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US Charges Edward Snowden With Espionage 442

Posted by timothy
from the hey-the-paperwork-takes-a-few-weeks dept.
cold fjord writes "Further developments in the controversy engulfing Edward Snowden and the NSA. From the Washington Post: "Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant,... Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property ... The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden's former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered, and a district with a long track record in prosecuting cases with national security implications...it is thought that he is still in the Chinese territory. Hong Kong has its own legislative and legal systems but ultimately answers to Beijing, under the so-called "one country, two systems" arrangement. The leaks have sparked national and international debates about the secret powers of the NSA to infringe on the privacy of both Americans and foreigners. Officials from President Obama down have said they welcomed the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs, and the safeguards they say are built into them. Skeptics, including some in Congress, have said the NSA has assumed power to soak up data about Americans that were never intended under the law."""
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US Charges Edward Snowden With Espionage

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:11PM (#44074865)

    To know that's what was going to happen.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:27PM (#44074977) Homepage Journal

      To know that's what was going to happen.

      Still, I draped a thread over a string I saw running through the neighborhood and tied it to my own tin can and heard pretty much that.

    • http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2773253&cid=39629001 [slashdot.org]
      "To start with the bottom line: the very computers that make the new NSA facilities possible mean that the NSA's formal purpose is essentially soon to be at an end. Nothing you or I say here will reverse that trend. The only issue is how soon the NSA as a whole recognizes that fact, and then how people there choose to deal with that reality. ..."

      A further elaboration on that theme:
      http://www.pdfernhout.net/on-dealing-with-social-hurricanes.html [pdfernhout.net]

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Actually, I was expecting the charge to be "counter espionage", after all, he spied on the spies.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:16PM (#44074893)

    I thought that only those with something to hide needed privacy?

    • by zlives (2009072) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:17PM (#44074907)

      its to protect the innocent secret government programs that might become victims of false accusations.

    • by Rick Zeman (15628) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:17PM (#44074913)

      I thought that only those with something to hide needed privacy?

      Because:
      Officials from President Obama down have said they welcomed the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs

      Oh wait....

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:20PM (#44074927)

        Because:
        Officials from President Obama down have said they welcomed the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs...

        But only to secret judges on secret courts.

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          Because:
          Officials from President Obama down have said they welcomed the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs...

          But only to secret judges on secret courts.

          ...conducting hearings during a full moon in months with an 'R' in them.

          suddenly the Committee pulled up to the curb in an arcane dodge dart and Bob 'The Atomic Carp' was heard to say, 'How arcane!!'

          • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:27PM (#44075869) Journal

            no, the judges aren't secret. The courtroom is one of those faraday cages, though.

            from wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

            Judge[13] Judicial district Date appointed Term expiry
            Reggie Walton (presiding) District of Columbia May 19, 2007 May 18, 2014
            Rosemary M. Collyer District of Columbia March 8, 2013 March 7, 2020
            Raymond J. Dearie Eastern District of New York July 2, 2012 July 1, 2019
            Claire Eagan Northern District of Oklahoma February 13, 2013 May 18, 2019
            Martin L.C. Feldman Eastern District of Louisiana May 19, 2010 May 18, 2017
            Thomas Hogan District of Columbia May 18, 2009 May 18, 2016
            Mary A. McLaughlin Eastern District of Pennsylvania May 18, 2008 May 18, 2015
            Michael W. Mosman District of Oregon May 4, 2013 May 3, 2020
            F. Dennis Saylor IV District of Massachusetts May 19, 2011 May 18, 2018
            Susan Webber Wright Eastern District of Arkansas May 18, 2009 May 18, 2016
            James Zagel Northern District of Illinois May 18, 2008 May 18, 2015

            Roger Vinson, the guy who rubber-stamped the leaked Verizon order, is no longer on the court-- his seven year term expired.

      • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:26PM (#44074969)

        Obama Obama Obama. Enough with this partisan nonsense. Watch the documentary 'Enemy of the State', what 16 years old now or more, this surveillance is nothing new. You don't get to call yourselves the land of the free when you're being monitored around the clock in case you might say or do something upsetting to your betters. And no I don't care if terrorists are the excuse, if you're going to put the USA on a pedestal, hold yourselves to a higher standard than totalitarians.

        • by hondo77 (324058)
          Enemy of the State [imdb.com] was a documentary? And all this time I thought Will Smith and Gene Hackman were actors...
        • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:00PM (#44075285)

          Obama Obama Obama. Enough with this partisan nonsense. Watch the documentary 'Enemy of the State', what 16 years old now or more, this surveillance is nothing new. You don't get to call yourselves the land of the free when you're being monitored around the clock in case you might say or do something upsetting to your betters. And no I don't care if terrorists are the excuse, if you're going to put the USA on a pedestal, hold yourselves to a higher standard than totalitarians.

          I think the Obama bashing is coming out because Obama said he was going to bring about change that America needs and he even spoke out specifically against secret spying on citizens. No one (well few) think that a Republican in the Whitehouse would be any better since nearly all of the opposition against the Patriot Act renewals has come from the democrats.

          http://www.cfr.org/us-election-2008/obamas-speech-woodrow-wilson-center/p13974 [cfr.org]

          That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution
          works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.

          This Administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not. There are no short-cuts to protecting America, and that is why the fifth part of my strategy is doing the hard and patient work to secure a more resilient homeland.

          Yet not only is he aware of the secret spying programs, he is actively defending them.

          • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:03PM (#44075323)

            Yet not only is he aware of the secret spying programs, he is actively defending them.

            If it had happend on the watch of any previous president they would have done the same thing. The game isn't us against the terrorists, it's us against the new aristocracy.

          • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday June 21, 2013 @09:21PM (#44076107)

            It looks to me like he kept his promise, and people just didn't pay attention to what that promise was...

            That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens.

            Because it's been made legal.

            No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.

            But anyone they want to spy on is, by definition, "suspect".

            No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war.

            Sure, you can protest misguided wars and not be tracked for that. But there's probably other stuff they can track you for.

            And so on. Obama voted for warrantless wiretaps just months before being elected in 2008. It was covered right here on Slashdot! [slashdot.org] If you're suprised by his stance now, it's only because you hadn't been paying attention.

          • Yet not only is he aware of the secret spying programs, he is actively defending them.

            This makes me wonder exactly what secrets he knows about that we don't. Such a vast turnaround, and not even being terribly subtle about it sincerely makes me wonder just what has him so afraid.

        • by Guru80 (1579277)
          This isn't the Land of the Free my grandfather and great-grandfather fought for and that isn't me saying it, straight from the horses mouth. He has been dead a decade and he, along with all his old WWII buddies that were still around, talked about it enough to know where they stood on the subject. In his finally couple years he would say the US has become a glass cage, you could look around and look like you are free and maybe feel like it but a cage is a cage and you get to close you will see its just an
    • by icebike (68054) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:20PM (#44074929)

      That and future winners of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award, which some future President will be forced to give this guy.
      I'm betting you could run a pretty good election campaign just on that alone, because the demonizing isn't going to well except among the circle jerks in DC.

      • by DaveV1.0 (203135)
        bwahahahah. Oh, you post is soooo funny. I almost believed you were serious instead of a troll.
      • I'm betting you could run a pretty good election campaign just on that alone, because the demonizing isn't going to well except among the circle jerks in DC.

        Get of the slashdot technerd bubble and I think you will be amazed at just how well the demonization is going. Yesterday I dropped by Little green footballs [littlegreenfootballs.com] a blog famous for doing a 180 on islamaphobia a few years back and calling the bigots out for what they are.

        Turns out those guys fucking hate Snowden. This surveillance shit is ridiculous bordering on evil to anyone like us, but the people who aren't like us make up a majority of the country and they just can't grasp the implications.

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:22PM (#44074941) Homepage

      I thought that only those with something to hide needed privacy?

      You mean like the Orwellian surveillance program the government has been hiding?

      • by msauve (701917)
        War is Peace
        Freedom is Slavery
        Ignorance is Strength


        (the proper all caps invoked /.'s lameness filter)
    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)
      Because it contains classified information.
    • I don't know why ya'll are so worried. President Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize.........just like Mother Teresa.

      And Yasser Arafat.

  • With the trial of Private Manning underway [washingtonpost.com], and Snowden now indicted, it looks like it will be a summer full of heated discussion.

    • With the trial of Private Manning underway, and Snowden now indicted, it looks like it will be a summer full of heated discussion.

      Here is a discussion topic that seems to be somewhat overlooked at the moment.

      Why did a low ranking army private like Manning have access to the high level info that he leaked? Why did a low level private contractor like Snowden have access to the high level info that he leaked? Sure an army private or low level contractor may need access to some secret info to do their jobs but both seem to have had access to or knowledge of way too much.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        With the trial of Private Manning underway, and Snowden now indicted, it looks like it will be a summer full of heated discussion.

        Here is a discussion topic that seems to be somewhat overlooked at the moment.

        Why did a low ranking army private like Manning have access to the high level info that he leaked? Why did a low level private contractor like Snowden have access to the high level info that he leaked? Sure an army private or low level contractor may need access to some secret info to do their jobs but both seem to have had access to or knowledge of way too much.

        Because if you want to know the truth, it's the grunts who have to spend all day long with their hands down in the dirty stuff.

        The brass are "too important" to be bothered with such details. They only really care about the Executive Summaries. Plus, they're usually part of the problem, so don't expect them to rush to be part of the solution.

  • Not News (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:17PM (#44074901)

    We were no expecting USA to hail him as a hero obviously. It is hilarious though how he exposed Obama's lies today about the NSA not being capable of spying on citizens though.
    I hope if in this country Zimmerman can get a public and (hopefully) fair trial, then Snowden should as well.

  • What, no computer fraud? I wonder how the prosecutor missed that - he could have accused him of HACKING and CYBERTERRORISM!!!!11111!
  • by Todd Palin (1402501) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:31PM (#44075025)
    FYI, the petition to pardon Snowden is just a few thousand short of the 100,000 mark as of midday on Friday. There is still time to sign. Probably a waste of time, but it might be worth it. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snowden/Dp03vGYD [whitehouse.gov]
    • by amiga3D (567632) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:44PM (#44075139)

      That's not the petition to pardon Snowden, that's the volunteer list for hidden cameras in your dwelling.

      • Hell, it doesn't matter anymore. The Obama administration has declared anyone who doesn't agree with them to be enemies. If you're not standing in the welfare line and praising Obama or blindly "supporting the troops" you're the enemy. The past few administrations have made that abundantly clear that your freedoms only exist to praise the state and dissent will be punished.

        There is no rule of law anymore, no matter what they can violate your privacy, your liberty or even send in a drone to kill you. No
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SailorSpork (1080153)
        You mean the pre-order list for the Xbox One with always-on Kinect?
  • What bull shit, they agreed to it and have done so every year since 2001.

    Typical politicking now, trying to distance themselves from any controversy so they get re-elected. They should be the ones charged and throw in front of a firing squad.
  • by chalker (718945) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:33PM (#44075037) Homepage

    Just in case you weren't aware, there is a White House petition to pardon Snowden that is almost at the 100K signature threshold:
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snowden/Dp03vGYD [whitehouse.gov]

    • by DirePickle (796986) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:48PM (#44075157)
      Let me save you the wait. "However, consistent with the We the People Terms of Participation and our responses to similar petitions in the past, the White House declines comment on this petition because it requests a specific law enforcement action."
  • Double standards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damicatz (711271) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:38PM (#44075077)

    Obama has openly admitting to planning to arm Al-Queda associated rebels in Syria. That is the DEFINITION of treason. Edward Snowden has not given anyone weapons. He has merely aired Obama's dirty laundry. If this country was run by the people rather than a bunch of plutocrats, Obama, Bush, Cheney, et. al would be on trial for crimes against humanity.

    How people voted for this guy is beyond me. I knew Obama was a liar from day one. Democrats and republicans work for the same causes and the same people; any perceived differences are merely staged for the benefit of the American voters and never go deeper than the surface. It is classic divide and conquer and the end result is that this country is effectively run by a two-party dictatorship that stays in power by manipulating and rigging the elections to exclude competition and creating staged conflicts on trivial issues like gay marriage (which *IS* a trivial issue compared to the fact that this country is descending into a police state). When it comes to the things that matter, both parties act in lockstep and it is NOT to the benefit of the American people or to the cause of freedom. The only people the Republicrat party answers to is their corporate masters.

  • In the empire... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:38PM (#44075083)
    In the empire of lies, truth is treason.
    -Ron Paul
  • by EmagGeek (574360) <<gterich> <at> <aol.com>> on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:44PM (#44075141) Journal

    Report a crime, go to jail.

  • "The entire world charges US Government with espionage". Is time to UN and world organizations to show that have pants and stop being US government/corporations puppets. Or just everyone stop pretending, nothing of this have anything to do with justice, is just a wrong sign put on top of things that had nothing to do with that word.
  • by kawabago (551139) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:55PM (#44075667)
    for the crimes it's committed?
  • The NSA is charging Snowden with spying?

    I suppose " the logic of their position demanded it."

  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @06:39AM (#44077675)

    Espionage is an over charging, clearly. You've committed espionage when you've divulged state secrets FOR ANOTHER COUNTRY. So even though Israel is a friendly nation, we still kick their spies out and or jail them.

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/e/espionage/ [uslegal.com]

    But Snowden didn't release state secrets to and for a foreign country. He did it for Americans.

    It's prosecutorial overreach and worse for the prosecution, is likely to be perceived as such by potential juries. I feel an acquittal on the espionage charge forthcoming, even in absentia.

    So the question arises at least in my mind- is this a dog and pony show, with Snowden perhaps unwittingly playing the role of a dog?

    Is the government using Snowden to leak this information and if so, why?

    To acclimate citizens to this level of scrutiny? To see if we'll swallow it? Maybe.

    Or is it a bid on the part of , possibly some subset of, the intelligence community to get the program revised and toned down because they're afraid of the corrupting power unlimited access to the most personal secrets of lawmakers and other power players could put into the hands of a Cheney or a set of true believers like the neocons?

    It's not that far fetched. Consider that the neocons twice now have attempted, once successfully, to foment wars based on false intelligence they produced through Team B efforts, efforts which the intelligence community deeply resented and still resent especially since many Americans wrongly cite the CIA as the producer of faulty intelligence in the run up to the war in Iraq.

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/military/news/2004/08/18/988/its-time-to-bench-team-b/ [americanprogress.org]

    http://www.proudprimate.com/Placards/teamb-cahn.htm [proudprimate.com]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_B [wikipedia.org]

    What this means is they're liars who will play WAY out of bounds to get their way, where WAY out of bounds includes LYING and DISTORTING intelligence and using intelligence to destroy domestic political opponents including exposing the identities of covert operators working for the CIA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame [wikipedia.org]
    see: Plamegate.

    Historically, that didn't and can't now sit well with people at the CIA who consider accurate, unbiased intelligence assessments to be the crown jewel of nation's defense capability.

    So is has the level of invasiveness which this program makes possible been gamed out somewhere at Langley, with one side playing the neocons and Cheney and using the techniques of deception, lying, distortion of information and targeting of dissenters through any means, legal or illegal, short (we think) of murder and the other side the CIA and other intelligence agencies upholding the letter and spirit of the law?

    Perhaps such games revealed a gaping strategic disadvantage through which a coup by a Cheney and the neocons would be successful 100% of the time.

    After all, we game out scenarios against all enemies foreign and domestic, if it's a threat to the US, it gets considered.

    Perhaps one of the conclusions was- this intelligence program is a serious, mortal threat to the Republic.

    Perhaps they took the result of this gaming to the President, who agreed with their conclusions. Perhaps a plan was hatched to subvert it, all the while making it look like they're only and intensely interested in doing the opposite.

    I know it sounds too weird to be true, but this IS how intelligence agencies and covert missions work on a good day. This is the games they play.

    If Obama tried to unilaterally quietly retire the program, it would just come back for the next administration who wanted it, and we know what admin would want it. Without the p

  • by sgt_doom (655561) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @12:55PM (#44079447)

    The Law of the Land

    The US government has officially invoked the Espionage Act in response to whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks of the massive and continuing violation by the NSA of the National Security Act, plus federal court rulings over the last few years, as well as portions of the onerous USA PATRIOT Act.

    We are constantly bombarded with the disingenuous drivel about our country being “a nation of laws,” yet consistently we see that the laws are selectively applied against the enemies of the plutocrats or overclass!

    Under existing laws, and after both the public admissions and public lies uttered by the Director of National Intelligence, Gen. James Clapper and the NSA Director Gen. Alexander, the immediate arrests of these two culprits should be undertaken.

    Not to arrest Clapper and Alexander is in complete contradistinction of existing law.

    To fully uphold the aforementioned laws, impeachment proceedings should commence against President Obama, Vice President Biden and Attorney General Holder, along with the arrests of previous federal lawbreakers, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Roberto Gonsales.

    Obviously, as these actions aren’t underway, America is not a nation of laws, and any such proclamation is blatantly fictional!

    Just as President Obama has repeatedly stood before the American people and brazenly and falsely proclaimed that the banksters broke no laws (perhaps one should say his banksters, since he is in their pocket?), his administration once again flaunts those very laws he has sworn an oath to uphold (and claims to understand).

    Lawlessness rules across America, with the overclass making the rules.

    Since the passage of the national defense legislation in 2006, during the Bush administration, which exempted the Department of Defense (Pentagon) from Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA), and the NSA comes under the purview and provenance of the DoD, the only possible way to ascertain when the NSA is breaking federal laws is when a whistleblower, such as Mr. Snowden, comes forward.

    Obama’s holy war on whistleblowers continues unabated!

  • by flanders123 (871781) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @02:24PM (#44079971)
    There is something about the US television coverage of this story that i find... odd. Ive seen coverage on several networks, and the anti-Snowden bias of the coverage is almost universal. Honestly Jon Stewart's daily show seems to be the only one NOT taking the "He's a traitor" stance. CNN, Fox ... Even Letterman seem to be treading very lightly and no one wants to side with Snowden even though he presents a reasonably logical and convincing case against the government. It's like the expected righty, lefty bias is out the door and there is now universal pro government bias. I find this really unsettling.

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