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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 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.

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.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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