Earlier this year, the former Booz-Allen-Hamilton contractor for the NSA provided reporter Glenn Greenwald documentation of universal surveillance of Americans' telephone records by the NSA without the constitutionally-required warrant and probable cause under the Fourth Amendment.
In the past week, Snowden — accused of espionage by the Obama administration — granted an interview with the Washington Post and sent a video “Christmas Message” posted across the Internet. “For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,” Snowden told the Washington Post December 23. “I already won.”
The former Hawaii-based contractor has become one of the most-talked about persons of 2013. “Great Britain’s George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information,” Snowden said in the Christmas message to the world, echoing the words of U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon. Leon had termed the program “almost Orwellian” in a December 16 decision that declared the NSA program unconstitutional. Snowden — who fled to Hong Kong, and then to Russia, which offered him temporary asylum — noted that "We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person."
While supporters of the NSA's big government surveillance have sometimes labeled Snowden a “traitor,” constitutionalists have cheered Snowden's revelations. While the Obama administration has charged Snowden as a criminal, the real issue is whether the criminal is the person who exposed the crime against the U.S. Constitution, or the people committing the crimes against the Constitution. Conservative activist, blogger, and radio talk show host Jack Hunter wrote on his Facebook page: “Every conservative or libertarian who takes the concept of limited government seriously owes Edward Snowden a big thank you.”
Journalist Glenn Greenwald — who was the first to publish Snowden's revelations — continues to defend Snowden, stating on Fox News December 25 that “He stepped forward in order to inform people about what was taking place so that they can make the choice about what kind of state they want to live in.”
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Photo of Edward Snowden: AP Images