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US Charges Edward Snowden With Espionage 442

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 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 Todd Palin ( 1402501 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:31PM (#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. []
  • by chalker ( 718945 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:33PM (#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: []

  • by DirePickle ( 796986 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:48PM (#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."
  • by Colonel Korn ( 1258968 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:52PM (#44075653)

    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.

    Same story, different day. They are speaking publicly, but not everyone is listening, paying attention, or caring.

    NSA director: Surveillance foiled 50 terror plots []
    FBI deputy director: NSA foiled NYC bombing plots []
    NSA director says surveillance foiled plot against Wall Street []

    Intelligence officials last week disclosed some details on two thwarted attacks - one targeting the New York subway system, one to bomb a Danish newspaper office that had published the cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammad. Alexander and Sean Joyce, deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, offered additional details on two other foiled plots, including one targeting Wall Street.

    Under questioning, Joyce said the NSA was able to identify an extremist in Yemen who was in touch with an individual in Kansas City, Mo. They were able to identify co-conspirators and thwart a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.

    Joyce also said a terrorist financier inside the U.S. was identified and arrested in October 2007, thanks to a phone record provided by the NSA. The individual was making phone calls to a known designated terrorist group overseas.

    It doesn't matter how much they disclose if you don't listen. Maybe they should send the stories to Wikileaks, maybe then it would get people's attention.

    Both of those specific instances were calls made overseas, and many people are ok with the NSA looking at international calls. So remind me again why they are watching all of our domestic calls? If they see a call to a foreign terrorist organization, they can use a good old fashioned court order to get the phone records from the domestic end of the call. No need for the NSA to collect all of the data.

    There's also exactly zero evidence that those plots were even real.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @08:58PM (#44075695)

    The point is that a number of people (not pointing at anyone in particular) have said something along the lines of, "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."

    Could you remind me which people in government were saying that? I know it is very popular on Slashdot, but I don't recall it being common coming from the national security establishment. I think I do recall them saying things along the lines of they don't target ordinary Americans, which is a very different thing.

    Here's an example:

    Senator Lindsey Graham: []

    “I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don’t think you’re talking to the terrorists. I know you’re not. I know I’m not. So we don’t have anything to worry about.”

  • Re:Double standards (Score:4, Informative)

    by canadiannomad ( 1745008 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @09:02PM (#44075721) Homepage

    "It's class warfare. My class is winning, but they shouldn't be." - Warren Buffett (2005)
    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." - Warren Buffett (2006)

  • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @12:54AM (#44076703) Homepage Journal

    Snowden must be convicted first, then the President can pardon him.

    Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford would like a word with you.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @04:00AM (#44077177)

    Dude, spying on iraq before the war is different to spying on people in UK or Singapore, ok.

    The nice thing about spying on friendly nations like the UK or Singapore, is that their spy agencies cooperate with ours, and have similar restrictions about spying on their own citizens, but are free to spy on other citizens including Americans. So if the NSA/CIA wants to get some dirt on an American in America, they have the Brits do the spying. We return the favor whenever they ask. Everybody wins (or loses, depending on your perspective).

  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Saturday June 22, 2013 @11:37AM (#44078615) Homepage Journal

    Actually a pardon is not law enforcement. It is specifically an executive order outside and above the law made for just such an occasion. Snowden must be convicted first, then the President can pardon him. The pardon does not stop anything. It simply supersedes it after the fact.

    Not true. Most famously, Ford pardoned Nixon before he'd even been charged, and made it a blanket pardon for any and all crimes he might have committed while in office. Similarly, Carter granted a blanket amnesty to all Vietnam-era draft dodgers, which was effectively a pre-emptive pardon on a large scale.

    The issue has even come before the Supreme Court. Andrew Johnson pardoned A. H. Garland in 1865, before he'd been charged with anything, and the Supreme Court held in Ex Parte Garland [] that the pardon power "extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment."

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell