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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Snowden—Facts, Fictions, and Fears

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Edward Snowden

Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed himself as the leaker of details of U.S. government surveillance programs run by the U.S. National Security Agency to track cell phone calls and monitor the e-mail and Internet traffic of virtually al

Credit: The Guardian via AFP/Getty Images

"Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere ... I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President. …" Thus spoke -- this time not Zarathustra, the Persian prophet—but former National Security Agency systems administrator Edward Snowden.

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