Obama administration is considering the possibility of allowing former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to return to the United States as the Department of Justice said striking a deal with Snowden is possible, former Attorney General Eric Holder said through Yahoo.
Holder categorized that the change of U.S.’ stance on the bulk collection of phone and Internet data by NSA was propelled by Snowden’s disclosures. When Holder was asked by Yahoo! on Justice Department’s view on Snowden, the former Attorney General responded, “I certainly think there could be a basis for a resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with. I think the possibility exists.”
Edward Snowden was declared an American traitor after he leaked NSA’s classified data in 2013. Among the leaked information centered on global surveillance programs controlled by NSA, among others.
In an interview with NBC News in 2014, Snowden described himself as someone “trained as a spy” working “undercover overseas” and during the times he was given different assignments, he was using various names.
Snowden’s recent disclosure was made early in June, saying in 2012, the NSA made surveillance of international Internet traffic of Americans without any warrant. It was alleged that the warrantless surveillance was to scoop out evidence supporting claims of wanton cyber attack.
Before Snowden’s June disclosure, however, President Barack Obama signed into law the USA Freedom Act aimed at bolstering civil liberty safeguards while not compromising public confidence. The law removed NSA’s unrestricted authority in sneaking into American’s phone and Internet data.
While enjoying an asylum in Russia, Snowden managed to communicate with the world, airing opinions on countries’ legislation restricting citizen’s privacy. His latest participation was made via live satellite in Australia’s Progress 2015 Conference, where he lambasted the government for its use of metadata collection in combating terrorism.
According to Snowden, terrorism should not be fought with surveillance because it is the excessive use of such that terrorism exists. He mentioned that even the United States, the world’s most powerful country, was not spared by terrorism.
In 2013, Snowden was among the respondents in criminal complaints lodged by the U.S. government cracking down government data leakers. Holder presided the U.S.’ initiative.