back to article Exclusive: SNOWDEN and ME. TRUE MOSCOW story of OPEN DATA HERO

"Why a refrigerator? The answer does not, as some might assume, have anything to do with temperature. In fact, it does not matter particularly if the refrigerator was plugged in." -The New York Times. “Not piroshki again”, sighed Ed, picking wearily at the polystyrene tray. The greasy snack glistened under the harsh lights of …

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Do they have a Cinnabon at the Moscow airport?

Would make a nice change from those piroshki

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Ok I suppose

But he's no Verity Stob.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ok I suppose

True, but I think they're getting better. The paragraph beginning, "Ed had innocently...", and a few after it, had me LOLing.

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Anonymous Coward

Hunter S Thompson

Did this sort of thing so much better.

The Reg seems determined to turn Snowden"s problems into a long running joke.

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Go

Alternative Für Unschuldige

Here's a simple SSL/TLS server text chat server, which you can run on your computer connected to your own DSL line:

https://bitbucket.org/hroll/alternative-f-r-unschuldige/src

No client software except an SSL/TLS capable browser needed. It will also do the crypto material generation magic.

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Anonymous Coward

TL;DR

See Title.

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Coat

Are there still people living in Moscow Transit?

It's 20 years since I was in transit at Moscow. (Due to the limitations of the otherwise splendid Iluyshin-86, the flight was in 4 legs, London - Moscow - Tashkent - Delhi - Hanoi. The onward plane was delayed. My ticket was exchanged for a piece of scissor cut cardboard with some Cyrillic pencil writing on it. I was sent off to a passenger boat/floating hotel on a frozen lake for the night. Only having clothes suitable for my destination made queueing for the coach on the frozen street 'interesting'. At least the meal and the cabin were both hot and the piece of cardboard did allow me back into Transit the next morning retrieve my ticket.) I can't remember which Moscow Airport this was, but I do remember that there appeared to be several African men living there, one of whom had an very large placard on display. The English account on the placard, above his bedding, asked for help for someone who wasn't allowed to leave the airport, because no country was prepared to accept him. IIRC he'd been there for several months and had run out of funds. I didn't have time to find out more, since the delayed Il-86 was ready to depart.

Maybe Ed Snowden will find himself in the same position. At least he'd have more space to exercise, but little privacy, compared with Julian Assange.

Coat, because Ed might need one.

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Thumb Up

Best line of the week

"I threw the world’s most wanted information freedom fighter into the Smeg"

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Smeg

Just about sums it all up

Ed Snowden could be in some serious trouble and all this does is make a joke about it

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"open data hero" ?

Say what? This is a late April Fools joke.

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Unhappy

Not doing it for me.

Usually I find the Bong column amusing, but considering the gravity of this incident & the almost wilful distractive tactics of the media in covering the base issue ( NSA spying on you illegally? Ooohh, look over there - Pole Dancer! ) I have to bite & say - no, not appropriate for me.

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Anonymous Coward

The Chinese Dream - A3ROF7OT

Bong doesn't mention vodka enough, why's that?

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Anonymous Coward

Back in the USSR

Man, I had a dreadful flight

I'm back in the USSR

You don't know how lucky you are, boy

Back in the USSR, yeah

Been away so long I hardly knew the place

Gee, it's good to be back home

Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case

Honey disconnect the modem

I'm back in the USSR

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!

Oo look, a squirrel!

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Silver badge

Well, yes, but...

shocked to discover that the public communications network, designed to be entirely open with no security whatsoever and that was used for sharing absolutely every intimate personal detail, was being watched

True, and not an irrelevant point; most of the commentary on the Snowden story has been naive or disingenuous in the extreme. While it would be nice to have an expectation of privacy for electronic communications, actually holding such an expectation is rather unfortunate. And after all we, at least here in the US, are surrounded by a popular culture that keeps telling us our government has complete access to our communications; really we can only fault pop culture for carrying this theme to absurdity.

But the more important point here is that governments, generally speaking, are addicted to surveillance,1 and the only way to restrain their appetite for it is to muster sufficient popular opposition. The US worked itself into a hearty snit in the 1970s over Watergate, and we're more than overdue for another one. (9/11 was a tremendous setback for civil rights here and we're far from recovering from it.)

Jefferson wrote that blood needed to be spilled every decade or so to preserve democracy. That's a foolish and selfish idea,2 but in a more nuanced form it seems to be true. We need a big burst of public indignation periodically to stimulate the checks-and-balances system to actually check excesses and restore some balance.

So while the Snowden story may have people worked up for mostly the wrong, or at least less important, reasons, the critical thing is that they be worked up.

1This is in fact a defining feature of the nation-state, as scholars in various fields have demonstrated in various ways - from Foucault's history-of-ideas work in Discipline and Punish, among others, to Poovey's anthropology in Purity and Danger.

2Whose blood is it that'll be spilled? Not Jefferson's, I bet.

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Facepalm

Poor effort

Jules Winnfield was in Pulp Fiction.

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