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Snowden Shortlisted For Europe's Top Human Rights Award 273

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-guessing-the-us-government-won't-give-him-an-award dept.
another random user sends this news from the BBC: "Edward Snowden, the fugitive American former intelligence worker, has made the shortlist of three for the Sakharov prize, Europe's top human rights award. Mr Snowden was nominated by Green politicians in the European Parliament for leaking details of U.S. surveillance. Nominees also include Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head for demanding education for girls. Former recipients of the prize, awarded by the European Parliament, include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. Mr Snowden's nomination recognized that his disclosure of U.S. surveillance activities was an 'enormous service' to human rights and European citizens, the parliament's Green group said."
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Snowden Shortlisted For Europe's Top Human Rights Award

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  • by themushroom (197365) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @04:52PM (#45007461) Homepage

    Malala gets this one hands-down. Both made very important statements we must pay attention to, but a fucking headshot beats hanging out in a Russian airport IMHO.

    • by SecurityTheatre (2427858) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @04:58PM (#45007625)

      Agreed.

      Normally I would scoff at Snowden being included on a list like this. I was a bit put off by Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize before actually doing anything, and a bit put off at Assange being nominated for something simliar, because both seemed like self-serving political statements to me, but on reflection, what Snowden has done was controlled, targeted and highly effective, in my opinion. It was far from the uncontrolled dump that Bradley Manning did, or the barely-controlled shitstorm that Assange supervised.

      In the same vein, the leak, while angering many Americans, should be a huge benefit for citizens of every country, both outside the US, but also inside. A great gain for Europeans, as far as awareness of human rights issues.

      • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @05:51PM (#45008323)
        This is a trivial tangent, but you seem to place more emphasis on not angering people than I do. Assange, Snowden, and Manning did upset a lot of Americans who thought they were traitors. I'm not sure how that matters. It wasn't a popularity contest, it was telling us our rights were being trampled on, and that we were doing ugly things.

        How the message was delivered is less important as well. Manning couldn't exactly form a team to manage the data better without arousing some suspicions and shutting it down before it got anywhere. Lamo stabbed him in the back after all. And Assange may be an egomaniac, but people who do unusual things often are. Anyway, if the messenger is annoying, that may make you want to shoot him more if you already wanted to shoot someone for the message, but you should resist that temptation.
        • by Artifakt (700173)

          Under US law, there's a very specific definition of Treason, and Snowden, at least, hasn't come anywhere close to it. (I don't see any real case for the others either, and a military court evidently agrees with my assessment about how far Manning's actions fell short of Treason, but for Snowden in particular, there just isn't anything to support even impaneling a grand jury to look at a claim of Treason - hell there isn't anything that would justify putting a detective on the job of investigating furthe

      • by Tom (822)

        A great gain for Europeans, as far as awareness of human rights issues.

        I wish.

        Unfortunately, the global elite that's playing power games is super-national and has been for many years. It's been very, very obvious that nobody in my countries government really gave a shit about the whole NSA stuff. I personally think that half of them would easily be convicted of breaking their oath to protect the constitution and the people, if only someone had the guts to bring charges.

      • by bware (148533) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @07:20PM (#45009241) Homepage

        It was far from the uncontrolled dump that Bradley Manning did

        Not unlike Snowden, Manning passed on encrypted files to three media outlets for them to publish after redaction and vetting, but David Leigh and Luke Harding of The Guardian were not as careful as Manning, and managed to leak the passphrase. But "the dump" wasn't Manning.

        All this is on Wikipedia.

      • by DrJimbo (594231)

        It was far from the uncontrolled dump that Bradley Manning did ...

        Manning never did an uncontrolled dump. He released documents to news organizations so those organization could vet them and release only what was proper to be released. That was the responsible thing to do under the circumstances. It is the same thing Snowden did. It's true that someone in one of the organizations Manning released to screwed up and published a private key that let everyone see all the documents but that was clearly not Manning's fault.

        Please stop spreading the malicious lie that Br

    • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @05:01PM (#45007661) Homepage

      Snowden's revelations are much more important to the world as a whole. That the punishment wreaked on the person in Pakistan is much worse than that Snowden has yet received is beside the point. By exposing a corrupt machine that is used in the process of killing numerous innocents around the world through drone attacks is but one example of how Snowden's information can save many lives. Then of course there is the privacy right of the entire fucking planet. Female education abuses in some parts of Pakistan are important, but they just aren't anything like the scale of Snowden's whistleblowing.

      • by Gavagai80 (1275204) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @05:30PM (#45008073) Homepage
        I'd have to say education is a much more important, more fundamental right than phone/internet privacy. The damage done to people and societies by preventing girls from going to school is much greater than the NSA reading their emails.
        • It is not phone/internet privacy. It is just privacy, period. And no, education, albeit important, is not more important than privacy or freedom.
          • Without education, there is no privacy or freedom. You are a slave to your masters with no hope of self-sufficiency.
            • by Atzanteol (99067)

              I think that comparing "importance" is very difficult. But in this situation I think on the grounds of "impact" Snowden carries the day. But then I'm an American and see the impact of Snowden more first-hand.

              It depends on what criteria this group judges by.

            • Nah, you are inverting stuff here. Without privacy and freedom there is no education, only indoctrination.
            • by s.petry (762400)

              Both are important. Without freedom you can only receive the eduction someone wants you to have. Without "proper" education you don't know what freedom is. You are both correct, and neither is more important than the other.

              To that end, that is why the US Constitution and Bill of Rights define what our liberties are. None weigh more than another, since all are required to be a "free" person.

        • by Dasher42 (514179) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:19PM (#45008635)

          I'd have to say education is a much more important, more fundamental right than phone/internet privacy. The damage done to people and societies by preventing girls from going to school is much greater than the NSA reading their emails.

          It's not just privacy. It's the right not to be scrutinized by an agency of a government that calls its own dissenting citizens who speak out about oil spills, bloody wars on false pretenses, dangerous chemical pollution, or corruption "terrorists". It's a right to have a voice and dignity and due process in a law-abiding country instead of being tampered with and manipulated by bought politicians serving as the lackeys of their for-profit corporate donors.

          This ties into every issue anywhere that the NSA and related agencies project power, and that's all over the globe. It's everywhere a grassroots needs to step up to a corporate/government/financial juggernaut about anything, including the women in school in Pakistan.

          This government will give everything you've sent or received through your phone or your laptop to a foreign agency with at most a rubber stamp from a court that the public knows nothing about, but will - yes - hand the educational system of America over to predatory lenders and ensconced social elites rather than earnest teachers and staff.

          The government that is invading privacy is also denying your right to know about what is in your food and your medicine. Seen the recent headline about Bayer? This same government that has invaded all of our privacy still guarded Bayer's secrecy when its medication for hemophiliacs was infected with HIV and has thus allowed hundreds, perhaps thousands of people to be infected, to protect Bayer's profits at the cost of lives.

          This government will record your every call, but it won't prosecute the banks which shredded the world's economy and have illegally foreclosed homes - some of which were owned by people who'd bought them with cash with no bank involved, ever, for "lack of evidence."

          And yes, this government will send drones over skies foreign and domestic, and without due process fire missiles, napalm, chemicals, and bullets made of radioactive waste into civilian areas all over the planet, including Pakistan. Schools count, but imagine going to school where the missiles can fall arbitrarily. It will call the instigators of these crimes leaders, and the whistleblowers traitors, and use these privacy-invading tools to manipulate people and hunt down those who step out of line.

          This government will protect Wall Street while infiltrating dissenting movements with psy-ops and undercover agitators who generate the props for cheap propaganda to justify gestapo tactics in a supposedly free country, and use its surveillance tools to know better how to deliver its deceitful war. PRISM is an abuse of power meant to help politicians abuse even more power at will.

          Malala and Snowden have both done awesome things in the face of power that would crush them and kill them and then lie to the public about the whole matter, and it'd be stupid to compare their personal level of heroism. I mean, some of us might only get the clear opportunity to get a cat out of a tree, whatever our merit. Snowden got a chance to expose an oppressor of a much more central and global nature. That's what makes his arena more widely significant, and I think that deserves consideration.

        • "I'd have to say education is a much more important, more fundamental right than phone/internet privacy"

          If you think the big issue is that they were reading emails then you are one of the most clueless people on the planet.

          " The damage done to people and societies"

          There can be no greater damage to a (supposed) democracy than the undermining of every principle for which is stood. There are many countries where women are free to get an education, and I certainly insist that it is an inalienable right that no

          • Education can help you learn how to disagree with people/governments in a considered and balanced way without the absurd hyperbole and Godwining. Once you become smart enough to understand the real and somewhat valid reasons why many people happily surrender more privacy than they should, you can have a rational discussion in which you can address their points and convince them of why they're wrong. Otherwise you're just spewing your own views into an echo chamber.
        • I disagree.

          pakistan has their problems and frankly, I don't care one bit about what issues they have. they are localized to their own culture and we have no business even trying to change their culture. they own their own and when they are good and ready, they'll change. maybe.

          otoh, the NSA taps the whole world and I do believe that privacy is a core fundamental right of every single person.

          what pakistan does affects one country. the NSA fucks things up for everyone. its far more serious and affects pr

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GameboyRMH (1153867)

        Was going to say the same thing, it's horrible that Malala got shot in the face but this isn't a Suffering At the Hands of Tyrants Award AFAIK.

        And leaking proof that the NSA is spying on everyone on the planet and making a mockery of the US legal system > saying inspiring things in the name of women's education in a particular region of the middle east. Sorry.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        The punishment in Pakistan is being dumped on a whole class of people, not just one girl. The scale of drone attacks is large, but the scale of terrorist attacks and roadside bombs and retaliation attacks and honor killings is larger, and that's before you get into the whole issue of depriving an entire generation and gender of education and rights.

    • by arobatino (46791)

      On the other hand, Snowden didn't know he'd be able to get asylum, and the death penalty was only taken off the table [washingtonpost.com] in an attempt to keep the Russians from giving it to him.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        I doubt death penalty was ever on the table, except in the words of some politicians trying to score points.

    • Malala gets this one hands-down. Both made very important statements we must pay attention to, but a fucking headshot beats hanging out in a Russian airport IMHO.

      Arguably, they are risking the same thing: Both knew that they were taking a bullet to the head risk. Only one got a bullet to the head. If we're judging these people on the basis of the risks they took on behalf of human rights, they are equal. If we're only judging them based on how much punishment they took for making the choices they did, then all human rights' awards would be post-humous.

      Although both were risking death, the fact that one of them escaped it apparently matters to you. I sincerely hope y

      • I see what you are saying, however there is a difference between dying for a cause and dying because of a cause.

        Had the Taliban successfully snuffed her, she'd already be a martyr -- and a reinforcement why the Taliban must be stopped. Malala gets recognised for standing up for her rights, whether she got capped or not... the fact that she took one to the lobe made her voice louder, and the fact that she lived means she will not soon be forgotten like most martyrs because she can still speak.

        • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:11PM (#45008533)

          Had the Taliban successfully

          You missed my point. When we're discussing a human rights award, it should be on the merits of the actions they took, not the consequences they suffered. It doesn't matter whether she took one bullet, or five hundred, or none at all, or whether she lived, or died. She stood up against an injustice and that is what is being rewarded... not that she couldn't get out of the way fast enough, or they were better armed, etc.

          To say that taking a bullet somehow makes your action more noble than the guy sitting next to you doing the same thing, but not getting hit by the bullet, is a slap in the face to both people with fast reflexes, and every soldier who watched their buddy get turned into hamburger and thought: "Holy shit, that could have been me." The guy that got hamburgered signed up for the same thing as the guys that made it back. They had the same job. The same training. That's what makes is so damned hard to live with -- survivors guilt. There isn't a reason why it should have been him instead of you. Maybe some physics about artillery shells or some other abstract thing of no comfort... but the fact is, there wasn't a deliberate choice. Sometimes bad shit just happens to people. Getting fucked over doesn't earn you an award: Taking the risk of losing everything for a chance at doing good does.

    • but a fucking headshot beats hanging out in a Russian airport IMHO.

      For some reason, I misread this as "hanging at a Russian airport". Neither felt preferable to me.

      But I still think that Iceland should have granted him asylum. Just think of the possibilities. "Hi, I'm Edward Snowden. Welcome to my snow den."

      • Just think of the possibilities. "Hi, I'm Edward Snowden. Welcome to my snow den."

        Yeah, but how you gonna get there if he's snowed in?

      • by ultranova (717540)

        But I still think that Iceland should have granted him asylum.

        Iceland couldn't grant Snowden asylum. It's an island with no army and no neighbours to buffer it from US peacekeeping operation. Nor could it smuggle him out of country through a blockade.

        France with its nuclear weapons might have worked.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      Both made very important statements we must pay attention to, but a fucking headshot beats hanging out in a Russian airport IMHO.

      Both made important statements. However, that one managed to get away afterwards shouldn't weight against him.

      Also, let's be honest here: that religion-dominated countries are horrible places to live is not news to anyone, nor is islamic countries being especially bad for women.

    • by Livius (318358) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @05:34PM (#45008131)

      Snowden was and continues to be at far higher risk of assassination than Malala. He's just been luckier.

      So far.

      • by oodaloop (1229816)
        Let's not forget that DoJ promised Snowden wouldn't be tortured if he were returned to the U.S. As in, it was on the table and everyone assumed that would happen. Getting shot in the head is the least of Snowden's concerns right now.
        • by Livius (318358)

          Let's not forget that DoJ promised Snowden wouldn't be tortured if he were returned to the U.S. As in, it was on the table and everyone assumed that would happen.

          Correct, everyone assumed that if Snowden were returned to the U.S. then his torture would happen.

      • by umafuckit (2980809) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:19PM (#45008631)

        Snowden was and continues to be at far higher risk of assassination than Malala.

        I don't think that's true. At this point Snowden being free is just embarrassing to the US. He's apparently already given the press everything he knows so killing him isn't going to improve anything from the NSA's perspective. On the other hand, if Snowden meets with a peculiar "accident" then the US government just comes out of it looking bad. Malala, on the other hand, is more than just an embarrassment to the extremists who shot her. She has chosen to remain vocal for her cause and therefore represents a continuing threat because she acts a nucleation site for the more liberal attitudes they are seeking to suppress.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by cold fjord (826450)

        Snowden was and continues to be at far higher risk of assassination than Malala. He's just been luckier.

        So far.

        Snowden is at no risk of assassination from the United States. He is at risk for arrest and prosecution for the crime of espionage. The most likely outcome of that would be a long sentence in prison. The only American citizens that the US has been targeting are those that have taken up arms against it such as al Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki [go.com].

        If you want to claim otherwise, I think you need to provide some evidence.

        • by Livius (318358)

          The only American citizens that the US has been targeting are those that have taken up arms against it such as al Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki [go.com].

          And that was proven in which court of law?

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Cold you may like some more background into the US policy of killing its own citizens:
          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/us/us-acknowledges-killing-4-americans-in-drone-strikes.html [nytimes.com]
      • Such a cynic. He merely has an elevated risk of having an accident.

    • by Tom (822) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:18PM (#45008617) Homepage Journal

      Malala gets this one hands-down.

      If that happens, the spectacle has officially won. Someone saying something that's a brave thing to say and getting an unusually extreme reaction to it isn't even on the same scale as someone revealing a world-wide illegal conspiracy affecting pretty much everyone in the civilized world.

    • Malala gets this one hands-down. Both made very important statements we must pay attention to, but a fucking headshot beats hanging out in a Russian airport IMHO.

      I disagree, strongly. Have you actually listened to her speeches? Sample:

      "If you want to see peace in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan; if you want to end the war; to fight against the war; then instead of sending guns send books,â

      Riiiiiiiiiiight. The only reason she's so popular is because she's a harmless photo-op for politicians who a

    • by icebike (68054)

      Except she had no idea what she was doing (if anything) at the time she did it, and only became a "hero" by surviving, or being saved by British doctors.

      Snowden, on the other hand knew he was putting himself in the bullseye for the head-shot, knew ahead of time that he had to give up
      everything he had, and would very likely end up (best case) in prison, or worst-case dead of a head-shot "trying to escape".

      Malala has changed nothing, for all her suffering. Islam is still Islam. Snowden has changed the world.

    • by godel_56 (1287256)

      Malala gets this one hands-down. Both made very important statements we must pay attention to, but a fucking headshot beats hanging out in a Russian airport IMHO.

      But Malala didn't volunteer to get shot in the head, that was done to her, although she has displayed great personal fortitude since then.

      Contrast that with Snowden who deliberately gave up his career, his family, his girl friend, and his life to date to reveal the US's dirty doings. My Vote is for Snowden.

    • by slick7 (1703596)
      Snowden's congratulations from the US will be via the Predator drone circling above as we speak.
    • by DMJC (682799)
      What about effectiveness of the statement? Malala is hardly going to change anything in Afghanistan. The reality is her culture hates women, and that's not going to change next year, or probably the next 200 years. Not without an army taking control of the entire country, and forcing the entire population to change their beliefs. The governments of the world no longer have the stomach for that sort of program so the US/AU/EU governments will pull out, and Afghanistan will collapse back into it's 13th centur
  • by cod3r_ (2031620) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @04:58PM (#45007623)
    Tell Snowden.. it's a freaking trap. CIA/NSA are going to get him on every awards program they can and when he shows up to accept they are going to snipe him down. I seen something like this on showtime.
  • As it is said... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by djupedal (584558)
    Awards are for those that need them.

    Pissing off the US Govt. may mean that Snowden is happy with that and anything else is just gravy. . .
    • Awards are for those that need them.

      Pissing off the US Govt. may mean that Snowden is happy with that

      Yes, that was clearly Snowden's goal. Social change, government by consent, he didn't even think about that hippy-dippy stuff.

      No award is going to protect that girl from more attacks by the Taliban. They don't give a damn about what the west thinks about her, if anything they'll see it as a challenge - once again the west trying to attack their religion. But if the award goes to Snowden it makes it that much harder for the US to put him in prison.

      If the US tried to put Mandela in prison for being a terro

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@mac.cEINSTEINom minus physicist> on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @05:44PM (#45008235) Journal

    Maybe that way the Nobel prize committee could undo some of the damage to the prize's reputation that they caused by giving it to shitheads like Arafat and Obama.

    -jcr

    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:14PM (#45008571) Journal
      Being a shithead does not and should not preclude you from getting the Peace Prize. Arafat arguably deserved to share it with Perez and Rabin for trying to work towards peace in the Middle East, putting aside politics, some of their own previously held beliefs as well as the express wishes of large parts of their constituents (who would prefer to rain fiery death upon the enemy). Even if nothing came of this in the end, this did merit a nomination and (I think) winning the Prize as well.

      In contrast, Obama had done fuck all before receiving the Prize. His most relevant achievement at the time was to be Not Dubya. He also managed to be the first black president of the US, which is noteworthy but in itself hardly something to award a Peace Prize for
    • Damage to what reputation? - The peace prize has always been a political statement, need I remind you that Kissenger is on the list of recipients. Unlike the scientific prizes, peace prizes are more typically awarded for words than deeds.
  • Asylum? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JimTheta (115513) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:09PM (#45008507) Homepage

    Boy, that will really send a message to the US.

    You know what else would send a message? Asylum.

    But if no one's feeling that bold, I'm sure the award will really pick Eddie's spirits up during the Russian winter.

    • Re:Asylum? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Livius (318358) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:35PM (#45008815)

      You know what else would send a message?

      An EU member giving Snowden asylum and the CIA *still* finding a way to put him in Guantanamo or some other concentration camp. That's the reason it's better for Snowden not to even be offered asylum by any country too close to the Americans.

  • Both? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:37PM (#45008837)

    People have shared the Nobel Peace Prize and such before, why not award the prize to both Snowden and Malala this year? What they each did took a tremendous amount of courage and has made a powerful statement for human rights everywhere. And when I think about it, pissing off the Taliban the next village is a very scary and brave thing to do, but then so is pissing off the most powerful government on the planet which commands unlimited numbers of scary commandos, assassins, and gunmen who can kill you no matter where you go. They're both epic, epic heros for what they've done.

  • by DrEasy (559739) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @07:28PM (#45009303) Journal
    There's been a political vacuum when it comes to defending Snowden and more generally people's right to privacy. Good for Green politicians for showing their concern! There are many more orphan causes in search for a party to pick them up: copyright and patent law reform, standing up to lobbies, etc. They'd get my vote.
  • Fighting for the rights for women to get education is a very noble act by Malala (and she very nearly paid a heavy price for it with her life), but Snowden revealing the NSA spying AND pissing off the most powerful and most arrogant nation in the world?...PRICELESS...oooh, I'm getting a tingling feeling all over.

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