Join Andrea Mitchell for the first msnbc Great Debate featuring Former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Executive Director of the ACLU Anthony Romero live from the Aspen Ideas Festival on Monday, June 30th at 10:30 am ET. We’ll be airing the debate about the NSA and its practices right here on msnbc.com – and we want you to be a part of it! The Great Debate series is powered by Microsoft and its Bing Pulse audience voting technology. This will be a fully interactive experience and your involvement is critical.
One year ago, a 29-year-old former CIA officer and computing expert working with the National Security Agency provided journalists with tens of thousands of documents that revealed secret, mass global surveillance on a scale once unthinkable.
The biggest technology firms were in on some of it and were also targets of the NSA, which has been sweeping up, mining and storing trillions of emails and phone records from Americans and others overseas. The stunning capabilities and vast collection of data, including recorded phone conversations in several foreign countries, has raised privacy concerns, constitutional challenges and calls for reform. A bipartisan review board, commissioned by President Obama, has called for an end to some of these practices; two federal courts are currently at odds over the constitutionality of the still classified programs. But the Obama administration defends the NSA programs as necessary to keep America safer. Snowden has been charged with espionage and called a traitor by members of congress and some within the intelligence community. But many within the privacy community hail him as a hero for shedding light on the NSA’s secret acquisition of our private communications. Snowden is currently in Russia, where he was granted asylum in 2013.
We want to hear from you -- what questions are you hoping Andrea will ask? Leave your question in the comment thread here. Select questions from the msnbc.com community will be posed directly to our debaters.
The event will feature two teams of three debaters on each side. Alongside Gen. Alexander will be former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman and Neal Katyal, former Acting Solicitor General. Alongside Anthony Romero will be former GOP Rep. Mickey Edwards and Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center.
Be sure to tune in LIVE from the Aspen Ideas Festival on Monday, June 30th at 10:30 am ET and voice your opinion via live polls throughout the debate.