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back to article PRISM leaker strands hacks on booze-free flight

Declining to state just where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden went after dodging the press, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has issued a statement saying that Snowden is “healthy and safe”. That statement was made to Agence France Presse (syndicated at News.com.au here), after a bunch of journalists accompanied an empty seat …

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the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

Stand by for lots of negative articles about him.

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Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

No booze - on an Aeroflot flight?

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Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

Hey! There was barely enough for the flight crew!

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Pint

Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

No booze - on a 12-hour flight full of reporters? It'll be like they've all been thrown into a spontaneous cold-turkey rehab. Got to wonder how many of them will experience full-blown DTs mid-flight. I'm guessing more than half of them haven't been booze-free for a 12-hour period anytime in the past decade.

Beer - because I can, and they can't.

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Coat

Might be a typo ..

Perhaps they meant a Booz free flight ... in honor of his erstwhile employers ..

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Big Brother

Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

Expecting articles about "sex with prawns" to appear any minute now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

Hey! There was barely enough for the flight crew!

For the engines, you mean.

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WTF?

Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

No booze - on an Aeroflot flight?

Icon says it but seriously, this is Aeroflot. How would Russians survive 11 hours without a supply of booze?

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Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

Perhaps the flight was operated by Mujahideen Airways?

Maybe even code-shared with AA (which turned out to be Alcoholics Anonymous, but the journos thought it was American...)

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Ru
Pint

Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

No booze - on an Aeroflot flight?

Possibly that only means 'no spirits'. Beer is basically a soft drink in Russia after all.

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Pint

Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

Perhaps credit cards where not allowed.

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Happy

Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

Perfect. Thank you.

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Pint

Re: the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

Maybe the Russians don't consider vodka to be booze...

Since El Reg won't give me a glass of wine, I'll have to pretended this is a glass of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon...

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Go

Looks like Snowden just lost the media!

Imagine the nerve, sticking a bunch of journos with a flight to Havana and no drink service!! Well, maybe they got some Cuba Libre's when they landed.

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International law?

" we have transferred seven prisoners to Russia that they wanted"

And 1245 flights to Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Algeria and Uzbekistan and other countries

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Re: International law?

with secretary of state John Kerry saying: “In the last two years we have transferred seven prisoners to Russia that they wanted, so I think reciprocity and the enforcement of the law is pretty important”.

Is he saying that the reason that enforcement of the law is important is because the US has transferred seven prisoners to Russia, or is his English not so good?

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Re: International law?

Maybe just now was the time Russia remembered what the US did to Vicor Bout...

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Big Brother

Re: International law?

Note that the "we" Kerry is talking about is basically the administration of a proto-authoritarian state talking to the administration of a proto-authoritarian state, and in a pretty gangster fashion, too. Quid-pro-quos, you smoke one, we smoke one etc.

Mobsterism is now ingrained in their blood and second nature.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Vicor Bout

Victor Bout ? Vicar Bout ?

I'm sure it must be one of those ...

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Re: International law?

John Kerry saying: “In the last two years we have transferred seven prisoners to Russia that they wanted, so I think reciprocity and the enforcement of the law is pretty important”.

And I thought that reciprocity referred to the double criminality of an act and not to we trade in a few of our prisoners for a few of yours. Stupid me!

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Re: Vicor Bout

Viktor Bout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Bout

I cannot see the Russians 'doing the right thing' where he is concerned, but YMMV.

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Joke

I know where he is!

He's in the arse-end of nowhere - or the Assange of nowhere you might say!

b-boom tish!

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A bit of humour at the NSA

I thought I'd share this gem with you:

The National Security Agency Web site (NSA.GOV) is provided as a public service by the National Security Agency. NSA is committed to protecting your privacy and will collect no personal information about you unless you choose to provide that information to us.

I figured it would be amusing to look at the privacy policy of the NSA website and sure enough, it didn't disappoint :p

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Black Helicopters

Re: A bit of humour at the NSA

... unless you choose to provide that information to us ... by using any kind of digital communications technology ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A bit of humour at the NSA

All perfectly true.

NSA is committed to protecting your privacy and will collect no personal information about you

We accept deliveries.

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Happy

Re: A bit of humour at the NSA

Years ago and for a long time the Privacy link on the NSA website was 404. We all used to have a good laugh about it.

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Re: A bit of humour at the NSA

Am I missing something about PRISM?

If it's so fucking awesome, how can they not tell where Snowden went? They knew where he _was_ and which airport he would have to use to get out of HK.

And they say this is for tracking terrorists...yeah right.

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Unconfirmed claim that he's in iceland?

Do you think they're trying the "I am Sparticus" technique to defend him?

Apply for asylum in several places, book flights to several locations, have several other locations claim that he's already there / been there and left. By the end of it all NSA wouldn't have a clue where to look while he's chillaxing in the ecuadorian embassy with asange.

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Re: Unconfirmed claim that he's in iceland?

"Do you think they're trying the "I am Sparticus" technique to defend him?"

No, because "I'm Spaardigus"*

(well, that;s what the say in the film)

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Happy

Re: Unconfirmed claim that he's in iceland?

while he's chillaxing in the ecuadorian embassy with asange.

I very much doubt that. There's no room. This sofa ain't big enough for the both of us!

Anyway, I resent that remark of yours. I'm Spartacus!

I think...

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Joke

"there was no legal impediment to flying him between two non-US countries"

Ye gods, now there's more than one US. We're doomed.

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Re: Ye gods, now there's more than one US. We're doomed.

you, Sir, owe me a new keyboard!

... and where's the "I just P'd myself laughing" icon?

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Anonymous Coward

ahh American frustration

US has given refuge to dissidents from Russia and China for years. Now the shoe is on the other foot no wonder they are taking great pleasure poking uncle sam in the eye.

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Re: ahh American frustration

Indeed. Up to now defectors have tended to be spies for the countries in question, or nutters.

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Re: ahh American frustration

And Oh-So-Sweet that the yanks a whining like little girls about 'international law' - you know that thing that don't work on account of the merkins insisting on immunity for their war criminals in the middle east.

Just sweet!

And I like to think the jouros on a dry flight was deliberate and planned too :-)

man is a hero and a genius.

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Happy

Awwwww

"American officials confused and increasingly frustrated. "

Awww. Bless.

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Re: Awwwww

"Awww. Bless."

Indeed. I wouldn't mind if the almighty started blessing these bastards with a few well placed lightning bolts.

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Iceland

It'd be great if a tiny nation of Vikings blew a collective raspberry at the security state; they have a tremendous track record of being delightfully awkward to major powers. So if they're even thinking about it - skál!

Sadly, Iceland doesn't have a great record of granting people asylum. Snowden's best bet is if the Alþingi votes to grant him citizenship - as it did with Bobby Fischer. That is probably less likely than a few months ago now that Iceland has two centre-right parties in government both of which are more pro-America than the previous administration.

I fully expect the Americans will be putting a lot of pressure on Reykjavík - just in case. But it might be time for the Icelanders to renew those cryptic rumours that Russian and Chinese companies are interested in leasing facilities at the ex-US Airforce base at Keflavík.

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Big Brother

I can't wait for the movie adaptation, this is reading more and more like a Mission Impossible script.

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Booze on Aeroflot - mostly for the flight crew.

IMHO - likely bonking Sarah senseless before getting on a plane to Central America. Will love the movie.

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Anonymous Coward

Be afraid- Be very afraid.... 'We only need your info to catch Terrorists'

The problem is that there is an implicit assumption that 5-Eyes intelligence will be used for good and not evil i.e. solely to capture terrorists. But what do we mean by terrorist? One man's definition can quickly morph from 'terrorist' to 'traitor' to just 'target'. How magnificently laws are amended in 'Animal Farm'!

Two examples from history where intelligence was abused. A. The IRA hit on the RUC with collusion in the "widest sense of the word" being investigated by the Smithwick Tribunal. B. The illegal methods used to track the whereabouts of a US senator's plane in the early days of the Patriot Act.

Should there be more US 'traitors', you can be bet your life that Prism will be used to hunt down the offender using extreme prejudice! But what if that traitor is in fact a whistleblower, divulging abuses by our elected officials, such as the Pentagon Papers bringing the Vietnam War to a close? ... What then?

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Childcatcher

Re: Be afraid- Be very afraid.... 'We only need your info to catch Terrorists'

Should there be more US 'traitors', you can be bet your life that Prism will be used to hunt down the offender using extreme prejudice!

Why isn't it being used on Snowden, then?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Be afraid- Be very afraid.... 'We only need your info to catch Terrorists'

"Why isn't it being used on Snowden, then?"

A. You can be sure it is. But he's best placed to avoid being caught in the net due to his innermost knowledge of the NSA. The hunt is ongoing too, and we don't know what's gong to happen yet... Its likely the NSA and its systems are playing catch-up because of the turmoil unfolding in real-time...

B. We know from TWAT that rendition is commonly used to kidnap powerless suspects. Snowden's best option is to make himself as high profile as possible so that this is way too much of a hot potato politically to be excused. If he is caught he can expect the same maltreatment as Bradley Manning.

C. Kudos to him that he planned well, and he had lots of help. Wikileaks have clearly been busy misdirecting the authorities with bogus flight itineraries and feeding the media false information about his whereabouts or the routes he was taking, thus helping to evade US personnel stationed overseas.

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Re: Be afraid- Be very afraid.... 'We only need your info to catch Terrorists'

true, true, and the above supposes that AQ a) still exists and b) are having endless conversations along the lines of...

"and the hand of allah will strike down all the infidel pig dogs at location x at time y on day x, and if he doesn't then mahmut will be there with a ton of semtex as a backup'

Now I'm no expert on international terrorism, but i have a sneaking suspicion that the bad guys (not the NSA, the other bad guys) probably don't have those sorts of conversations on the phone anymore. And call me a suspicious old fool, but i highly doubt that they ever did. Further to this in all my naivety if i was in the position of plotting the opening of a big ol can of whupass on uncle sam I would be vaguely aware that all that processing power in langley is probably not entirely dedicated to playing halo so i'd establish a non high tech messaging system - like some simple variation on a book cypher, say, which would render all the data slurping utterly moot, and a total waste of time and money (checking every conversation against every book - sounds Np complete to me)

unless of course you are in the business of flogging IT hardware to the spooks..... surely it couldn't be that simple? could it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Be afraid- Be very afraid.... 'We only need your info to catch Terrorists'

".....the other bad guys) probably don't have those sorts of conversations on the phone anymore. And call me a suspicious old fool, but i highly doubt that they ever did. Further to this in all my naivety if i was in the position of plotting the opening of a big ol can of whupass on uncle sam I would be vaguely aware that all that processing power in langley is probably not entirely dedicated to playing halo"....

Dead-on. The aptly named film 'Body of Lies' (2008) covers how the terrorists know they are fighting 'enemies from the future' and so they return to non-trackable old-school methods of communication We are being led down the garden path. This is all about money and the Military–industrial spending complex . The US is addicted to the arms race collecting physical weapons & ntelligence systems! (entertaining Halo reference btw)

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What a difference a dipthong makes

Think of all the flights said hacks have made to accompany empty suits.

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FAIL

Missing the real story

The real story here isn't that the NSA is spying on everyone, a lot of us already knew that. Nor is it that someone leaked information, it was bound to happen.

No, the real story is that even with billions of dollars spent on high tech gear, America's top spy and intelligence agencies have heretofore been unable to locate and capture this individual.

The fact that snowden is both alive and at large is proof that American tax payers are simply not getting any value for their money. If the US government can't locate and capture a well known person then how can those agencies be trusted to stop an actual terrorist, whose identity and plans are unknown?

America. "Intelligence" is all smoke and mirrors. They don't tell about any successful missions because there probably aren't any.

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Re: Missing the real story

"They don't tell about any successful missions because there probably aren't any."

there are but they can't really take the credit because - successful missions = blame is put on "enemies", "terrorists", "slaves", "injuns", "plebs", etc, etc

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Anonymous Coward

Snowden staying away from microphones

Unlike Assange, I don't think that Snowden wants to be a celebrity.

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Re: Snowden staying away from microphones

ofc and he won't be made to be one either....

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