Snowden Stands By Claim That He Could Have Wiretapped ‘Anyone’

In an open-to-the-public live chat on The Guardian’s website on Monday, Edward Snowden, the self-proclaimed source of recently leaked top secret National Security Agency documents, stood by his claim that, in his job as an NSA contractor, he could wiretap “anyone… even the President if I had a personal email.”

“Yes, I stand by it,” Snowden wrote. “US Persons do enjoy limited policy protections (and again, it’s important to understand that policy protection is no protection – policy is a one-way ratchet that only loosens) and one very weak technical protection – a near-the-front-end filter at our ingestion points. The filter is constantly out of date, is set at what is euphemistically referred to as the ‘widest allowable aperture,’ and can be stripped out at any time. Even with the filter, US comms get ingested, and even more so as soon as they leave the border. Your protected communications shouldn’t stop being protected communications just because of the IP they’re tagged with… More fundamentally, the ‘US Persons’ protection in general is a distraction from the power and danger of this system. Suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it’s only victimizing 95% of the world instead of 100%. Our founders did not write that ‘We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all US Persons are created equal.'”

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