Though he "harmed American interests," says Eric Holder, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's leaks "were also a public service."
Holder was speaking with David Axelrod, a CNN political commentator and former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, on the podcast "The Axe Files."
"We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made," Holder said. "Now I would say that doing what he did -- and the way he did it -- was inappropriate and illegal."
Holder said Snowden, who has been living in exile in Russia, should return to the U.S. and face consequences for his actions. But he also said a judge, when determining an appropriate sentence for Snowden, "could take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate."
Snowden's leaks exposed the vast extent of domestic surveillance by American security agencies.
View this post on Instagram sorry for posting my face twice in a row but here’s an old one that seems relevant rn 💅 A post shared by Aiden :) (@aidenarata) on Mar 24, 2020 at 4:49pm PDT Image via EFF / Flickr (CC 2.0)
In the 1970s, the Soviets managed to intercept top secret communications in the US embassy in Moscow and nobody could figure out how. While an antenna was eventually found hidden in the embassy’s chimney, it took years to determine how what data was being collected for transmission and how. As a last resort, all equipment […]
The Cyber Independent Testing Lab is a security measurement company founded by Mudge Zadko (previously), late of the Cult of the Dead Cow and l0pht Heavy Industries and the NSA's Tailored Access Operations Group; it has a unique method for assessing the security of devices derived from methods developed by Mudge at the NSA.
As the summer surges forward, grilling and evenings in the backyard may be the only serious outdoor excursions many of us take this season. Yet even with all of our current problems, there’s one group who doesn’t care a bit about COVID-19 and will still look to make any trip you make outside into an […]
With all due respect to our vegetarian friends, there might be nothing more intrinsically linked to the 4th of July holiday than a big ole cookout. Sure, fireworks and celebrating the birth of a constitutional republic are great too, but showing off your cooking prowess with a brilliantly seared, mouth-watering slab of grade-A American beef […]
We’re at the midway point of 2020. So…how’s the year going for you so far? Yeah…we can guess. But while there’s a lot about 2020 we can’t directly control, maybe a little retail therapy can help make you feel better. Sure, the 39 items we gathered together can absolutely bring a smile to your face. […]