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EU Government Privacy

Snowden Nominated For Freedom of Thought Prize 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-there-a-trophy? dept.
First time accepted submitter DigitalKhaos23 writes "Snowden is a candidate for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, which honors people or organizations for their work in the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. The article adds: 'Edward Snowden risked his life to confirm what we had long suspected regarding mass online surveillance, a major scandal of our times. He revealed details of violations of EU data protection law and fundamental rights.'"
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Snowden Nominated For Freedom of Thought Prize

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  • by Todd Palin (1402501) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:09AM (#44827369)
    Let's take Obama's Nobel Prize away and give it to Snowden.
    • by epyT-R (613989) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:41AM (#44827493)

      I agree 100%. He's done more for liberty in the USA than any politician has done in 50 years. he's actually managed to push surveillance as a topic of conversation at the average american's dinner table. That alone is an excellent achievement, nevermind the rest he has done.

      • by BBCWatcher (900486) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:56AM (#44827555)
        Considering the last 50 years, I rate Jimmy Carter and his Carter Center very highly, though a big percentage of his good work has been done after his political career ended in 1981.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:09AM (#44827607)

          Considering the last 50 years, I rate Jimmy Carter and his Carter Center very highly, though a big percentage of his good work has been done after his political career ended in 1981.

          Carter is a great former president, Obama was a great future president.

          Time to find a good incumbent.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Carter was, and is, one of the best statesmen the USA has ever had as President. Unfortunately he was inadequate as a politician. He never was able to get Washington to work.

            Obama is also having trouble getting Washington to work. But in this case its because he has to deal with a badly broken Republican party. The Republicans were enticed into bed with a pretty little tea bagging wench and are now saddled with a marriage partner who cares more about being given the bling she has set her silly dreams on th

            • by jez9999 (618189) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @04:21AM (#44827821) Homepage Journal

              This isn't true. I think Obama has a fundamental lack of respect for liberty (he laughs off the idea of ending the drug war), privacy (massively expanding unwarranted surveillance), and the constitution (numerous violations such as unwarranted search and seizure), not to mention international law (pardoning the Bush administration for war crimes, torture, etc.)

              He's not hamstrung by the Republicans; he's just a very big disappointment as a president. It's somewhat redundant, if true, to say that he should be impeached, given that that has applied to pretty much all US presidents for the last few decades.

              • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 12, 2013 @05:06AM (#44827945)

                Don't forget directly ordering the extra-judicial killing of US citizens.

              • by flyneye (84093)

                Could be worse. Coulda been his girlfriend Hillary.

                • by mcvos (645701)

                  Hillary is the only one in the administration who's arguing against censorship and for privacy. In other countries, admittedly (as that's her job), but at least I hear more positive things from her on the subject than from anyone else there.

              • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @06:49AM (#44828409)

                On any issue of importance he's either agreed with them, or folded without a fight. I'd give him a "hamstrung" thing if he'd taken a number of fights to the republicans, lost each time, and has to start compromising to get anything at all done. However he hasn't done that. He's never even stood up and fought. It isn't even that he's rolled over, he's just never shown up in the first place.

                This blaming the republicans is really silly. While the republican party by and large is not being helpful, they do not have any sort of control. They have a narrow majority in the house, a minority in the senate, and of course don't have the presidency. If President Obama wanted to stand up and fight on things that mattered, well he'd have a shot at least. It isn't like they could just ram legislation past him. However he hasn't, not once that I can think of.

                That's the problem.

                • On any issue of importance he's either agreed with them, or folded without a fight. . He's never even stood up and fought. It isn't even that he's rolled over, he's just never shown up in the first place.

                  How is this surprising? His senatorial credentials consist of voting "present." The man has never taken a stand for anything.

              • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @08:10AM (#44829021) Homepage

                Here's Obama's fault as president, in a nutshell: If the Democratic and Republican leadership in Congress both agree on something, Obama assumes the issue is settled and does nothing about it.

                And this isn't a 2013 phenomenon or even a 2011 phenomenon: That kind of thinking started showing up in Obama's actions as president-elect, both with his choice of cabinet nominees and with his decisions regarding the giant bank bailouts with little-to-no strings attached. What Obama has exposed is that the 2 major parties have widespread agreement regarding:
                - civil liberties (they'd rather we didn't have 'em)
                - the rights of foreigners (will always be trumped by requests of business or convenience)
                - the rights of citizens (to be violated when it's convenient)
                - international law (to be violated with impunity because the US has a military that's on par with the rest of the world combined)
                - equal justice under the law (there are documented cases of rich and powerful people literally getting away with murder, and US citizens executed by the US government with no legal proof that they were engaged in any kind of criminal act)
                - privacy (to be ignored)
                - war (it's good for business)
                - banking (banks should be allowed to do whatever they want)

                Both parties have some backbenchers that disagree with these views (more Democrats than Republicans, because the Democratic Party culture allows for more questioning and dissent without a primary challenge), but both parties are controlled by people who believe fully in all the ideas I just listed.

            • by Nidi62 (1525137)

              Obama is also having trouble getting Washington to work. But in this case its because he has to deal with a badly broken Republican party.

              It's not like Obama had a Democratic House AND Senate his first 2 year or anything, or a lot of goodwill all over the world....

              If he wanted to get something done he had plenty of time to do it. The problem is politicians care more about getting re-elected than actually getting things done, so they just waited until the Republicans got some more seats to try and pass major things, so that when it failed they could point and them and say "Well, we tried".

              • Yes, and I don't remember record-breaking filibusters in 2009 at all.

              • by compro01 (777531) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @11:01AM (#44831125)

                It's not like Obama had a Democratic House AND Senate his first 2 year or anything, or a lot of goodwill all over the world....

                He didn't. He had a majority in both the House and Senate, but only had a fillibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate for a total of 181 days (and the Senate was only in session for 94 of those days), from August 25, 2009 until February 4, 2010 and again from June 28, 2010 until July 16, 2010.

                • by Magius_AR (198796)

                  He didn't. He had a majority in both the House and Senate, but only had a fillibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate for a total of 181 days (and the Senate was only in session for 94 of those days), from August 25, 2009 until February 4, 2010 and again from June 28, 2010 until July 16, 2010.

                  The OP didn't say he had a filibuster-proof supermajority -- he said "a Demcratic House and Senate", which implies majority, and is absolutely true. And only half a year of unchecked, unrestricted legislation of you

                  • by compro01 (777531)

                    I think you're ascribing entirely too much unity to the Democrats. Also, that brief supermajority only holds up if both of the independent senators play ball, so it's not that unchecked.

            • by khallow (566160)
              Blame transference is an interesting thing. So it's the Tea Party's fault that your "professional" politicians aren't remotely competent and can't get anything done? Too bad. Those tea partiers vote too. So that means they aren't going away either.
            • How did that work when Obama had a Democrat house and senate?
              • How did that work when Obama had a Democrat house and senate?

                Pretty well, really. Back in those miserable days, Obama managed to keep the Great Recession from becoming Great Depression II. That took guts and a lot of nimble footwork, and nobody ended up happy. I was severely disappointed that the bastards who were screwing finance and mortgage laws were allowed to walk free. But compromises needed to be made, and we have emerged from the greatest economic crisis in 80 years without having to jump into another world war to do so.

            • by dcollins (135727)

              Obama is both incompetent as an executive at the levers of power, and also totally without principle as an administrator. So he repeatedly collapses on issues to the GOP, and gets nothing out of it for Americans at large, stabbing his electorate in the back over and over. But he gets to crow about having made a deal.

              Clinton about halfway through his Presidency had a showdown with the GOP and said, "If you want to shut down the government, make my day", and the bullies backed off. I assumed that Obama would

              • Author of parent post has a short memory. The Federal government was shut down briefly during Clinton, until the Republicans gave way: that was Clinton's action, not a bluff.

                At the time America was quite wealthy and Clinton could afford to take the risk. Obama, though, is President over a very different America, one that was driven into credit card bankruptcy before he took office, and whose finances and aggregate personal wealth had been wasted away by finance crooks and the mortgage bubble. Obama has not

        • He's history's greatest monster!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        He's done more for liberty in the USA than any politician has done in 50 years.

        Except that what he has done is being largely ignored by most of "my fellow Americans", in the Nixon sense of the word.

        Most Americans are more concerned about what the Kardashians are up to, and not what the NSA is up to.

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          I know... it's like throwing pebbles at an oncoming asteroid.. However, it is the first relatively significant pushback to date.

        • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:13AM (#44827629)

          Let's take Obama's Nobel Prize away and give it to Snowden.

          I agree 100%. He's done more for liberty in the USA than any politician has done in 50 years. he's actually managed to push surveillance as a topic of conversation at the average american's dinner table. That alone is an excellent achievement, nevermind the rest he has done.

          That all being true, no matter what Snowden or any other activist does to try and roll back the fascist encroachments of absolute power - the peace prize world is off limits. Heroes of the people like Manning, Snowden will continue to be labeled traitors and excluded from all significant high profile peace prizes, Time Person of the Year, in large part due to the failure of our intellectuals [wikipedia.org]:

          The article is an attack on the intellectual culture in the U.S., which Chomsky argues is largely subservient to power. He is particularly critical of social scientists and technocrats, who he believed were providing a pseudo-scientific justification for the crimes of the state

          Intellectuals have betrayed us all before [ditext.com] and it will continue to happen until a groundswell of people start to shun, exclude and shine a bright constant light on these mostly unnamed behind the scenes policy setters who have corrupted their purpose blinding following the "party line" subservience to power.

        • by mendax (114116) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:50AM (#44827745)

          He's done more for liberty in the USA than any politician has done in 50 years.

          Except that what he has done is being largely ignored by most of "my fellow Americans", in the Nixon sense of the word.

          I think you're referring to "Great Silent Majority". The Great Silent Majority is made up of morons whose stupidity is only exceeded by the ignorance of the politicians they elect to Congress, who live lives they believe that are so pathetically empty and unfulfilling that they must resort to television fantasy and reality shows to fill this perceived void.

          I am now a part of the Slight Vocal Minority, many of which think Edward Snowden should be given a medal for revealing the illegal snooping the NSA has been doing on the American public and then put in prison for revealing what it is doing in the rest of the world.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree 100%. He's done more for liberty in the USA than any politician has done in 50 years. he's actually managed to push surveillance as a topic of conversation at the average american's dinner table. That alone is an excellent achievement, nevermind the rest he has done.

        And yet, somehow I don't feel comforted over the fact that all we can do as citizens today is talk about it at the dinner table.

        Would have been nice to have a Snowden event during a time when we actually could have done something about it.

        Not going to beat myself up too bad about that though, the era I speak of is likely before we had a standing president warning us about the Military Industrial Complex. We lost control long ago.

      • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @07:39AM (#44828747) Journal
        You don't find it disturbing that a criminal is our greatest hero of the age, specifically because he's a criminal?
        • You don't find it disturbing that a criminal is our greatest hero of the age, specifically because he's a criminal?

          If you mean to say that he is a hero because he committed a criminal act then why don't we all go and worship our heros in prison? No, actually just you asking that question has clarified it in my mind. He is a hero because he sacrificed a comfortable life to reveal the crimes of the NSA and GCHQ.

    • by MrL0G1C (867445) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:59AM (#44827569) Journal

      "Bahnhof, a builder of futuristic-looking data centers" Has nominated Snowden [wired.com] for the peace prize.

      I wouldn't expect those morally corrupt idiots to actually award him the prize. It would restore some of their credibility if they did though.

    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:33AM (#44827697)

      Obama won the prize for the achievement of not being Bush.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      My thought exactly. I thought it was absurd to give him a Nobel for as yet unknown and certainly unmaterialized reasons. Meanwhile Snowden has changed the world in a very significant way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I never really understood how a president can come into power and get a nobel peace prize, when he's not really had a chance to do anything... I guess he had to take over and the 'war on terror' had been started by Bush.

      FROM: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_did_Barack_Obama_win_the_Nobel_Peace_Prize

      "This is a question that seems to call for opinions, but first, a few facts. Barack Obama was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because the committee believed he had already demonstrated a willingness to engage i

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:11AM (#44827377) Journal
    It wouldn't be a problem to have the NSA spying and snooping if they never abused that power, but we know eventually they will. And indeed, thanks to Snowden we know that they already have.

    That's why we don't want the NSA to have this power. Because as far as we can tell, the abuses have been more harmful than any benefits for catching terrorists (and really, the programs don't seem to have caught many terrorists).
    • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:14AM (#44827389) Journal
      Interestingly, we have a similar tradeoff between monarchy and democracy. A monarchy would be clearly more efficient and all around better if we could guarantee we had a good king. And a good deal of the philosophy between the years 1000-1900 was about how society can guarantee to have a good king.

      But since that can't be guaranteed, and the abuses caused by a bad king far outweigh the benefits, it is better to endure the inefficiency (and dare I say, stupidity of your neighbors?) of democracy and the checks and balances than to give all that power to one man.
  • Yes. And. But. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:12AM (#44827379)

    Something about the irony of these prizes:

    They're awarded to the people who are still going to be destroyed for what they've done for humanity while the monsters perpetrating the obscenities against us all are going completely fucking unscathed. The villains are allowed to continue their gross abuses while we give the human equivalent of a gold star sticker to the guy who couldn't not scream.

    • Re:Yes. And. But. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xest (935314) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:17AM (#44827651)

      The real irony of this particular prize and nomination is that it's named after a Russian that wanted to flee to the West to escape the oppression in Russia, and this nomination is for someone who had to flee oppression in the West by escaping to Russia.

      How times change.

    • Re:Yes. And. But. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:20AM (#44827659)
      Unfortunately it is nothing new [wikipedia.org] and we do not seem to have learned how to deal with it/prevent the rot. Intellectuals have betrayed us all many times [ditext.com] in similar ways throughout history.

      "You don’t have any other society where the educated classes are so effectively indoctrinated and controlled by a subtle propaganda system – a private system including media, intellectual opinion forming magazines and the participation of the most highly educated sections of the population. Such people ought to be referred to as “Commissars” – for that is what their essential function is – to set up and maintain a system of doctrines and beliefs which will undermine independent thought and prevent a proper understanding and analysis of national and global institutions, issues, and policies." - From Language and Politics

      Example:

      A more difficult task is to shift the moral onus of the war to its victims. This seems a rather unpromising enterprise -- rather as if the Nazis had attempted to blame the Jews for the crematoria. But undaunted, American propagandists are pursuing this effort too, and with some success. Things have reached the point where an American President can appear on national television and state that we owe "no debt" to the Vietnamese, because "the destruction was mutual."28 And there is not a whisper of protest when this monstrous statement, worthy of Hitler or Stalin, is blandly produced in the midst of a discourse on human rights. Not only do we owe them no debt for having murdered and destroyed and ravaged their land, but we now may stand back and sanctimoniously blame them for dying of disease and malnutrition, deploring their cruelty when hundreds die trying to clear unexploded ordnance by hand from fields laid waste by the violence of the American state, wringing our hands in mock horror when those who were able to survive the American assault -- predictably, the toughest and harshest elements -- resort to oppression and sometimes massive violence, or fail to find solutions to material problems that have no analogue in Western history perhaps since the Black Death.

      • Re:Yes. And. But. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 12, 2013 @05:58AM (#44828151)

        The main problem is not "intellectuals", its journalism. Or rather the lack of journalism.

        Conflict of interest has destroyed journalism.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Intellectuals have betrayed us all many times in similar ways throughout history.

        And yet, intellectuals are also responsible for progress, by thinking up ways in which we might progress. Wait, there are down sides to everything? Who'd have thunk it? Yet you're engaging in anti-intellectualism anyway, at a time when we desperately need to embrace critical thinking? You're trolling, right?

        • I should have said Most Intellectuals not imply all of them - my mistake. So no I am not engaging in anti-intellectualism just trying to raise the standard (which might be more obvious if you read the link I posted).
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            (which might be more obvious if you read the link I posted).

            Where do you think you are, anyway?

    • Irony? (Score:5, Funny)

      by mschaffer (97223) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @05:06AM (#44827949)

      I thought the prizes were goldy or bronzy---not irony.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:20AM (#44827417) Journal

    I want to hear about the medical experiments being performed on prisoners, the serums and electrodes and soft pillows and comfortable chairs [wikimedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    for The Freedom from Thought Prize. He has to pick it up at the Hague. He gets three for two if he brings Cheney and Rumsfeld along.

  • I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wordsnyc (956034) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:42AM (#44827499) Homepage

    how a prize named after Andrei Sakharov is gonna go over with Snowden's landlord, a veteran of the KGB that tormented Andrei Sakharov.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cold fjord (826450)

      how a prize named after Andrei Sakharov is gonna go over with Snowden's landlord, a veteran of the KGB that tormented Andrei Sakharov.

      He'll grin and bear it. Just the public revelations about the NSA, GCHQ, and other allied intelligence services and their operations has been priceless to the Russians, not to mention the Chinese, Iranians, and terrorist groups (that are already changing their communications methods). If they manage to get their hands on some of the other documents that he stole* the value would be astronomical. And that is just the documents themselves, the political turmoil, infighting, and disruption add a whole new l

      • Re:I wonder... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AHuxley (892839) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:08AM (#44827605) Homepage Journal
        Finding out global networking encryption is junk is not "political turmoil, infighting, and disruption".
      • "and terrorist groups (that are already changing their communications methods)."

        Well I can't argue with your logic there. US citizens everywhere are looking at ways to change their methods of communication, and as we know now thanks to Snowden, the US government clearly regards us as terrorists.

    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:10AM (#44827617)

      how a prize named after Andrei Sakharov is gonna go over with Snowden's landlord, a veteran of the KGB that tormented Andrei Sakharov.

      The same way that landlord can live with an avenue in Moscow name after Sakharov [google.com].
      Or... you think that avenue is under risk of being tormented too?

    • by lxs (131946)

      How about the US government? If Snowden is recognized as a dissident then the US government would be the equivalent of the Soviet Politburo.

    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FilatovEV (1520307) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @07:00AM (#44828461) Homepage

      how a prize named after Andrei Sakharov is gonna go over with Snowden's landlord, a veteran of the KGB that tormented Andrei Sakharov.

      Reportedly, Putin is a fan of Sakharov.

      An excerpt some early interview with American "National Public Radio":

      Mr. Siegel: On another subject, our listener, Alfred Friendly Jr., sent us this question. He wants to know what influence you believe Andrei Sakharov and other human rights advocates and their supporters in the West had on the course of Soviet and Russian history.
      President Putin: I think that was a crucial impact that they provided. It was a fundamental impact that they provided to the Russian history. At different periods, certain periods of time in the life of any nation, there will be people who turn on the light, if you will, and they show a road for the nation to follow. And no doubt Andrei Sakharov was one of those people who turned on the light.
      Link: http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/2001/11/16/2355_type82916_142499.shtml [kremlin.ru]

      That is, there are no problems whatsoever regarding Sakharov prize for Snowden.

      You might also want to check that Putin is a fan of Solzhenitsyn, too -- under Putin, Solzhenitsyn's masterpiece was included into the Russian regular high school curriculum.

  • by rvw (755107) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @02:55AM (#44827553)

    For those who wonder what this prize is about, a quote from the linked article. The question is who proposed him and if he makes a real chance.

    Members of the European Parliament are officially nominating fugitive US leaker Edward Snowden for a prize celebrating freedom of thought, a parliamentary representative said Wednesday.

    Snowden is a candidate for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, which honors people or organizations for their work in the defense of human rights and freedom of thought.

    More info about past winners on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

    • Hypocrisy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @03:27AM (#44827681)
      European Parliament may be "officially nominating" - but their respective countries have all denied [euobserver.com] Snowdens asylum requests. Sure sounds like a consolation prize and even if he wins it, it does not let European countries off the hook for their crime. History will judge their actions very poorly - they have done the world a disservice and revealed their deep rooted hypocrisy.
      • by Livius (318358)

        Snowden might be better off without asylum in a country too friendly with the Americans. Even if they wanted to in good faith, none of they could actually keep him safe.

  • by Max_W (812974) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @04:18AM (#44827809)
    The price of life in Russia and especially in Moscow is very high. The government of RF does not assist E.S. in fear of further reprisals from the US government.

    E.S. has to hire a protection from a private security company, an apartment, etc.
    • Cost of living is high in Moscow. Price of life, not so much.
      • by Max_W (812974)
        Right. I wonder was it due to the fact that English is not my native tongue, or was it a Freudian slip.

        In any case E.S. needs money to survive in a megalopolis.
  • Freedom to other people's thoughts right?

  • We're having a celebration party in your honor! Come to the US Embassy in Paris for all the festivities!

    P.S - There's cake!

    - NSA
  • When his victims are not waiting for him anymore? I believe his victims are apex preditors.

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