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GAP’s Jesselyn Radack visits Edward Snowden

Jesselyn Radack, National Security and Human Rights Director of the Government Accountability Project, visited Edward Snowden last week in order to present him with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, alongside three other whistleblowers. In an article in The Nation, Radack detailed her visit with Snowden, her concerns about travelling and the award he was given.

On meeting with Snowden, Radack writes: “Given the extraordinary circumstances and pressure he’s under, Snowden is doing remarkably well. He’s warm and engaged, greeting us with long embraces. His is well-grounded, centered, and has a quick sense of humor, darkly joking that if he were a spy, Russia treats its spies much better than leaving them trapped in the Sheremetyevo transit zone for over a month. He is brilliant, humble and idealistic – in the best sense of the word.”

She also discusses the importance of his safety and security: “The issue of his security is paramount. Russia granted him asylum and clearly has an interest in protecting its refugee. Attorney-General Eric Holder stated that the United States would not torture him if he returned, hardly a salutary promise. Senator Dianne Feinstein accused him of treason – an act punishable by death. And last week, former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden and House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers joked about putting Snowden on the ‘kill list’ for assassination.”

Jesselyn Radack’s full article: My Visit With Edward Snowden

James Risen interviews Edward Snowden

In an interview with the New York Times‘ James Risen, Edward Snowden stated that he did not take any copies of NSA documents with him to Moscow. He further stated that there is “a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents”.

Snowden also responded to claims that the NSA leaks caused damage, stating: “NSA would have set the table on fire from slamming it so many times in denouncing the damage it had caused. Yet NSA has not offered a single example of damage from the leaks. They haven’t said boo about it except ‘we think’, ‘maybe’, ‘have to assume’ from anonymous and former officials.”

He also discusses his gradual decision to become a whistleblower.

Read the full article in the New York Times: Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russia

UK asked New York Times to hand over Snowden documents

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson said she was approached by senior British officials who asked her to hand over NSA documents revealed by Edward Snowden. Abramson stated: “They were hopeful that we would relinquish any material that we might be reporting on, relating to Edward Snowden. Needless to say, I considered what they told me, and said no.”

The New York Times received the NSA documents as part of a collaboration with the Guardian, despite Edward Snowden’s decision not to go to the New York Times due to their year-long postponement of a story on the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping in 2005.

The UK government has made multiple attempts to slow or halt publication of the material revealed by Snowden, including the destruction of the Guardian‘s hard drives in July 2013.

Read more: New York Times’s Jill Abramson: ‘The First Amendment is first for a reason’

Video: Edward Snowden receives Sam Adams Award

Originally posted 11 October 2013 on WikiLeaks

Six video clips of Edward Snowden receiving the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence have been released by WikiLeaks. The award was presented to him by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

In the videos Snowden comments: “People all over the world are realising that these [surveillance] programs don’t make us more safe. They hurt our economy, they hurt our country, they limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative; to have relationships, to associate freely.”

He continues: “We have an executive of the Department of Justice that’s unwilling to prosecute high officials who lied to Congress and the country on camera, but they’ll stop at nothing to persecute someone who told them the truth. And that’s a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy.”

Watch the videos here:

CPJ report: Obama administration’s war on leaks most aggressive since Nixon

A new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists analyses the Obama administration’s aggressive prosecution of leakers and Obama’s failure to uphold government transparency. The report includes focus on Edward Snowden, noting the US government’s “wide-ranging effort to have him extradited to the United States”.

The report also discusses the aggression against journalists who have worked with Mr Snowden, including Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, as well as efforts by the UK government to slow or stop the Guardian‘s publication of material revealed by Snowden.

Furthermore, the CPJ reports on the surveillance of journalists, quoting Oktavía Jónsdóttir of IREX: “Journalists who aren’t worried about their communications being monitored should be; if not, they could be putting their sources at risk.”

Read the full report: The Obama Administration and the Press: Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America

Edward Snowden receives Sam Adams Award for Integrity

Presented on 9 October 2013 in Moscow

Edward Snowden was presented with the Sam Adams Award this Wednesday in Moscow. The award was given to him by US whistleblowers Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley and Ray McGovern. The award recognises integrity in the intelligence community, represented by a candlestick “for someone who has shone bright light into dark corners”.

McGovern commented: “He’s convinced that what he did was right. He has no regrets. And he’s willing to face whatever the future holds for him.”

Radack noted that, despite it being a dangerous time for whistleblowers in the US, more and more continue speaking out.

Read more: ‘US unchained itself from constitution’: Whistleblowers on RT after secret Snowden meeting

NSA document details attempts to de-anonymise Tor users

A top secret NSA powerpoint presentation entitled ‘Tor Stinks’ details the NSA’s attempts at de-anonymising users of Tor, a network created to help people improve their online privacy.

Depsite various methods detailed in the presentation, it stresses that the NSA will “never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time” and that there has been “no success de-anonymizing a user in response to a TOPI request/on demand”.

The document is part of the NSA files revealed by Edward Snowden.

Full document: ‘Tor Stinks’ presentation – read the full document

Ex-NSA chief jokes Snowden should be put on kill list

Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and CIA, joked about putting Edward Snowden on a kill list during a Washington Post panel discussion on cybersecurity. In response to Snowden’s nomination for a European human rights award, Hayden commented: “I must admit, in my darker moments over the past several months, I’d also thought of nominating Mr Snowden, but it was for a different list.”

Also present was Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who responded: “I can help you with that.”

The exchange was met with laughter from the audience.

Read more: Ex-NSA chief jokes about putting Edward Snowden on kill list