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Edward Snowden Responds to Rand Paul's 'Filibuster' of Patriot Act Renewal

"What're your thoughts on Rand Paul's filibuster against the renewal of the Patriot Act?"

A Sunday, June 9, 2013, file photo provided by The Guardian newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the U.S. National Security Agency, in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/The Guardian, File)

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden responded Thursday afternoon to Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) Wednesday "filibuster" of the Patriot Act renewal.

The comment came during an "ask me anything" session Snowden hosted on Reddit.

FILE - This June 9, 2013 file photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, in Hong Kong. Snowden says his "mission's already accomplished" after leaking NSA secrets that have caused a reassessment of U.S. surveillance policies. Snowden told The Washington Post in a story published online Monday night, Dec. 23, 2013, he has "already won" because journalists have been able to tell the story of the government's collection of bulk Internet and phone records. (AP Photo/The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, File) AP Photo/The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, File AP Photo/The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, File

The NSA leaker was asked, "What're your thoughts on Rand Paul's filibuster against the renewal of the Patriot Act?"

"It represents a sea change from a few years ago, when intrusive new surveillance laws were passed without any kind of meaningful opposition or debate," Snowden wrote. "Whatever you think about Rand Paul or his politics, it's important to remember that when he took the floor to say 'No' to any length of reauthorization of the Patriot Act, he was speaking for the majority of Americans -- more than 60% of whom want to see this kind of mass surveillance reformed or ended."

[sharequote align="center"]"It represents a sea change from a few years ago..."[/sharequote]

"He was joined by several other senators who disagree with the Senate Majority leader's efforts to sneak through a reauthorization of what courts just weeks ago declared was a comprehensively unlawful program, and if you notice that yours did not take to the floor with him, you should call them right now (1-920-END-4-215) and ask them to vote against any extension of the Patriot Act, because the final vote is being forced during the dark of a holiday weekend to shield them from criticism," he added.

Paul spoke on the House floor for approximately 10 hours and 30 minutes Wednesday, speaking out against what he called intrusive government surveillance programs.

Snowden also urged those in Paul's state to call Majority Leader Mitch McConnell because "he's the one spearheading the effort to reauthorize the same mass surveillance program the Second Circuit just ruled is unlawful."

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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