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United States Politics

Snowden Gave 15,000 Documents to Glenn Greenwald; Obama Cancels Russia Summit 531

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the where's-sarah-palin-when-you-need-her dept.
sl4shd0rk writes "The American journalist Glenn Greewald, who published much of the initial info on illegal NSA programs, plans to release more revelations on the NSA spying machine in 10 days. 'The articles we have published so far are a very small part of the revelations that ought to be published,' Greenwald said on Tuesday. Greenwald further elaborated on public posturing which many nations are currently taking: 'The Brazilian government is showing much more anger in public than it is showing in private discussions with the U.S. government. All governments are doing this, even in Europe.'" The U.S. decided to pull out of a summit with Russia next month, citing the decision to grant Snowden asylum as a factor: "However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda. Russia's disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship. Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States, so on Friday, August 9, Secretaries Hagel and Kerry will meet with their Russian counterparts in a 2+2 format in Washington to discuss how we can best make progress moving forward on the full range of issues in our bilateral relationship."
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Snowden Gave 15,000 Documents to Glenn Greenwald; Obama Cancels Russia Summit

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  • I don't understand why that information would ever be released. Are they trying to provoke the US government? I think so.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      One would think the US government cannot be provoked so easily and would never react in such a pathetic manner but we live in interesting times.

      • by rwven (663186) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:34PM (#44499653)

        They're acting like spoiled, jilted children. I'm frankly ashamed of this sham of a government we have running the "show" at the moment. I use quotes because it's a circus, not a government. The american politicians of 1776 would have these morons in irons for the rest of their lives. Well, more accurately the poiticians of 1776 would have these morons surrendering after a bloody 4 year war for independence.

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:43PM (#44499833) Journal

          I dunno. This sort of nonsense started pretty early on.

          Alien and Sedition Acts [wikipedia.org]

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:48PM (#44499903)

          It was a bit more than 4 years. Perhaps you'd like to read up about it [wikipedia.org]. There was also a good documentary series on Netflix I watched a while back, but I can't remember what it was called. It was mostly a live action re-enactment with narration, more a miniseries than a documentary really. Not much rah rah America but more historically accurate including even a sympathetic look at Benedict Arnold and his reasons for defecting. About 8 hour-long episodes iirc covering the period of time from shortly after the French and Indian War through the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. Then there was the whole War of 1812 mess.

          Moral of the story: revolution can happen, not everyone will support you, your reasons may not even be as righteous as you think they are, and it will be long, drawn out, and very bloody, and you'll probably lose unless an ally like late 18th century France sympathizes with you.

          • And France didn't so much sympathize as want to screw over the English holdings in the Americas after the French and Indian war.

          • Revolution will happen when the people who have been systematically divided have something to fight for in solidarity.

        • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @05:47PM (#44503575) Homepage Journal

          What happened so far:

          The US government
            * violated the privacy of Americans and foreigners by collecting information on all their communications, regardless of whether they are being investigated or not
            * executes people in foreign countries without any trial
            * tortures people in foreign countries without any trial
            * invades foreign countries by fabricating evidence
            * pursues journalists and whistle-blowers through all possible legal and diplomatic channels of pressure
            * arbitrarily withdraws the passport of their own citizens without any legal process
            * arbitrarily withdraws the right to fly in the US without any legal process
            * demands extradition, trials of foreigners and fair treatment based on international law, but refuses it to others

          Then, when these things turn up
            * nobody is being held accountable [e.g. Bush, Rumsfeld]
            * no compensation for the victims [e.g. torture victims, invaded countries]
            * no guarantees it will not happen again

          You can do whatever you want within your borders, and choose the rules you want to live by. But don't take your stupid decisions out on everyone else. And for the love of god, EU & UN, stand up to this bully.

    • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:31PM (#44499613) Homepage Journal

      Reading into Glen Greenwald's comments and some of his other statements, it would seem that much of the spying is used not for security purposes, rather it's to give an edge to certain select US businesses.

      If this is true, it would be huge. Citizens don't count for much in terms of US policy decisions, but an unfair boost to chosen businesses would tick off every other business in the US and abroad - the economic ramifications would be nothing short of tectonic.

      I don't understand why that information would ever be released. Are they trying to provoke the US government? I think so.

      There really is a difference between short-term advantage and long-term gain, and it's one of the ways to measure intelligence. If Glen should withhold the information for fear of ticking off the US government, he gives up the potential benefits of a future where the US has been forced to stop such corrupt and illegal practices.

      The long-term gain is enormous and long-lasting, the short-term pain is fleeting and ephemeral. That's why he is releasing the information.

      In the long run, we're all better off by having this information out in the open.

      • by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:55PM (#44500007)

        Reading into Glen Greenwald's comments and some of his other statements, it would seem that much of the spying is used not for security purposes, rather it's to give an edge to certain select US businesses.

        Unless you can point to something firmer, you probably have that garbled. The situation is rather more subtle than that.

        Why We Spy on Our Allies [cryptome.org] - By R. James Woolsey, a Washington lawyer and a former Director of Central Intelligence.

        Boeing Called A Target Of French Spy Effort [nwsource.com]
        Airbus' Presentation on Boeing 787 - Bad CI Ethics? [ning.com]

      • Slashdot naivete (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:58PM (#44500071)

        Why do you naively believe that the US will ever stop such spying? Every industrialized country on earth does it including the UK, Brazil, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, et al.. because they can and because they have the technological wherewithal to do it.

        For a site filled with supposed tech enthusiasts I'm seeing an awful lot of naivete and misunderstanding of technology. Once you invent a technology it doesn't get uninvented.

        • Indeed. Everyone does it, so that makes it okay, right?

        • by demachina (71715) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:49PM (#44500807)

          Yes everybody does it but the NSA has taken it to a level completely unprecedented thanks to the vast troves of information flowing through the worlds fiber optics now and the fact they have tapped nearly all of it.

          The real problems start when governments start spying on its own citizens, with no limits, and with modern technology. Its now possible to spy on just about everything everyone does, email, phone, social networks, credit card purchases, what books you read, how much electricity you use, where you go and to keep that information indefinitely. Its quite possible they can use the now ubiquitous camera's and microphones we all carry all the time to listen to and watch everything targetted people are doing.

          It is now possible to use this information along with machine learning to automatically spot people who have almost any kind of interest, habit, bias or political leaning. You just need to compose the right query.

          When does it get really bad. When the NSA, or someone with access to the NSA firehose, starts spying on the all the politicians, journalists and judges that form the government that is supposed to oversee them. Once you have dirt on all of them you control them. Once you control them the checks and balances essential to a democracy are completely gone.

          You will quickly find yourself in a totalitarian state, something the U.S. and U.K. have been rushing towards at breakneck speed since 9/11. Only thing stopping it is if the people with all this power engage in self restraint. Chances are some of the powers that be, have been and will be haven't and wont.

          • by demachina (71715) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @03:18PM (#44501971)

            Bruce Sterling had some great lines in his recent piece The Ecuadorian Library [medium.com]

            On the role of the FISA court in controlling the NSA:

            "It's like a cardboard steering wheel in the cockpit of a Predator drone"

            Most people don't realize the FISA court is appointed entirely by one person, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts. Its a bizarre anomaly, a critical protector of the American Constitution completely controlled by a single person. If he or one of his successors goes bad, the Constitution can be eviscerated overnight and since its completely secret we probably wouldn't even know it.

        • by King_TJ (85913) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @03:07PM (#44501841) Journal

          Who here is stating a belief that the U.S. will stop all spying?

          The goal here is to demand some accountability.... To say, "Look.... We know you have spy agencies, like all nation do. And while we might not care for spying on the whole, it's an unfortunate necessity to have our own organization to counter what the rest of the world still wants to do to us. BUT, there's NO excuse for putting resources and taxpayer dollars into warrantless spying on our own citizens, on our own soil!"

          It appears to me that a good bit of what's happening now is Federal govt. paying private contractors to build some of these spying tools and to actually DO the spying for them. That way, government is able to claim it is following the Constitution and doing nothing wrong. (They're simply getting information handed over to them by a private party.) Then, govt. simply invests in the computer power to process and save all of this information that was "given" to them.

          • It appears to me that a good bit of what's happening now is Federal govt. paying private contractors to build some of these spying tools and to actually DO the spying for them. That way, government is able to claim it is following the Constitution and doing nothing wrong.

            If I pay a hit man to murder someone for me, and he follows through, who is guilty of murder? Both of us. Paying contractors to violate the Constitution does not absolve the government of its responsibility to abide by it.

      • by Pollux (102520) <speter@tedat[ ]et.eg ['a.n' in gap]> on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:37PM (#44500613) Journal

        If this is true, it would be huge. Citizens don't count for much in terms of US policy decisions, but an unfair boost to chosen businesses would tick off every other business in the US and abroad - the economic ramifications would be nothing short of tectonic.

        I hate to be the cynic, but no, it wouldn't be huge. Politics has become the greatest spectator sport of the 21st century. Everyone has an opinion about what's wrong, but no one's willing to act on it enough to create substantial change.

        We nearly hanged Nixon (and Ford for pardoning him) for Watergate. We have bigger scandals than Watergate happening today, scandals involving the usurption of our civil liberties by our own government, but no one's doing anything about it except complain. Like the boiling frog [wikipedia.org], we've become so acclimiated to these changes that I doubt we'll be able to leap out of the situation before it kills us.

        • by sFurbo (1361249) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @02:04PM (#44501035)
          Imagine the effects on Microsoft if they were doing industrial espionage on companies for NSA. No semi-large foreign company would dare to buy any Microsoft product again - it would mean they would massively handicap themselves in regards to their American competitors and customers. Now extrapolate to the entire US computer industry.

          While spying on the American population seems to not make anybody angry enough, cutting off all large foreign customers for the computer industry would make a splash.
        • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @03:21PM (#44502009) Homepage

          We nearly hanged Nixon (and Ford for pardoning him) for Watergate.

          More precisely, the Democrats in Congress nearly impeached and removed Nixon from office with the expectation that this would be followed up by criminal charges. It wasn't going to hang Nixon, but it was going to lock him up for a while. Gerald Ford's pardon was a damn shame, because it cemented the idea in Washington that the president is above the law (no matter what Stephen Seagal [imdb.com] does). I'm reasonably certain part of the story was that the Clinton impeachment scared Democrats into making a tacit agreement with Republicans: Don't go after our crimes, we won't go after yours. And because there is no other party with any real power, the result is that both Democratic and Republican presidents can commit crimes with impunity. The intelligence agencies happily collect / create enough dirt on anyone else who might challenge them as well.

          It's not about the citizens accepting what's going on. It's about the citizens hating what's going on, but seeing no viable paths to changing it. If you elect new congresscritters or a new president, that will simply change which don is currently in charge. If you protest on the street, your protest will be ignored by the media and you may well get your ass kicked by police. If you petition your government, you will get a form letter in response. If you file a lawsuit, it will be dismissed out of hand because of state secrets privilege. If you try a criminal approach, you'll be shot down by a heavily militarized police force. If you form an organization that starts having any kind of real effects, then you and your group will have assets frozen, and if you're truly effective then you will be the target of a worldwide manhunt regardless of the law or treaties or diplomatic concerns.

    • by chill (34294) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:51PM (#44499959) Journal

      They're trying to make the point of the furor and debate over the last month was triggered by only a small amount of data. A good portion of the conversation has been an attempt to deflect the attacks to Snowden himself, instead of what the information showed.

      Still, it resulted in multiple Congressional hearings; a very close vote to defund aspects of the PATRIOT Act; and a public act of perjury by the DNI.

      His point is all that was prompted by only the tip of the iceberg, and they still have the entire polar expanse to uncover.

      He could also be putting various public officials on notice that they better not lie to the public about what they knew and approved of, because he can quite possibly publicly call them on it.

    • by RoknrolZombie (2504888) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:59PM (#44500077) Homepage

      Well, the initial stories said that Snowden had acquired the information and intentionally waited until after the last election to release it. The reasons that I remember being given were that Snowden had HOPED for some CHANGE in the Government and for some wacky reason thought that Obama would be the one to do it. Apparently the data was released after he determined that the hope and change thing wasn't gonna happen.
       
        Right now it sounds to me a lot like blackmail - the documents will continue to be released as long as the US Gubmint starts acting like spoiled brats. We can see that this hasn't changed, so we can expect documents to continue to be released. If they're smart they'll break up the data from least to most damaging and release it in that order...the more the US resists decency, the worse their reputation will get until the Americans (or hell, other countries) get together to kick some ass.

      • by chihowa (366380) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @05:49PM (#44503601)

        If they're smart they'll break up the data from least to most damaging and release it in that order...the more the US resists decency, the worse their reputation will get until the Americans (or hell, other countries) get together to kick some ass.

        That's a dangerous strategy, though. It may end up just inducing a tolerance in the people if the damage is ramped up slowly like that. Already, we're seeing signs of that with the DEA's admission that systematic perjury and the outright fabrication of evidence is "a bedrock concept" in their cases. The public's response to that has been pretty mild and the whole thing seems to have blown over already. I'm not sure exactly what would be shocking enough to provoke a response from the public at this point.

  • ...when bullies meet...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:15PM (#44499333)

    "The US government telling other countries what to do and then throwing a temper tantrum when it doesn't get what it wants."

    • by Antipater (2053064) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:48PM (#44499907)
      Anyone else notice that instead of going to Russia, Obama decided to visit Sweden?
    • Well, that's the US definition of "exchange of opinion". They meet with their partners and exchange their opinion for their own.

  • Screw You Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:16PM (#44499353)

    Screw you Obama for giving Russia, with all their human rights problems like Pussy Riot, the moral high ground here. Screw you for making the US look like a bunch of mean-spirited whiners that have lost their shit because Snowden revealed the emperor has no clothes. It's going to be a long time, if ever, until we get back the home of the free and the land of the brave.

    • Re:Screw You Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:19PM (#44499427)

      until we get back the home of the free and the land of the brave.

      The what now?

    • Re:Screw You Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:20PM (#44499443) Journal
      How to know when someone doesn't understand Russia? Of all the human rights problems to list, they choose the (favorite hipster issue of) Pussy Riot. You don't think killing journalists or fixing elections is a little more worthy of note?
      • Re:Screw You Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RobbieCrash (834439) * on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:27PM (#44499557)

        This is a perfect example of why left-wing politics are so unsuccessful. We need to stop trying to one-up each other, and focus on making whatever change is possible. If there is pressure on Russia for Pussy Riot or their anti-gay laws, and that pressure is maintained, there's a chance of changing those things. If we all start whinging about 'why don't you start caring about something else!' then the pressure drops, nothing changes; 500 voices yelling different things are a lot easier to tune out than 500 voices yelling the same. Just because the progress isn't aimed at what you, and many other people (myself included), feel is a bigger issue doesn't make it wrong.

        Causes need people and momentum, splintering movements destroys them. Just because it's not guided at the worst of the worst doesn't mean that the human rights violations against Pussy Riot ok.

        • I'm perfectly happy for someone to have different priorities.

          The annoying thing is when people rant without making an effort to understand the situation first. Do you remember after the Boston bombing, when people were being harassed for nothing more than being photographed with a suspicious backpack? That kind of thing happens when you don't make an effort to understand the situation.
        • Re:Screw You Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

          by wbr1 (2538558) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:53PM (#44499977)

          This is a perfect example of why left-wing politics are so unsuccessful.

          You say that as if right-wing politics is so much more successful.

          The problem is neither right or left wing. The problem is that our politicians make a side show out of hot-button but ultimately not very important issues, so they can appear to differentiate themselves and 'take a stand for/against x'. In reality, they are sold to the highest bidder, working for an almost mutually shared agenda that is hidden behind all the bluff and bluster. Not many really bother to look deep when their standard of living is okay at least, and they have the lotto/tmz/vh1/football/whatever to keep them distracted.

          • Re:Screw You Obama (Score:4, Informative)

            by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @03:05PM (#44501819) Journal

            You say that as if right-wing politics is so much more successful.

            Are you kidding? The whole world is engulfed in right wing politics these days. Our "socialist" president is a Reagan Republican. The Tea Party had huge successes, while Occupy was effectively suppressed. In Canada and the UK there's Harper and Cameron. The whole of Europe is pushing austerity instead of bailing out the little guy.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          This is a perfect example of why left-wing politics are so unsuccessful.

          No, the reason why left-wing politics are unsuccessful is that people are easily scared, and conservativism is the politics of fear [psychologytoday.com]. Good policy is based on logic and evidence, not emotion and rhetoric. But emotion and rhetoric are what move people.

    • by bkmoore (1910118)

      Screw you Obama for giving Russia, with all their human rights problems like Pussy Riot, the moral high ground here. Screw you for making the US look like a bunch of mean-spirited whiners that have lost their shit because Snowden revealed the emperor has no clothes. It's going to be a long time, if ever, until we get back the home of the free and the land of the brave.

      yea, and you, Obama + Bush, have ruined all the good Yakov Smirnoff jokes. "In America you watch television. In America, television watch you!"

    • Re:Screw You Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:21PM (#44499453)

      for giving Russia, with all their human rights problems like Pussy Riot, the moral high ground here.

      The irony is palpable!

      "given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months"

      I guess there is a lack of progress on both sides....

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It started long before Obama. Around about 11/09/2001 in fact. Billions pissed away on a false sense of security are nothing to the freedoms lost and the lives and countries destroyed.

      We are still waiting for American to hit rock bottom so it can start on the long road to recovery.

  • No. The UK government is working with the American government. I suspect most of them are. In public they have to act angry because many people are angry about it; it's illegal/immoral, and no-one asked for it. Privately they're either helping (favour for a favour) or benefitting from it, although a lot of politicians will be against it themselves, but having to go along with it because it's their own secret security services who are involved with only the knowledge of a handful of politicians at the top

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Obama goes out of his way to avoid pissing off the Russians (stops expanding NATO, stops deploying missile defense in Europe), but is willing to break the US Constitution to spy on his own country.

    Yay hopenchange!

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:24PM (#44499503)
    Come on, America. You let the whole world use the internet for over a decade, with everyone thinking/believing that their data is reasonably private. Now it turns out that - oops - you built giant digital systems capable of eavesdropping on, essentially, everybody; the whole fricking world. That is/was a SERIOUS mistake. Mistakes of this magnitude can only be fixed by someone credible taking responsibility for what has been done wrong, and seeing to it that the "mistake" in question - the digital snooping system that tracks everybody - being shut down, or at least constrained & regulated better. ---- What does America do instead? It goes after the "Whistleblower" who did something heroic by warning billions of innocent people: "Be careful what you do in the digital world. Your internet/phone data is not private any longer." ------ Own up to your mistakes, America. Then start the process of undoing said mistakes. ---- The cost of not doing this? America will go down in the history books as a superpower-bully, that is morally & ethically not much better than the USSR was in its heydays. ---- Own up to the mistakes. Then fix them.
    • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:29PM (#44499567)

      with everyone thinking/believing that their data is reasonably private.

      Everyone? I think not. If anyone believed such a thing, they were simply naive.

    • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:29PM (#44499583)

      Own up to your mistakes, America.

      "America" is not a person. Did you mean to say Obama?

      When Obama was elected, he made very different promises, including several very emphatic speeches about the need for protecting whistle-blowers. One could argue it was part of the reason he got elected...
      Politicians should sign their platform as a contract and be held criminally liable when they deviate from non-ambiguous promises as soon as they actually are elected.

      • by vadim_t (324782) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:46PM (#44499887) Homepage

        No, I think America is pretty apt here.

        Obama isn't the dictator of the US. Congress, lobbyists, the NSA and other people are also at fault here, as well as the general population for not being vigilant enough. This sort of thing doesn't happen just because Obama wants it, other people have to agree.

    • You let the whole world use the internet for over a decade, with everyone thinking/believing that their data is reasonably private.

      Seriously? When I started using the internet in 1992 as a 14 year old, I assumed that the NSA had access to everything on the internet. The Room 641A story in 2006 pretty much confirmed that.

    • by mspohr (589790) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:29PM (#44500517)

      Great idea but it's not gonna happen.
      The US won't admit it even made a mistake. The politicians (both R and D) are doubling down on the "national security" threat and they see nothing wrong with violating the 4th amendment. The Constitution is trash to them.
      At best, we may get some "reassurances" that they won't look at our data (unless we have something to hide).
      We do have to thank Snowden for exposing this surveillance... now we all know just where we stand (and hopefully will take personal measures to guard our privacy.)
      The US has been a superpower-bully for many years and will hang on to that role to the end.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:24PM (#44499505) Journal

    That is what describes the world's rulers today. This reaction against Snowden and Manning confirm that.

    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:37PM (#44499717) Homepage Journal

      That is what describes the world's rulers today. This reaction against Snowden and Manning confirm that.

      The only mistake here is it sounds like this may have been different in the past. If there was ever any pretension that it was different, the Whiskey Rebellion should have put an end to that and the Alien and Sedition Acts confirmed it.

      At this point the veneer has just worn so thin that most people can see through the façade. Perhaps propaganda is a lost art, or maybe the People just have better communications tools and won't have the wool pulled over their eyes any longer by a fascist media establishment.

      BTW, you forgot 'hypocritical'. The USG is still sheltering Luis Posada Carriles [wikipedia.org] (just one example). Meanwhile it wants Snowden back when every likelihood is he'll be tortured like Manning was (independently determined by Amnesty International, the UN, and the EU ministers).

  • I can see how both Mannings and Snowden have broken the law. If you work in intelligence or in the army you cannot expect to get away with that. You need to be a journalist I guess. What are the chances for Snowden to avoid going to prison if he returns home? Zero. Therefore it is quite clear Snowden will try to avoid it, no matter how ''correct' or 'righteous' he may be.

    Should the journalist Greenwald publish what they have? Well, isn't it his job to do so?

    Is Assange a journalist? Hmmm. In a way, I guess.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cold fjord (826450)

      What are the chances for Snowden to avoid going to prison if he returns home? Zero. Therefore it is quite clear Snowden will try to avoid it, no matter how ''correct' or 'righteous' he may be.

      Not necessarily. I don't know that I agree with the view, but there is another: Give Snowden Immunity [nationalreview.com]

    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:50PM (#44499943) Journal

      I can see how both Mannings and Snowden have broken the law.

      So has Obama. He deserves the same treatment Manning and Snowden will receive.

  • I know that Russian government has been asking the US government for years to conclude an extradition treaty. The US always refuses.

    It is understandable why. And in this case it is also, sort of, understandable.

    Such figures as Pussy Riot, Snowden, etc. were a good news story weeks. They entertained us. Is it fair instead of a payment for the show to put them in cages?
  • Translation ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:26PM (#44499535) Homepage

    we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda

    He of the "Nobel Peace Prize for nothing more than saying he'd be interested in talking" is taking his ball and going home until the US gets their way.

    I'm not saying Russia isn't moving a little backwards over the last bunch of years, but let's not pretend that the US wouldn't grant asylum to someone leaving Russia under similar circumstances and call it defending freedom and liberty.

    I view this as a diplomatic temper tantrum. 'Shared Agenda' in modern US diplomatic speak is code for "what we want".

    I think you might see more and more countries deciding they are tired of being strong-armed into complying with what the US wants. Especially with the revelations of just exactly the scope of their spying and other activities.

    This is like the guy you discovered screwing your wife cancelling your dinner invitation because you hurt his feelings when you kicked him out of your house -- there's a lot of "woe is us", but don't keep playing that victim card too much.

    • Re:Translation ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:36PM (#44499703)

      He of the "Nobel Peace Prize for nothing more than saying he'd be interested in talking"

      Oh, no!
      Nobel Peace Prize for nothing more than being not Bush

      US wouldn't grant asylum to someone leaving Russia under similar circumstances and call it defending freedom and liberty

      I do not disagree with you, but Russia probably wouldn't be embarrassed by someone like Snowden coming forward. They don't pretend to be "free".

  • by khr (708262) <kevinrubin@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:26PM (#44499541) Homepage

    The Brazilian government is showing much more anger in public than it is showing in private discussions with the U.S. government

    Private discussions are probably much more along the lines of "How much do you charge? Can we get a discount on this technology?"

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:27PM (#44499553)

    Is president Obama going to throw a little temper tantrum too? Perhaps stamp his little feet, and hold his breath until he turns purple?
    --Maybe he will tell his mommy, or the secret service!

    Seriously. Tactics like this (Cancelling a peace negotiation summit, over ASYLUM being GRANTED!) only serve to clearly demonstrate that Obama was never interested in peaceful relations with Russia, only with getting its way. All it does is say loud and clear to Putin that his distrust of the US missile infrastructure being constructed in the middle east is indeed a threat to russian national security, that the US is unwilling to have to compromise on anything.

    If they cant play by their rules, they will stop their feet, cry, and go home.

    This is the fucking pinnacle of childishness.

    • by tnk1 (899206) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:00PM (#44500095)

      If you read even the summary, you know that the summit wasn't just cancelled for the asylum thing. They were probably going to cancel it anyway, because there are some big disagreements on the summit items. It just so happens that they can sneak in a notice of the US government's public displeasure while cancelling for other reasons.

      That's what we call "diplomacy". It's basically cheap shots over wine and cheese.

  • by umafuckit (2980809) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:33PM (#44499641)
    Congress clearly considers Snowden to be a whistleblower, or they wouldn't be voting on proposals to restrict the activity of the NSA http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/07/24/plan-to-defund-nsa-phone-collection-program-has-broad-support-sponsor-says/ [washingtonpost.com] Yet Obama continues to label Snowden's actions as espionage. He knows this bullshit, because apparently he's taken down from the internet his promise to protect whistleblowers http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/obama-whistleblower-website_n_3658815.html [huffingtonpost.com] Good thing we have the Way Back Machine, then, isn't it? http://web.archive.org/web/20090227184741/http://change.gov/agenda/ethics_agenda/ [archive.org]
    • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:58PM (#44500073) Homepage

      Yet Obama continues to label Snowden's actions as espionage

      Snowden has been charged with two things- theft of government property (4 laptops) and giving classified information to a person without security clearance. The later charge was created by the Espionage Act of 1917. It is not "espionage" in any common use of the word. Nobody, including Snowden, has denied that he did those things.

      It is Obama and the Executive Branch's job to enforce existing law. They're doing that. If the Judicial Branch rules that Snowden's actions were justified, then he'll walk free.

      • by umafuckit (2980809) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:07PM (#44500179)

        Snowden has been charged with two things- theft of government property (4 laptops) and giving classified information to a person without security clearance. The later charge was created by the Espionage Act of 1917. It is not "espionage" in any common use of the word.

        I'm not expert on the Espionage act, but the Wikipedia tells me that the original Act made the following a crime:

        1. To convey information with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies. This was punishable by death or by imprisonment for not more than 30 years or both.

        2. To convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies when the United States is at war, to cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or to willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States. This was punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or both.

        Snowden hasn't done either of things and there is no basis for Obama to be pursuing him based upon the Espionage Act. He has not handed sensititve secrets to the enemy, either directly or by way of the media. So unless you are aware of another part of the Espionage Act, it seems that Obama is stretching its definition to pursue Snowden.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @03:13PM (#44501909) Journal

        It is Obama and the Executive Branch's job to enforce existing law. They're doing that.

        Perjury is against existing law. When can we expect prosecutions of the DNI for perjuring himself in front of Congress?

        The 4th amendment is also existing law, and Obama isn't enforcing that one either. It's clear at this point that Obama's oath to defend the Constitution is completely broken, and he deserves impeachment at best.

        Whether or not Snowden gets punished for breaking the law matters much less than whether or not Obama gets punished for breaking the highest law of the land. He won't, and that is how we know the rule of law is meaningless in the United States.

  • That explains a lot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rougement (975188) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:34PM (#44499661)
    The White House has been unbelievably quiet through all of this. First, Obama "welcomed" a discussion. Then, he got caught lying with "the nobody is reading your emails" line. Then, Clapper got caught lying. I think they're keeping quiet because they have a good idea what is coming next. They can't afford to get caught lying again.
  • by PPH (736903) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:38PM (#44499753)

    Its all a show to reassure their respective citizens that they are complying with the laws and looking out for their best interests.

    Captain Renault: "I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

    Croupier: "Your winnings, sir."

  • Hope (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @12:46PM (#44499891)
    I only hope Greenwald and his colleagues at The Guardian have also setup a Dead Man's switch to release everything worldwide in case of some 'tragic accident' ala Michael Hastings.

    Otherwise, by saying 'in ten days', he's only started the countdown clock to his execution.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:00PM (#44500097)

    it seems like most of the world, excluding us politicians/warwhores, really feels snowden acted. responsibly and in good faith. despite Snowdens motives do not loose sight of the fact that the NSA has redefined the law to suit their needs regarding metadata capture. this is not acceptable and needs to be answered by top brass. the NSA is not the law but they are acting as if.

    regarding obamas playground tactics, that is very poor. he cannot deny the NSA has acted outside the law yet he pretends the problem is with Putin and his decisions. this is the act of a coward and politician and not a man with a conscience. at least Putin considered Snowden does have some rights regardless. tricky as this was to navigate politically I think Russia did the right thing and did so with prudence and regard.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:18PM (#44500335) Journal

      The fact is that the Founding Fathers expected the Executive to push the envelope, and understood that is the nature of power. While I can certainly fault GWB and Obama (and indeed many Presidents who have judiciously interpreted laws in their favor to act in any way they pleased), the real fault here lies with Congress, which has, on the national security front, by and large let two consecutive Administrations do whatever they want. Yes, lies were to told to Congress, but it's not just Congress's right, but its duty under the Constitution to not simply take the Administration's word for things.

      Congress may express surprise and exasperation at what the Administration has actually been up to, but I think it strains credibility to imagine that they were truly that taken aback. Essentially no one since 9/11 has wanted to be seen to be opposed to the "War on Terror", and so they have completely abrogated that most fundamental of obligations; which is to act as a check on the power of the President. Even now, as they decry the abuse of the authority granted to the Executive through legislation, they still want to flay Snowden for the crime of showing just how fucking useless they are.

      He should be receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor and a Nobel Peace Prize for having shown the world not just what the US government, but numerous allied governments have been up to, and finally stirring the pot sufficiently that Congress is actually suggesting, however belatedly, that they never intended that legislation be interpreted so liberally,

  • by GerryHattrick (1037764) on Wednesday August 07, 2013 @01:18PM (#44500337)
    Don't EVER try playing chess with Russians. You will lose in some very unexpected way, and they will buy you a drink, and challenge you to swallow the whole gherkin.

Always draw your curves, then plot your reading.

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