Snowden’s message wins in first Democratic debate

Although Edward Snowden supporters—myself included—may lament the lackluster support received last night at the first Democratic presidential debate on CNN, the fact the candidates discussed Snowden and the NSA programs was a victory for proponents of Snowden’s principles.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:

“He stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into the wrong hands, so I don’t think he should be brought home without facing the music.”

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley told the Las Vegas audience:

“He put a lot of Americans’ lives at risk. Snowden broke the law. Whistleblowers do not run to Russia and try to get protection from Putin.”

The arms of the Democratic candidates were not stretched wide-open to welcome Snowden back to the United States (video via Politico here).

However, Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA and other government programs in order to bring awareness to the issue of government surveillance and privacy in the 21st century. Even though a warm embrace for Snowden would have been music to the ears of many supporters, Snowden’s message is still resonating with America years later.

And that is a sign of success.

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Hillary Clinton’s emails as secretary of state evade public scrutiny – for now

Last week media outlets, including The New York Times, revealed that former Secretary of State and likely once-again presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a personal email address while at the State Department instead of a government address.

Emails transmitted through a government email address (.gov) are public records under the Freedom of Information Act and are used by Congress, historians, and the press for documentation and transparency. Clinton’s use of a private email address skirts this public oversight.

The New York Times article quoted Jason R. Baron, the former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration:

It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business.

The Associated Press and Gawker are considering legal action to retrieve Clinton’s emails. This clip from CNN’s Reliable Sources sheds more light on the topic: Will the public & press ever see Clinton’s emails?