Edward Snowden Is Conducting A Live Q&A Session

Tyler Durden's picture

Eager to take advantage of NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden's current unincarcerated status and to ask him questions about his motives or thoughts? Here is your chance courtesy of the Guardian which is holding a live Q&A session with the famous leaker. As the Guardian notes: "He will be online today from 11am ET/4pm BST today. An important caveat: the live chat is subject to Snowden's security concerns and also his access to a secure internet connection. It is possible that he will appear and disappear intermittently, so if it takes him a while to get through the questions, please be patient." Some more from the Guardian:

  • Edward Snowden is answering your questions about the NSA leaks live
  • Post your questions in the comment section below and recommend your favorites
  • We are posting Snowden's replies above the line
  • You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #AskSnowden

The live blog can be reached at the following link.

The conversation so far:

What would you say to others who are in a position to leak classified information that could improve public understanding of the intelligence apparatus of the USA and its effect on civil liberties?

What evidence do you have that refutes the assertion that the NSA is unable to listen to the content of telephone calls without an explicit and defined court order from FISC?


This country is worth dying for.

* * *

There is rampant speculation, outpacing facts, that you have or will provide classified US information to the Chinese or other governments in exchange for asylum. Have/will you?


This is a predictable smear that I anticipated before going public, as the US media has a knee-jerk "RED CHINA!" reaction to anything involving HK or the PRC, and is intended to distract from the issue of US government misconduct. Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now.

* * *

What are your thoughts on Google's and Facebook's denials? Do you think that they're honestly in the dark about PRISM, or do you think they're compelled to lie?

Perhaps this is a better question to a lawyer like Greenwald, but: If you're presented with a secret order that you're forbidding to reveal the existence of, what will they actually do if you simply refuse to comply (without revealing the order)?


Their denials went through several revisions as it become more and more clear they were misleading and included identical, specific language across companies. As a result of these disclosures and the clout of these companies, we're finally beginning to see more transparency and better details about these programs for the first time since their inception.

They are legally compelled to comply and maintain their silence in regard to specifics of the program, but that does not comply them from ethical obligation. If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?

* * *

1) Define in as much detail as you can what "direct access" means.

2) Can analysts listen to content of domestic calls without a warrant?


1) More detail on how direct NSA's accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on - it's all the same. The restrictions against this are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time. Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications. For at least GCHQ, the number of audited queries is only 5% of those performed.

2) NSA likes to use "domestic" as a weasel word here for a number of reasons. The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant. They excuse this as "incidental" collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications. Even in the event of "warranted" intercept, it's important to understand the intelligence community doesn't always deal with what you would consider a "real" warrant like a Police department would have to, the "warrant" is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a reliable judge with a rubber stamp.

Glenn Greenwald follow up: When you say "someone at NSA still has the content of your communications" - what do you mean? Do you mean they have a record of it, or the actual content?

Both. If I target for example an email address, for example under FAA 702, and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers, attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time - and can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants.

* * *

Why did you wait to release the documents if you said you wanted to tell the world about the NSA programs since before Obama became president?


Obama's campaign promises and election gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes. Many Americans felt similarly. Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge.

* * *

Did you lie about your salary? What is the issue there? Why did you tell Glenn Greenwald that your salary was $200,000 a year, when it was only $122,000 (according to the firm that fired you.)


I was debriefed by Glenn and his peers over a number of days, and not all of those conversations were recorded. The statement I made about earnings was that $200,000 was my "career high" salary. I had to take pay cuts in the course of pursuing specific work. Booz was not the most I've been paid.

* * *

I should have asked you this when I saw you but never got round to it........Why did you just not fly direct to Iceland if that is your preferred country for asylum?


Leaving the US was an incredible risk, as NSA employees must declare their foreign travel 30 days in advance and are monitored. There was a distinct possibility I would be interdicted en route, so I had to travel with no advance booking to a country with the cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained. Hong Kong provided that. Iceland could be pushed harder, quicker, before the public could have a chance to make their feelings known, and I would not put that past the current US administration.

* * *

1) Why did you choose Hong Kong to go to and then tell them about US hacking on their research facilities and universities?

2) How many sets of the documents you disclosed did you make, and how many different people have them? If anything happens to you, do they still exist?


1) First, the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.

Second, let's be clear: I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target. Not only that, when NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash. Congress hasn't declared war on the countries - the majority of them are our allies - but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people. And for what? So we can have secret access to a computer in a country we're not even fighting? So we can potentially reveal a potential terrorist with the potential to kill fewer Americans than our own Police? No, the public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the "consent of the governed" is meaningless.

2) All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.

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Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture


I LOVE this fucker


2) All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.

The Juggernaut's picture

If anything happens to Snowden the world needs to Revolt hard.

onewayticket2's picture

QUESTION:  What is your (ex) girlfriend's phone number?

Skateboarder's picture

Why is the Guardian letting loose this barrage of tr00f?

Ahmeexnal's picture

Try to download TAILS in the last few days. It's slower than dialup. The sheeple are starting to revolt. Quick! Bring the TV set into the barn!

THX 1178's picture

This whole thing doesn't seem right to me. It seems to be a plant. It seems fake. Why would he be doing a Q&A? Am I the only one who senses something terribly wrong with this?

Skateboarder's picture

That's why I asked the question I did earlier. Fish, I smell everywhere.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

He does seem awefully in the know for a low level NSA high school dropout.

NotApplicable's picture

He just supplied the perfect answer.

"Further, it's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school."

You know, some people drop out of high school because they are TOO INTELLIGENT to continue the farce.

James_Cole's picture

If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.

I wish he could go on TV and debate some of these assholes smearing him live. 

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Now that Ed is trashing Dick, the WaPo will likely get behind Ed.

Isotope's picture

"Not only that, when NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash."

That would explain those severed undersea fiberoptic cables in the Middle East a few years ago.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I guess some people don't understand and I should have used the /sarc tag.  I was simply pointing out, that .gov was trying to smear him by calling him a liar and a high school drop out.  He obviously has his shit together and knows alot more than .gov is trying to give him credit for.

DaddyO's picture

+1 for that!

I've been saying that since this whole thing unfolded...

My take is that POTUS has pissed off the intelligence illuminatti and they are doing their best to hoist him on his own pitard...Mr. Snowden is right out of central casting and has CIA operative written all over him. His handlers are seeming chess masters at this juncture of the saga.


HobbyFarmer's picture

Think of the dirt that the NSA has collected on politicians and members of the supreme court.  The NSA can pretty much dictate any laws, any direction they want the gov't to take or threaten to leak info/phone calls/emails.

Expect only the few honest (any left?) politicians to raise their voices against the NSA/wiretapping.  The rest are already owned.

I hate the direction we're headed.  Or...have we already reached our destination are only now realizing it???

redpill's picture

Ed, you've done your duty brother.  Now get to Ecuador before they get to you.

Jack Napier's picture

Echelon and Total Information Awareness have been in the public domain for years. Whistleblowing yet another program doing what we already know they are doing is pointless. This definitely smells fishy.

MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

Will be interesting to see to what extent this negatively affects Wastebook's usage numbers.

Also interesting to see Cheney's remarks.  He well understood the reach of the spy agencies - he never used a cell phone to communicate messages.  He used sneaker-net, runners with paper in hand.  Smart man.

bunnyswanson's picture

Sympathizers to this man will be identified through their applause? 

~They~ are whistleblowing so the public believes justice still means something? 

What exactly do you mean?  False flag whistleblower would result in what gain?

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Ya, cause we all know that South America is the one place the Cocaine Importation Agency is afraid to go.

Freddie's picture

This is what weird web blog Lame Cherry has been saying since this broke.  Snowden never left the CIA. He worked for CIA as a contractor then left?  Sort of like Freedo left The Corleone Family or Luca Brasi.

LC has said Control is involved with Snowden.  LC sometimes refers to the old school CIA as Casey Associates as in old Bill Casey.  This may be old school intel. 

I think the USA is going to implode under Cloward Piven Hussein and maybe this is a last gasp to save it.   

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

a CONTRACTOR is not an INTELLIGENCE officer. If I heard he's an early-retired INTELLIGENCE OFFICER we'd have a whole other ball of Snow in the den to deal with

Bay of Pigs's picture

"It was seeing a continuing litany of lies from senior officials to Congress - and therefore the American people - and the realization that that Congress, specifically the Gang of Eight, wholly supported the lies that compelled me to act. Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper - the Director of National Intelligence - baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy. The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed."

Snowden on when he decided to go public

aka Gil's picture

He is articulate and his words have real meaning. They are not the words of a NSA/CIA operative or disinformation agent.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Ya, this is what makes Snowden look legit. Clapper is caught in perjury and later said in another interview he was stuck trying to give the "least untruthful answer"
It's not a sham when the man who is guilty of perjury is stuck admitting he was giving "least" untruthful answers.
It's a sham that the man isn't charged with perjury but that job is not up to Snowden - he's done his part.

MiltonFriedmansNightmare's picture

The question stil remains how someone so enlightened ends up working for the NSA in the first place.....

JPM Hater001's picture

I would tell you my theory but then the NSA would have to kill you.  I'm probably already dead by the time you read this.  Never by my hand because I wouldnt miss this for the world.

This is all part of something so big I promise 99.9% of even the people here (many I have immense respect for) have no idea what this is really about.

I figured it out May 7th.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

once you're in the job it's what you do there, not where you came from, that will determine how much more you'll get access too. If they didn't like him to have such access they wouldn't have hired him. It's not a standard corporate IT job where you just go swapping out RAM chips and hard disks with no care for what's in the computers. You don't get near anything on the networks or the physical storage without very high clearance.

Spanky's picture

Just a personal observation, but once a company man, always a company man. In my experience.

seek's picture

I have a close friend that's a former <insert three letter agency here> he's definite not on the .gov's side. A lot of the old timers are pretty bitter about what's happened to the country and the shit the agencies have pulled.

Don't forget they've sucked in hundreds of thousands of contractors in the past ten years, I'm sure some non-company men slipped through the cracks.

Dark Space's picture

Very good point. There are roughly 3.53 contractors for the Federal government for every 1 employee... http://thecrereview.blogspot.com/search?q=federal+employees

Spanky's picture

He could be 100% pure beef. I don't know one way or the other.

I know, and have known for many years, that what he describes is, in point of fact, objective reality -- NSA can and does routinely intercept all wired communications.

But, in my experience, there is one .gov agency that places an extreme premium on loyality, even after "separation" from its active service. The company banks on that loyality.

Just sayin.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture


Once you're in, you're in for life.  You never leave, you only go to 'sleep', or are 'reassigned'.

dwdollar's picture

If he is CIA, and the CIA is currently at war with the NSA over Benghazi then so be it... I hope they destroy each other.

DaddyO's picture

That has been my contention all along...


MiltonFriedmansNightmare's picture

CIA vs. NSA (and Oblahblah) makes a lot of sense. That boils down to TLC vs BO which boils down to Civil War once the order is given for the CIA to take action.

trader1's picture

Petraeus (former CIA director) and Alexander (NSA director) were in the same class at West Point

Spanky's picture

That's interesting. Thanks.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

You know William Binney agrees completely with the leaks so far.

aka Gil's picture

Except he was not a company man. He was a contractor, a mercenary if you will. They have no loyalty to the company. Being fully aware of the consequences, they can stop taking the money and quit whenever they like.

I submit that, rather than compromising national security, his actions have significantly embarassed the boyz at Booz and jeapordized their future .gov cash flow to the point where they would like to see him terminated with extreme prejudice.

Spanky's picture

Might want to check his bio.

quasimodo's picture

Then tell you gal to take a shower

NoDebt's picture

When something seems too good to be true....

tarsubil's picture

Too good to be true is Obama saying he has seen the light and he's going to fix this. Edward was right in his criticism of C*** News Network and F***tard News:

"Initially I was very encouraged. Unfortunately, the mainstream media now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicionless surveillance in human history."

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

There are some reasoned theories that he is an NSA "controlled objector", that is actually conveying "1984 is already here, so watch your back/protect your neck".  Basically a warning shot meant to scare people into refraining from highly effective means of communication that are harder to control.  

THX 1178's picture

I like it. Everyone is being very careful what the say on FB and twitter, huh? good point.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Censorship is best accomplished when it is self-censorship.  Less of a paper trail, and also, the work tends to be of a slightly higher quality.

Againstthelie's picture


And teherfore the surveillance program is top secret. :P

Everyone who has watched Obamas press conference about this topic, could see the desperation and how the knees were flattering.

This is the Super-GAU for the globalist plan - the USA no longer has any credibility. Either they change the plan now or they must go the route of pure oppression. I guess the second will take place which will further undermine their credibility which will lead to further oppression...


Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Exactly.  The idea that there is a day to day plan for the next couple years is fallacy.

They have goals, and a basic outline, and then they flesh out the details. 

What they forget is, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.