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Snowden Publishes "A Manifesto For the Truth" 398

Posted by samzenpus
from the please-don't-throw-away-the-key dept.
wjcofkc writes "In the turbulent wake of the international uproar spurred by his leaked documents, Mr. Snowden published a letter over the weekend in Der Spiegel titled, "A Manifesto for the Truth". In the letter, Mr. Snowden reflects on the consequences of the information released so far, and their effect on exposing the extent and obscenity of international and domestic surveillance, while continuing to call out the NSA and GCHQ as the worst offenders. He further discusses how the debate should move forward, the intimidation of journalists, and the criminalization of the truth saying, 'Citizens have to fight suppression of information on matters of vital public importance. To tell the truth is not a crime.'"
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Snowden Publishes "A Manifesto For the Truth"

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  • by korbulon (2792438) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:53AM (#45324617)
    More like a minifesto.
    • More like a minifesto.

      Actually quite refreshing as manifestos go. For some reason most folk do not remember that the Communist Manifesto was much more that the ten bullet points found at the end of Chapter 2. The later Fascist Manifesto is a long-winded shameless ripoff of the ten bullet points too, but the sections were labeled and points numbered. Somewhere along the way Mr. Snowden did not find the manifesto template that was perfected before him.

    • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:23AM (#45324983) Homepage Journal
      The alternative is most people saying "tl;dr", specially here.
  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:54AM (#45324633)

    "Yeah, well here's our manifesto of everyone STFU, IF YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU!!"

  • Capitalism. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:59AM (#45324689)

    Capitalism promotes selfishness.

    Selfishness promotes control.

    Control of information is a type of control.

    Control of the government is another type of control.

    So powerful people will control both.

    And so the modern role of signals intelligence: to watch you, to separate the majority who are of no consequence, from the minority who run a serious risk of making a difference.

    The solution is a scaling back of capitalism. And not a replacement with Soviet state capitalism, either, even though their surveillance had nothing on modern UKUSA.

    • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:03AM (#45324739) Homepage Journal

      The problem in the US is that the debate is controlled by idiots... and calling them idiots is being nice.

      Every debate we have in the US right now becomes a false dilemma. "Scaling back" capitalism, or doing anything that falls in the middle ground between socialism and capitalism, simply gets a person labeled a "communist" or worse. So we can't have debates.

      Our last two presidential cycles should have included debates about corporate power but they didn't. This is because we have a certain group of people controlling the agenda.

      • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:29AM (#45325735)

        There are no debates in the US, at least not in public. A debate is by definition a battle of wits between two (or more) people where one presents a theory, the other(s) present counter arguments and during debate and discussion the parties approach each other with the goal that, in the end, a consensus can be achieved, or at least a modus vivendi, a formulation that both can somehow agree with or at least accept as a common ground.

        That is exactly what is NOT wanted in a "debate" in the US, especially when it comes to political discussions. Quite the opposite, political debates are painstakingly looking for the minimal differences the two parties might have to uphold the illusion that they don't in fact agree on every halfway important topic, trying to shift the focus on point- and meaningless side topics that we "may" disagree at because, frankly, nobody gives a shit about them. A standard issue political "debate" in the US would be kinda dull since only the first one to speak gets to speak, with the second one not able to add anything but "well, I agree" to the fold.

        That's no two party system, that's a one party system with two slightly diverging wings.

      • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ronin Developer (67677) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:52AM (#45326809)

        They day the Supreme Court ruled that Corporations had the same rights as Citizens yet not be held accountable (unless you are an officer of the Corporation) tells you everything you need to know about who holds the power in this country.

        Corporations were once just legal entities. Now, they have the same rights as citizens. Keep in mind, many corporations are multi-national. And, you wonder why there there is no accountability and people don't trust the government?

        We, as citizens, are merely subservient to our corporate overlords. This isn't about Obama or Bush - it's about greed and power. I, for one, do not welcome my new masters.

    • I know... we should adopt German style socialism! Wait a minute. No, never mind, scratch that.
    • It is beautiful to watch the above post go from +2 to +5 then right down again as the European mods are replaced by the Americans, who are just getting into work and demonstrating their fealty to mammon by logging onto Slashdot.

      That (-1, Disagree) is there so you can express your opinion by buying other people's, so make sure to use it!

    • That logic makes about as much sense as a typical "discussion" at an Occupy rally. The surveillance state problem does not spring from capitalism, nor is socialism or any other -ism a panacea against it. Switching one -ism for another will only result in a different set of powerful people pulling the strings.

      The solution is a government of integrity, small of scale but powerful where they need to be. That does not necessarily mean scaling back capitalism, but it does mean eradicating the undue influen
  • It's a shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darrellg1 (969068) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:01AM (#45324705)
    that this will go to waste. No mainstream media in the US will report this, and if they do, it will be spun into a negative light. Now we got posters on here, the Guardian, and other sites that are obvious shills or just plain dumb.
    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      I saw it mentioned this morning on CNN. Of course, being the good government lick-boots they are, they were mocking it and parading out politician after politician to deride it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I trust FOX news will publish a sane and balanced view of the manifesto.

    • I disagree. Even if all of us in the US were completely blocked from reading Snowden's words - he is something of a celebrity outside the US. The fools in Washington continue to be exposed and embarrassed over stuff as stupid as spying on Merkel. Snowden helps to solidify discontent outside the US. It all makes a difference, in the long run.

      I really don't believe the TSA or any other intel agency is going to have free rein to do as it damned well wishes in the future. Whatever else may be true of presi

  • Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:01AM (#45324709) Homepage

    To tell the truth is not a crime.

    Yes, it is. You may have some moral justification, but it can still be a crime. In the US, telling the truth about intelligence techniques to real and potential enemies is a crime, even if you also tell the public. Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement, but he satisfied his own conscience.

    • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:09AM (#45324805)

      To tell the truth is not a crime.

      Yes, it is. You may have some moral justification, but it can still be a crime. In the US, telling the truth about intelligence techniques to real and potential enemies is a crime, even if you also tell the public. Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement, but he satisfied his own conscience.

      Interesting view. You do realize that in this case, 'potential enemies' refers to the entire population of the US?
      One might ponder the aims of such a government.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ZouPrime (460611)

        The US government isn't pissed about Snowden because "the entire US population" learned about their foreign eavesdropping operations, but because foreign intelligence agencies did.

        • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

          by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:40AM (#45325165)

          The US government isn't pissed about Snowden because "the entire US population" learned about their foreign eavesdropping operations, but because foreign intelligence agencies did.

          Contrary to what you think, they are pissed about both, and more so about the US population because it consists of their voters ...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ZouPrime (460611)

            You think people are going to vote Republicans because they are pissed at the NSA?
            The Patriot Act was voted under a Republican president.

        • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

          by canadian_right (410687) <alexander.russell@telus.net> on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:40AM (#45325175) Homepage

          Pretty much all foreign intelligence agencies already knew about what the NSA was up to; the USA government IS upset because Snowden informed the USA general public.

          What the NSA was and is doing wasn't a big secret among governments. Many of the governments now complaining about being spied on cooperated with the USA to gather and share much of this information. Yes, they might be pissed that the USA crossed a few lines here and there, but they knew the USA was spying on everyone.

          • by ZouPrime (460611)

            The fact that the NSA was spying foreign nationals wasn't a big secret indeed, considering it's the very reason of the organisation existence. But then, it wasn't a big secret in the US either.

            The details of actual operations is a completely different matter. To take the most obvious example, the Germans certainly didn't know Merkel cell phone was compromised for so long, or they would have reacted before. Same thing for the Chinese targets Snowden disclosed. The Chinese knew the US were very interested in

        • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:57AM (#45325369) Homepage Journal

          Well - we're back to the age-old complaint about government. Government is SUPPOSED to represent the people. Most Americans who care enough to have an opinion actually approve of Edward Snowden. The clueless and the apathetic just don't give a damn, and they'll go along with whatever government tells them.

        • by naasking (94116)

          The US government isn't pissed about Snowden because "the entire US population" learned about their foreign eavesdropping operations, but because foreign intelligence agencies did.

          Ha, keep telling yourself that. They all knew.

        • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:42AM (#45325877)

          Erh... if any country on this planet thinks that there are no spies trying to sniff through their dirty laundry for some other country, they are either deluded or simply SO far out of the loop that the effort to spy on them is not warranted by the potential intelligence.

          Countries spy on each other, and they know it. Actually, I'd be very surprised if they didn't know what the NSA is doing and, instead of being outraged, tried to get in on the deal. SWIFT comes to mind, as well as a few other things that I don't want to discuss in public. The current outrage and outcry of various heads of state is mostly a smokescreen theater for the plebs.

          I'm actually quite sure that the US government is exactly pissed at Snowden BECAUSE the US population knows about it now. Until now the US spooks were the "good" guys, protecting the US from teh evilz abroad. Now they're unmasked as being the local version of the Stasi.

      • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:24AM (#45325001)

        You do realize that in this case, 'potential enemies' refers to the entire population of the US?

        You may be surprised to find out that is not actually the case. A vast number of the US population demanded that we should give up some of our civil liberties in exchange for great security.

        I argued against the idea but the political environment immediately after the 9/11 attack demanded that the government do everything possible to protect its citizens no matter the cost in money or civil liberties.

        • Thumbs up, Bill. There were so very damned few of us who were jealous of our rights. The lemmings flocked into line, to approve of everything the Stasi wanted. They couldn't be bothered to listen to the voice of reason.

        • "The political environment"? When did that become synonymous to "the people"?

          Immediately after the attack, the support for some retaliation might have been pretty high, but you really think it still is?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mrchaotica (681592) *

          You may be surprised to find out that is not actually the case. A vast number of the US population demanded that we should give up some of our civil liberties in exchange for great security.

          They don't actually get to make that decision without amending the Constitution to abolish the 4th Amendment.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      So what is the legal alternative to his whistleblowing? How should he have his concerns addressed regarding unconstitutional surveillance?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:19AM (#45324929)
        The US government has a ombudsman program that allows people to "blow the whistle" on programs or individuals that abuse their power. It can be done without the need for the full blown espionage and having to take up residence in a long time adversarial country and take a job working for the foreign government.
        • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Informative)

          by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:30AM (#45325065) Homepage Journal

          Regrettably, ombudmen generally aren't allowed to challenge the board of directors, only report individual managers' or groups' misbehavior to the board, who then decide.

          It's a fast path to management, but it only works if the people it goes to are not the ones who've created or signed off on the misbehavior.

          Commons committees used to be the better alternative to ombuds in government, as they were lawmakers themselves and could change the law out from under a misbehaving executive. Alas, here in Canada they've been reduced to collections of trained seals, and in the U.S. to deadlocks.

          --dave

        • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Pav (4298) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:52AM (#45325313)
          Persue things internally like Binney or Drake to get hammered and threatened before they were forced to go public? Worked for them didn't it. How about the Plames? It's sad that the only proven endangerment of operatives in any of the past years of leaks was Cheney taking political revenge against the wife of a dissenter. I'd imagine if anyone raises a concern these days anywhere in government there would be more efficient mechanisms to discredit and dispose of them... seems to be an Obama specialty. I personally know a whistleblower who tried internal mechanisms - the well oiled process saw a psychologist label her mentally defective before she was efficiently terminated. This was not the US government but a local council.
      • - Talk to a lawyer
        - Perhaps make contact with the house intelligence committee and give them 90 days to respond
        - If no response, make contact with attorneys in UK, France and/or Germany

        There were many proper and very effective ways to deal with a crisis of conscience in this matter. Snowden chose not to do this because he thinks he is special.
        • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Clsid (564627) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:39AM (#45325155)

          You really haven't worked with government before. Sorry to be so blunt man, but you are being too naive.

        • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

          by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:47AM (#45325243)

          If Snowden had followed your advice, he would have been arrested immediately and then charged with treason, espionage and/or theft of classified data.

          Even his lawyer would have been gagged by secret courts under the Patriot act and nobody would have ever heard of any of this except as a little side note ("cranky former contractor in clinch with US government about handling of classified data").

    • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fox171171 (1425329) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:12AM (#45324839)

      To tell the truth is not a crime.

      Yes, it is. You may have some moral justification, but it can still be a crime. In the US, telling the truth about intelligence techniques to real and potential enemies is a crime, even if you also tell the public. Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement, but he satisfied his own conscience.

      Why is it that truth about a crime is a bigger crime than the original crime itself?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Sarten-X (1102295)

        The surveillance causes some embarrassment and a loss of trust. Enemies being able to evade the surveillance can cause death.

        ...Not that the death is particularly likely, mind you, but aiding an enemy is considered by the law to be more heinous than breaches of privacy.

      • by melikamp (631205)

        Why is it that truth about a crime is a bigger crime than the original crime itself?

        It is because the bigger the crime, the better it pays. The Chinese figured this one out a long time ago:

        Steal a hook and you hang as a crook; steal a kingdom and you are made a duke. ~Zhuangzi

      • To tell the truth is not a crime.

        Yes, it is. You may have some moral justification, but it can still be a crime. In the US, telling the truth about intelligence techniques to real and potential enemies is a crime, even if you also tell the public. Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement, but he satisfied his own conscience.

        Why is it that truth about a crime is a bigger crime than the original crime itself?

        I wouldn't know for sure, but I suspect there are a lot of ID10-t errors of judgement and backbone in this country. This is a non-partisan "do you understand that transparency is required for a Democracy to function?" moment. It's really galling in that we've got countless examples of how an informed public responds well and delivers more bad guys than cover surveillance, and we've got numerous examples of intelligence failures DESPITE collecting everything along with the kitchen sync. Looking at everything

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Snowden broke the law"

      Considering he hasn't stood trial you can't really say he's broken the law. And whilst he may be evaiding Law Enforcement, it doesn't make him a criminal.

      Just thought I should remind the great nation of America about the whole "Innocent till proven guilty" concept of law. It's right up there with habeas corpus... oh never mind.

    • No - Snowden is a "fugitive" and a "refugee" evading a Gestapo-like intelligence community. He is not, and will not, be a "criminal" unless and until a trial is held to determine the criminality of his actions. It is for this reason that Russia granted him political asylum. Political arrests are so Cold War Era.

    • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:56AM (#45325349)

      Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement

      Technically, yes, but technically so did the NSA; do we get to hold them to your same breed of logic? Snowden didn't leak pictures of the next supersekrit wizzbang gadget, or post Adobe Photoshop code on pastebin. He witnessed a system so out of control that there are no laws or legal system to contain it, or bring it back into balance. This isn't a matter of breaking an NDA agreement. Egregious breaches of the law need to be reported and the people who report them need to be given the freedom from legal consequence while those responsible need to be brought to trial.

  • Or Kucinich. Only a radical like Paul or Kucinich would have the ideology and the stones to order the FBI to dismantle the DEA's special operations division and treat every employee of the same as a probable criminal conspirator who conspired to systematically perjure themselves to win cases in federal court. You won't get this from a "mainstream guy" because moderates are moderates almost invariably because they either stand for nothing or have the intestinal fortitude of a freshly butchered lamb. One of t

    • by Bob_Who (926234)

      Thanks, for that link, MikeRT.

      Like I've heard said: "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

      Its time to bust out of this social stupor - Where is the outrage, America? Bipolar is better than comatose.

      • We still got food, we still got shelter and we still got daytime TV.

        Wait a bit. We're getting there.

  • Seriously, he worked for the NSA, one agency in one country. How the fuck would he know who the worst offenders of international and domestic surveillance are? There are hundreds of countries with multiple spy agencies. He had access to some of the information about one and maybe some information about a few more. And, he thinks this qualifies him to make judgments about the internal and external surveillance apparatus of EVERY OTHER COUNTRY HE HAS NO INFORMATION ABOUT, including Russia, China, and North Ko
  • Might as well get all his thoughts published while he has a chance.
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:09AM (#45325497)

    Of asylum he was supposed to stop with all of the publication of information. [reuters.com]

    A pledge not to publish more information that could harm the United States was the condition under which Putin said Snowden could receive safe harbor. "Edward assured me that he is not planning to publish any documents that blacken the American government," Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden's Russian lawyer said.

    I guess we can all assume that Snowden is just a media whore looking for attention and to be honest, I think a good portion of the information being "leaked" is in fact made up. The last set of slides about the Google Data Center interception information was a sketch. Although we now know some of this information is valid, I'm starting to think that some of it is contrived. Certainly when dealing with espionage issues the notion of counter-espionage and disinformation campaigns [dailykos.com] come to into play. That way we all get confused as to actually what the US government is doing and how it's doing it. In the end we get confused about they said this and they said that and then we jump straight into the HealthCare.gov website fiasco and how Americans will lose medial insurance policies they've had and will have to get more expensive ones with higher deductibles starting in 2014. That and the government shutdown are great ways to spin this story to the back pages. Conspiracy Theorists in 10 years will look back and probably say that Snowden worked for the NSA all along and was actually spying on the Russians for the US.

  • by cptnapalm (120276) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:11AM (#45325521)

    Yet Another Snowden Story. Somebody call me when Slashdot returns. I'm exceedingly tired of the Snowden Network.

  • As much as I may hold Edward Snowden in esteem - and that is a lot of esteem, actually - I tend to get all prickly and uncomfortable when the word "truth" is used in such a pontifical way as in the "manifesto". There is no such thing as absolute truth, although Mr. Snowden seems to tacitly imply and quietly assume so. There is your truth, your way of experiencing things - and there is mine. What we call "truth" is the sum vector of all these tiny vectors.

    Mr. Snowden had better used a word such as "information" or "openness". I am reminded of 2 Russian words, whose meaning lies in this direction, that became rather famous: glasnost and perestrojka.

    WDYT ?

    • It's a pretty naive world view as well. The notion that the world would be better if all information was public. Companies and nations have to protect their interests. My problem with Snowden isn't the leaks about domestic spying, it's that he's taken on the mantle of Truth Warrior freeing all those choice bits of data that our silly little country wants to protect. Firstly, that's not his right to make the call. Secondly, the compromised foreign espionage has done a ton of damage to our country.

      BTW, t

  • Stupid question time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xaedalus (1192463) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `syladeaX'> on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:30AM (#45326477)
    I get why Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA and it's domestic spying programs. That needs to be addressed pronto. But can someone explain to me how revealing our normal espionage program against our allies and against rivals is supposed to convince our allies and rivals to open up about their own spying programs? How on earth is any of this going to convince the Russian and/or the Chinese electorate to demand transparency of their own governments' monitoring systems? Especially when said governments haven't even bothered to hide that they're doing so? Snowden keeps referring to spying and information control as a global problem, but how does he hope to convince the nations who always have engaged in blatant population control to stop doing so?
    • It won't. It's a stupid idealists view of how espionage works. I'm guessing he thinks everyone is now going to hold hands, open up the books, and dance around a campfire together.

  • by qeveren (318805) on Monday November 04, 2013 @03:10PM (#45329311)

    "As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he [sic] who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

    - Commissioner Pravin Lal

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