Snowden is on the run as lawmakers try to gauge size of problem created by him
POSTED: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 9:07am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The self-proclaimed whistleblower, Edward Snowden , who exposed government surveillance programs has disappeared without a trace, last seen in Hong Kong.
Snowden appears to be the government's most wanted person right now. His boss, contractor Booz Allen, says if he shows up - he won't be working for them.
Edward Snowden has been fired. This morning, he's still on the run.
"If you break the law you ought to be held accountable," said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland.
"I hope he is prosecuted to full extent of the law," said Senate Minority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, KY.
The National Security Agency is trying to figure out what documents he had access to. "When you're one of those IT guys, you have a lot more access to a lot more parts of a network because you're managing it," said NPR Counterterrorism Correspondent, Dina Temple-Raston,
And what the federal government is trying to determine is whether Snowden acted alone. "There are lots of people employed by the government in these agencies who might similarly be tempted if they feel that democracy is being undermined," said Spencer Ackerman, U.S. Nat'l Security Editor, Guardian Newspaper
"It's the kind of thing that doesn't stay secret when there are hundreds and hundreds of people who know about it," said Rep. Brad Sherman, California.
After closed-door briefings, lawmakers are talking about whether to make public more details of the NSA's secret surveillance programs. "I think it's important that there be public hearings, that there be an opportunity to get straight answers," said Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon.
"We have a very significant oversight obligation here to watch these programs carefully and ensure they're not being misused," said Senator Marco Rubio, Florida.
"The government spooks are drunk on power and it's time for Congress to intervene," said Rep. Ted Poe, Texas.
Some in Congress want to publish opinions from the FISA Court - the court that authorized these programs. "We need those secret court opinions to figure this out," said Senator Jeff Merkley, Oregon.
SOME LAWMAKERS BRIEFED HERE SAID THEY HAD NO IDEA HOW MASSIVE THE GOVERNMENT'S SURVEILLANCE HAD BECOME.
The ACLU is suing. They claim the surveillance violates the First Amendment.