15% of the time the software will incorrectly identify a terrorist as an innocent person. From a security standpoint, that's not a problem, the next camera will catch them. The problem is that 20% of the time the system will flag an innocent person as a terrorist. That's a massive problem, and here's why. Boston's Logan airport handles about 2.5 million passengers every month. 20% of that is about 500,000 false alarms every month, or one false alarm about every five seconds 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just how long do you think the security people will put up with that before they start treating every alarm as a false alarm, and ignoring it totally? This facial recognition system needs an error rate of more like 0.00002% before it's going to be much use for anything.
That's the nature of the law (and the fact that non-US persons aren't actually under the jurisdiction of the US Constitution in the first place)
Perhaps this is an interpretation of the Constitution that needs to change. If you read through the US Constitution, it could be argued that most US Citizens don't fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitution either. The U.S. Constitution, as written, applies to the government of the United States, not the citizens. The fourth amendment to the US Constitution starts out `The Right of the people`, so unless you are going to define non-US citizens as somehow not people, that clause pretty much has to apply to everyone. In the 1700`s when that constitution was written, that interpretation made sense, since if your papers were within the reach of US law enforcement, you were probably a US citizen living in the United States. In a world of global electronic communications, that assumption is no longer true.
Ah, but disagreeing with a government, any government, is obviously terrorism. After all, if someone will disagree with one government, they might disagree with another too, like our government. The government can't allow that, so anyone daring to disagree must be swiftly punished, no matter which government they are disagreeing with.
Given the NSA's willingness to lie to those in charge, it's pretty obvious that nothing the NSA says can be trusted. That would include the intelligence reports that are the NSA's entire reason for existing. There's no reason to pay for reports you can't trust, so why not fire the entire agency, and divert the money elsewhere to something that's at least useful for more than a good source of bird cage liner material.
So at the same time as they are building up the world's biggest database of private information, they are also pissing off hackers around the world, and getting rid of 90% of the people who maintain their computer security. What could possibly go wrong with that.
In order to do what he did, I'd think Snowden had to believe:
1. That he had sufficient understanding of what he was leaking to make truthful judgments about it;
Given that his job was to analyze the intelligence gathered via this system, I think we can assume that to be true.
2. That his understanding and interpretation of the Constitution was superior to that of the Legislative branch and much, if not most, of Congress;
More like his understanding and interpretation of what was actually going on was far superior to that of the Legislative branch and much, if not most, of Congress. How many members of Congress have since come forward and said they didn't vote for that kind of spying, or didn't understand how widespread it was?
3. That his understanding and interpretation of the Constitution was superior to that of the Executive branch which is headed by a Constitutional lawyer;
Understanding the legality is one thing, being willing to stay within the law is another. All the evidence seen so far is that members of the executive branch were either willfully blind to violations of the constitution or else intentionally twisting the interpretation of the constitution in order to justify their actions.
4. That his understanding and interpretation of the Constitution was superior to that of the Judicial branch;
One court. One that deliberates in secret, that hears only one side of the story, and that produces judgements that are also secret.
If you don`t think one court can get things wrong, then I`d like you to explain why the rest of the legal system needs to have multiple levels of appeals to higher authority.
Re: foreigners likely actually DO have rights under the constitution
Most of the United States Constitution doesn't even apply to US citizens, and never did. When you read the constitution, you find that it's really a list of things the government is required to do, along with a bunch of things the goverment is forbidden to do. For example, US citizens do not have the right to speak freely. Instead, the United States Government is forbidden to restrict what people may say. The only way this can be applied to only US citizens is if the United States considers everyone not a US citizen to be somehow not a person.
Then again, given how little the US military seems to care about the harm done to innocent civilians in the war on terror, maybe the government does see non US citizens as subhuman.
The whole thing is a CIA plot to replace the government of North Korea.
The plan is to get a whole bunch of IP rights in North Korea. When they later apply to the North Korean courts to enforce those rights, the entire North Korean government will die laughing.
The funny thing is that none of the documents Snowden has leaked have revealed anything that could be considered a legitimate intelligence operation. What they have revealed is a massive illegal intelligence operation that at best makes any legitimate intelligence operation harder by burying important clues in a tsunami of irrelevant details.