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Snowden: After I raised concerns, the NSA said ‘stop asking questions’

Above: Edward Snowden talked to the NBC.

Image Credit: NBC website screenshot

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden today stated that the NSA told him to “stop asking questions” after he raised concerns regarding the legality of the U.S. agency’s mass surveillance programs.

Numerous officials have questioned Snowden’s decision to disclose documents to journalists instead of raising concerns internally at the NSA. NSA officials previously stated that Snowden should have used “official channels” before leaking details to the public.

In response to such statements, Snowden bluntly claimed in his first American television interview tonight with NBC that he “did go through channels” to report his concerns, “and that is documented.”

According to Snowden:

The NSA has records — they have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Council to their oversight and compliance folks from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities. I had raised these complaints, not just officially in writing though email, but to my supervisors, to my colleagues, in more than one office. I did it in Fort Meade. I did it in Hawaii. And many of these individuals were shocked by these programs. They had never seem them themselves — the ones who had said “you’re right…but if you say something about this, they’re going to destroy you.” I reported that there are real problems, and the response more or less was you should stop asking questions.

During the same interview, Snowden stated that he has “no relationship” with Russia at all.


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28 comments
Ajay Desai
Ajay Desai

No I don't trust the government completely, but I believe in the checks and balances system as well as our elected officials to discharge their functions successfully. Which is what the senate foreign intelligence community SHOULD be doing on behalf of the citizens. I'm also not saying that the system was perfect. But you are completely 100% wrong about them collecting ALL data, its technically impossible from both a bandwidth and storage perspective. And I know because I built the very backbone of the internet and monitored the telecommunications network. After defining targets through meta data they can get 3-hop warrants to tap the lines. The very Nature of the NSA is to protect the homeland, and because we are the most hated country in the world, I fully believe that domestic agents are a national security issue. I personally have a file on the NSA, because of the nature of the work that I have done. I've never known them to go outside of the scope in a manner in which I could tell. What you also fail to recognize is that not a single citizen has had their local law enforcement be aided by the NSA to prosecute them in criminal trials. There is a reason why the public is left in the dark on these matters and its simply because they have no calibration, historical or at pertinence of the threats we face. I fully sleep well under the blanket of the very freedom the many patriots across our intelligence and armed services provide us. Also...any manager at your phone company can pull up your billing records which has your call records...they just lack the analytical skills and context or care to do anything about it. You also are picking the wrong argument with me, the question is is Snowden a traitor, and yes he is.

Eric Chan
Eric Chan

So you trust the gov completely and that's why the gov made reforms on bulk data gathering after the leaks right?????? They collect ALL. They just have free access to meta data, but require court order to get the rest. Get your fact straight. You can learn a lot about a person by meta data. How would you feel if a stranger can have access to your call logs?

Eric Chan
Eric Chan

So Alex, are you saying that he's a low level admin and not a spy that Snowden claims he was?

Ajay Desai
Ajay Desai

Bulk data is only bulk META data, and is a means to solve both technical and investigative challenges. If as an FBI agent get suspicious about guys wanting to learn how to fly planes but not land them, ill have to dig into their call history to see whether they have any contacts with other known people of interest. I agree, there should be more insight into the process from the foreign intelligence committee, but NOT the American people in public discourse. The very nature of surveillance is quantum, that is that once you know your being surveiled the results change. If you know techniques and procedures you can engage in countersurveilance. Snowden could have gotten on tv, talked to a lawyer to understand federal whistle blower protection, and unearthed abuses of power without disseminating classified information. When you do that, you are a traitor to your country and deserve the consequences.

Manish Patel
Manish Patel

While I agree with you on how we and who got us here. The cat ain't going back in the bag. Unless we decide to disconnect from all things digital we are on watch and might as well watch those who need watching. Watch REVOLUTION.

Cristian Garcia
Cristian Garcia

TRUE HERO... NON of his critics comfortably typing in their laptop at home have the guts this man has. By the way: "greetings NSA" hope you enjoy reading my random stuff ;)

Cristian Garcia
Cristian Garcia

"Maybe the guy needed to lose someone in a terror attack"? People have some fears so they suddenly LET the government do whatever it wants? There is a great movie called V for Vendetta.... SAME SITUATION... while there might be some terrorist out there, the narrative of "the war against terrorism" is just a tool to get more power.

Eric Chan
Eric Chan

Using your arguments, we should allow bulk data gathering because those procedures have taken years to perfect? How would you get public discourse via other means?

Ajay Desai
Ajay Desai

His story about the CIA developing an informant was nothing. I once heard a story about the CIA holding two brothers and a father on a huey flying over the ocean at night, they climbed high up, and started interrogating them hardcore, while they were busy with that the pilot slowly went back down to just a hundred feet. They asked the dad to pick a son and pushed the other one out the helo! hahaha, awesome. Don't worry there was a seal team that retrieved the guy. But. they got the answers they needed. If you read any of Clancy's novels, you won't be surprised by any of Snowden's revelations. Telling officials in the NSA is one thing, but when you have President Obama in the white house, there is no excuse not to send communication directly to the CIC. Releasing documents and potentially damaging procedures and protocols that have taken years to perfect is treason, and for that he should sit in a jail cell for a very long time.

Manish Patel
Manish Patel

Maybe the guy needed to lose someone in a terror attack and then understand why this is not the Brady Bunch 70's anymore. He maybe should have thought this through a little more. A few good men are out there and he is not one of them.

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

lets just watch snowden stick his foot even farther down his throat, and we'll discuss this again :)

Harrison Weber
Harrison Weber

Pretty sure we do that every single time a leaked document emerges

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

so you're starting to use the word CLAIMS instead of stating everything he has been told to lie about, as fact. interesting

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

there are many which state that "tall white aliens" are controlling america, and even more absurd ones that say americans are being spied on LOL

Treachant Opposition
Treachant Opposition

We should talk more about the documents he released and what they contain.

Chris Wells
Chris Wells

The government fears uncontrollable truth the most..it has much to hide.