Feeds

Snowden never blew a whistle, US spy boss claims

Those red-flag emails he claims NSA has? Nope, can't find 'em

Boost IT visibility and business value

NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he repeatedly raised concerns with his superiors and with oversight groups that the scope of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs was too broad, but the government claims that isn't the case.

In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday – the first time Snowden has appeared on US television since fleeing the country in May 2013 – the former intelligence contractor said that his attempts to question the legality of the NSA's programs fell on deaf ears.

"I actually did go through channels, and that is documented," Snowden said. "The NSA has records, they have copies of emails, right now, to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me, raising concerns about the NSA's interpretations of its legal authorities."

But the US government claims the only email communication it can find between Snowden and the NSA's Office of General Counsel is on a trivial legal matter, and that it "did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse."

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence posted an image of Snowden's email and its redacted reply on its IC on the Record Tumblr site.

In the exchange, Snowden asks whether Presidential Executive Orders can override federal laws, as one of his training materials seemed to state. The response from the Office of General Counsel is that while Executive Orders have the "force and effect of law," they cannot override statutes. No other issues were discussed, the government's post states, and "There was not additional follow-up noted."

"There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations," the post concludes. "We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims."

In his NBC interview, however, Snowden said he expected the intelligence community to deny his allegations and to "frame it in certain ways" to discredit him.

In another segment of the interview, Snowden mentioned that Obama administration officials have repeatedly tried to characterize him as a "low-level analyst," when in fact he was a trained spy who operated computer systems for the US government while working undercover overseas.

In response to Snowden's televised comments, US Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC's Today program that the administration would be happy to fly Snowden back to the United States to make his case before the American people.

"If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust in the American system of justice," Kerry said. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.