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Russia Plans To Extend Edward Snowden's Asylum 315

mendax writes "The New York Times reports, 'Russia plans to extend its offer of asylum to Edward J. Snowden beyond August, a Russian lawmaker said Friday at the World Economic Forum ... The lawmaker, Aleksei K. Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia's lower house of Parliament, hinted during a panel discussion that the extension of temporary refugee status for Mr. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, might be indefinite. "He will not be sent out of Russia," Mr. Pushkov said. "It will be up to Snowden."'" Snowden said yesterday that going back to the U.S. is not an option because of the country's poor whistleblower protections "which through a failure in law did not cover national security contractors like [him]." He added, "This is especially frustrating, because it means there’s no chance to have a fair trial, and no way I can come home and make my case to a jury."
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Russia Plans To Extend Edward Snowden's Asylum

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  • Good... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:16PM (#46062475) Homepage Journal

    Maybe he can reveal how Putin is spying on Russians by any means necessary.

  • failure in law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:32PM (#46062633)

    Nope, that law does exactly was it's supposed to do - protect the guilty.

  • Re:Good... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:40PM (#46062705)

    Yes, but everyone knows about their spying. To learn the Russian government is secretly spying on their population would be about as scandalous as learning another Republican is secretly spending his time off at a gay club.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:41PM (#46062713)

    Or both.

  • by deconfliction ( 3458895 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:42PM (#46062731)

    I can understand the earlier developments relating to this whole incident being on Slashdot. There was the technological aspect to it. ... ... Please, editors, let's leave these purely-political stories off of the front page. I don't dispute that they have value, but they just don't belong here.

    While I don't disagree that slashdot seems to put trollish/public-subset-opinion-polling/alarmist style headlines all over the front page more often than optimal, I have to disagree here about Snowden. I believe the Snowden revelations, and the way they came about, and continue to transpire as so, have so paradigm-shifted the computer and network security landscape, that articles such as this one are more than appropriate. First, it's merely a side-effect conveniency issue. While yes, some of your points may have merit, you have to forgive a bit that the slashdot audience really is that interested in how the Snowden saga transpires. I mean, this is some Epic War and Peace Shit going on here. A martyr being martyred slowly over years. How exactly, and how much pain and vindication end up in that story, I really think will have a profound place in the history of the internet's chapter in the history of humanity. This is a *BIG DEAL*.

    And even setting asside that real-politik drama and the slashdot audience's 'non-technical' interest, you must look at the legitimate 'technical' interest of the slashdot audience. How Snowden is handled by the overwhelming powers that be, truly does shape how many of us here will be developing technology throughout the remaining future of our carreers. At some point, one is tempted to say - 'if computer security matters are treated this profoundly by the un-(directly)-opposable powers that be, then you know what, I'm actually going to stop worrying about whether the firmware in my BIGNAMEBRAND computer system or consumer device is a security risk or not. But if Snowden is fully vindicated, and reclaims the rights and protections of a free citizen of the United States of America, including rigourous protection of his freedom of speech, then I may well say- I'd like to spend more of my carreer working on more secure open source firmware.


  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:43PM (#46062735) Homepage

    The thing you have to understand here is that Putin is an authoritarian douchebag -- but he's not an idiot. He knows that there will be extra scrutiny on his polices during the Olympics. By having Snowden around, it's a reminder that the US isn't in a position to finger-wag over such things.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:45PM (#46062745) Journal

    Both you and "ackthpt" should be ashamed of yourself.

    Unlike Mr. Edward Snowden, none of you have the guts to do the right thing, and yet, after the personal sacrifices Mr. Snowden has gone through - may even turn out to be a lifelong exile from the country he loves so much - you guys post smart-ass comments as if you are some how "better" than Mr. Snowden.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:46PM (#46062759)

    The US does have some protections for whistleblowers, but none he can use - national security information is specifically excluded, as is the public interest defence. Any trial would consist of this:

    Judge: "Did you release classified information?"
    Defense: "Only in the public interest."
    Prosecution: "Public interest defense is not considered a valid cause for releasing classified information."
    Judge: "Guilty. I sentence you to six hundred years in maximum security."

    There isn't really anything he could say. That's even if the trial were fair - and it wouln't be. Chances are almost all the documentation will be classified so high neither he nor his lawyers would be permitted to see it, so he'll be defending against evidence he can't even know about. The only good thing for him is that he was a civilian contractor, so he at least would get a trial, rather than a military tribunal.

  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:50PM (#46062795) []

    His response should be "you first".

  • Re:Traitor (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:52PM (#46062811) Journal

    I don't care what you call it/try to spin it.

    He should be tried and executed like any traitor.

    The "should be tried and executed like any traitor" clause should be applied to Dianne Feinstein, James Clapper and all the rest of the bastards who have knowingly violated the Constitution of the United States of America, to the detriment of the nation of the United States of America and to the hundreds of millions of the citizens of the United States of America !

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:53PM (#46062815)

    It's BS that Snowden is unwilling to come back to the US to stand trial. I'm sure there are plenty of great lawyers who would work pro bono to take his landmark case, and if he was willing to fight, he might be able to affect more change to the government spying program and achieve the goals he set out to reach.

    Even great lawyers can't do anything when the evidence is hidden or heavily redacted in the name of national security. "Your honor, we'd like to introduce this document showing that the NSA was overstepping its legal bounds" "Objection! That document is classified top secret, so instead you can use this redacted version that is completely black except for the words "We", "love", and "freedom".

    It's especially difficult when the lawyer is going up against an agency that has already shown itself willing to lie directly to congress -- supposedly the people that are overseeing the agency. If they don't mind lying to congress, why wouldn't they lie to a court?

    With the deck stacked that heavily against him, what hope is there for any sort of fair trial? Esepcially when he's guilty of what he's accused of -- stealing and releasing classified documents. Without whistleblower protection laws to support him, the reason he stole the documents is immaterial.

  • by Geste ( 527302 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @07:59PM (#46062861)

    First, I'll stipulate that Snowden is a hero to me. Half my age. Twenty times the guts.

    What really bothers me, though, is how the Administration bungled this. Amateur hour! The moment we arrogantly, petulantly forced Evo Morales airplane down in Austria, we pretty much guaranteed that Snowden would need to hole up and that Putin would take the opportunity to stick us in the eye. This is beyond amazing. We've put ourselves in the position where a vicious thug gets to posture as the nice guy and leave us with very little to do. We are depending on a thug to protect the fate and future of a man who initiated one of the most important discussions in our nation's political history. All because we couldn't think straight and realize that Ecuador or Venezuela or *anywhere" would be a batter outcome than what we got.

    It's one thing to get poked in the eye with a stick, but quite another thing to run into the stick full tilt. Amateur hour.

  • by beckett ( 27524 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:42PM (#46063155) Homepage Journal
    snowden had been working in the defense industry for a decade before he decided to join Booz Allen et al. He had ample opportunity to find out what was really going on behind the curtain before he made the decision to blow the whistle.
  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:48PM (#46063207)

    Possible, but very, very unlikely. The prosecution would be careful to block any jury member during selection who appears sympathetic to Snowden, citing grounds of bias.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @08:51PM (#46063231)

    Only if you have to go there with one of the 200,000 people who have signed up. (Except for the few hot chicks who did it for fun.)

    I hope "hot chick" is way down on the list of things they look for in an application - a "hot chick" is probably the person I'd least want to live with on mars, and I'd chose the nerdy chick (or dude) that sits in the basement all day building Arduino projects.

    That's not to say that there are no nerdy hot chicks, but they don't seem to be the norm. Plus, my only relationship with a "hot chick" ended dramatically with a visit from the police, and almost a restraining order.

  • by ATMAvatar ( 648864 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:01PM (#46063293) Journal
    The people who bear shame are those who voted Republican *or* Democrat in any national election.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:17PM (#46063713)

    As you point out, neither of them stole 1,700,000 Top Secret intelligence agency documents and fled with them to live under the protection of American adversaries while dispensing many of them in a way to make them available to America's enemies.

    Russia is an adversary of the US? That's quaint Cold War thinking. China is a US adversary? Last I checked, China is our largest trading partner (in terms of imports).

    What China and Russia really are in the context of the NSA affair are two of the only nations on this planet that won't summary extradite an individual at the demand of the US government.

    But yeah, Snowden should have just fled to one of our lapdog allies instead. What a dope that Snowden is.

  • by lophophore ( 4087 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:48PM (#46063895) Homepage

    My point is that he did not need to reveal all of it, just exposing the domestic surveillance would have been enough... Congress and the average American don't give one tiny shit if the NSA bugged Angela Merkel's phone, and many are probably secretly pleased that we did and got away with it until this guy opened the kimono on that.

    My question is how was releasing that information helpful? While certainly unethical, bugging Merkel's phone (for instance) was NOT illegal under US law, and not forbidden under the NSA's charter, while the domestic data collection clearly was both illegal and forbidden. I applaud the exposure of the NSA's illegal activities, but I abhor the exposure of their legal ones.

    This is why I believe he had other motives. Snowden is not a hero, he's an attention whore.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:21PM (#46064031)

    and no, voting 3rd party is a non-starter. don't even go there.

    Well since you've obviously made up your mind, I'll post this for everyone else.

    In many states, there is the guaranteed winner, guaranteed runner-up, and then all the "non-starter" 3rd parties. In those states, everyone voting for the guaranteed runner-up would do better to vote for any of the many 3rd parties. Sure, you won't disrupt the guaranteed winner. But you weren't going to do that anyway. Better to try and dislodge the guaranteed runner-up, send a message to those in charge.

    For those of you in swing states, by all means, continue voting either D or R. Since you guys don't have a guaranteed winner, it doesn't make any sense to ask y'all to vote 3rd party.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:30PM (#46064073)

    Russia has decided to make its relationship with the US, UK, and NATO in general complicated. (And perhaps Australia as well / in time.) While they cooperate in various matters such as terrorism and trade, the Russians have resumed various Soviet practices, such as certain foreign policy stands, and probing Western defenses with bombers and submarines. To that you can add making various threats regarding nuclear strikes against NATO countries. (Former Soviet sample [].) Perhaps you simply don't bother reading about such things?

    Russian bombers’ secret UK missions ‘not a friendly act’ []
    Russian Bombers Perform Simulated "Strikes" on Sweden, U.S. []

    I would expect you to be at least somewhat acquainted with the various acts of Chinese encroachment and aggression against its neighbors. Various members of the Chinese government have also threatened nuclear strikes against the US. Perhaps you've heard that US forces are now providing greater aid in the defense of Australia?

    Both China and Russia are "great powers" in the classic sense, and pursue their interests. Sometimes that will mean working with the West, sometimes against it. China's power is ascending as they build towards a navy with four aircraft carrier battle groups, the first one now available, and India is right behind them. The US seems to be heading towards a much less capable navy than today, and Australia decommissioned its last aircraft carrier long ago.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:45PM (#46064109) Homepage Journal

    what we have is a choice of kang or kodos. either way, we lose.

    and no, voting 3rd party is a non-starter. don't even go there.

    So, let me get this straight: If you had a choice between A) a guy that will eat your face, B) another guy that will eat your face, or C) a guy you've never heard of who wants to do something like, I dunno, legalize drugs or use a tax surplus to give everybody a $10 gift card to Office Depot... you'd vote for one of the face-eaters?

    Suddenly I'm starting to realize why some people in other countries think we're collectively brain damaged.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @12:19AM (#46064325)

    KNOWING that we will never have a majority on a 3rd party, your whole rant is moot.

    that's all.

    note that I don't LIKE THIS, but I am old enough to know how the world really works. some games are not winnable because the game masters stack the cards against you.

  • by RussR42 ( 779993 ) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @02:23AM (#46064871)

    KNOWING that we will never have a majority on a 3rd party, your whole rant is moot.

    Of course we won't as long as people keep saying things like:

    voting 3rd party is a non-starter. don't even go there.

    Maybe if enough people start voting 3rd party, it will be taken seriously and gain a majority.

  • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @05:12AM (#46065291) Homepage Journal

    and no, voting 3rd party is a non-starter. don't even go there.

    “I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it, than for what I don’t want and get it.”
    -- Eugene V. Debs.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @06:37AM (#46065487) Journal

    Dear Sir,

    I am not worth your respect. But there is one person that is worth all our respects - Mr. Edward Snowden.

    He is the one giving us the proofs of the many dirty deeds of the government of the United States of America.

    He is the one with the courage, the will, the determination, in telling the truth as it is, and he is the one, burdened with all the consequences of the courageous things that he had done for all of us.

    If it wasn't Mr. Snowden, hundreds of millions of innocent people all over the world will continue to have their privacy invaded.

    If it wasn't for Edward Snowden, more and MORE dirty programs would have been launched by the illegal regime that is lording over USA.

    Yes, sir, that's the type of person deserving your respect, and mine, and many others.

    There will always be those, like cold fjord, whom will do whatever they can to taint the reputation of Edward Snowden - and I guarantee you that they will play dirty, just like their NSA master, to achieve their goal.

    Thus, I urge you, and all, to defend Mr. Snowden when he's under unfair criticism.

    I am not saying that Mr. Snowden is perfect. He is just a human being, just like you or me. But at the very least, he has done good things for us, and we owe Mr. Edward Snowden this much, to return the favor.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.