Feeds

back to article Screw it, says NSA leaker Snowden: I'm applying for asylum in Russia

Cornered NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has surfaced in Moscow's Sheremetevo International Airport - and he's seeking temporary asylum in Russia. Snowden, who blew the lid off the Americans' mass surveillance of the planet's internet, previously requested asylum in the country, but withdrew it after President Vladimir Putin …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

I wonder

what would happen if the plods got a tip-off that Assange/Tony Bliar/Dubya/insert-name-of-wanted-criminal was on board Air Force One the next time it was heading for Europe. Would they refuse it permission to enter European airspace and force it to turn back? Or just insist on searching it when it landed?

10
1
Silver badge

Re: I wonder

An arrest warrant was issued for an Israeli general flying through Heathrow

The police (definitely not acting under instructions from number 10) declared that they had no authority to board a civil commercial airliner parked at Heathrow and let him depart.

8
0
Silver badge

Re: I wonder

I'd like to see Tony Blair indicted for war crimes.

26
2
Thumb Up

Re: I wonder

You and millions of others in the UK, never mind globally - so a big thumbs up on that proposal.

3
0
Unhappy

Re: I wonder

and what about Chirac's blocking of the second UN resolution to protect Total oil contracts with Saddam?

3
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: YAAC Re: I wonder

".....The police (definitely not acting under instructions from number 10) declared that they had no authority to board a civil commercial airliner parked at Heathrow and let him depart." Completely different set of laws applied. If Snowden had been on the Bolivian aircraft, travelling without proper identification documents, not on the passenger manifest and without a valid visa to enter Austria, it would have been an infringement of aviation and immigration law, hence he could be arrested on the Bolivian aircraft. The Israeli general WAS on the manifest, was travelling with proper documentation and had permission to enter Britain, therefore the police had to wait for him to leave the aircraft and pass through immigration before they could act on a civil warrant.

1
2
Bronze badge
Devil

@Matt Bryant

Does not compute.

If the police don't have the authority to board a plane parked at Heathrow, then it makes no difference who is on board nor what paperwork they have, because they have no way of knowing either fact. For all they know, the plane might have been carrying Lord Lucan and Elvis Presley. Without passports.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: veti Re: @Matt Bryant

"Does not compute....." <Sigh> I see the sheeple still have a problem dealing with reality.

"......If the police don't have the authority to board a plane parked at Heathrow.....". For the police to have been able to arrest the Israeli general under the laws the arrest warrant applied to, he would have to be on British territory. If the Israeli general had been traveling without the correct legal documentation (visa and passport), as Snowden would have if he had been on the Bolivian jet, then the British immigration authority would have the jurisdiction to board the plane and arrest the Israeli general and THEN, once he was on British territory, he could be arrested under the other warrant. But the ordinary British police did not have the jurisdiction to do so until after he had passed through immigration. Fortunately for the Israeli general, seeing as he had not committed a crime under the Chicago Convention, he could not be arrested in transit. If Snowden had been on the Bolivian jet he would have been in breach of the international laws that govern the movement of people between countries, a whole and completely different kettle of fish.

"....,, then it makes no difference who is on board nor what paperwork they have, because they have no way of knowing either fact......" The Israeli general, Doron Almog, had applied for a visa to enter Britain and was on the flight manifest, so the police knew exactly when and which flight he would arrive on. Do you have a problem understanding the concept of flight arrivals?

"......For all they know, the plane might have been carrying Lord Lucan and Elvis Presley. Without passports." No, they had no grounds to suspect any such thing, whereas the Austrians were acting under a tip-off that Snowden may have been onboard the Bolivian jet, not on the manifest, and traveling without documentation.

Your problem is your reasoning fails because your first thought is to accept as gospel whatever the shepherds tell you is The Truth. If the Austrian insistence on searching the Bolivian jet was so "illegal", why did the Bolivians agree to it and not simply say "That's illegal, kiss my llama"? Oh, maybe because they knew it was perfectly legal. Duh!

1
1
Anonymous Coward

The man is a hero

Why are none of the nations who said how shocked and disgusted they were with the US offering him asylum? I'm ashamed of my government. The US needs standing up to, not be allowed to do whatever they like.

Anon, even though it's pointless. They know who I am

31
3
Big Brother

Re: The man is a hero

Because they are all playing footsie with the USA/UK, so that they can spy on their own citizens/residents and claim they aren't doing so. But maybe, just maybe, as a result of Mr Snowden's revelations, the US government will become a tad more circumspect at pointing its big fat - and rather sooty - finger at others and claiming that they are hacking into peoples' messages. That would reduce the degree of tribute paid by vice to virtue by at least half....

Henri

6
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: The man is a hero

Perhaps the other nations do not agree with the principle that an individual like Snowden should decide what should and should not be made public.

Perhaps other nations realise that they could just as easily end up in the same situation as the USA if Snowden gets away with this.

Perhaps other nations realise the value of diplomacy and recognise that all Snowden is doing is adding tension and friction to international relations between countries.

3
54
Silver badge

Re: The man is a hero

Perhaps other nations agree with snowden but have enough problems and dont want usa to make life hard for them. So its easier to ignore him. Latin america are strong together and are mostly piss sick of the usa Meddling in their affairs

7
2
Anonymous Coward

USA to world

Hello world, we own your ass, we have a lease-lend program if you'd like to use it.

1
3

Rest of World to USA

We own you treasury bills, we'll hack you're networks all we like and this makes it even more convenient.

Thnx - bye!

6
2

Re: Rest of World to USA

*your

4
1

Re: USA to world

if you take a look at world's history, you will see that all wannabe egotist tyrants ended up in the same way. and would be long forgotten was it not for the fact they are a laughing stock of history. and most importantly, they no longer exist. queue hahas

2
0
Silver badge

Re: USA to world

Hello America, this is China, we're calling in the loans.

0
0
Silver badge

Own goal

Aside from the fact that Snowden has only simply confirmed what most of us have suspected for years about the Puzzle Palace, this has to be a classic own goal for the US - unless they already have an agreement with Putin to ship him back for water-boarding.

6
1
Bronze badge

Cor

If this works out, it might mean that the Russians are building a veritable team of Avengers: Gerard De Pardieu (the Tax Avenger), Snowden (the Snooping Avenger)...Who's next?

4
1
Silver badge

Travel plans

How about this for a travel itinary:

acquire temporary Russian passport

Trans Siberian express to Vladivostok

Boat to Nicaragua

Mean while, occasional rumours of plane tickets bought from Moscow ...

9
0
Thumb Down

Re: Travel plans

Only problem with that is that the US Navy knows what and where everything larger than a dhow is on the oceans. Given how vindictive the US government (and Pres. Obama) is, flying or floating, he's a target.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Travel plans

If you go that way, you have Japan and South Korea in the way. I'd probably want to join the Pacific a bit further north, but obviously making sure to keep well away from Alaska.

0
0
Bronze badge
Pirate

US Navy Target

Apart from the fact that the US Navy has zero jurisdiction on the high seas... unless they of course think that ship is a pirate ship etc.

The coat with the book on Law of the Sea is mine, thanks.

1
0
Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Anonymous Dutch Coward Re: US Navy Target

"Apart from the fact that the US Navy has zero jurisdiction on the high seas... unless they of course think that ship is a pirate ship etc......" It's a tricky one, but it would certainly be possible for the US Navy or Coastguard to stop and search a ship and arrest Snowden if he was onbaord, it's whether the US government has the will to swallow the attendant political fuss that goes with such an action. But they may not even have to.

Firstly, if the US knew or suspected Snowden was travelling on a ship belonging to a nation with an extradition treaty with the US, then the Yanks could go the diplomatic route and make a request for extradition. The foreign country could then grant the US the right to stop the vessel and arrest Snowden if he was onboard, or choose to do the stopping and searching themselves. Either way Snowden is off to a US courtroom and jail. The ship's owners and captain would also be in hot water for carrying a person without legal documents, effectively people-smuggling.

If the ship is from a country without an extradition treaty then the US can still put in a request it be stopped and searched, though they may throw in a diplomatic bribe ("Would you like to buy some secondhand F-16s at a cheap price?") to grease the wheels. Again, no extradition treaty does not mean Snowden can be sure of not being extraditied to the US. So again, Snowden ends up in US hands.

And finally, if the country the ship belonged to was one unlikely to co-operate, then the US could use the excuse of "We suspect the ship is being used for drug-/weapons-/people-smuggling", stop and search it, then weather out the diplomatic fall-out. Since Snowden is travelling without the proper documentation the act of carrying him amounts to people-smuggling.

About the only way Snowden could guarantee safe passage at sea would be to travel on a foreign warship, and I'm not sure even Venezuela would be willing to send a warship all the way to Russia to pick up Snowden.

/Yeaaargh, obviously.

1
4
Bronze badge

Re: Anonymous Dutch Coward US Navy Target

Why the down-votes for the above? Unpopular it may be, but probably a fairly accurate description of what would happen. His best chance of getting out is still by plane, far easier to stop a boat mid journey than an aircraft.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

When a government begins to lie to its citizens to "protect" them, then anything they do is justified.

Anyone who accepts this form of government to rule them deserves what they get.

41
2
Gold badge

Ben? Ben Franklin? Is that you on the interwebs?

4
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

FAIL

Re: I hope Snowden gets whacked

Is it permitted to hope that you, AC, take the bullet for him ?...

Henri

6
1

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

PRISM working well ?

"The US authorities are also suspected of incorrectly warning European nations"

Seems like their big eaves dropping system doesn't work as advertised.

American Intelligence - an oxymoron.

18
1

Wake up and realize this is global.

Snowden is a naughty boy and has upset his employer. He's trying to do the right thing and inform the general populous of what his employer has been up to. But those of you that think this is purely a problem for the US... wake up.

Since the birth of nations, organizations have spied on each other. Information is power and therefore anyone with an interest in their own empire will invest significant effort in getting information, both about its own citizens and it's enemy.

You think the US is alone in this practice? You don't think Russia, the UK, Germany, France, China, Iran, Israel has similar practices? The only big difference here is that the US is fortunate to have a massive amount of the worlds traffic flow across networks and systems owned by companies on US territory. You don't think that if Apple, Microsoft and Google were Russian or Chinese companies that this sort of thing wouldn't happen?

This whole conversation is going to end up with one fact. Everyone is doing covert stuff that is outside of the law. EVERYONE. And it's been happening for hundreds of years. What does that really mean? To your typical Joe, not much. A massive percentage of people in the world are not affected by this. The 99%? The 1%? The people this REALLY impacts, as in actually changing your life, is a tiny percentage. Sure your rights to privacy are violated and yes, that's not a good thing. But wadda ya gonna do? Move to a very remote location in the world, stop using email, quit posting to Facebook. That's your only way to get privacy nirvana.

What about corporations around the world who need to protect data, what do they do? Well they do what they've always done. Slowly increase their ability to monitor, classify and protect data and then evaluate risks of doing so versus the costs. Companies outside the US will be more adverse to using Office 365. So another company somewhere is going to benefit by providing similar capabilities or an alternate approach to the same benefits that reduces the risk (either real or perceived). That will come at a cost, and companies will decide if that cost is worth the risk.

Are Snowden's efforts going to stop the practices of the US and other nations? I doubt it. Imagine if this was about nuclear warfare. Pretend that Snowden had just gone public that the US has thousands of ICBMs hidden all over the US. You don't think Russia is in the same position? We all then realize that the countries who could afford nukes, have them. You think the governments would just get rid of them? We've been trying to go through the process of nuclear disarmament since the 80's and the US STILL has over 7,000 warheads with Russia beating them in the 8,000 region. And this is just about a deterrent. Information warfare is much more important, its essential. The same agencies everyone are now pointing fingers at have the same government mandate that led to the capture of the Enigma which helped end the second world war...

I think this whole discussion Snowden has created is a great thing. We are going to see more and more technological innovation around how we can protect data. Citizens are going to be a little more informed and will do a little more to protect their information and privacy. This is a long road people, we just hit a bump, but the end is not in sight.

11
1
Silver badge

Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

I agree with your post. However, the issue of the US is still the major problem here. It is a dangerous country. Yes it is an empire on the way down, but a wounded animal in its desperation can be even more dangerous than a healthy one.

14
2

Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

I don't disagree with you that the approach in the US is a major concern. But a dangerous country? Maybe, but in comparison to what and who? Their practice is more dangerous that Russia? China? Iran?

And I disagree with your empire on its way down. The modern global economy is such that empires are now critically dependent on each other. US economic power and the dollar is still a very powerful entity in the global economy. As is the English financial markets, Europe as a trading entity and China. Russia with its power exports are also intricately woven into the rest of the modern economy. It is harder than ever to predict the rise and fall of the super powers in their current state because they each rely on the others economic status. When the US economy goes down the pan, guess who else struggles? Europe. When Europe and the US struggle, who else feels the heat? China? Russia?

I'm not a US citizen, but I do live there. I don't have any special affinity with the US other than being any regular citizen of the earth. But saying the US is in decline is woefully inaccurate.

4
12

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge
Big Brother

Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

"Since the birth of nations, organizations have spied on each other. Information is power and therefore anyone with an interest in their own empire will invest significant effort in getting information, both about its own citizens and it's enemy."

This is quite right. There still is, however, a couple of points to be made.

Until very recently, intelligence efforts of the world's governments, while common and often effective, did not include steaming every piece of mail open, employing an army of scribes to copy and archive the contents (and who wrote to whom when), and so on. At least not in Western liberal democracies - even for hundreds of years before they became liberal or democracies, or before mail services became widespread. Today it is possible, including slurping the metadata on phone calls and regular snail mail from billions of people. But this does not mean governments should be allowed - by us citizens/voters/public - to engage in such activities. Allow me to doubt the value of such data collection for promoting/defending genuine national interests of any country, unlike targeted intelligence gathering.

"What does that really mean? To your typical Joe, not much. A massive percentage of people in the world are not affected by this."

I find this supremely ironic as this kind of attitude is clearly rooted in the historical tradition of those Western liberal democracies where "typical Joes" were not spied upon by their own governments. I suspect that some of those who grew up in places such as - ironically again, given the latest news about Snowden - Russia (USSR, if you prefer) might think that it not only affects everyone but corrupts the very fabric of society. Many of the people who have experienced this kind of oppression - and it is oppression, make no mistake - first hand have preferred the hardships of immigration, and in some cases significant personal danger, to move to countries such as US, UK, France, Germany, or Israel. These countries, among quite a few others, are still expected to be - and make major efforts to present themselves as being - very different in terms of how they treat their citizens. Those of us who grew up in the atmosphere of personal safety and respect often tend not to appreciate the significance and importance of things we take for granted, or the ease with which these things can be taken from us. If/when they are taken from us they will quickly - but still too late - become personally significant.

"Are Snowden's efforts going to stop the practices of the US and other nations? I doubt it."

Me too. However, it is generating some noticeable debate, even in the US, it would seem. I, for one, would like to see new laws enacted in the various democracies that would react to the technological advances and will explicitly prohibit government agencies from engaging in such activities (while definitely allowing targeted intelligence gathering). The technological capability will not disappear, of course, but if in the future any civil servant or politician who makes any steps in this direction (or allows others, e.g., through negligence, to make such steps) risks being sent to jail for a very long time if found out, then maybe there will be a reasonably effective deterrent.

Private companies are trickier. People are not forced to use their services, and restricting their activities may be bad for all sorts of important reasons. However, it is completely impractical even today to refuse to communicate with anyone who uses, say, GMail, and so your data and metadata wind up on Google (Yahoo!, Microsoft, Apple, etc.) even if you aren't a user, have never seen or agreed to the ToS, etc. One can start with governments, and if a) a secret court is by definition illegal, and b) a Google exec risks serious jail time for co-operating with such secret court, even if the secret court says otherwise, maybe this may help somewhat, too.

No, I am not very hopeful. Low chance of success is not a reason not to try though, is it?

13
1
Thumb Up

Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

That's what I've been saying, just more emphasis on the "everyone's doing it" aspect, so having infrastructure on-site versus somewhere else doesn't make a real difference. Anything in transit anyhow is intercepted at the orgination point, some one or more intermediaries, or at the destination. Often by several different nation-states. You are more likely to keep your health by realizing that the nation-states spend billions on this type of intelligence gathering and even a budget of millions on your part to play with won't even get you on the playing field. So long as the intel isn't shared with competitors....

I don't count "American Exceptionalism" out for the count, yet. But it has taken a severe self-inflicted beating over the last decade and a half. For someone that swore to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the US of A (Me, not Obama), this is heart-breaking.

2
0
FAIL

Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

A secret Presidential Executive Order was and still is the first requirement to circumvent such a law and if that isn't enough, the provision of a Presidential pardon in one's back pocket. Not a damn thing you can do in the face of both except impeach the President.

0
0
Stop

Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

I find this notion that "it's always been like this" - so why all the fuss? - increasingly tiresome.

In a democracy, it is necessary for the people to be able to overthrow the government - or at least to force it to take a route that it may be firmly set against.

This shouldn't be achieved by violent revolution (which the state is quite right to protect itself against), nor by terrorism (although the terrorists are more attention-seekers than any real threat), but by the force of ideas and the power of persuasion aided by peaceful protest and the ballot box.

The problem with blanket surveillance of the population is that it allows the government to defeat ideas that might threaten it before they see the light of day. Would women have the vote now, if this snooping technology had been available to use against the suffragettes? How long would the abolition of slavery have been delayed? We can't say, of course, but it's pretty obvious it wouldn't have helped any.

And that's just in the rather safe and relatively recent UK environment. Elsewhere, there is no shortage of examples where horrendous crimes have been perpetrated against populations by leaders with blanket surveillance as their key method of retaining power against all opposition.

Yes, spying has always gone on. But the line that has been crossed is the blanket surveillance of whole populations by their own governments at an unprecedented level of saturation. And it's all the more shocking that it's happening in countries that describe themselves as "free" and use the excuse that it helps protect us from other countries where there are totalitatian states.

These days, all states are totalitarian, it seems. If that isn't something to worry about, I'm not sure what is.

12
0
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Werner McGoole Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

".....Would women have the vote now, if this snooping technology had been available to use against the suffragettes?....." The British authorities DID spy on Emily Pankhurst and many other activists, and DID steam open their snail mail, but emancipation still happened. The FBI and co DID spy on black rights campaigners in the US too, and yet equal rights still came to be enforced and segregation in the Southern States was dismantled. Both those examples show that your paranoid claim that government surveillance prevents democratic argument is simply wrong.

2
12

Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

The issue isn't in the actual spying, as you say everybody does it. As Snowden said himself it is more about shining a brighter light on the sheer audacity and hypocrisy of the US in bellicosely accusing others of spying and other misdeeds.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

Indeed. It isn't so much that they are spying, but the scale on which they are breaking their own laws in spying on their own people.

With that much disregard for the law, what hope is there for the rest of government?

Morality has been dispensed with with people claiming that as long as the law is kept, it'll be ok. Strangely, those who despise morality care little for keeping the law.

0
1
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: AC Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

".....It isn't so much that they are spying, but the scale on which they are breaking their own laws in spying on their own people......" OK, tempting as it is, I'm going to try not to just hit the down vote button but instead ask you to actually stop and think for a second - what laws have been broken and what is illegal about either the NSA's or GCHQ's actions? The NSA activity was covered by rolling warrants, which - although secret - made the acts completely legal. GCHQ has a get-out clause in RIPA. So, which laws have been broken? You may want to contend this "violates" the International Treaty on Human Rights or the Declaration of Rights, but good luck proving that in any court with any actual power over either the NSA or GCHQ. The best bet is that the diplomatic mess can shame the US politicians into acting, but it looks like they're grimly weathering the storm and waiting for some other shiny to distract the sheeple.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: AC Wake up and realize this is global.

"OK, tempting as it is, I'm going to try not to just hit the down vote button but instead ask you to actually stop and think for a second - what laws have been broken and what is illegal about either the NSA's or GCHQ's actions? The NSA activity was covered by rolling warrants, which - although secret - made the acts completely legal. GCHQ has a get-out clause in RIPA. So, which laws have been broken? You may want to contend this "violates" the International Treaty on Human Rights or the Declaration of Rights, but good luck proving that in any court with any actual power over either the NSA or GCHQ. The best bet is that the diplomatic mess can shame the US politicians into acting, but it looks like they're grimly weathering the storm and waiting for some other shiny to distract the sheeple."

The issue here isn't so much whether it is technically legal or not, but the morality of the situation. Both the US and UK get all high and mighty about other countries and companies. Take the recent spat over companies that pay very little tax. They're all legal and above board. No hint of law breaking there. Even so, the politicians etc. see fit to start calling them morally repugnant and have a go at people avoiding tax even though that is totally legal. So, a bit of hypocracy there I think.

No fair legal system can have secrecy at its heart. If the decisions and laws etc. are not available to everyone, how can it function in a fair and open manner? What's to stop them passing a law in secret and then arresting people using it? The law then says these people can't tell anyone about why they've been arrested and charged etc.etc. effectively making it impossible to mount a defence. Secret laws are against natural justice and I would contend against human rights. How can you be prosecuted (or acted against) using a law you not only don't know about, but CAN'T know about?

1
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Mad Mike Re: AC Wake up and realize this is global.

"....The issue here isn't so much whether it is technically legal or not, but the morality of the situation....." But the sheeple have been insisting it was illegal, and morality is simply a silly point to argue on. One could ask is it not more immoral that children still starve to death in the World? Both statements are "moral" but ignore the political realities of the World.

"....Take the recent spat over companies that pay very little tax...." Unfortunately for you, I was one of those pointing out on these forums that what Google et al were up to taxwise was "imoral" but perfectly legal, whilst the sheeple were again shrieking and bleating about "illegal tax evasion". Either way, it has nothing to do with eavesdropping.

"....No fair legal system can have secrecy at its heart....." This is not the legal system, this is the security system, a distinct and separate entity. When the security system is in breach of the laws of the land, both here and in the US, it tends to get slapped silly. But neither of the two are in breach of the law, as you admitted above, so you're just flailing around again. Admittedly, a bit more intelligently than the average sheep.

"....What's to stop them passing a law in secret and then arresting people using it?....." Oh dear, that was a slip back down to the level of the average flock member. In both the US and the UK the laws are set by democratically elected officials except for those passed down by the unelected EU and UN beureaucrats, and even those usually receive plenty of debate both in the elected chambers and even legal courts. Sorry, but that bit of paranoia is just too silly for words. Try again.

1
2

Re: Mad Mike AC Wake up and realize this is global.

"In both the US and the UK the laws are set by democratically elected officials except for those passed down by the unelected EU and UN beureaucrats"

But those laws often contain clauses exempting "national security". Thats the problem.

Right to Privacy:

There shall be no interference by a public authority with the

exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the

law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of

national security,

Translation:

We wont spy on you unless we do.

1
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: zooooooom Re: Mad Mike AC Wake up and realize this is global.

"....national security....." Now if only we could write that into all the EU laws we'd be laughing!

"Sorry, but we're not paying for your winelake for reasons of national security."

"Zut alors! What national security is threatened by a windelake?"

"Sorry, can't tell you, chap, it's a secret....."

0
2
Anonymous Coward

Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

....It won't be as comfortable and it could take days or weeks, but boat and bus travel is pretty common getting from, to, and around South America. So my question is: Is there an itinerary that won't cross EU / US airspace, but will get him out of Russian and to a bus or sea port? ....

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

Because he is in the international part of an airport.

He can not leave the airport and enter Russia without asylum documents or a Russian visa. He doesn't have either of these so it is impossible for him to reach either a boat or a bus.

2
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.