Boiseans will be able to weigh in this evening on one of the most controversial issues of our times—the National Security Agency's surveillance activities—when an attorney currently representing fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden comes to the Treasure Valley.
As part of the ACLU of Idaho's second annual Teacher's Civic Institute, attorney Alex Abdo who works with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, will address the growing concern over the NSA's collection of vast amounts of data worldwide.
"It's a current issue that many Americans are concerned about," Leo Morales, ACLU of Idaho interim executive director, told Boise Weekly
. "When it comes to the issue of privacy, that's a hot topic. It's important to protect our fundamental rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."
Morales confirmed that Abdo was indeed part of the legal team representing Snowden, the former system administrator for the Central Intelligence Agency who leaked classified information from the NSA, beginning in June 2013. Today, Snowden lives in an undisclosed location in Russia and is seeking asylum, preferably in the European Union.
"It's not everyday that we get an attorney [such as Abdo] to speak here that is working on some of the most important cases in the nation," said Morales. "The reality is our government continues to have enormous amounts of power and is using it to collect mass amounts of information on its citizens. We begin to wither away our rights if we don't hold them accountable."
Thursday evening's event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Berryhill & Co., 121 N. Ninth St. in Downtown Boise, and gets under way at 6 p.m.