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United States Your Rights Online

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 rtb61 (674572)

      Far more likely it represents the normal immigration process in Russia prior to becoming a citizen. Why would he really want to go to South America, Russia is becoming pretty interesting as far as Geeks/Nerds are concerned with Sochi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sochi [wikipedia.org] becoming a hot spot. All it needs is for Russia to push Sochi as a tech hub due to climate advantages and things could really kick off in the Region. Russia is evolving and with it's unique culture, extreme adventure land in Kamchatka Peninsu

      • Re:Hooray for Russia (Score:4, Interesting)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @04:21PM (#44450723) Journal

        A lot of things that you read in Russian propaganda, both foreign and internal, about things "growing" and "getting interesting", is pure unadulterated BS. Nanotech is a bunch of vaporware, Skolkovo is a flop, and as for Sochi, it has record-breaking numbers of money just vanishing (presumably in the pockets of people running the show).

        If I were looking for a place to go on the basis of its future perspectives, South America (esp. Brazil) would definitely rank higher than Russia.

  • Gone (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rubinhood (977039) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:29AM (#44445547)

    ...aaaaaaaaaaand he's gone. Hopefully out of reach of all repressive regimes, including the USA.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:30AM (#44445549)



    • by Kumiorava (95318)

      Best way to deflect any talk of sanctions is to say like this : "Mr Putin's foreign policy advisor Yury Ushakov said the situation was "rather insignificant" and should not influence relations with the US."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:30AM (#44445555)

    He'd better be careful. If he waits a few more months, he'll be snowed-in and unable to leave at all.

  • by mwfischer (1919758) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:31AM (#44445561) Journal

    Since the CIA can't outright shoot him, they'll just alter a few videos to make it look like he's gay in Russia.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bluegutang (2814641)

      You mean like they did with Bradley Manning? :)

      • gay? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:47AM (#44446385) Journal

        You joke, but the military is very quick and free to trot that idea out. "He did it because he is gay" as if being gay makes a person more likely to leak information, I mean, commit treason. Some of Bradley Manning's posts I ran across would seem to show he might indeed be gay. Then it occured to me those posts might be fakes.

        The 1989 gun turret explosion on the USS Iowa [wikipedia.org] was a classic. The navy put out this ridiculous hypothesis that Clayton Hartwig, a sailor who died in the disaster, was gay and so sexually frustrated that he was suicidal and deliberately caused the explosion. Under pressure, the navy dropped the gay part but clung on to the idea Hartwig was suicidal and did it on purpose. As the disaster was investigated further, it became even more painfully obvious that the navy was doing a cover up. The real reason was that they were using experimental mixings of explosives that if not rammed slowly could prematurely detonate. Strangest was that the officer the navy picked to lead the investigation was the same guy who made the experimental mix.

        And remember, some of the most radical social conservatives advanced this absurd notion that 9/11 happened because America is too tolerant of homosexuality. Just the other day I stopped in at my insurance agent's office and heard Limbaugh on their radio, ranting about the possibility that Trayvon Martin might have been gay and tried to sexually assault Zimmerman. I don't expect any better of those retards, but we should have smarter military leaders than that. No General Boykins! May be hard to do. I suppose a military career is attractive to simpletons who think force is a good answer to most problems.

        • by x0 (32926)

          Just the other day I stopped in at my insurance agent's office and heard Limbaugh on their radio, ranting about the possibility that Trayvon Martin might have been gay and tried to sexually assault Zimmerman.

          You misheard. Apparently, Limbaugh was claiming the possibility that martin was a gay basher, not gay himself. I am not justifying those comments, but if you are going to call out someone for being an idiot, it helps to call them out for the right reason.


    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      Why can't the CIA shoot him?

      Seems to me that you are in error. They can shoot him and very little will come of it if they do.

      They wouldn't shoot him tho, but not because they can't. It's because there are better ways to kill him.

      Cardiac arrest. Car accident. Accidental fall. Overdose. ...
      • Re:CIA's next move (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TWiTfan (2887093) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:23AM (#44446095)

        Why can't the CIA shoot him?

        Because everyone would see right through that, and it would cause a major international incident. Discrediting is so much more effective, and much less risky. When the head of the IMF starts challenging the primacy of the U.S. dollar [guardian.co.uk] for example, you don't assassinate him. Way too messy and risky. Instead, you arrange [washingtonpost.com] for something a little more subtle, but just as effective.

  • by John.Banister (1291556) * on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:35AM (#44445595) Homepage
    I'll think of it as forever.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:36AM (#44445613)

    "There may be a time where it would be constructive to try and meet and ... resolve this in a way that honors due process and the highest principles of fairness and civilization,"

    Seems resolved to me. What remains to be sorted out:
      * who is accountable for all of the laws broken by the NSA
      * what programs they still have in place which are illegal
      * when these illegal programs will be terminated

    Let's not forget, if the NSA/US had followed the letter of the law, Snowden's claims would have been pointless.

    • The problem with the idea of "due process" on this is that I find it very difficult to believe that the government would even acknowledge that the NSA has been breaking the law. The lens through which Snowden's actions need to be interpreted is that of whether the government was or was not breaking the law and hiding behind classification.

      A subject upon which the government and a growing segment of the populace seem to disgree rather vehemently.

      • 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.

    • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:00AM (#44445819)

      Ha, I can answer those now:

        * who is accountable for all of the laws broken by the NSA

      No one will be.

          * what programs they still have in place which are illegal

      None will ever be found so.

          * when these illegal programs will be terminated

      Just as soon their differently-named successors that do the exact same thing are ready.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        >Just as soon their differently-named successors that do the exact same thing are ready.

        Now you're just being pessimistic. Data processing is a rapidly advancing field - I'm sure the successors will be be much more effective.

        Unless of course the population organizes and raises it's voice against these abuses.

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:13AM (#44445965) Journal

      I'm sorry, which programs were illegal and which laws were broken? I'm sure you missed the news that these laws were written and passed by the House and Senate, funded by same, and just recently re-affirmed in the House.

      See, that's the thing about "laws" - they're written by the legislature and confirmed by the executive branch. Unless and until the judicial branch finds them to be technically inadequate or violating the constitution, they ARE the law. It's how a representative democracy works. Or would you rather have a dictatorship, a monarchy? Perhaps you hold up Russia as a shining light of transparency, liberty, and justice?

      • by pe1rxq (141710) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:33AM (#44446205) Homepage Journal

        In 1930 India was still under Britsh rule and it was forbidden to produce your own salt. This was the law.
        Some indian guy thought this law was morally and ethically wrong and marched to the sea and produced his own salt.

        Back then types like you when all nuts with 'He broke the law!'.
        Today very few would argue that what Ghandi did was wrong.

        Is the case against Snowden exactly the same? No, if only because the most brilliant part of Ghandi's actions were its shear simplicity.
        But it does show that breaking the Law, no matter who wrote it, is not by definition the wrong thing to do.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWiTfan (2887093) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:37AM (#44445629)

    He would be thrown incommunicado into a U.S. prison and never let out again if he ever came back here. We all know his trial would just be a show trial.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:00AM (#44445821)

    The 1 year asylum means they get to pump him for information for the next year and have an exclusive on any information he produces. What information he has is perishable and the US public will forget about this and he will be useless to the Russians by then. They will then decide not to grant permanent asylum and expel him from Russia. He will be right back where he is now but with no spotlight to protect him and a pile of useless information.

  • http://rt.com/news/snowden-entry-papers-russia-902/ [rt.com]

    Although it's almost the same as bbc/reuters .. still. Would think that russian news outlet would be included as an alternative.

  • Just for the sake of argument, let's assume Russia actually has some interest in abstract justice for Snowden. (Yeah, I know, they are probably more interested in being able to accuse the US of abuses so they can excuse their own - I'm sure we can paint the Russian decision in all sorts of unflattering lights - Hell, just claim it's really the third step in their nefarious plan for world domination and comes just after "build secret base in active volcano" and just before "kill Bond in elaborate but unsuper

  • Help me out. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What illegal activity has Snowden actually revealed? The leaked slides I've read so far indicate the NSA are:

    • Collecting metadata from telecommunications companies (which is legal, albeit retroactively, thanks to passed and signed legislation)
    • Collecting information from public sources
    • Collecting data sent in the clear across public networks
    • Training its employees how to use a database containing that information

    Can someone please calmly and rationally clarify or illuminate evidence which suggests or proves the

    • 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 Bucc5062 (856482)

      I found this in Wiki [wikipedia.org]. Your question posed one of my own which was this, is a letter, a paper correspondence covered by the 4th. It would seem so by a ruling from the SCOTUS:

      No law of Congress can place in the hands of officials connected with the Postal Service any authority to invade the secrecy of letters and such sealed packages in the mail; and all regulations adopted as to mail matter of this kind must be in subordination to the great principle embodied in the fourth amendment of the Constitution.[4]

      Now you raised a side thought which related to companies like FedEx, UPS, et al. If I send a package via a private (meaning public) company, not the Postal Service, is it too covered under the 4th. I could not find anything specific, but it would seem to cover them as well.

      So we have an expectation of privacy with paper mail such tha

  • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@gmailTIGER.com minus cat> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:17AM (#44446855)
    More news coverage about the whistleblower, not about the crimes he uncovered. Journalism is dead.

Behind every great computer sits a skinny little geek.