Famed National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is strongly behind Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) filibuster of key provisions of the Patriot Act.
The 2016 presidential candidate took to the Senate floor Wednesday and spoke for 10 and a half hours to try and slow down the renewal of the surveillance law. And in a Reddit post on Thursday, Snowden labelled Paul’s speech as momentous.
“It represents a sea change from a few years ago, when intrusive new surveillance laws were passed without any kind of meaningful opposition or debate,” Snowden wrote. “Whatever you think about Rand Paul or his politics, it’s important to remember that when he took the floor to say ‘No’ to any length of reauthorization of the Patriot Act, he was speaking for the majority of Americans — more than 60% of whom want to see this kind of mass surveillance reformed or ended.”
Snowden’s Reddit post was part of a larger coordinated effort by the ACLU to galvanize the public against the Patriot Act. Snowden and the civil liberties organisation repeatedly asked voters to call their senators and urge them to vote against reauthorizing parts of the surveillance package, which was first passed after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
“[C]all your senators for the next two days and tell them to reject any extension or authorization of 215. No matter how the law is changed, it will be the first significant restriction on the Intelligence Community since the 1970s — but only if you help,” Snowden wrote.
Snowden gained fame in the summer of 2013 when he leaked a vast amount of information about US surveillance programs to the media. After initially fleeing the country to Hong Kong, he later gained entrance to Russia.
But things aren’t all bad for Snowden in Russia. Asked if he misses pizza, he replied: “Russia has Papa John’s. For real.”
However, Snowden wouldn’t reveal his favourite pizza topping.
“Nice try, FBI profiler,” he quipped.
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