The world continues to feel the ripple effects of Edward Snowden exposing government spying/
Documents he released showed National Security Agency surveillance of five American Muslims. They included Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil-rights organization, and Hooshang Amirahmadi, a Rutgers University professor who is the president of the American Iranian Council, a public policy group that works on diplomatic issues regarding relations with Iran, The New York Times reports.
The others were Asim Ghafoor, a defense attorney who has worked on terrorism-related cases; Faisal Gill, a lawyer who had been with the Department of Homeland Security and later did work with Ghafoor; and Agha Saeed, the national chairman of the American Muslim Alliance, which backs Muslim candidates for elected office.
If they can be targeted for domestic spying, anyone can without probable cause. No doubt more U.S. citizens will find that they have been in the NSA’s cross hairs as more information leaks out.
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The domestic spying that Snowden exposed in the U.S. also has elevated espionage as a worldwide, now very public concern. Germany, already upset over the U.S. tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, now is investigating allegations that the U.S. paid for secrets from a German foreign intelligence service official in addition to an earlier charge involving a German military official, McClatchy News Service reports.
And not to be left out, U.S. officials are charging that Chinese hackers in March got into Office of Personnel Management databases, containing personal information on all federal employees. Files were targeted of workers with top secret clearance, The Times reports. Meanwhile, Snowden, who has been in Russia for about a year after leaking a boat load of U.S. secret surveillance documents, has applied to have his asylum renewed. It expires July 31.
No one could make this stuff up, and it certainly would be unbelievable if it ever were to become the plot of a movie.