Edward Snowden: Permanent Record

Edward Snowden’s memoir, Permanent Record was released on September 17, 2019, Constitution Day. The Department of Justice swiftly filed a civil lawsuit against Snowden for book profits and royalties, claiming he had violated the non-disclosure agreement by failing to submit the book to the NSA or CIA for pre-publication clearance. The lawsuit only resulted in boosting the sales of his memoir, making it a world bestseller.

Snowden became familiar with the global mass surveillance system as a former NSA contractor working in Hawaii. He writes in his book:

“Deep in a tunnel under a pineapple field — a subterranean Pearl Harbor-era former airplane factory — I sat at a terminal from which I had practically unlimited access to the communications of nearly every man, woman and child on earth who’d ever dialed a phone or touched a computer.”

Snowden had made a drastic decision to expose the NSA spying program, so he gathered the evidence and flew to Hong Kong to secretly meet with journalists. As a result, the U.S. government charged Snowden with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and accused him of compromising national security. The Department of Justice unsealed the criminal complaint on June 21, 2013 — Edward Snowden’s birthday.

There have long been claims and speculations that spying and collecting information on American citizens is an “Orwellian” surveillance system which has nothing to do with terrorism or national security — a blanket term often used by the government to avoid disclosing illegal activity.

According to the NSA, the one million square-foot Utah Data Center, code-named Bumblehive, “… is the first Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (IC CNCI) data center designed to support the Intelligence Community’s efforts to monitor, strengthen and protect the nation. Our Utah “massive data repository” is designed to cope with the vast increases in digital data that have accompanied the rise of the global network.” The amount of data it stores is estimated to be on the order of exabytes or larger.

So how did a surveillance system of such mass scale and proportion even come into existence in the first place? The birth of the NSA program is directly connected to the 9/11 Al-Qaeda attacks and the rushed USA Patriot Act. With barely enough time for the members of Congress to read it, the bill was passed on October 26, 2001.

But with the information recently brought to light as a result of a four-year study on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, we should all be questioning the U.S. government’s insider information — or possibly even involvement — in the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United States. The University of Alaska in Fairbanks concluded that fires were not responsible for the collapse of WTC7. “Our study found that the fires in WTC 7 could not have caused the collapse recorded on video,” stated Professor Leroy Hulsey. “We simulated every plausible scenario, and we found that the series of failures that NIST claimed triggered a progressive collapse of the entire structure could not have occurred. The only thing that could have brought this structure down in the manner observed on 9/11 is the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building below Floor 17.” 

What this information appears to be spelling out for us is that the collapse was a controlled demolition. And that consequently brings into question the reasons WTC1 and WTC2 were essentially pulverized.

Despite this information, the Patriot Act was extended for another three months and is due for re-evaluation in March 2020. Section 215 of the Patriot Act is what had allowed the U.S. government to conduct mass surveillance on millions of American citizens.

Though Snowden’s disclosure of the NSA’s privacy violations were instrumental in passing the USA Freedom Act, which restricts bulk metadata phone records collection, his actions have been criticized by both Barack Obama and Donald Trump and he is unlikely to get a fair trial if he chooses to return to United States.


Read more at: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/13/759833071/in-permanent-record-edward-snowden-makes-his-case-against-mass-surveillance

Leave a Reply