Edward Snowden broke the law by releasing classified information. This isn’t under debate; it’s something everyone with a security clearance knows. It’s written in plain English on the documents you have to sign when you get a security clearance, and it’s part of the culture. The law is there for a good reason, and secrecy has an important role in military defense.
But before the Justice Department prosecutes Snowden, there are some other investigations that ought to happen.
We need to determine whether these National Security Agency programs are themselves legal. The administration has successfully barred anyone from bringing a lawsuit challenging these laws, on the grounds of national secrecy. Now that we know those arguments are without merit, it’s time for those court challenges.
It’s clear that some of the N.S.A. programs exposed by Snowden violate the Constitution and others violate existing laws. Other people have an opposite view. The courts need to decide.
– Bruce Schneier, security expert, writing in the New York Times.