ACLU: We now have the power to rein in NSA mass surveillance


By Josh Peterson |

The American Civil Liberties Union is celebrating nearly a year after journalist Glenn Greenwald initiated a deluge of reporting on the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs, including a cache of NSA documents stolen by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

WHISTLEBLOWER: Edward Snowden exposed NSA activities to the British press.

“We know more than ever before about our government’s mass surveillance apparatus,” said the organization in a blog post Monday, “We now have the power to rein it in.”

Snowden’s revelations resulted in a windfall of privacy reform efforts across the states and on the international level over the course of the year. Two blockbuster movies portraying Snowden’s journey are reportedly in the works.

The New York Times reported Sunday the NSA was collecting millions of images of faces from websites, making this agency tactic the latest revelation from the whistleblower’s trove.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit in June 2013, following Snowden’s initial revelations, to end the agency’s mass phone records collection program. The organization is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of the lawsuit in December 2013.

ACLU attorney Ben Wizner is also one of several lawyers representing Snowden; Snowden’s lawyer in Russia, Anatoly Kucherena, reportedly sits on the “public council” of Russia’s secret police, the Federal Security Service.

Kucherena’s FSB ties are only one item on a list of oddities, however, that have stoked suspicions from critics that Snowden may have been working for a foreign intelligence service looking to harm the U.S. government.

Former KGB major general Oleg Kalugin recently told VentureBeat he believed Snowden was an American traitor who was cooperating with the FSB as an consultant.

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