning building and getting 10 of them to safety. Then the arsonist says, 'I'll let you walk away unharmed if you let me shoot the other 40.'




Snowden
By Leslietech on 12/18/2013 8:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
Recently I heard a Democratic congresswomen tell someone, that Edward Snowden was a traitor, who hurt the United States from his exposing the NSA’s intelligence gathering. True, secrets have been disclosed, maybe laws broken, our spy agencies have been compromised, our adversaries have been empowered, relationships with our allies and friends have been strained if not broken. We’re not as safe as we were before.
All that based on certain assumptions namely: that our enemies are both lethal and at the door, that they can be found anywhere even among the populace . That we can protect our selves in this way. That people don’t change; that evil will always exist in the world. That adversaries will eventually fall to greater power. That our history is good evidence for that. So we need to be hard nosed about our security.
Those being the assumptions and world view of the policy makers in our foreign policy establishment, and in our Military, Oil, Industrial and Intelligence communities in the US and elsewhere. Despite what’s come out from Snowden’s leaking.
Namely we’ve been given a chance to consider privacy issues. We’ve been shown, ounce again, how those, who think they’re trying to protect us, can easily lie to us. We’ve been alerted to the suicidal amount of greed and money involved in intelligence gathering. We’ve been given an opportunity to assess the efficacy of our spy and intelligence gathering services.
Even more importantly those in the Intelligence community have been given a opportunity to access what they’re really doing here on the earth at this time. At least those who haven’t been totally captured by their, their assumptions, and their world view, like the one listed above, and by the money and by their learning and indoctrination. Who like sheep can only justify and rationalize their participation in order to maintain their jobs, outlook and equilibrium.
Yet with a different set of assumptions about the workings of the world, all that supposed hurt and damage that Snowden did, that all falls apart.
Namely that spying and intelligence gathering is more often perceived by others as nefarious, thus fear producing, which people will defend against. That an adversaries lethality is a function of your own. That they’ll attempt to match, or even better yours. That one’s enemies are entities that are cultivated and developed albeit unconsciously? That they’re a function of a nation’s policies as much as they are a function of greed. That this years enemies can be next years friends, if you play you cards right, looking for win-win solutions, explaining what your doing, by winding down tensions. That openness and truth allows you to make decisions about efficacy, such that you can insure your tactics will support your strategy, our safety in this case. That people in the world can evolve up and away from enmity by choosing differently, having different assumptions. There’s plenty of evidence in history for these as well. So with this set if assumptions Snowden is more like a savior.
So the question is, which set of assumptions and beliefs do you want carved on your tomb stone, by you son’s and daughter’s when you die? Telling the sky what you did, who you were and why.




By overlandpark on 12/19/2013 1:05:11 AM , Rating: 2
He deserves to die, period. I'm sure it's in the works when someone gets a scope on him. I'm ready to go with my SnoDead party




By Mr Majestyk on 12/16/2013 3:53:32 PM , Rating: 1
I would hope he wouldn't take it, even if they offered him amnesty. Should get a ticker tape parade and have been named man of the year, along with manning and Assange.Guy is a legend.




Bad idea
By Ammohunt on 12/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: Bad idea
By anactoraaron on 12/16/2013 1:54:11 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
illustrate where our failed society is today i don't know what does


You know what perfectly illustrates our failed society? You thinking we live in a "free world".
quote:
enemies of the free world


RE: Bad idea
By chripuck on 12/16/2013 1:58:21 PM , Rating: 3
So where's your credible source for him providing this information to the enemy? Because all I've seen is him releasing information on the domestic surveillance programs the NSA is conducting on it's own law abiding citizens.

He is, and will remain, a hero AS LONG as he doesn't release information that directly endangers American lives e.g. releasing the type of information you mention.


RE: Bad idea
By lagomorpha on 12/16/2013 2:08:01 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
So where's your credible source for him providing this information to the enemy? Because all I've seen is him releasing information on the domestic surveillance programs the NSA is conducting on it's own law abiding citizens.


Spoiler: Law abiding citizens are the enemy.


RE: Bad idea
By Ammohunt on 12/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: Bad idea
By carigis on 12/16/2013 3:12:02 PM , Rating: 4
yea,,, because hanging out here and going to prison is a much better option. the countries he went to are the only ones obama wouldn't dare using a drone strike in.. and we have already seen they do not distinguish between US citizens and foreign nationals or even age of targets given the 16 year old US citizen. Id say the countries he went in was a good call. being thrown in a cell would just silence him.

If it wasn't for snowden the NSA lying would have went un-refuted.


RE: Bad idea
By joshuasims1981 on 12/16/2013 3:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can judge him by his actions of first fleeing to China then setting up residence in Russia both countries that have sought to act diametrically to western interests in sometimes hostile fashion.

You certainly can. And you can be wrong.
If you see, let's say, a Democrat do something wrong and/or illegal, do you take that information to his colleague within the same party? Of course not. You take it to someone who is either a.) A disinterested 3rd party or b.) a Republican because the Democrat would try to cover his friend. Same thing with nation states. If he'd flown to, say, the UK, they would have shipped him back immediately, whether he's right or wrong, because that's what allies do. Because the US has made the world an "Us or Them" environment, he really didn't have the option of the disinterested 3rd party.
quote:
i also don't apply the superstitious evil intent to it as so many netziens do.

It has nothing to do with evil intent. I agree with you that I don't think that there was an intent to do harm. A good intent does not excuse immoral action. I'm more than willing to entertain alternatives, but sometimes you play the cards you're dealt. I'm not sure I wouldn't have done the same thing he did. There comes a time where the rules mean less than doing the right thing. He reached that point.
As for less safe, you've, I'm sure, heard the quote: Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety,deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
In regards to treason, I beg to differ. He is no more a traitor than the boy who told the Emperor he was naked.


RE: Bad idea
By FXi on 12/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: Bad idea
By snyper256 on 12/16/2013 9:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
The NSA is blackmailing politicians.


RE: Bad idea
By snyper256 on 12/16/2013 9:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
Information will spread, regardless of the losers who would prefer otherwise.


RE: Bad idea
By ritualm on 12/16/2013 9:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
Both Ammohunt and FXi would rather chicken out and take the blue pill, than to face off against their mortal enemies - themselves, ironically - to cherish and preserve what little patriotism and freedoms they have remaining right now.

When you start complaining that the government has too much power over your personal life and are not happy with the way things are progressing, it is already too late.

As far as I'm concerned, both of you deserve to be charged with "Aiding the Enemy" under the Espionage Act.


RE: Bad idea
By Ammohunt on 12/16/2013 10:01:05 PM , Rating: 3
So what you are saying is that the Government which is comprised of you, me and FXi and about 350 Million other Americans which created the NSA and everything bad they have done are the enemy? Sounds like an easy out for you to create a simple us vs them scenario kill em all! to bad for you and bully for the patriots its just not that simple.


RE: Bad idea
By ritualm on 12/17/2013 2:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
Cute of you to think that way, while doing the exact same thing you just accused me with. You gain nothing by relinquishing your freedom and privacy because someone higher up promised "greater safety and protection".

Snowden is not a traitor or an enemy of the state. The laws he broke - the very laws that granted sweeping powers to illegally extract information without accountability - are tyrannical and oppressive by design. The oath to protect the US Constitution from all external and internal threats is greater than all confidentiality agreements combined.

Your problem is your foolish belief that people who broke illegal secrecy laws to uncover the truth are "enemies of the free world", while simultaneously believing every word coming out of the joint US government and mainstream media Kool-Aid(TM) machine as gospel. Snowden is not the problem here - you are.

Good job trying to fool me with your NSF cheque, but no cigar.


RE: Bad idea
By Ammohunt on 12/17/2013 6:44:49 PM , Rating: 1
Like i have stated many times before as long as our society is civilized and Americans are ok with what the NSA is doing for the obvious reasons then government is working..right or wrong. If they aren't ok with it(which seems to be the case) then change will be exacted through level headed people via the governing process and not via a bunch of malcontents such as yourself bitching about how things should be or worse yet people that think they are so special and smart that they can single highhandedly make judgments that directly affects the lives of millions of people globally.

Give it up already their isn't an us vs them only we the government that we have inflicted ourselves with! don't ask what other secrets are hiding that the Snowdens of the world can release but ask what your elected representative knows or doesn't know; you elected them make them work.


RE: Bad idea
By flatrock on 12/18/2013 10:05:50 AM , Rating: 2
He didn't just break secrecy laws to uncover "the truth". I agree that the government's program of gathering up such massive amounts of metadata makes a mockery of the constitutionality of Smith v Maryland. But Snowden didn't stop at narrow leaks to point out likely unconstitutional acts. He also only leaked information about the intelligence gathering efforts of the US and their allies. Counterintelligence is a primary responsibility of the NSA. Do you think he only had access to what the US and their allies were doing? He leaked a huge amount of documents. So why do they all disclose actions taken by the US and their allies?

I won't claim to understand his motives. I am happy that some good may come from his actions, and I think some of his actions can be justified. But they aren't all justified, and he needs to face the consequences of his actions.


RE: Bad idea
By jRaskell on 12/16/2013 5:11:46 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
if that one point doesn't illustrate where our failed society is today i don't know what does.


Or perhaps it simply illustrates where our failed GOVERNMENT is today.

You also talk about blind trust further down. You appear to be giving that blind trust to the government, after nearly innumerable times where they've shown they don't deserve that trust at all. That to me is the real failing of our society in general.

We NEED significantly more transparency in our government than we currently have. These people running our country are expressly NOT to be trusted. The whole point of the Constitution, the three branches of government, and the checks and balances that were put into place is that the government CAN'T be trusted. These things are in place to protect society from it's government, and now society is quite happily letting government erode them all away until there are no protections left.

Anyone who trusts their government, even a little bit, has learned absolutely nothing from thousands of years of human history.


RE: Bad idea
By mchentz on 12/16/2013 9:55:27 PM , Rating: 3
I can honestly say I don't trust our government any more. I look at things being done in government and I just don't understand these decisions our government is making.


RE: Bad idea
By TSS on 12/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: Bad idea
By purerice on 12/18/2013 4:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
whoever downed your post misinterpreted what you meant. You made a good point though if you made it more clear people would not have downvoted you.


RE: Bad idea
By purerice on 12/18/2013 4:53:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed as traitors for this type of thing Edward Snowden has been made a folk hero


Really? The Rosenbergs were convicted for working for and behalf of the Soviet Union and against the United States, giving them information on military aircraft designs and nuclear weapons that in conjunction threatened the lives of every single American citizen.

Snowden is accused of revealing to the world that the US was secretly spying on everybody's actions.

The Rosenbergs were convicted on the charge of secretly putting the world in more danger. Snowden is charged with openly revealing to the world that the US is putting them in more danger.

In that sense, Snowden did the OPPOSITE of what the Rosenbergs were convicted for. Peace.


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