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Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras Win Truth-Telling Award 123

An anonymous reader writes with news that Snowden has received the Ridenhour Truth-Telling award. From the announcement: "We have selected Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras for their work in exposing the NSA's illegal and unconstitutional bulk collection of the communications of millions of people living in the United States. Their act of courage was undertaken at great personal risk and has sparked a critical and transformative debate about mass surveillance in a country where privacy is considered a constitutional right." The award will be presented at the National Press Club. It is hoped that Snowden and Poitras will be able to appear remotely (Poitras is in effective exile in Berlin). In related news, the ACLU has indexed all publicly released documented leaked by Snowden. You can even full-text search them.
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Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras Win Truth-Telling Award

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  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @08:41AM (#46692761)

    Ok, sorry for the knee-jerk reaction. Let's try to be more level headed.

    You know what's most astonishing about an award to a "traitor", given by the very same country he "betrayed", really is? That it is given. Think back through history. Can you imagine an award for Julius Rosenberg, given by any kind of US institution? Or let's be less "dramatic", any idea how a criminal of any kind would be given an award by his own country?

    Can you imagine what kind of support for a "crime" it takes that the "criminal" gets an award for it? And we're not talking about a spy having backing in the country he spies from. That the Rosenbergs were seen as heroes in the USSR is a given. But we're talking about support for what he has done, without a doubt against the interests of the US government, and the support that he gets for it within the US.

    That alone tells me more about the US government and how well the US people feel represented by said government than about the "criminal".

    A government should represent its people, and the will of the people. That's the only reason, the only right, a government has to exist if it is supposed to be just and justified. If a government does not do that and instead prosecutes someone who does actually execute what is identified as the will of the people, then I have to admit it is kinda hard to tell for me who is the criminal here, the whistleblower or the government.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @08:45AM (#46692783)

    I don't know who Snowden betrayed, but as an American, he certainly didn't betray me. However, those supporting the NSA's disgusting activities certainly are betraying the American people.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @08:55AM (#46692861)

    Laws need not be just. Neither do they have to be for the benefit of the majority of the population.

    Blind followers of laws have made dictatorships possible throughout the history of humanity. You think either Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia would have been possible without people who would just follow orders and uphold the law?

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @08:58AM (#46692885)

    If Snowden had done the "honorable" thing, he would honorably be buried in a prison right now under an honorable permanent gag order. And the honorable American people would still be completely clueless that the NSA was dishonorably monitoring and archiving every one of our phone calls and emails.

  • by erikkemperman ( 252014 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:00AM (#46692903)

    Snowden could have been honorable

    No. The NSA (and various other TLAs) have shown, again and again, that there the "proper channels" for whistleblowing are dead ends. Nothing will be fixed or improved, and for your troubles you'll be subjected to endless legal and extralegal hardship.

    Snowden apparently knew better than to fall into this trap. I don't think you're actually unaware of this, just trolling. But for others, perhaps, who might be genuinely interested: Thomas Andrews Drake [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:07AM (#46692961)

    He's just as much of a 'terrorist' as were the Founding Fathers who struggled to get rid of totalitarian control. He's just as much of a 'traitor' as were Mark Felt when he gave confidential information about Nixon's wiretaps on the DNC HQ to the media.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:31AM (#46693185)

    I said nothing about 'proper channels'.

    Blowing the top off the spying on US citizens would have been honorable. He would have been taking one for the team, so to speak.

    Grabbing a bunch of different shit, some of it state secrets and 100% legal and exactly what the NSA was supposed to do ... and just throwing it ALL out there ... thats where he went from hero to traitor.

    He wasn't trying to protect US citizens, he was trying to embarrass the NSA and the government, thats entirely different and thats why he's a traitor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:45AM (#46693339)

    The NSA spying on the rest of the world IS DOING THIER FUCKING JOB.

    Snowden did not betray me by telling the world of the NSA's immoral spying. If those activities are part of their job, then their job is immoral, and I'm happy he gave us the specifics.

    We should not be doing this to innocent people or allies.

    If you're too naive to understand how politics work and think that our 'allies' aren't trying to do the same then you're just ignorant and small-minded

    Why do you complete morons always assume that people like me think that no one else is doing this sort of thing? Rather, it's not that I think no one else is doing it, *I don't care*. That justifies *nothing*.

    No doubt, they did break the law (constitution), but that doesn't justify releasing all the other crap that was ENTIRELY LEGAL AND WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.

    What is legal is not always right. What is illegal is not always wrong.

    In this case, I'd say their supposedly legal activities were wrong.

    That made him a traitor.

    Not in my eyes.

    Thanks, Snowden.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:53AM (#46693431)

    The NSA spying on the rest of the world IS DOING THIER FUCKING JOB.

    Stop repeating things that aren't true. Unless that country is actively at war with the US, then no. The NSA's espionage and computer fraud (writing malware, sabotaging systems, leaving other vulnerabilities that can be abused by anyone) are an illegal act of aggression and breaks our treaties. Might I remind you that not too long ago, the very same president that is supporting the NSA right now had also called out China for illegal hacking and himself called it an "act of war."

    This kind of bullshit being posted here just goes to show that shilling wins. I can't believe this kind of mindset has actually taken foot here.

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @10:18AM (#46693729) Journal

    Its amazing how you can't distinguish between an organization and the people in it.

    Organisations are like soylent green: made of people. If "the NSA" is doing bad stuff that means people in the NSA were doing bad stuff.

    not everyone at the NSA is the same.

    Quite so. They have recently had at least one good, honourable person in they employ: Edward Snowden. That proves that not everyone at the NSA is necessarily bad.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter