NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Might Return to US as President Trump Considers Pardon
US President Donald Trump is considering an executive pardon for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden after 7 years of exile in Russia. Snowden has been an advocate of Bitcoin for some time and most of the servers he used to leak the sensitive information were paid for in Bitcoin.
United States President Donald Trump said during a press conference that he is considering issuing a pardon for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. After living in exile in Russia for the past 7 years, Snowden who considers himself a patriot may finally be able to return home.
According to Reuters on Aug 15, President Trump said that many people do not think that Snowden has been treated fairly and he was “going to start looking” at potentially issuing a pardon for the NSA whistleblower.
Edward Snowden was quick to respond via Twitter, he said:
“The last time we heard of a White House considering a pardon was 2016, when the very same Attorney General who once charge me conceded that, on balance, my work in exposing the NSA’s unconstitutional system of mass surveillance had been ‘a public service.’
Snowden is currently facing federal charges for breaching the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, which has forced him to seek sanctuary in Russia beyond the jurisdiction of Unites States law enforcement. Under the US Constitution, the sitting President has the power to grant pardons for offenses against the state and Trump appears to be considering it seriously.
President Trump has issued 25 pardons thus far as the sitting president since January 2017, invoking his powers under Section 2 of the US Constitution.
Snowden and Bitcoin
Snowden has been outspoken on Bitcoin and its public blockchain and even hinted he was buying the dip following the March market crash. At the time he tweeted, “This is the first time in a while I've felt like buying bitcoin. That drop was too much panic and too little reason.”
Snowden has hinted that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency could be an avenue for him to circumvent the US government financial restrictions on him, particularly on the profits he made from his book ‘Permanent Record.’
Additionally, the servers used by Snowden to leak thousands of documents to Wikileaks and journalists were also reportedly paid for in Bitcoin back in 2013.
Data Protection a New Priority as TikTok Slammed
While Edward Snowden is an iconic reminder of the United States' own invasive methods of spying on its own citizens through “mass surveillance.” Trump is less forgiving of Chinese app TikTok.
President Trump and United States officials have been expressing concerns that data from TikTok’s users in the US is being shared with the Chinese Communist Party and issued an executive order against the TikTok social media app two weeks ago.
An analysis by the Wall Street Journal on Aug 11, has revealed that TikTok was in fact using a method that circumvented Google’s Androids privacy safeguards and allowed the app to track users online without permission. The users also have no means to opt-out of the service.
Until now, ByteDance Ltd has strongly condemned President Trump’s executive order against its subsidiary and social media app TikTok, calling all allegations of privacy theft and intrusions as false and has even threatened to sue the Trump administration for the order which it says is unconstitutional and without evidence.
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