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back to article Cuba bound? Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong

Edward Snowden, the NSA PRISM whistleblower, left Hong Kong for Moscow today, sidestepping US attempts to extradite him for espionage. According to reports, he has already left Russia for Cuba. In a statement issued on June 23, The Hong Kong Government confirmed that Snowden had left the country on "his own accord for a third …

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Re: UN966 Hong Kong to Moscow

More likely FSB operatives waiting with a bottle of decadent western champaign and a request for an autographed copy of his files...

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Re: UN966 Hong Kong to Moscow

More likely Guinness at the Irish Pub. Yes, there is indeed one in that airport. Owned by Air Lingus, or at least it used to be.

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Pint

Re: UN966 Hong Kong to Moscow

Oh hell, if the FSB won't buy him a drink, I'll be happy to. The smartest thing any US President could do at this point is to give Snowden a blanket pardon for any charges arising from this fiasco. Granted, they'll just use the snooping data to conjure up evidence of other worse crimes and persecute him for those instead so it wouldn't really matter.

It takes a brave man to do the right thing and give up his former lifestyle. Pity the US is such a bunch of busybodies now with bitcoin, we could use an anonymous currency to support true patriots like Snowden without the whole "aiding the enemy" BS.

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Good luck to him I say. Had the US government tried to explain the world had nothing to worry about from this then I may feel differently, but they have pretty much said the US population has nothing to worry about and everyone else actually does because we really do whatever we want with you data!

Personally if the US classes itself as a world leader, perhaps it should afford the worlds citizens the same protections it offers its own. Until then I offer my full support to people like Snowden.

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Thumb Up

@bigtimehustler: I have to say that I agree with every word you have posted.

"Personally if the US classes itself as a world leader, perhaps it should afford the worlds citizens the same protections it offers its own. Until then I offer my full support to people like Snowden."

If they want us to accept their "leadership" then they have to accept we have a say whether they like it or not.

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If i up-vote this will i now become a person of interest?

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Big Brother

Mikeyt

We are all persons of interest to them. But some are of more interest than others...

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Anonymous Coward

Meanwhile, in an embassy in London..

.. someone isn't getting anywhere fast.

So, here we have someone against whom the US has a *real* grievance, and he has now happily travelled to another part of the world. Doesn't that exposes the whole Assange statement of a US extradition threat as BS?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Re: @bigtimehustler: I have to say that I agree with every word you have posted.

If they want us to accept their "leadership" then they have to accept we have a say whether they like it or not.

No privacy invasion or economic exploitation without representation!

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@ AC 20:41 Re: Meanwhile, in an embassy in London..

Not really. For some reason Assange allowed himself to be caught inside the borders of the 51st state. The dangers of him being handed over to the Americans seem real enough, plus he himself is not American so his treatment would be that much less, shall we say, congenial, upon arrival. Snowden otoh seems to have been canny enough - so far - to avoid putting himself within easy reach of the eagle's talons.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear.

At some stage, probably today is a bit early, he may be on a flight which may have a multi-fatality incident, and he will be a fatality. The deaths of the others on board, while regrettable, will be deemed by The Powers That Be as acceptable collateral damage.

Six months ago you'd have said that idea was preposterously farfetched, fit only for fiction.

How sure are you now?

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Re: Oh dear.

You obviously need to read up on the USS Liberty.

After reading the report, it became clear, America sees everyone and everything as just a pawn in the game of "Own the World".

Sacrificing a plane full of people with a dubious political affiliation is item 5 in "They're All Expendable" a US booklet issued to new recruits of the shady ones.

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Re: Oh dear.

Harsh thought there. A friend was on that Moscow to HK Aeroflot flight that went down with all hands 15 years ago.

The idiot pilot let his teenage son take the controls: with autopilot turned off.

Which was fairly annoying, to say the least. But what really got me pissed off (and drove the wife into paroxysms of rage) was that after the memorial service the coffin was to be flown back to Britain. And the bastard customs guys at Shemety'evo insisted that they would have to open up the coffin.....while his parents were there of course....to check that it really was his body, not something being smuggled. Although a small fee would makes this procedure unnecessary.

Of course, you don't actually get the body back after an entire plane drops from 30,000 feet straight down. You get a bit of the hillside with maybe the right bones in it. And they were prepared to rub that in for the grieving parents for a bit of backsheesh.

Some bastards is just bastards.

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Re: Oh dear.

Why bother having a multi-fatality incident, Two F15s will happen on this poor airliner and "help" it to land at GITMO. Most of the passengers will then be taken to the US mainland and a few others will stay for a while.

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Re: Oh dear.

Oh dear. You definitely need to cut down on watching Hollywood movies.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh dear.

Anyone know which passenger was of more interest than all the others on flight TWA800?

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Re: Oh dear.

Now, I dislike the current US regime as much as anyone, and I think that they would stoop fairly low to protect whatever it is they think they are protecting, but killing a plane-full of passengers to get at one person - that requires too many layers of tin-foil to the hat even for me ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh dear.

How about 2 planes then? One for each tower.

Certainly opened the floodgates for pork. I'm just saying.

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Happy

Just goes to show

That even crazy gun-nut control freak god-drunk spy-happy paranoid nuke-toting lunatic super powers don't always get what they want, either.

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Pint

Re: Just goes to show

>"even crazy gun-nut control freak god-drunk spy-happy paranoid nuke-toting lunatic super powers don't always get what they want, either."

Stop talking crap about the Irish.

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Anonymous Coward

'only' 10 years per crime

If anyone reading El-Reg thinks that the US Gov will sit back and let him be tried on charges that carry a max of 10years )per offence) you are probably living in Cloud Cuckoo land (or La-La land for that matter)

I am sure that the will want to make an example of him and execute him.

If Aaron Swartz was facing a lot more years in chokey for some fairly minimal crimes then his charges would be more like 1000+ years or death whichever comes earlier (no parole after the death sentence...)

I can hear the Black Choppers already and my name appearing on the US No-Fly list as I write this.

So much for the 1st Amendment thingy then.

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Flame

Re: 'only' 10 years per crime

Aaron Swartz was being pursued by an ambitious U. S. Atttorney and her staff, who were overcharging on an arguable interpretation of an overly broadly written law and the claimed victim was disinclined to prosecute. Edward Snowden was charged with theft of government property (perhaps a laptop or two?), unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications information to an unauthorized person. There is at least a minor difference between the two, and I consider the implied equivalence of the two cases more than slightly offensive.

I doubt that the revelations will be either terribly surprising to the foreign governments that doubtless will receive copies, or that they will be overly damaging to the NSA or the U.S. We know, for two examples, that the PRC and Afghanistan governments have first rate network and system penetration teams. There should be no doubt that they also have equally good computer network defense teams who were well aware of whatever NSA activity might have been directed at them.

What I have seen so far surprises me more by the limited nature and scope of the activities described and the legal constraints that were imposed, if maybe not always fully operative. I had assumed they were collecting far more than what has been published, and they may be, but I am so far unimpressed both by Snowden's revelations and by the government claims that these activites were important in disrupting "possible" terrorist attacks, whatever that might mean.

The U. S. NSA, and the government that spawned it and excessive laws like the USA Patriot act is our problem, and we will have to deal with it as we can, or not.

For the offended British I have only good will, but suggest respectfully that you have more important worries closer to home - not GCHQ alone, but other government activities to filter and control communications to the detriment of your own liberty.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'only' 10 years per crime

A CNN anchor mentioned today that Edward Snowdon seems to be travelling HK -> RUS with a total of 4 computers. That could be around 2 to 8Terabytes, if we speculate that they are lappies. Maybe he's just travelling the nonCONUS repatriating peoples data?

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Re: 'only' 10 years per crime - 1st Amendment! lol

Jon Oliver got it right when he reported that the second amendment has won! - well it would do it's the only one thats armed! all the other amendments are meaningless

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Headmaster

Re: 'only' 10 years per crime

"There is at least a minor difference between the two, and I consider the implied equivalence of the two cases more than slightly offensive."

I don't understand how one difference can be more offensive than another difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: tom dial, 'only' 10 years per crime

I haven't followed the PRISM case in detail, but what I've read this far hasn't surprised me much - the US is a superpower both by name and in their own minds.

Your claim that the Afghan government (which has trouble securing even Kabul, its own capital) has first rate network and system penetration teams does surprise me, though. I must read up on that.

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JMB

I thought Cuba was trying to improve relations with the USA this does not seem a good way to do so (if true).

Are there flights to Ecuador from Cuba?

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Yes.

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Facepalm

Oh yeah, totally a good guy.

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Meh

Overall, I like my country (US) but you've lost your mind if you think that the justice system is in any way fair or representative of 'good'. The system is riddled with holes and the 'scales of justice' are pre-weighted depending on whether they like you or they don't.

Horrible people go free here all the time (or are never even charged) and people who have done little go to prison for decades. The system is broken, justice is a whore who can be paid for, and not running from it is probably the dumbest thing I can think of.

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@ Pet Peeve

Let me guess - you think that a person is either for you or against you.

You are wrong.

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"justice system"

Law 101 - first thing they teach students (in every country).

It's not a justice system, it's a legal system. Justice doesn't enter into it.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't want to be in Ed Snowden's position, right now...

But it's rather amusing how HK responded to the US's attempt to get hold of him quickly:

"HK has formally requested clarification on "earlier reports about the hacking of computers systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong."

In other words... "Whateva! How about you [U.S.] calm down and clarify a few espionage-related questions first, before you can reasonably expect any help from our end?"

That's all Snowden needed. HK turned a blind eye on the issue at hand for a moment and let him proceed with his travels. Such a slap into the US's face! Love it.

The fact that the US want to have him jailed so quickly only proves two things:

* he's right

* they are afraid that the really shocking revelations haven't even been published yet

Got to admire that guy's nerves really. From a safe and well-paid job to being the target of a man hunt. No matter how you interpret the morality of his actions (I endorse them), he's got balls and I believe he did the right thing.

Probably the Russians and Chinese are laughing their arses off as to how foolish the U.S. approached it. First they deny, then they get the spin doctors on the case making it appear lawful (including canned statements for the companies to share with customers and the public), then maybe it wasn't quite as lawful as they tried to put it, and then the hunt for the "traitor" is under way, and even HK bluntly slaps them in the face, while Iceland has openly offered support for Snowden....

This is the material movies should be made of. Sadly it's happening for real.

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Re: Don't want to be in Ed Snowden's position, right now...

I'd say it was the Americans with the balls. I mean, seriously, you hack their institutions, tap their citizens internet, slurp as much data as you want then have the f*cking cheek to ask them to hand over the guy that told them what you were up to! I'd say the Americans might be getting more than one polite "get f*cked" to any extradition requests, treaty or not. How many countries, with the exception of the UK, will be adopting a "yeah whatever" attitude to the US now they know just how special each of their relationships really is?

The UK is obviously just a conduit for gathering information on American citizens. The NSA don't do it, sure, but I bet they get a nice big feed of data GCHQ may have gathered in a quid-pro-quo "you barge through our loophole and we'll barge through yours" arrangement.

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Re: Don't want to be in Ed Snowden's position, right now...

Anonymous Coward posted Sunday 23rd June 2013 12:03 GMT

"he fact that the US want to have him jailed so quickly only proves two things:"

Overall your post makes sense but not the part I quoted here. There are a few things wrong with it. It's not that they want him jailed but more like back within their own jurisdiction and then trialled, which is not the same. Too late to prevent the leaks now as all documents are probably spread out.

And it's not only two things as what you mention are just two possibilities. The most likely options need to be listed as well, Snowden appears to have broken several laws and technically, legally, he's treated exactly as would be required by law. If there are circumstances which might change the final verdict is for a judge to decide, not for the general public. However Showden is wise not to put the legal system he is challenging with his very actions to the test.

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Re: Don't want to be in Ed Snowden's position, right now...

It will be interesting to see how the US responds to China's request for en. Keith Alexander's extradition

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't want to be in Ed Snowden's position, right now...

"Overall your post makes sense but not the part I quoted here."

You're quite right; I should have worded those parts you mentioned more accurately. Proves at least two things, in my opinion, not only two. And I used "want him jailed" as a term to express that they want him over there, so that he's no longer at large. Whether he'll be trialled the way he should, or if he just faces (possibly worse) treatment like the Manning guy who fed the cables to Wikileaks, remains to be seen. Fact is, and I think we can agree on that: The US are not happy that Snowden is on the loose.

(I avoided playing the "English is not my native language" card, although that applies as well) :-)

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Unhappy

Sadly

it seems I am destined, against my wishes, to visit the USA in November.

Other than a drugs charge or assault charge, is there anything I can do to be refused entry and put on the first plane back home?

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Rol
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Re: Sadly

The list of possibilities is very long indeed.

Mental health issues usually works a treat.

I've no doubt a few of my posts have already got me onto a watch list, so I'm hiding behind my sofa when the "Mormons" come knocking.

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Are you now, or have you ever been,...

They used to ask you on that form if you were a filthy pinko commie. Maybe saying you are would do the trick.

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Devil

Re: Sadly

you have the Wrong Attitude. Meet them at the door carrying a large Bible (I got one for just this reason myself) and rant about how they're anti-Christian Satanists who will be wearing their special 'temple' garment in Hell when they meet their master. And how if they take one step onto your property to try to spread their soul-destroying lies, you'll help them on their way to said master.

Even the fake ones will be gone long before you can finish the rant. And they'll never come back, either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sadly

have you got aspergers ?

Fight it ! ;-)

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Re: Sadly

When you fill the form in at immigration and get to the bit about "Do you support the overthrow of the US government by subversion or direct aggression" circle 'Direct aggression' and that ought to do it.

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Re: Sadly

*facepalm*

You know, I never realised that was a *multiple choice* question...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Are you now, or have you ever been,...

The object was, since it wasn't actually illegal to be a pinko, that if you said you were and were not you could be charged with lying on a Government form - which is an offense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sadly

I liked that post.

But did you know there was a British author who was sent on a lecture tour of the US (with much reluctance, I believe) and so when he got there he wrote in that section of the form "Sole purpose of visit"? And they let him in.

I've forgotten his name for the moment, sadly.

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Re: Sadly

Q. Do you support the overthrow of the US government by subversion or direct aggression?

A. 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.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

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