Techdirt is off for Memorial Day. We'll be back with regularly scheduled posting tomorrow!Hide

Jimmy Carter Sure That The NSA Spies On Him; Thinks Snowden's Leaks Were A Good Thing

from the good-for-him dept

Former President Jimmy Carter says that he believes the NSA is likely spying on his communications, so he actually avoids using email when communicating with foreign leaders:
"You know, I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored," Carter told NBC's Andrea Mitchell in an interview broadcast Sunday. "And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write a letter myself, put it in the post office and mail it.

"I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored," Carter continued.
Of course, regular letters are quite frequently intercepted and read as well (the USPS already scans and stores the front and back of every piece of mail). But it's still rather telling that a former President feels that his own communications with foreign leaders are not private or secure. Someone should set him up with some encryption.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Carter said that he thinks Snowden's revelations were probably a good thing, even if he thinks Snowden probably broke the law.
"There's no doubt that he broke the law and that he would be susceptible, in my opinion, to prosecution if he came back here under the law," he said. "But I think it's good for Americans to know the kinds of things that have been revealed by him and others -- and that is that since 9/11 we've gone too far in intrusion on the privacy that Americans ought to enjoy as a right of citizenship."
It's not a full support for Snowden's actions, but it's a lot farther than many others have gone. Either way, Carter thinks the NSA has gone way too far:
"I think it's wrong," he said of the NSA program. "I think it's an intrusion on one of the basic human rights of Americans, is to have some degree of privacy if we don't want other people to read what we communicate."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Mar 24th, 2014 @ 1:07pm

    Broken laws

    If you need to break the law to bring illegal and quasi-legal actions done by the government to light in such a way that there's real pressure to Fix them, then that doesn't mean that the whistleblower should be prosecuted, that means the laws should be changed.

    Reporting illegal activity, especially illegal activity done by the government, should Never be treated as an illegal act itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Mar 24th, 2014 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Broken laws

    Reporting illegal activity, especially illegal activity done by the government, has always been and still currently is treated as an illegal act in any police state anywhere on the globe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Glen, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 1:22pm

    I think that is the first time I've ever agreed with President Carter on anything. Well, not on whether or not Edward Snowden broke the law but on the leaks themselves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 1:33pm

    Re:

    Carter has taken considerable bashing over the years (and some it's been deserved). But he's a decent, honorable, dedicated man, who has quietly done an enormous amount for his country (and his planet) in the decades since leaving office. And he's much smarter than many his detractors would claim; he's just smart in a very understated way.

    Of all the presidents during my lifetime (I was born in the late 50's) I think he might have been the most honest one. That of course is a fatal political flaw: we Americans love being lied to, which is why we've elected vacuous senile morons (Reagan) and populist manipulative players (Obama) and flat-out drug-addicted drunks (Bush II).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    ricebowl (profile), Mar 24th, 2014 @ 1:35pm

    Someone should set him up with some encryption.

    oh, don't worry; the NSA and RSA already have that well in hand; and not just for himů

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 1:37pm

    Speaking of Jimmy Carter

    His VP Mondale was a member of the Church Committee. and when Mondale [disastrously] ran for pres, his VP nominee (Gary Hart) was a member too

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 1:40pm

    When trying to solve an intractable political problem, calling former presidents MAYA be a good place to start.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    FM HIlton, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 1:52pm

    He's right, of course

    He's an ex-President with all kinds of friends all over the world, some of whom are pretty powerful/well-known.

    He's smart enough to know that using email for this kind of communication is not secure, never has been and if the NSA hasn't already snooped on him, they're planning to.

    Seems that nobody is exempt from their clutches-especially former leaders of the United States.

    And if he's not, Diane Feinstein should just shut up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 2:10pm

    Sky must be falling

    Don't know what to think, Jimmy Carter said something I can agree with. Mindblown!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    zip, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 2:40pm

    Carter took such a ferocious beating for criticizing Israel in his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" that he really had nothing left to lose by applauding Snowden.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 3:19pm

    Well if they weren't reading Jimmy's mail before they sure will now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2014 @ 8:48pm

    I would think Carter would appreciate knowing that at least persons are even interested in reading his emails.

    It is accurate to say he is a decent, honest man, but one much too naive to sit in the Oval Office...much like its current occupant (naive only, of course).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Stephen Green, Mar 25th, 2014 @ 7:50am

    phewey

    Jimmy Carter thinks he's being monitored which normaly be the case anyway. He's a former president afterall...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 25th, 2014 @ 8:31am

    Re:

    I don't think Obama is naive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2014 @ 5:09pm

    Mail monopoly

    I might be cynical here but is the only reason for there being a government monopoly on mail for the sake of reading people's mail?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2014 @ 2:24am

    Re: Re:

    Indeed, and many are too retarded to see the good he's done in the past, mostly as not president, because when President he was a really unhappy one, with puppeteers everywhere and he didn't like it, like I assumed Obama felt at first but now I don't know, I think the guy just gave up (Obama).

    A notable achievement of Jimmy Carter was advert another Korean War in 1994. He went there for a day or so and suddenly when he came out, he had a treaty with Kim Il-Sung, the threat of war stopped (it was even closer than last year) and North Korea was abandoning it's nuclear power plans, well, they were going to be given 2 light water reactors.

    Kim Il-Sung died very quickly after. Often I think he was assassinated because he was the only reasonable Kim who was gonna have the whole country reverse its course due to the benefits of a renewed economy etc.

    I think the big reason many joe 6 packs don't like Jimmy Carter is because he's the last President who tried/gave a shit and the media machine was first really tested on him to take him out, in one week they accomplished that, he was 10 points ahead of reagan a week before election day. not many remember that either heh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2014 @ 2:31am

    Re:

    He only took a beating in the eyes of the mouth breathing warmongers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.