2013-06-24 16:45:00

As Ecuador considers asylum for Snowden, push to defend journalists who published NSA leaks

Today, Ecuador said it is considering a request for asylum from Edward Snowden, the former employee of the private intelligence contractor Booz Allen. Snowden leaked documents to the Guardian that revealed details of the extensive NSA and FBI surveillance programs. While many around the globe have expressed support for Snowden’s disclosure of the massive private data collection that’s taking place, the Obama Administration announced charges against him Friday, including Espionage. The US government is seeking his extradition, but the whistleblower organization Wikileaks is aiding Snowden in finding a country for asylum. Ecuador’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Patino read a letter he said his government had received from Snowden. In it, Snowden says he has been accused of being a traitor and it is unlikely he could receive a fair trial. After reading the letter, Patino said Snowden’s request had to do with freedom of expression and with the security of citizens around the world. The attack on leakers is also broader, and includes the targeting of journalists, as was disclosed last month in the revelations that the Justice Department was spying on the Associated Press. In an interview Sunday, Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the Snowden story for the Guardian, responded to questioning from David Gregory on Meet the Press about possible prosecution for his role in the disclosures.

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