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back to article Snowden: 'Hey, Assange, any more room on Ecuador's sofa?'

NSA PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden has requested asylum in none other than Ecuador, the country that’s also technically safeguarding WikiLeaker Julian Assange. Snowden is actually on his way to the South American nation to see if he can stay, while Assange remains ensconced on the sofa of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. …

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Trollface

From ridiculous

to farce.

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Ecuador, trying to corner the market?

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Go

Re: Ecuador, trying to corner the market?

No showings between midnight and 8 AM, as current occupant will be using floor sample......

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Trollface

Re: Ecuador, trying to corner the market?

"No showings between midnight and 8 AM, as current occupant will be using floor sample......"

Has anyone wonder how Julie is 'making out' on his own in that lil' embassy? Does he relieve himself by hand, or do embassy staff do him a favour every now and then, their 'duty to the party'? Perhaps he uses the furniture, or the odd embassy bicycle.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ecuador, trying to corner the market?

Maybe George Washington slept on a few sofas while being pursued.

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Go

And in other news...

bookings for general tourism to Ecuador is on the up ;-)*. It's a good bit of awareness for Ecuador. how many people knew where it was on the map beforehand? it's now publicly said that it's going to be nice and friendly to foreigners, and you may even get tourists wanting to see the man that 'snubbed' the USA.

* I actually have no idea

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And in other news...

tourism to south america as a whole is on the up actually, unrelated to assange et al, but more down to being a "destination" that hasn't (yet) been totally destroyed by capitalism. Recent events are only going to enhance that, so people can go see what it really has to offer (apart from the Galapagos of course, i'm sure you'd heard of them)

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Boffin

Re: And in other news...

"... how many people knew where it was on the map beforehand?"

Given the clue in the name, "Ecuador," I'd have thought quite a few people.

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Re: And in other news...

I am not so sure that tourism to Brazil is on the up at the moment. There appears to be a little bit of unrest....due to the bus fares.

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Re: And in other news...

Certainly anyone with an interest in panama hats too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And in other news...

...just wait for riots on the streets of Quito in the next 12 months as a bunch of CIA sponsored "revolutionaries" demand that the current regime be replaced. The Yanks will unfortunately not only get Assange and Snowden by hook or crook but also their revenge upon the current Ecuardorian government.

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WTF?

Re: panama hats

Downvote why? Is it the hats you object to or the fact that they come from Ecuador?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And in other news...

"tourism to south america as a whole is on the up actually, unrelated to assange et al, but more down to being a "destination" that hasn't (yet) been totally destroyed by capitalism."

Bang on!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And in other news...

"...just wait for riots on the streets of Quito in the next 12 months as a bunch of CIA sponsored "revolutionaries" demand that the current regime be replaced"

Worked well for them in Cuba.

(For those that don't know their history, search for Bay of Pigs)

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Happy

Re: And in other news...

@AbelSoul

Likely a damn sight more than knew where Afghanistan was, and likely even Iraq, before the US invaded those countries.

North Americans knew about Ecuador as producers of bananas, ranked 5th with an annual production of 8 million tonnes, 6% of world production, which all had little labels stuck on them.

It is also why it is known as a 'banana' republic.

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Re: And in other news...

>>"tourism to south america as a whole is on the up actually, unrelated to assange et al, but more down to being

>>a "destination" that hasn't (yet) been totally destroyed by capitalism."

>

>Bang on!"

Oh gawd, all the armchair communists have arrived. Tell you what guys, if you hate capitalism and what it does so much how about you sell your computer and stay off the internet? And then buy yourself a dingy to paddle to equador (can't use those nasty capitalist airlines now can you?) and live in the abject poverty sorry , I mean revolutionary workers paradise, that country can offer you?

So how about it?

No? Not keen?

Now ain't that strange.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And in other news...

also refer to "United Fruit Company" responsible for the destruction of significant areas of countries like Colombia, Ecuador etc

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All the armchair communists ...

You do know that the internet "exists" in south america too ? You do know what communism actually is ?

Nowhere in those two posts above was any "communist" ideology mentioned, simply saying that South America is unspoiled by mass-market tourism (as exhibited by capitalism) that destroys archaeological remains etc etc. You've clearly never been to such places, nor are likely to ever, so perhaps come back when you're better informed

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

"You do know that the internet "exists" in south america too ? You do know what communism actually is ?"

Whoooosh....

The internet was initially created by the bug nasty US government that everyone on here seems to hate and then further progress was made possible by nasty capitalist companies getting involved. So if you don't like the US and don't like capitalism then fuck off from the internet because its like writing that abhor slavery on some paper that your slave just fetched for you.

"South America is unspoiled by mass-market tourism (as exhibited by capitalism) that destroys archaeological remains etc etc. "

You mean unlike the wise caring natives who would never bulldoze ruins or plough up archeology to plant crops? No , never. Ever. Never happens...

"You've clearly never been to such places, nor are likely to ever, so perhaps come back when you're better informed"

Let me guess - you've been on some pot fueled arms-length Gap Yah over there and now think you're got the inside view on world poverty and how to solve it? Yeah well, that'll be you and every other naive post grad traveller my friend.

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

@boltar

"The internet was initially created by the bug nasty US government that everyone on here seems to hate and then further progress was made possible by nasty capitalist companies getting involved. So if you don't like the US and don't like capitalism then fuck off from the internet because its like writing that abhor slavery on some paper that your slave just fetched for you."

Epic fail!! Starting out by showing you have no idea of the history of the internet is not a good place to start. The internet was not created by the 'bug nasty US government' at all, but really start amongst Universities etc. that wanted to share data. Of course, it does depend to some extent on how far back in history you want to go, but the US government had no more involvement than many other countries whose universities were involved. You could, at a stretch, say that governments (as in multiple, not just the US) were involved through their funding of universities, but the US government never had any intention to create the internet.

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

"Epic fail!! Starting out by showing you have no idea of the history of the internet is not a good place to start. The internet was not created by the 'bug nasty US government' at all, but really start amongst Universities etc. that wanted to share data"

Look up ARPANET in Wikipedia you dumb cunt and read the first paragraph.

Yeah epic fail indeed - for you.

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

"Look up ARPANET in Wikipedia you dumb cunt and read the first paragraph.

Yeah epic fail indeed - for you."

I could reply in kind, but I'm not an idiot. If you were to lookup internet, you will note that ARPANET is only ONE of the predecessors of the internet. There was also Mark I at NPL in the UK for instance. CYCLADES, Telenet, Tymnet etc.etc.

All played a vital role in developing the technology that has become the internet. I know Americans love to think they invented everything and have done everything, often rewriting history using Hollywood to try and indoctrinate the masses that the US is responsible for everything good. BUT, IT SIMPLY ISN'T TRUE.

Your egotistical attitude and self-belief is a prime example of why America is making so many enemies.

Before making my post, I actually did lookup the history of the internet and double checked my facts. Yes, ARPANET was an important predecessor, but certainly not the only one and certainly not solely responsible for internet.

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

"I could reply in kind, but I'm not an idiot. "

Sorry , but you are.

"There was also Mark I at NPL in the UK for instance. CYCLADES, Telenet, Tymnet etc.etc."

There were plenty of standalone networks in the 60s, 70s and 80s including ah hoc uucp & compuserve. However the internet with TCP and failover packet switching as we know it today came directly out of arparnet since the network it grew into supplanted the others whether you like it or not so I'm afraid its not up for debate.

"BUT, IT SIMPLY ISN'T TRUE."

I'm afraid it is.

"Your egotistical attitude and self-belief is a prime example of why America is making so many enemies."

A feeble attempt at an ad hominem but thing is I'm actually british and whats more I've worked with one of the people who was involved in developing the first packet switch routers. But unlike you I'm not blinded by a union jack draped over my brain.

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

Rather than take a very narrow, blinkered and frankly stupid approach as you have, I looked at the real picture of the internet and thought more holistically and intelligently.

"There were plenty of standalone networks in the 60s, 70s and 80s including ah hoc uucp & compuserve. However the internet with TCP and failover packet switching as we know it today came directly out of arparnet since the network it grew into supplanted the others whether you like it or not so I'm afraid its not up for debate."

Did I say the internet didn't grow out of ARPANET? Don't think so. However, I'm intelligent enough to realise that ARPANET was a mixture of many things. It contained some rehashed ideas from the past and also some new stuff....TCP/IP etc. So, did the US government also 'create' all the old things it used or rehashed? In some cases yes, but in many no. So, are the people who created these other things not due their acknowledgement for their contribution to creating the internet? According to you, of course not. ARPANET had no previous ideas at all, was completely new and solely down to Uncle Sam. Bullshit. Therefore, my comment of it simply isn't true is absolutely correct.

The US government without doubt played a sizeable part in the internet, bu so did lots of other people in their contributions from the past. Similarly, since you mention it, many organisations, not just capitalist companies were responsible for moving the internet forward with new additions and ideas and funding etc.

To give an example. When Henry Ford invented the production line for cars, did he do it all by himself? Or, were other people involved, including the reuse of prior art in various machines etc.? Of course there was. Hollistically, no one person or organisation is ever responsible for new things as they almost invariably rely on prior art of some sort and therefore some credit is due to those people as well. So, the US government did its part, but so did many others.

So, lets relook at what you actually said. The US government initially create the internet all by itself. Nope. Other entities and prior art were involved, but you want to forget about them. Initial deployment was largely around universities, mostly in the US, which also funded some of it.

"The internet was initially created by the bug nasty US government that everyone on here seems to hate and then further progress was made possible by nasty capitalist companies getting involved. "

"A feeble attempt at an ad hominem but thing is I'm actually british and whats more I've worked with one of the people who was involved in developing the first packet switch routers."

Interesting that you seem to believe working with someone somehow rubs off on you and gives you credibility, but it doesn't. Working next to Einstein doesn't make you less of an idiot.

"But unlike you I'm not blinded by a union jack draped over my brain."

Not sure where this has come from. I don't recall ever mentioning Britain or anything about Britain having a particular claim to 'creating' the internet. So, I assume this is just mindless insulting.

Just to ensure you understand. I do not claim sole credit for anything I 'create' in my employment as generally speaking it might have some new, but also contains other peoples work (whether modified or not) and therefore other people are also responsible for the 'creation' in their own way as well.

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

"Interesting that you seem to believe working with someone somehow rubs off on you and gives you credibility, but it doesn't. Working next to Einstein doesn't make you less of an idiot."

Ditto NOT working next to einstein as you nicely demonstrate.

"Of course there was. Hollistically, no one person or organisation is ever responsible for new things as they almost invariably rely on prior art of some sort and therefore some credit is due to those people as well."

If you want to engage in absurd extrapolations then the person who invented the abacus is ultimately responsible for the internet and the discussion is over.

Muppet.

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

@boltar

"Ditto NOT working next to einstein as you nicely demonstrate."

I'm not the one trying to get some credence out of it. You are.

"If you want to engage in absurd extrapolations then the person who invented the abacus is ultimately responsible for the internet and the discussion is over."

It's not an absurd extrapolation. It's simply accepting the reality of the situation and seeing development for what it is. When you understand this concept (which you clearly don't), you can start appraising people by what they actually achieve (the advance they made) rather than the whole. In some cases, the difference isn't much. In some cases, it is huge. If you look at the whole, this isn't always apparent. So, thinking like this allows you to see the real achievement rather than the hype.

In reality, ARPANET actually achieved only one thing. It was the major (but not only) driver for packet switching. Beyond that it did little. ARPANET may have provided a lot of the technology underpinning (although earlier projects also provided underpinning for the internet and ARPANET itself as well), but the change to what the internet is now is mostly due to the companies and individuals who then went on to use it and expand it.

"Muppet"

Well quite. Looking in the mirror must always be difficult for you. Taking the blinkered and intellectually low brow position is what a stuffed puppet animal would do. Looking for the wider, contextually based position and thinking is not something you want to do, preferring the soundbite knowledge to reasoning.

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Re: All the armchair communists ...

Sorry, just to add a little.

Boltar, you are also guilty of doing exactly what I am as well. You're extrapolating a small network installed primarily for universities and consisting originally (and designed) of only a few nodes and extrapolating this into the worldwide internet with millions of nodes etc.etc. You're doing all this and not acknowledging all the work done by countless individuals and companies between now and when it was formed in an attempt to claim 'the US created the internet'!! Talk about an overblown claim. Yes, the US created a tiny precursor to the internet, which others have made countless additions to (new technology etc.) and have expanded enormously since then, but no, the US still created the internet.

To use your own example of an abacus being a precursor to the internet.....well, yes in a sense it is. After all, compared to the internet as it is today, ARPANET was little more than an abacus. It created a new technology (packet switching) that is used by the internet which has been used and expanded and extrapolated into the internet in much the same way as it itself used previous technology and did the same with that.

So, your own logic actually backs what I've been saying. The ARPANET is one small, tiny contributor to creating the internet and the fact that the US created ARPANET no more makes them the creator of the internet than anyone else who provided a small contribution to all the technologies now used in the internet. For instance, would the internet be what it is today without using DNS? When it only had a few nodes, using a HOSTS file and putting names in for your favourite addresses might have been practical. Is it now? No. So, could DNS not be cited as creating the internet as it allowed expansion etc. into what it is today? Maybe those students who wrote the early DNS systems should be hailed as the creators of the internet? Of course not. These are all contributions and as a WHOLE create the internet, but individually simply created one small technology component. The same could be said for all manner of other technologies and mechanisms such as NAT etc.

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Holmes

Oh no he isn't...

The flight is filed to capacity with thirsty journos, but no Snowden: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/24/edward-snowden-booked-on-plane-from-moscow-to-havana-live-coverage

Does El Reg have someone on board?

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Re: Oh no he isn't...

Lester is wearing a trenchcoat and fedora combination fetchingly accessorised with a Groucho Marx false moustache and Google Glass combo and a copy of Pravda with cut-out eye holes.

Has anyone checked the IcelandAir check-in desk yet?

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Re: Oh no he isn't...

How about a worn fedora, bomber jacket and whip? A much more macho image for international derring-do.

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Re: A much more...

I suppose so, if you can't find a panama hat, cream linen suit and gin and tonic.

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Anonymous Coward

I've gone off this guy. Was originally of the view that he was a hero and a true patriot for exposing how the US spies on it's own citizens to the degree that it does.

I think by actually revealing how the US spies on it's rivals (which is legitimate - that is what spying is and everyone does it), he has actually crossed the 'traitor' line. I mean does he think that by exposing this stuff the NSA is going to shut up shop and stop spying on/hacking other countries while everyone continues doing it to them? Yeah, he has actually crossed the line into traitor territory.

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And how about all the stuff about how the US spies on many millions of its own people? That legitimate too?

And what if the people of the nation hear about all the spying and decide they don't want their taxes going to pay for all the spying?

Isn't it right that in a democracy we have some idea of what our governmeent is doing?

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Are you incapable of reading? I just said I initially thought he was a hero for that.

The point at which a guy with top security clearance starts blabbing about how the US spies on it's rivals (not it's own citizens - just repeating that as your comprehension seems lacking) then yes, you have crossed the line. I mean, what the fuck did he think he was going to be doing at the NSA? I can understand the outrage at spying on your own citizens but blabbing to all and sundry about how the US spies on China and Russia, etc?

Come on, he's crossed the line.

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Stop

Are people not allowed to be outraged at the extent of spying that their country does on the citizens and corporations of other countries too?

Maybe I don't want to live in a country (or have a government) that thinks it's just fine to steal SMS data from citizens and officials all over the world?

Maybe some of us are tired of the institutionalised duplicity of diplomacy and spying and would rather leave the whole game alone. It's like systemic corruption and until we start fighting it, it will never go away. "The other guy does it" is no excuse".

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Anonymous Coward

If you don't want to live in a country where the government thinks it's alright to spy on other countries citizens, you won't have many options, my friend. Perhaps there's a volcanic rock in the Pacific Ocean somewhere you can live on?

When your riposte to my argument is some flouncy, idealistic horseshit that bears no semblance to the reality of the world we live in, you know you've lost.

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"If you don't want to live in a country where the government thinks it's alright to spy on other countries citizens, you won't have many options, my friend. Perhaps there's a volcanic rock in the Pacific Ocean somewhere you can live on?"

Then perhaps throwing the light of day on the extent of these activities every so often will change this, was my point. If there's all this publicity and people turn out not to like it, maybe we can force change in the way this works. He's not a traitor if he's telling people what they're government is doing in secret and they hate it.

"When your riposte to my argument is some flouncy, idealistic horseshit that bears no semblance to the reality of the world we live in, you know you've lost."

Right, because we can never change anything, ever, and ought to just put up with 'reality'. Fuck you too.

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@murph

I *kinda* see what you're saying, but I think the ends most definitely justify the means, and your view is perhaps affected by the US Gov decision to do him for treason or whatever. Here is a guy who has let the world know that the US Gov spy on EVERYONE, their own citizens and everyone else in the world who happens to come into any contact with technology. What a lot of b0ll0cks that PRISM does not keep the same info on it's own citizens. Someone mentioned boiling a frog on the previous topic, and Facebook, MS, Google etc have been lining up to show the public what has been requested of them. Still no word from the telcos / ISPs who actually move the information from / to the far end. Would that not be the place to get the full info?

This fella is running scared and who can blame him. The Chinese spy on everyone, the US spies on everyone, the UK uses US tech to spy on everyone and so the US most likey have access to all and every system of spying the UK has, and all the information they create. These may be secretive solutions, but the fact that they exist is not a secret - what do you think the CIA / FBI / MI5 / MI6 do? And all the methods of spying are likely to be equivalent. The bluster in news reports of the US accusing China of spying, and then later stating that Snowden works for China is all smoke and mirrors.

What Snowden has done in saying the US spies on China is buy himself some column inches, kept himself in the headlines, and bought himself some time to get to a friendlier nation where the chances of him being dissappeared are lessened. (But not negated.) China knows the US spies on them, just as the US knows China spies on them. If China or Russis thought for a second that Snowden had any relevant information to pass on to them he would most likely either be sipping down a Maotai or Vodka, rather that stuffinf his face full of complimentary in-flight peanuts. As it is, they are choosing to allow his safe passage to a country where he will be protected for his human rights rather than the information he has to offer up.

The Governments don't care about this - they are not surprised, and do the same thing themselves. With hindsight, and in no way to excuse the actions of any Government, who on these forums is surprised by anything Snowden has yet had to say?

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, I agree. It's entirely realistic that the US will completely stop spying on other countries due to these revelations. And after they stop doing it, the Russians and the Chinese and the Norks will follow their lead and say 'Hey the US aren't spying on us any more, we don't need to do it to them!'

Fuck me, I thought this site attracted a more pragmatic crowd? I think you should get back to your Chakras and Reiki healing.

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"Yes, I agree. It's entirely realistic that the US will completely stop spying on other countries due to these revelations."

Right, because it's really definitely all or nothing, and democratic people should just let the government handle it and do as much or as little spying as they feel like, and the rest of us shouldn't worry our pretty little heads about how much they f*ck around in other countries.

Who gives a fuck if its realistic they stop entirely? Maybe its realistic they get shamed into curtailing their activites due to democratic pressure. Maybe its realistic that this is just one more strik against government secrecy and adds to a building distaste people have for their own government. Maybe its realistic that the populace slide back into total fucking apathy.

But don't tell me "We spy because we spy and that will never change so everyone should just keep quiet about it".

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Anonymous Coward

Going completely off topic to be honest. I don't really care about the ethics of espionage and I'm not here to take a side and defend it, merely to point out the reality of the situation to someone who is obviously quite fond of idealistic, emotional soapbox ranting.

You're the one who's whining about not wanting to live in a country that doesn't spy on other people. Like I said, if that is your wish go live on a rock in the Pacific Ocean, or Antarctica, whatever. The fact of the matter is there is a big difference between exposing domestic spying and the geopolitical kind and by any countries definition of the term he has crossed the line into 'traitor' territory.

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"Yes, I agree. It's entirely realistic that the US will completely stop spying on other countries due to these revelations. And after they stop doing it, the Russians and the Chinese and the Norks will follow their lead and say 'Hey the US aren't spying on us any more, we don't need to do it to them!'

Fuck me, I thought this site attracted a more pragmatic crowd? I think you should get back to your Chakras and Reiki healing."

I think the point here is one of degree. Do we expect the US to spy on the Chinese, Norks and Russia? Yes, of course. Do we expect them to spy on the UK? France? Germany? Japan? etc.etc. Maybe not. After all, we're 'friends' aren't we? Do we expect them to try and find terrorists and other 'bad people'? Yes, of course. However, they're actually spying on every single person on the planet who ever goes near technology of pretty much any type. Not just looking at an email and deciding it means nothing and deleting it, but keeping it for 5 years (and maybe longer).

Yes, some spying and covert works are inevitable. But, what people are worried about, is whether what we're seeing is proportionate to the risk.

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@Murph

I have to agree, but -

I mean does he think that by exposing this stuff the NSA is going to shut up shop and stop spying on/hacking other countries while everyone continues doing it to them? Yeah, he has actually crossed the line into traitor territory.

What you have to understand about posting on here is that there is a significant community of commentators who believe that this will happen, or even possibly by the power of their comments not only will the NSA, and GCHQ stop spying but also all the other countries trying to spy on us .......

Never mind the apologists for an alleged rapist who by any logical explanation of his behaviour seems to be substantiating the allegations.

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The UK can at best be described as an economic rival, although, also ran, would be a better description.

Fundamentally and certainly at the level we're talking about, the UK is not Americas rival, we're a long time ally, we pose no threat to the USA and often support them in some absolutely shameful acts.

To then have it confirmed, that every citizen in this country has had every keystroke slurped up by the NSA as if we had purportrated some hideous act against them is appalling.

I look forward to the response in my democratic nation as ISP's start to provide, as standard, anti surveillance software, so they might better comply with the Data Protection Act, because knowing your customers data is being misused and doing nothing about it, makes them complicit to the crime.

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Anonymous Coward

Which was exactly my point...I understand the outrage at the PRISM stuff and spying on your own citizens, but when an NSA employee gets into the territory of blabbing about spying against the US' rivals, then you have crossed the line, which he has. I would've thought that was a fairly obvious distinction, but people seem to have trouble understanding it?

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Growing up...

Nations have spied on other nations for as long as there have been nations, and I'm sure it was villages, tribes and caves before that.

No amount of hand wringing is going to change it. Personally, I'd be more concerned about what the Russians, Chinese, Norks and sundry Islamic states are up to. At least with the US there's always the chance that someone is going to leg it and live long enough to start talking. For the others, there are are absolutely no controls except those imposed by available talent and the finances. If you do try to get out, there's always a lethal umbrella or something waiting for you...

Ultimately, the US needs to protect itself, and, given that almost everyone outside the US has a gripe with the US, it means it's not paranoia, it's justified self interest. You could argue (I wouldn't) that, as a nation of immigrants, there's even a justification for spying on a select (but large) minority of your own citizens.

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"Going completely off topic to be honest. I don't really care about the ethics of espionage and I'm not here to take a side and defend it, merely to point out the reality of the situation to someone who is obviously quite fond of idealistic, emotional soapbox ranting.

You're the one who's whining about not wanting to live in a country that doesn't spy on other people. Like I said, if that is your wish go live on a rock in the Pacific Ocean, or Antarctica, whatever. The fact of the matter is there is a big difference between exposing domestic spying and the geopolitical kind and by any countries definition of the term he has crossed the line into 'traitor' territory."

This depends on how you define traitor and treason. In his case, as he hasn't released any of the data, it's a matter of debate if he fits those words. The question you need to ask yourself, is whether monitoring a US citizen or say a French citizen is any different? Why is it, just because someone is a US citizen, it suddenly becomes unreasonable to spy on them? Aren't they both the same potential 'terrorist' threat etc? Quite probably. You see, nationality of a person isn't really anything to do with the risk at all and not anything to do with what they're doing.

This is all part of the reason why the laws have been written in such a way that they can keep EVERYBODIES communications regardless. The NSA, CIA, Congress etc. all know that nationality makes no difference, so they've organised it so they can monitor anyone. So, your outrage at monitoring US citizens, but lack of outrage at monitoring other countries citizens is clearly at odds with their 'brief' and their beliefs. It's also as unrealistic a position as expecting there to be no spying anywhere!!

Just remember. The only reason for creating laws that nobody knows about, enforced by secret courts, is if you don't really believe what you're doing will meet with approval by anybody. If the average US citizen agreed with their foreign spying, why not admit it? What's the point in all the secrecy, especially if everyone knows they're doing it anyway?

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Happy

Now who was it that said "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance"

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Re: Growing up...

"Ultimately, the US needs to protect itself, and, given that almost everyone outside the US has a gripe with the US, it means it's not paranoia, it's justified self interest. You could argue (I wouldn't) that, as a nation of immigrants, there's even a justification for spying on a select (but large) minority of your own citizens."

Cheers. So, the UK has a gripe with the US? I guess we all know where we stand now. So, why don't you take Menwith Hills and b**ger off? Interesting that you believe the US has no allies and everyone is against her. Does that make you a paranoid American, someone who hasn't a clue what he's talking about, or someone trying to justify the indefensible?

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Also taking a tour of countries known for their obsession about controlling their own citizens...

... it's not the best way to tell the world you care about democracy. I guess he was looking for to make a stop in East Germany also, just finding at it no longer exists... maybe he tried to call Ceasescu as well to obtain asylum, but was told he was killed years ago...

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