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Snowden Granted One-Year Asylum In Russia 411

Posted by timothy
from the nobel-still-in-the-works dept.
New submitter kc9jud writes "The BBC is reporting that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia. According to his lawyer, Snowden has received the necessary papers to leave the transit zone at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, and the airport press office is reporting that Snowden left the airport at 14:00 local time (10:00 GMT). A tweet from Wikileaks indicates that Snowden has been granted temporary asylum and may stay in the Russian Federation for up to one year." Reader Cenan adds links to coverage at CNN, and other readers have pointed out versions of the story at Reuters and CBS.
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Snowden Granted One-Year Asylum In Russia

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  • Hooray for Russia (Score:5, Informative)

    by prasadsurve (665770) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:28AM (#44445535)
    Guess that gives him 1 year to plan and execute his trip to South America.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:35AM (#44445601)
    I'm not sure if you're trolling, since I've seen posts of this ilk that are completely serious...

    Anyway, I'll take the bait -- the NSA can read your "private communications": http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data [theguardian.com]
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:55AM (#44445779)

    Exactly. The government is viewing this as "Guy exposed classified programs to the world including our enemies. This helped our enemies and hurt us therefore he needs to be punished severely." This is true (up until "therefore..."), the mitigating factor of the program being extremely illegal is completely overlooked. In fact, worse than overlooked, it's being actively ignored and the rest of the story trumpeted over and over to give the impression that the "government version" of the story is the ONLY version of the story.

  • Then go Green, it's all the good parts of libertarianism, without the economic extremism.

  • by pe1rxq (141710) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:14AM (#44445981) Homepage Journal

    The first sentence of my post only contained five words....
    Please wake up yourself and READ them.

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:36AM (#44446265) Homepage

    you fucking goatse doll -- who the fuck cares. The "they would have been worse" defense is just crap. Why do I care if the Russians might have been a degree or two worse? That's not my government. I'm concerned about the US, its spying, torture, cronyism etc. So just take this bullshit, grab your ankles, and shove it up that gaping authoritarian hole of yours.

  • Re:Help me out. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:50AM (#44446437)

    - wiretapping embassies and diplomats of allied countries
    - industrial espionage of allied countries
    - violation of foreign data retention and communication laws
    - collection EVERY data (not just those in clear form), globally.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_mass_surveillance_scandal

  • Re:Help me out. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:51AM (#44446441) Journal

    Collecting data sent in the clear across public networks

    Phone calls are sent in the clear across public networks. It's illegal for the government to listen to them without a warrant.

  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:05AM (#44446663)

    The US is still one of the most free countries in the world by a pretty long shot; the drop-off is pretty steep once you get too far east of western Europe.

    Your statement is a bit of a dodge and I guess you mean a fairly large group of countries when you say "one of" however it's still pretty misleading. It all depends what and how you try to measure, but the USA is no longer nearly at the top of most lists and it really isn't that free in practice. Look at the world press index [rsf.org] and you will see the USA comes in 32nd this year, up from 47th (mostly because other countries did more bad things recently). Look even at the "Index of Freedom In the World" which seems pretty biased towards the kind of economic freedom the US is so famed for and you will see that the US isn't in the top five. Try sorting by "personal freedom" separately from "economic freedom" and you will see that it isn't even in the top 20.

    The situation is not terrible and the fact that Americans still believe they are free and believe in freedom is actually a cause for hope, however if people don't start acting now to keep that freedom there is going to be a big problem. Most of all the fact that people just don't seem worried by giving up their freedom to big companies and their data to the government is really dangerous.

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:28AM (#44446997)

    The US is still one of the most free countries in the world by a pretty long shot

    I am willing to bet that you have never spent more than a month living outside of the US. Otherwise you wouldn't say such stupid things. Let me list some of the things that many of those other countries don't have.

    1. Suspicionless roadblocks/checkpoints on many major highways and secondary roads where you are guilty until proven innocent and must submit to interrogations or arbitrary testing to prove your innocence. If you try to stand up for your so called "rights" or so much as look at the thugs the wrong way you end up some combination of injured, dead, and/or in jail with serious contempt of cop charges against you.

    2. Strip searches, electronic or real, and genital fondling and/or sexual molestation must be submitted to in order for the government to grant you the privilege of flying. In most other countries flying is treated as more of a right whatever they might call it on paper. In the US most rights have been converted to privileges kindly granted by daddy government. Even the supreme court refers to them as privileges now.

    3. Angry, sociopathic, sadistic police who are just itching to beat you, strangle you, taze you, or even shoot you and kill you. These people have no oversight and are 100% above the law. They effectively even have a license to kill. This is far worse than nearly any country on the planet. I can personally vouch for the fact that it is far worse than Cuba (that's right), Laos, Colombia, or Malaysia. In most countries police are more like normal people just doing a job to get paid and have nothing to prove and are not so much like violent criminals with a badge.

    Since the police are the most likely point of contact between citizens and a government representative the fact that the police are dangerous and see citizens as their sworn enemy and see themselves as above any law makes the US seem far less free than virtually any country I have lived or traveled in.

    4. Harmless hacking as a major "crime". Ask Aaron Swartz about how free we are compared to other countries. Not many countries go after victimless hacking the way the US does. In the US you can go to jail for many years just for violating the TOS of a web site. Yup. Keep telling yourself how free you are. Ask the innocent people convicted of crimes with no victim being abused by sadistic prison guards and raped by fellow inmates how free they are.

    In addition to that we have many harsh prison sentences for what are very minor, harmless acts where not a single person has been harmed. I mention this separately, because many other countries have the same problem. But we are no better than most of them in this respect. I think part of the problem is that Americans are such enthusiastic punishers. We love revenge more than most other cultures I think.

    The fact is the US isn't all that free anymore. There is very little real freedom left around here. It has been reinterpreted and just plain stomped out of existence. Perhaps the most important point is that the actual people, the voters, do not value freedom even slightly more than most other countries. Given that none of the loss of our freedom is really very surprising.

    Can you give even a single example of a freedom that Americans have that most other countries don't? Or better yet a single freedom that is unique in the world? In the US all of our freedom is on paper. Other countries may fewer paper rights, but more freedoms in real life. I would go so far as to say that most countries feel more free and on a day to day basis are more free than the US is now. A century ago it would have been a very different story, but that was before the government and the American people shat on the constitution, the bill of rights, and everything that the founders of our country believed in.

  • Re:In Soviet Russia (Score:5, Informative)

    by cusco (717999) <[brian.bixby] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @12:06PM (#44447399)
    Back in the '70s a Soviet general told Farley Mowat, "The difference between Soviet propaganda and American propaganda is that we don't believe ours." A big difference between then and now is that when we tortured people or detained them without trial we pretended it was our ally (South Vietnam, Iran, Israel, etc.) that was doing it and we made polite objections. When we gratuitously invaded other countries we at least had the grace to have one of our puppet government's ask us to do so. We pretended not to be developing biological and chemical weapons and ABM systems contrary to treaties that we had signed.

    Today they're not even pretending. They just openly torture prisoners, arrest and murder people without trial, invade on the flimsiest of blatantly false pretenses, and baldly send in taxpayer-paid mercenaries to massacre people resisting corporate theft of their lands. Perhaps the most appalling thing to me is the easy acceptance of all of this by my fellow citizens, most of whom are well aware that the government is doing these things in their name and don't care.

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