(DAILY DOT) — President Obama will now be forced to weigh in on the public's desire to pardon PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden, despite a carefully crafted effort to neither praise nor condemn him.
A We the People petition titled "Pardon Edward Snowden" reached the requisite 100,000 signatures Saturday morning. By the Obama administration's own rules, any petition that reaches that threshold will receive a formal response from the White House, though there’s no formal timetable for the official comment.
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Obama has defended National Security Agency (NSA) spy programs like PRISM as legal, but he has refused to comment on Snowden himself. In his most extensive interview on the subject, he explained to CBS's Charlie Rose that all the NSA's controversial spying actions were allowed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). But he refused to comment on Snowden himself, simply saying, "He—the case has been referred to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation."