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Edward Snowden: The ‘Messiah’ Who Won You A Pulitzer And Himself A Halo

A carnival float depicting US president Obama putting whistleblower Edward Snowden on an electric chair prior the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, western Germany, on Monday, March 3, 2014. The foolish street spectacles in the carnival centers of Duesseldorf, Mainz and Cologne, watched by hundreds of thousands of people, are the highlights in Germany's carnival season on Rosemonday. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) Ref #: PA.19186971  Date: 03/03/2014

A carnival float depicting US president Obama putting whistleblower Edward Snowden on an electric chair prior the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, western Germany, on Monday, March 3, 2014. The foolish street spectacles in the carnival centers of Duesseldorf, Mainz and Cologne, watched by hundreds of thousands of people, are the highlights in Germany’s carnival season on Rosemonday. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) Date: 03/03/2014

 

WHAT is your view on the Pulitzer Prize committee awarding their prize for Public Service to The Washington Post and The Guardian for featuring Edward Snowden and his haul of National Security Agency documents?

What did you make of it? Right? Wrong?

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Posted: 27th, April 2014 | In: Reviews | Comment


Edward Snowden’s Letter To The People Of Brazil In Full

PA-16781565 THIS is Edward Snowden’s open letter to the people of Brazil, published on A Folha today:

An open letter to the people of Brazil, from Edward Snowden

Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and what we say. I went in front of that camera with open eyes, knowing that the decision would cost me family and my home, and would risk my life. I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of the world deserve to understand the system in which they live. My greatest fear was that no one would listen to my warning. Never have I been so glad to have been so wrong. The reaction in certain countries has been particularly inspiring to me, and Brazil is certainly one of those.

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Posted: 17th, December 2013 | In: Reviews, Technology | Comments (2)


Edward Snowden Reveals A Good Idea: The NSA Spies On OPEC

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THERE have indeed been some revelations from Edward Snowden and the rest over things that the NSA and GCHQ are doing that shouldn’t please the rest of us. Widespread spying on us, the citizens that actually pay for the spies for example, isn’t one of the things that we want them to do.

However, spying on the enemies who would do us harm sounds like an excellent thing for them to do doing. And they have been, they’ve been spying on OPEC:

The latest earth-shattering Snowden revelation emanating from the Russian Front (aka Der Spiegel) is that NSA and GCHC have spied on OPEC.

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Posted: 14th, November 2013 | In: Money, Reviews | Comment


How’s ‘Making Government Cool Again’ Working Out For Obama?

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HOW’S coolness working out for Obama?

On September 11, 2008, Ben mMith write in Politico:

“Barack Obama addressed the wide distaste for government… ‘Our campaign from the beginning has been about changing government,’ he said, recalling some great accomplishments of American government: Civil rights legislation, the interstate highway system, and the National Park system. Obama would, he said, ‘transform Washington’ and ‘make government cool again.'”

Again?

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Posted: 5th, November 2013 | In: Politicians | Comment


In Full: Edward Snowden’s Letter To Opposition Greens Lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele

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TODAY, Opposition Greens lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele showed a letter to the media, he claims he received from Edward Snowden, prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany.  Stroebele said he met Edward Snowden in Moscow on Thursday, and that the National Security Agency leaker is prepared to help Germany investigate allegations of surveillance by U.S. intelligence. Snowden was granted asylum in Russia in August after being stuck at a Moscow airport for more than a month following his arrival there from Hong Kong. The 30-year-old faces espionage charges in the U.S.

The Letter.

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Posted: 1st, November 2013 | In: Reviews | Comments (4)


Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Ron Paul use the The Guardian to change the world, and other views on leaking

PA-17865375WHAT do we make of the Guardian’s decision to publish Edward Snowden’s leaks?

MI5 chief Andrew Parker: “The gift to evade us and strike at will'”

David Aaronovitch in the Times:

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Posted: 11th, October 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment


Don’t use the Internet if you want to keep secrets – Russian spies revert to paper economy

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I ASSUME that we all actually know this by now, that you cannot keep things secret on the internet? At least, we should all have learnt it from the revelations by Edward Snowden I think, no? That the only truly secure computer is one that’s not connected to anything at all?

It would appear that the Russians have worked this out:

In the wake of the US surveillance scandal revealed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia is planning to adopt a foolproof means of avoiding global electronic snooping: by reverting to paper.

The Federal Guard Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, has recently put in an order for 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, the Izvestiya newspaper reported.

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Posted: 12th, July 2013 | In: Money, Technology | Comment


The Internet and the old-guard media disagree on the cult of Edward Snowden

Demonstrators burn a coffin and a replica of Uncle Sam outside the U.S. embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, Monday, July 8, 2013. Bolivia's President Evo Morales has accused the United States of pressuring European governments to deny his plane permission to enter their airspace amid suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden might have been onboard. Venezuela and Bolivia both made asylum offers to Snowden over the weekend, and Nicaragua has said it is also considering his request. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

THANK Zod for the Internet, especially Twitter, because without them you’d be hard-pressed to know anybody here in America is rooting for poor Edward Snowden these days.

There’s a disturbing divide in the national opinion—you can find exceptions in either case, but for the most part it looks like the Twitterati overwhelmingly supports Snowden while the mainstream media can’t stand him. At least not mainstream editorial boards; the Washington Post’s went so far as to call for Snowden to surrender and quit leaking information (some of which the Post’s own news team had already published).

To be fair, though, the Post did later run an op-ed piece by alumnus Daniel Ellsberg, exposer of the Pentagon Papers, in which Ellsberg argued that “NSA leaker Snowden made the right call” when he fled the country.

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Posted: 9th, July 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (5)


Julian Assange wants to keep Edward Snowden a secret

WHEN stood in Westminster Magistrates’ court Julian Assange was not keen to give his address. “PO Box 4080,” he stated.

When asked again,.he replied: “Do you want it for correspondence or for some other reason?”

After a brief conversation with his lawyer Mr Assange gave a Melbourne address in writing, saying that he wanted it to remain private, but the judge then directed a court clerk to read it out. 

Now Julian Assange says he won’t tell us where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is hiding out.

“We are aware of where Mr. Snowden is. He is in a safe place and his spirits are high. Due to the bellicose threats coming from the U.S. administration, we cannot go into further detail at this time.”

Let’s hope no-one leaks the details…

Posted: 24th, June 2013 | In: Reviews | Comments (5)


Edward Snowden: hunting the source in Moscow (photos of the NSA whistleblower arriving in Russia)

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WHEN Edward Snowden landed in Moscow on a flight from Hong, the media was massed.

Some journalists went about showing passengers photos of the wanted man. Have you seen him? What did he drink on the flight? Was he nervous? Did he play Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds? No snippet of information is to trite to relay about the NSA worker who told us all that big US Government co-opts big Internet companies to spy on American and British citizens.

Ben Smith puts the case:

But Snowden’s personal story is interesting only because the new details he revealed are so much more interesting. We know substantially more about domestic surveillance than we did, thanks largely to stories and documents printed by The Guardian. They would have been just as revelatory without Snowden’s name on them. The shakeout has produced more revelatory reporting, notably this new McClatchy piece on the way in which President Obama’s obsession with leaks has manifested itself in the bureaucracy with a new “Insider Threat Program.”

Snowden’s flight and its surrounding geopolitics are a good story; what he made public is a better one. I’m not sure why reporters should care all that much about his personal moral status, the meaning of the phrase “civil disobedience,” or the fate of his eternal soul. And the public who used to be known as “readers” are going to have to get used to making that distinction.

Journalists stand next to the Ecuador's Ambassador's car while waiting for the arrival of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who recently leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at Sheremetyevo airport, just outside Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The former National Security Agency contractor, Snowdon is wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs, but was allowed to leave Hong Kong for a "third country" because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory's government said Sunday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr)

Journalists stand next to the Ecuador’s Ambassador’s car while waiting for the arrival of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who recently leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at Sheremetyevo airport, just outside Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The former National Security Agency contractor, Snowdon is wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs, but was allowed to leave Hong Kong for a “third country” because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory’s government said Sunday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr)

Journalists stand next to Ecuador's Ambassador's car while waiting for the arrival of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who recently leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at Sheremetyevo airport, just outside Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The former National Security Agency contractor, Snowdon is wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs, but was allowed to leave Hong Kong for a "third country" because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory's government said Sunday. (AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr)

Journalists stand next to Ecuador’s Ambassador’s car 

An unidentified passenger, right, who just arrived from Hong Kong and said to waiting journalists that he had seen former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs Edward Snowden, aboard his flight from Hong Kong, as the unidentified passenger speaks to journalists at Sheremetyevo airport, just outside Moscow. Russia, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The former National Security Agency contractor Snowdon, wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave Hong Kong for a "third country" because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory's government said Sunday.(AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko)

An unidentified passenger, right, who just arrived from Hong Kong and said to waiting journalists that he had seen former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs Edward Snowden, aboard his flight from Hong Kong.

Journalists show passengers arriving from Hong Kong a tablet with a photo of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at Sheremetyevo airport, just outside Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave for a "third country" because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory's government said Sunday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Journalists show passengers arriving from Hong Kong a tablet with a photo of Edward Snowden

COMBO - This six-picture combo shows, left to right on first row, American fugitive Robert Lee Vesco, center, leaves a Cuban court in Havana, Cuba, Aug. 2, 1996; Former United States CIA agent Philip Agee presents his travel agency "Cuba Linda," or "Beautiful Cuba" at a news conference in Havana, Cuba, June 22, 2000; Undated file photo provided by the New Jersey State Police showing Assata Shakur, born Joanne Chesimard, who was put on a U.S. government terrorist watch list on May 2, 2005. Bottom row from left to right, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks speaks to the media and members of the public from a balcony at the Ecuador Embassy in London, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012; Italian fugitive Cesare Battisti is escorted by police officers while leaving court in Rio de Janeiro, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009; Ronnie Biggs, one of Britain's most notorious criminals, holds a copy of his newly-released autobiography "Odd Man Out: The Last Straw", London, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. Former NSA analyst Edward Snowden is just one of many people on the run who have sought shelter in Latin America to avoid the reach of authorities back home. (AP Photos/Canadian Press-Jose Goitia; Jose Goita; New Jersey State Police; Kirsty Wigglesworth; Felipe Dana; Kirsty Wigglesworth)

 This six-picture combo shows, left to right on first row, American fugitive Robert Lee Vesco, center, leaves a Cuban court in Havana, Cuba, Aug. 2, 1996; Former United States CIA agent Philip Agee presents his travel agency “Cuba Linda,” or “Beautiful Cuba” at a news conference in Havana, Cuba, June 22, 2000; Undated file photo provided by the New Jersey State Police showing Assata Shakur, born Joanne Chesimard, who was put on a U.S. government terrorist watch list on May 2, 2005. Bottom row from left to right, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks speaks to the media and members of the public from a balcony at the Ecuador Embassy in London, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012; Italian fugitive Cesare Battisti is escorted by police officers while leaving court in Rio de Janeiro, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009; Ronnie Biggs, one of Britain’s most notorious criminals, holds a copy of his newly-released autobiography “Odd Man Out: The Last Straw”, London, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. Former NSA analyst Edward Snowden is just one of many people on the run who have sought shelter in Latin America to avoid the reach of authorities back home.

Ecuador's Foreign Mister Ricardo Patino speaks to reporters at a hotel during his visit to Vietnam Monday, June 24, 2013. Patino said that his government is analyzing an asylum request from Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor wanted for revealing classified secrets. (AP Photo/Tran Van Minh)

Ecuador’s Foreign Mister Ricardo Patino speaks to reporters at a hotel during his visit to Vietnam Monday, June 24, 2013. Patino said that his government is analyzing an asylum request from Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor wanted for revealing classified secrets. 

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Posted: 24th, June 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment


Edward Snowden escapes Hong Kong drone strike to spy on Ecuador’s enlightened neighbours

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EDWARD Snowden the National Security Agency whistleblower,  is heading to… Ecuador. That’s where Julian Assange wants to go, should the WikiLeaks head man ever escape his asylum lounge in London’s Ecaudorean embassy. One day, we should know pretty much everything about Ecuador.

That’s if Snowden makes it. He’s been charged with espionage and theft by the US Government.  Snowden told us that the NSA can and does incidentally log domestic communications while targeting foreigners. In short, the NSA spies on Americans. And such is the power of the USA, that Britons get spied on, too.

WikiLeaks, which is supporting Mr Snowden, says in a statement:

“Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed.”

 

But isn’t Snowden just a US traitor? He’s not on the side of freedom. He’s just on the other side. He fled to Hong Kong, not exactly a bastion of free expression. He was out to win friends in Beijing:

In an interview with the South China Morning Post newspaper, Snowden claims the U.S. has long been attacking a Hong Kong university that routes all Internet traffic in and out of the semi-autonomous Chinese region. Snowden said the National Security Agency’s 61,000 hacking targets around the world include hundreds in Hong Kong and mainland China, the paper reported late Wednesday. The Post, Hong Kong’s main English-language newspaper, said Snowden had presented documents to support those claims, but it did not describe the documents and said it could not verify them.

The New Yorker noted that the Chinese were warming to the grass:

Offering details about America’s cyber strategy on China may not help him much in American public opinion, but it already has in China. After initially attracting muted attention during a Chinese holiday earlier this week, by Thursday, his case was major news, and Snowden was a popular man here. Mo Shucao flagged me to an online survey that found that seventy-eight per cent of respondents regarded Snowden as a freedom fighter who protects civil liberties. As for how the Chinese government should handle the case, eighty-one per cent supported giving Snowden asylum either to protect him or extract more of the intelligence he is able to leak. Only three per cent supported surrendering him to the United States.

So. Why didn’t Snowden head to China? Adam Minter has an idea:

What’s becoming clear is that it’s in China’s best interest that Snowden leave Hong Kong — and soon. No doubt, on Monday there was no small amount of gloating in Beijing at the thought of a former U.S. intelligence analyst contemplating asylum on Chinese territory. But that satisfaction likely gave way to a wary recognition that Snowden is an advocate for digital privacy and against the surveillance state. Whatever benefit he might serve as an intelligence asset, or as a source of national prestige, is outweighed by the prospect of the world’s most famous whistle-blower living out his days in Hong Kong with nothing better to do than turn his attention to the surveillance state across the border.

In Ecuador, Snowden can spy on Peru and Colombia.

China is an easy target for criticism. But at least the US Even can change:

Seeking to drag the shadowy world of U.S. national security law into the light, a bipartisan group of senators has proposed a bill that would declassify significant legal opinions reached by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court… The bill is based on Merkley’s past proposal to declassify important FISA court opinions. He is joined by a small bipartisan group of senators that includes Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Al Franken of Minnesota. Republicans joining the effort include Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Dean Heller of Nevada.

And Snowden could have been killed in Hong Kong. Crank up the Drone Strike:

“Hong Kong is an island; it’s a port city surrounded by deep water. In 2008 the Navy demonstrated something called Submarine Over-The-Horizon Organic Capability—launching and controlling a lethal Switchblade drone from a submerged sub. The Switchblade is a one-use drone, powered by a quiet electric motor, that weighs about six pounds and flies up to 50 mph for 15 minutes. Switchblade carries a high-explosive warhead that can blow up everything within a 1-, 5-, or 7-meter range around the drone; it can take out an individual, or a truck. A high-resolution video camera in the nose allows a human operator to verify the target before detonating the drone. This is a far less destructive than the 20-pound warhead on the Hellfire missiles fired by Reaper drones, which can cause considerable collateral damage.”

But they want him alive…

Posted: 23rd, June 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment


Edward Snowden told the truth – James Clapper’s the liar

AT least Edward Snowden told the truth:

Reacting to the news that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has reportedly fled Hong Kong for Moscow, Kentucky senator and 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul on Sunday urged Americans to suspend judgment on Snowden, calling him a truthteller who came forward to correct the lies of the Obama administration’s lies for the American people.

“I do think that when history looks at this, they are going to contrast the behavior James Clapper, our national intelligence director, with Edward Snowden,” Paul told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “Mr. Clapper lied in Congress, in defiance of the law, in the name of security. Mr. Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy. So I think there will be a judgment, because both of them broke of the law.”

Clapper was asked by Oregon senator Ron Wyden in a March congressional hearing whether the government was collecting “any type of data at all on millions of Americans.” He responded, “No, sir.”

Spotter: The Corner

Posted: 23rd, June 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment


Edward Snowden shuns Brazil and Turkey fo life in Mother Russia

SO. Which country is NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden heading to? Turkey? Brazil? Nope:

United States intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on a flight bound for Moscow, reports say.

The South China Morning Post, quoting what it says are credible sources, said he was due to arrive in Moscow on Sunday evening.

It said Moscow would not be his final destination.

It’s like the Cold War never ended…

Posted: 23rd, June 2013 | In: Reviews | Comments (2)


Edward Snowden: the best views on the spook who grassed up Obama

Pro-democractic legislator Claudia Mo holds a copy of George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" next to a picture of U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden during a news conference in Hong Kong Friday, June 14, 2013. Two lawmakers in Hong Kong said on Friday that they had written to U.S. President Obama to try to persuade him not to bring charges against the former US intelligence contractor Snowden. Snowden revealed last weekend he was the source of a major leak of top-secret information on NSA surveillance, saying he was uncovering wrongdoing. He spoke to reporters from an undisclosed location in the semiautonomous Chinese territory of Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

DOCUMENTS leaked by US techy spook Edward Snowden show us that the US government is able to access details of smartphone and internet activity under a scheme called Prism. The allegation is that the US intelligence agencies have an open line to Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Skype and Apple. They also record all of your phone calls. The Guardian reprots that the UK’s electronic surveillance agency, GCHQ, has access to the data. This might explain why the taxes for so many big Internet firm are so low. The elite want to keep paying foreign companies for data on British citizens off the books.

 What does it all mean, though? We’ve picked out the best opinions on the news:

Mark Steyn:

Perhaps this is just the way it is in the panopticon state. Tocqueville foresaw this, as he did most things. Although absolute monarchy “clothed kings with a power almost without limits” in practice “the details of social life and of individual existence ordinarily escaped his control.” What would happen, Tocqueville wondered, if administrative capability were to evolve to bring “the details of social life and of individual existence” within the King’s oversight? Eric Holder and Lois Lerner now have that power. My comrade John Podhoretz, doughty warrior of the New York Post, says relax, there’s nothing to worry about. But how do I know he’s not just saying that because Eric Holder’s monitoring his OnStar account and knows that when he lost his car keys last Tuesday he was in the parking lot of Madam Whiplash’s Bondage Dungeon?

When the state has the power to know everything about everyone, the integrity of the civil service is the only bulwark against men like Holder. Instead, the ruling party and the non-partisan bureaucracy seem to be converging. In August 2010, President Obama began railing publicly against “groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity” (August 9th, a speech in Texas) and “shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names” (August 21st, radio address). And whaddayaknow, that self-same month the IRS obligingly issued its first BOLO (Be On the Look-Out) for groups with harmless-sounding names, like “tea party,” “patriot,” and “constitution.”

It may be that the strange synchronicity between the president and the permanent bureaucracy is mere happenstance and not, as it might sound to the casual ear, the sinister merging of party and state. Either way, they need to be pried apart. When the state has the capability to know everything except the difference between right and wrong, it won’t end well.

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Posted: 14th, June 2013 | In: Key Posts, Politicians, Technology | Comments (3)