MS Risk Blog

Snowden Dismisses US Report into his Activities

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Edward Snowden has dismissed a recently released report compiled by the US House of Representatives intelligence committee, which heavily criticised his activities.

The report, which took two years to compile, rejects Mr Snowden’s view of himself as a whistleblower, stating instead that he was a disgruntled employee whose actions did nothing more than help US enemies. Releasing a summary of its 36-page investigation into the case, the House committee disclosed that Mr Snowden had fallen out with his colleagues and lied about his background while at the NSA. It further states that most of the material that he had leaked related to military secrets that had nothing to do with Americans’ privacy but were to “protect American troops overseas and…provide vital defences against terrorists and nation-states.”

In a series of tweets, Mr Snowden dismissed the report’s findings, writing: “their report is so artlessly distorted that it would be amusing if it weren’t such a serious act of bad faith.”

Since 2013, Mr Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contactor, has been living in Russia. That year, he gained notoriety for releasing thousands of classified documents, which related mass phone and Internet surveillance that has been put in place in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The report was released just a day after two rights groups launched a campaign for President Obama to pardon Mr Snowden. On 14 September, Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) launched their ‘Pardon Snowden’ campaign, urging President Obama to do so before he leaves office in January 2017. Amnesty has sated that no-one should be prosecuted for exposing human rights violations, which, it claimed, is what “indiscriminative mass surveillance of communications” amounts to. Meanwhile the ACLU, which acts as Snowden’s legal adviser, has called him “a great American who deserves clemency for his patriotic acts.” The White House has already rejected the possibility of a presidential pardon.