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Wikileaks Aiding Snowden - Chinese Social Media Divided - Relations Strained 629

cold fjord writes "Despite the US cancelling his passport, Edward Snowden continues his travels aided by Wikileaks, and is leaving a trail of strained diplomatic relations in his wake. It appears China gifted the issue to Russia. From Yahoo: 'Lawyer Albert Ho, ... a Hong Kong legislator ... told reporters he was approached by Snowden several days ago, and that the American had sought assurances ... whether he could leave the city freely if he chose to do so... Snowden later told Ho an individual claiming to represent the Hong Kong government had contacted him and indicated he should leave the city, and wouldn't be stopped ... Ho said he believed the middleman was acting on Beijing's orders.' From the NYT: Julian Assange, ...said in an interview ... 'that he had raised Mr. Snowden's case with Ecuador's government and that his group had helped arrange the travel documents.' From WSJ: 'Edward Snowden has generated more than a million posts on one of China's biggest social media platforms... Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging service, exploded with activity on Sunday as Mr. Snowden left ... Mr. Snowden was hailed as a hero ... last week, but posts on Sunday and Monday were divided... "All crows are black," said a number of users, citing an Chinese old saying, to describe both American and Chinese government's surveillance programs. ... "Snowden has helped China so much. Why did we let him go?" said one ... Some suggested that China should keep Mr. Snowden as a weapon against repeated accusations of China hacking U.S. companies. More extreme users complained that China is "too soft on the U.S." "Russia is a real strong country to accept him," ... Another popular term: "hot potato," reflecting relief that Hong Kong wouldn't have to stand against U.S. efforts to take him into custody. Some users criticized Mr. Snowden for fleeing.' From the Guardian: 'Snowden's escape from Hong Kong infuriated US politicians, while China focused on condemning Washington over his latest disclosures, which suggested the NSA had hacked into Chinese mobile phone companies ... Moscow was also drawn into the controversy after it emerged that Snowden's passport had been revoked before he left Hong Kong and he did not have a visa for Russia. But Russia appeared indifferent to the uproar, with one official saying Snowden was safe from the authorities as long as he remained in the transit lounge at the city's Sheremetyevo airport. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said: "I know nothing."' From ABC: Snowden registered for the flight to Havana that leaves Moscow on Monday..."
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Wikileaks Aiding Snowden - Chinese Social Media Divided - Relations Strained

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  • by Smivs ( 1197859 ) <> on Monday June 24, 2013 @08:59AM (#44091313) Homepage Journal
    Snowden has alerted the whole World that our freedom is a sham, and that our governments treat our privacy with total contempt. I hope he survives this episode and will be seen in the future as somebody who did more for regular people than any politician.
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:02AM (#44091335)
    No, he just alerted the US. We here in the rest of the world have known that American "freedom" is a sham for quite a while now.
  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:03AM (#44091359)

    And this means any secrets he may know about anything will be handed over to them. At this point he is headed to Cuba where he can give whatever Top Secret information he can to the Cubans. How can anyone see him as a hero if he's helping a government recognized as a dictatorship to build up it's spy machine capabilities, to defeat US spy machine capabilities, or both?

    What impact will his knowledge have on Syrian rebel forces? What impact will his knowledge have on troops? Does he know troop positions? Whatever he knows the US government must now assume they know. I just hope not too many innocent civilians get hurt from Snowdens decisions.

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:07AM (#44091397)
    People say that all the time, but if you know of a country that offers citizens stronger assurances and greater practical liberties, we'd love to hear about it. (Preferably, those liberties should extend to immigrants as well as natives.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:10AM (#44091433)

    ...just pick a random european country

  • by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:13AM (#44091457)

    Never been in a prison, have you? I worked in one when I was in grad school. It's not as "romantic" as you think. Or in ways you might enjoy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:15AM (#44091473)

    People say that all the time, but if you know of a country that offers citizens stronger assurances and greater practical liberties, we'd love to hear about it.

    Every country in Scandinavia. []

  • by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:18AM (#44091515)
    Err.. Netherlands? Switzerland? Norway? Finland? Iceland? Sweden? Denmark? Germany? France? Portugal? Slovenia? Ireland? Australia? New Zealand? Canada?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:20AM (#44091547)

    Seeing all the implicit (eyes being turned) and explicit (ecuador, wikileaks, others) help he's getting, one could almost get the impression that the US Government (not people) is seriously unpopular around the world.

    And getting revenge on a bully is always particularly sweet.

  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:21AM (#44091559)

    Never been in a prison, have you? I worked in one when I was in grad school. It's not as "romantic" as you think. Or in ways you might enjoy.

    Snowden already is in a prisoners position. He's now the property of whatever foreign intelligence agency is protecting him and they don't have to respect his human rights. They are nice to him because he's giving them what they want. Do you really believe he's being protected out of government kindness?

  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:24AM (#44091577) Homepage Journal

    many chicks would fuck dudes who are "living on handouts from foreign governments".
    and on the newspapers. hell, some chicks marry ugly psychopaths who are jailed in the US...

    anyhow, if he had been a dude with nothing to lose, he would seem more like an eeeeeviiiiil communist spy.

  • by TWiTfan ( 2887093 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:24AM (#44091579)

    Hanssen and Ames were handing over things like troop strength, locations of CIA operatives, etc. to the Soviets for cash. They weren't blowing the whistle to the press on an illegal internal spying program. Pretty big difference there.

  • by TWiTfan ( 2887093 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:32AM (#44091637)

    Exactly what country do you expect him to go to? There are only about 5-6 countries in the world that aren't the total lapdogs of the U.S. government (or at least in bed with them). That doesn't exactly leave him a lot of options if he wants to remain free and not have all his (very important) information just buried again.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:32AM (#44091641)

    There's nothing saying that a conscientious objector can't look out for their own well-being while also serving the good of the public at large. And the claims he has made to date have been specific accusations based on specific evidence for which he has a reasonable belief that making them public will help to avert problems that will affect the public, which is exactly how proper whistle-blowing should be done.

    You're asking him to fall on his own sword after realizing the issues with the organizations he was in, which is entirely unreasonable.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:35AM (#44091665)

    Err.. Netherlands? Switzerland? Norway? Finland? Iceland? Sweden? Denmark? Germany? France? Portugal? Slovenia? Ireland? Australia? New Zealand? Canada?

    Yes, all free ... unless your opinions on the history of WWII differ from the "official version". Or if you are muslim, and want to wear observant clothing. Or if you have a reason to defend yourself. Etc.

  • No, they won't 'keep him for free', but will gladly offer him sanctaury, particularly as his presence there is going to be a constant source of annoyance to the US, a country they dislike and distrust.
    And no, I don't think I'm naive.
    Snowden has let us all see that none of our data or online activity is remotely private and that our information is everything and everywhere. Because various governments share intelligence, it means for example that a UK citizen (whose data is sort of 'legally protected' from UK surveillance agencies) could find his data being forwarded to him by say the US government. Because shared intelligence from a foreign source is not subject to the level of legal scrutiny and constraint as information gathered by UK sources, it could immediately become more accessable to UK agencies. And this works the other way round. It means that safeguards put in place to 'protect' a country's own citizens can be more easily circumvented.
  • by ckhorne ( 940312 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:39AM (#44091711)

    The question is... if these countries had the budget (err... were willing to put themselves into huge amounts of debt), would they eventually create the same programs as the US? In other words, are the freedoms a result of the will of the people or from more limited resources?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:41AM (#44091735)

    Or perhaps the people of the world don't like getting spied on, and are willing to look the other way if the man who notified them is passing through.

  • by misexistentialist ( 1537887 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:42AM (#44091745)

    the property of whatever foreign intelligence agency is protecting him and they don't have to respect his human rights.

    So...the same as us, but with some perks thrown in.

  • by Will.Woodhull ( 1038600 ) <> on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:44AM (#44091763) Homepage Journal

    I think that the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are a good package, and that the USA should use them.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:44AM (#44091765)

    Europe and the Anglosphere can be a bit uneven about some things.

    The Sordid Origin of Hate-Speech Laws []

    All western European countries have hate-speech laws. In 2008, the eu adopted a framework decision on “Combating Racism and Xenophobia” that obliged all member states to criminalize certain forms of hate speech. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Supreme Court of the United States has gradually increased and consolidated the protection of hate speech under the First Amendment. The European concept of freedom of expression thus prohibits certain content and viewpoints, whereas, with certain exceptions, the American concept is generally concerned solely with direct incitement likely to result in overt acts of lawlessness.

    Yet the origin of hate-speech laws has been largely forgotten. The divergence between the United States and European countries is of comparatively recent origin. In fact, the United States and the vast majority of European (and Western) states were originally opposed to the internationalization of hate-speech laws. European states and the U.S. shared the view that human rights should protect rather than limit freedom of expression.

    Rather, the introduction of hate-speech prohibitions into international law was championed in its heyday by the Soviet Union and allies. Their motive was readily apparent. The communist countries sought to exploit such laws to limit free speech.

    As Americans, Europeans and others contemplate the dividing line emerging on the extent to which free speech should be limited to criminalize the “defamation of religions” and “Islamophobia,” launched by the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (oic) since 1999, they should bear this forgotten history in mind. However well-intended—and its initial proponents were anything but well-intended—the Western acceptance of hate-speech laws severely limits the ability of liberal democracies to counter attempts to broaden the scope of hate-speech laws under international human rights law, with potentially devastating consequences for the preservation of free speech.

    We can save the discussion about the US 2nd Amendment rights for another time. There may be more.

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:47AM (#44091799)
    Well what do you know: Different countries have different laws. Water is wet, and grass is green also. BUT that does not alter the fact that America is a surveillance, police state, and has been for a while. Your freedom is as illusive as a soap bubble. And I can cite many stupid little things that America cites as "criminal acts". That's not the point.
  • by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:52AM (#44091863)

    Yes, all free ... unless your opinions on the history of WWII differ from the "official version". Or if you are muslim, and want to wear observant clothing. Or if you have a reason to defend yourself. Etc.

    I think that you don't undsertand the concept of comparisons. I was not stating that these countries are perfectly free. I was stating that they are freer than the USA.

  • by theduk3 ( 2598409 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:59AM (#44091943)

    unless your opinions on the history of WWII differ from the "official version"

    This statement does not make any sense, in no country in Europe it is illegal to debate about history.
    In Germany and Austria there are laws against denying the (well documented and absolutely non-desputable) crimes of the Nazi's ( in Austria it's the []).

    This has nothing to do with "disagreeing with the official version", the was passed shortly after WW2 and was/is there to prevent the spreading of lies and misinformation that and pro Nazi propaganda.

    Regarding your other points, yes, there is racism in any country, and the European ones are no exception,
    but compared to the US, the situtation is a lot better in a lot of European countries.

    And now that was enough time spent responding to flaimbate ^^.

  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:07AM (#44092029) Homepage Journal

    If you actually lived in any random European country I doubt you'd be making that claim. I know quite a few people who DO live in a number of European countries and they'd disagree with you. Not that it's necessarily worse than the US, but it's definitely no better.

    Immigrating to Europe is a lot easier and there are no secret courts either. And if you're unemployed you're pressed to go to state paid university while on state paid welfare - boohoo! and if you want to talk about practical liberties take a look at Germany and Portugal. but saying that it's definitely no better or worse is just weasel words.

    So.. still burnt. of course unless you pick Belarus, Russia or count Turkey as an European country(which you could technically do). if you just make a blanket claim you should give some examples of countries. the major thing limiting European freedoms and human rights is that some european leaders assumed that USA would act like a good boy and not mistreat people turned over to them and wouldn't abuse our airports for transfers of illegal prisoners (which is as good reason as any to deny returning Snowden to USA if they have to land midway).

    of course there's some tighter limits like you can't go on acting like the Westboro baptists.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:07AM (#44092035) Homepage Journal

    Depends on your definition of freedom. In those countries you could argue that children are free from religion imposed on them by their parents while they are at school, that women are free from the oppression of being forced to cover their faces, and that people are mostly free from the threat of violence so don't need to train themselves to kill and carry weapons.

    Even banning holocaust denial could be argued to be similar to banning people shouting "fire" in a packed theatre. Both can lead to disastrous consequences.

    Europe has a different idea of what freedom is. The US does not have a monopoly on the definition.

  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:09AM (#44092059)

    I'm going to just assume you're a spin doctor, as otherwise i'd have to be rude and assume you are an idiot.

    a) Snowden did not board the plane to cuba
    b) anyone who considers cuba since the soviet union fell apart a threat to america is a moron.
    c) nothing snowden could have known about troop positions or other such actions or involvement would have been left the same from shortly after the second he leaked his name. This is assuming he even had such knowledge, given his position his access would have been fairly general and non-specific as far as military matters are concerned.

    Did you watch Snowden's interview? He said he had access to information detailing missions and the identities as well.
    Then he leaked a Top Secret G8 spy operation. If he didn't have access then how did we learn about that?

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:14AM (#44092135)

    In Germany and Austria there are laws against denying the (well documented and absolutely non-desputable) crimes of the Nazi's

    Who gets to decide what is "absolutely non-disputable"? Once you start arresting people for expressing their opinions, the path from "you cannot praise the Nazis" to "you cannot criticize the government" is steep and slippery.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:29AM (#44092285)

    on one hand, 'snitches get stiches'.

    otoh, if an entity that keeps claiming to have the high moral ground was caught being VERY naughty and you 'tell on them', is that, in itself, wrong?

    quite a lot of us believe that there should be limits as to what our spying agencies can do. many of us believe the US has crossed a line and needs to be reeled back in.

    if someone had committed murder and you knew about it, would you just sit on that info?

    how is this any different? he saw crimes committed and told about it. I think he's a hero!

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:31AM (#44092309)

    I think the countries being spied upon would argue your point.

    Also, the leak on the G8 spying was a side affect. What he was actually leaking was their methods, used in the US and the UK to do illegal spying, and in those documents they use the G8 as an example. Also, the revelation that they are spying on the G8 is one of the most important pieces of information released... their excuse this entire time has been that they are defending against terrorism. But clearly the G8 operation was an attempt to gain economic advantage.

  • by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:35AM (#44092379)
    The guy being screwed up in Sweden to please the USA?
  • by SecurityTheatre ( 2427858 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:37AM (#44092395)

    While I agree with your premise, I always dislike this phrasing you're using.

    It's not freedom if it's followed by "from" or "to not be".

    Freedom FROM something is just a restriction. Unless it's freedom from the government, it's not much of a freedom.

    Think carefully how to word your freedoms. Some of them can be worded (or structured) differently and then mean exactly the opposite thing.

    For example, "women are free from the shame of having their face exposed". See, that's easy.

    Now write one without the "from" and see how it comes out.

    Women are free to wear no head coverings.

    Women are free to wear head coverings.

    Women are free to choose what to wear.

    Women are free to have someone tell them what to wear

    Women are free to have the government tell them what they cannot wear.

    No such thing "freedom from" is just a weaselly of saying "prevention of"

  • by MrMickS ( 568778 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:38AM (#44092415) Homepage Journal

    The UK. Oh, wait we are subject to the same program the NSA is running and we have less oversight and resort to underlying law than the US.

    GCHQ (UK equivalent of NSA) is monitoring 600m telephone events a day. That's pretty much every phone call in the country. Our politicians say its all above board and legal. We don't have a written constitution to refer to the best bet being the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • by netsharc ( 195805 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:59AM (#44092601)

    He talked to the civilian Chinese newspaper about the US government hacking Chinese civilian servers.

    I trust him, if his motive was really to sell those secrets for money to the Chinese, he would've done it covertly. He wants everyone, not just the Chinese, to have information about what the US Secret Police is doing. Want to bet that there are backups of ALL the files on NSA's illegal activities in the hands of Guardian reporters too? Snowden can disappear at any moment, he'll have trusted someone like Greenwald/a Guardian IT person to take care of his secrets, maybe as an insurance policy as well.

    Just like we get pissed if the Chinese hacked Google, the Chinese are pissed that the US hacked into university servers. If it were military targets like the Pentagon, we would think it's fair game...

  • by wienerschnizzel ( 1409447 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @11:00AM (#44092603)

    That law has been around since 1947. How much has it slipped towards "you cannot criticize the government" since then?

    Not. One. Bit.

    You have no clue.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @11:01AM (#44092625)

    I'm well aware of my history, and what I see is that you've equated two different types of cases that are really quite different.

    In the sorts of cases you're citing, the injustices they were facing were aimed at segments of society that had been ignored, pushed aside, or otherwise disdained. What their cause needed was public awareness of the crimes being perpetrated, and the best means for doing so was by putting a face on the matter and by making the point that a non-criminal was being treated as one. By allowing themselves to become victims of the injustice, they were able to give a face to the victims, show the world what the injustices looked like in action, prove that innocent men were being treated as criminals, and rally support to enact change.

    Not so in this case, since we need only look in the mirror to see the face of a victim of the crimes that Snowden is bringing to light. We all know full well that we're not all criminals, and yet the injustice is being perpetrated against us. Whether Snowden is a criminal or not is immaterial, since the only question we need to be asking is, "are we all criminals?" Were Snowdown to go to jail at this point, the injustices he'd be facing would be entirely separate from the ones he is fighting against now, and as such, they wouldn't serve any purpose or hold any meaning. It wouldn't make him a martyr or give a face to the victims. It would just make him a victim of a different set of crimes.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @11:18AM (#44092763) Homepage Journal

    Why was there a leak of the G8 spying? That wasn't an illegal operation. Tell me why Snowden leaked that.

    Perhaps because "Legal" and "Right" are not always the same thing?

  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @11:50AM (#44093049)

    It's the nsa's job to spy on foreign frenemies. For an American to expose this is treason. What moral excuse could there possibly be?

    Because they were also spying domestically, and Snowden would be punished instead of being treated as a whistleblower. Any deals he made with other nations (deals, mind you, that have no proof to have occurred) would have been made in exchange for protection.

    Or do you think it would have been morally superior to have Snowden arrested, tried, and executed as a traitor from day one only for reporting illegal operations underway? On my compass, the most moral choices from the set of all choices are those where Snowden is allowed to be a free man.

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @12:11PM (#44093199) Homepage Journal
    Don't look at the top of the iceberg. He wasn't so special in his organization, and his organization wasn't so special neither. That he knew/had access means that a lot of people had (and keep having) the same access. Before worrying about what he did, think what the others could be doing right now.
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @12:11PM (#44093201) Homepage Journal

    It's the nsa's job to spy on foreign frenemies. For an American to expose this is treason. What moral excuse could there possibly be?

    well.. that's all fine and dandy, but in case you missed it they were just spying everyone and then later maybe figuring out if they were americans or not - and if they were, just get a letter stamped and they were good to go.

    and then of course - the rest of the world thinks that NSA is just bunch of dickheads who are illegally spying them. yes, NSA spying me is illegal so fuck you and where can I send the extradition requests? so bear with me just for this one thought: why would any other country do anything to turn Snowden in? why, when everyone in the rest of the world has interests in USA tuning down it's spying efforts? for everyone else outside USA his so called treason was a favor and consequently usa is getting called left and right on it's hypocracitic policies - that's why american politicians are pissed off, in the past few weeks they have lost all what was left of their moral high ground(and there weren't a lot to lose to begin with).

    they even made the mistake of trying to get a political refugee sent back home - from fucking China! You can bet they're having a field day filing requests in China right now for dissidents - not because America is going to return them, but just to piss them off now that they were let to gain that ground(and also so that usa can't bitch them for not stopping Snowden at the airport despite missing a valid passport).

    Provided that the news have gone into North Korea they will also be doing the same shit - technically everyone who left them with their secrets is a traitor and according to the logic USA just used they can argue that they should be sent home(to be sent to prison camps for treason, espionage and various other crimes).

  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @12:30PM (#44093395)
    It's not their job nor charter to violate the 4th amendment. They did both in spirit and in fact, regardless what the nitpickers at the DOJ say.
  • by he-sk ( 103163 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @12:39PM (#44093479)

    To add a little information to what the parent poster has sad. The state collects church tax for the Roman Catholic Church and Lutheran Protestant Church. The reasons for this arrangement go back to the early 19th century when the state appropriated the land that formerly belonged to the church. This was meant as a compensation for losses incurred by the state when Napoleon occupied the Western Rhineland. Don't ask me how that makes sense.

    So, if you belong to either of those two denominations, the state will collect a church tax from you and pass it off to the church. To get out of this you have to go to the Amtsgericht (local court) and declare that you're not part of the respective church community anymore. You don't have to declare that you're an atheist, though.

    You right, this arrangement is stupid but it's almost 200 years old and not likely to change anytime soon. Those who have to pay the tax don't seem to mind. Interestingly, it was never meant to be permanent. We have a saying here in Germany: "Provisorien halten am längsten." Literally translated it means that provisional arrangements last the longest.

  • by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:46PM (#44094993)

    if you're not in the US, how is it illegal for NSA to spy on you? what law is that breaking? hint - none.

    I know this may be hard for you to believe but this country was founded on the principle of human rights (or natural rights) as written about by John Locke. The idea was to found a minimal government which was not supposed to be in the business of trampling on such rights that Locke asserted all human beings possessed just by being homo sapiens. Perhaps you would like to argue that the Chinese are not human or not as human as Americans?

    Probably you are thinking that rights are really privileges that our government was kind enough to allow us to have when and as they see fit. Privileges can be revoked however and the US government has been doing a lot of that in the past decade.

    First they came for the Chinese, but I wasn't Chinese...

  • by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:25PM (#44095421)

    So in your view only Americans possess human rights? It's okay to slaughter foreigners since they are not specifically mentioned in the constitution? The constitution does not specifically state that only American citizens are protected from government violence or abuse. I don't believe that the Founders would have argued that only humans that happened to be born within the borders of their new republic possessed rights.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Do these sound like the sort of guys who think that only Americans have any rights and that it would be just fine for the leaders of their new republic to murder / imprison / torture or basically do whatever they feel like to anyone not born within its borders? Either all humans have a set of basic rights or none of us do. Either a government respects human rights or it doesn't. Perhaps you want to argue that Americans are more human than the rest of the homo sapiens on the planet? It may not be our government's duty to protect the rights of foreigners within their own countries, but it certainly is their duty not to actively violate their human rights. That goes against the founding principles of our country. It also just seems wrong and unnecessary.

  • by toutankh ( 1544253 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:36AM (#44098739)

    In every country freedom of expression has boundaries. In some European countries, those boundaries are tighter than in the USA. Certain opinions are forbidden, negationism and revisionism are obvious examples for France and Austria. So you are not allowed to express certain opinions just because they do not match the official History. My point here is not to discuss whether these opinions make sense (full disclaimer: I don't think they do). I just find it wrong that there is censorship on opinions. Plus, it can give the impression that there is a hidden truth behind this. Chomsky has a nice way of putting it:

    "If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like. Stalin and Hitler, for example, were dictators in favor of freedom of speech for views they liked only. If you're in favor of freedom of speech, that means you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise."

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982