Collecting data from millions of phone calls could violate the Fourth Amendment. Snowden and organizations related to his thinking celebrated the legal ruling.
A US Federal Court ruling against the National Security Agency (NSA) for violation of privacy was a reason for political activist Edward Snowden to celebrate. The court determined that the surveillance program that collected metadata from millions of Americans’ phone calls was illegal and possibly unconstitutional.
Snowden, who currently lives in Russia, said that the news reported seven years ago that he was “accused of being a criminal for telling the truth.” He said that he did not imagine that he would ever see US courts “condemn the activities of the NSA as illegal” and give him “credit for reporting them.”
The court made reference to the possible violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. This article guarantees the right of the inhabitants “that their persons, addresses, papers and effects are safe from arbitrary searches and arrests.”
The rights that this amendment indicates are valid unless an oath or protest confirms “a plausible reason” that describes the place that will be searched and the people or things that will be detained or seized.
A legal appeal that four Somali immigrants filed led to the current court ruling. These individuals received a conviction in 2013 for the crime of raising funds to finance terrorism. The investigators reached these conclusions after gathering evidence from the NSA’s surveillance program.
In relation to this particular case, the Court itself clarified that, even though the four convicted Somalis obtained the data unconstitutionally, they are still valid as evidence. For this reason, their legal situation remains unchanged.
Victory for Right to Privacy
Snowden, along with other individuals and organizations committed to the defense of personal privacy, celebrated the recent legal ruling. Among them, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated that the sentence “is a victory for our right to privacy.”
During the presidency of Donald Trump, this organization has initiated more than 400 cases against the US Government. They maintain that “the aggression against civil liberties and civil rights is greater under this government than in any other in history.”
In mid-August, the US president said that he would consider the possibility of giving Snowden the pardon. The reason for that was that many people thought that the activist was not receiving a fair treatment. Trump may have changed his perspective on the situation of the former spy.
Snowden Defends Bitcoin
Snowden has lived in Russia under political asylum since 2013. He obtains financial resources through his conferences, for which he charges over USD 10,000. He has even participated in debates about Bitcoin, in which he has praised the freedom and privacy that this cryptocurrency can provide.
He has said that people live in a world where privacy is for professionals, experts and the rich, that is, for the elite. It is necessary to live in a world where privacy is accessible to everyone, not as a privilege, but as a right, according to Snowden.
By Alexander Salazar