back to article European Parliament votes to grant Snowden protection from US

The European Parliament has voted to grant Edward Snowden protection from prosecution – a move the NSA super-leaker hailed as a "game changer." In an unexpected vote, MEPs narrowly approved a measure that calls on EU member states to "drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection, and consequently …

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    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Don't worry

      He'll be whisked away to the USA, or rather Cuba in the shape of Gitmo by an unmarked Lear Jet before anyone can stop then. As such this parliament ruling is not worth the fine velum it may by chance be written on in the blood of Moles.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't worry

        Maybe not legally, but it is making a very big policy statement.

        This is a political move rather than a legal move, paving the way for future dealings with the US.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't worry

          >This is a political move rather than a legal move, paving the way for future dealings with the US.

          As a Yank I say about time. The only way this madness will stop is if the Euros grow a pair and punch the bully in the nose. The US has had about as liberal a leader (liberal haha only to us Americans) as we ever will for the last 7 years and a lot of good that has done. Even though I am in the US my personal interest is a lot more aligned with the Euros on this one than our supposed national interest which as always is mostly for the one percenters. The 1% give us two shitty choices and the difference is only the rhetoric so its going to take some outside help on this one.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Don't worry

        "He'll be whisked away to the USA, or rather Cuba in the shape of Gitmo by an unmarked Lear Jet before anyone can stop then. "

        Citation?

        <flies off into the sunset>

    2. bazza Silver badge

      "So the odds of him coming to the UK are pretty low then, I imagine..."

      Oh I dunno, apparently we've some quite comfortable embassies across London offering a range of accomodation standards for the blabbermouth-on-the-run types.

  2. elDog Silver badge

    Snowden is smart enough to let this work its way through the sausage-making process

    It will continue to be a feather in Putin's hunting cap that he allowed Ed to have "safe harbor" in the land of bears. I do expect the rest of the civilized world (excepting the 5-Eyes) to protect the rights of whistle-blowers and other people of true conscience.

    However, the agents of countries that may be upset at this do have means such as poisoned umbrellas and polonium to make anyone's life rather short and uncomfortable.

    Now, Julian - do you have your bag packed?

    1. Turtle

      @ elDog

      "However, the agents of countries that may be upset at this do have means such as poisoned umbrellas and polonium to make anyone's life rather short and uncomfortable."

      Rather bizarrely, the means that you mention - poisoned umbrellas and polonium - were used by the Soviet intelligence services, not the US.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ elDog

        ... Officially.

        1. Turtle

          @AC Re: @ elDog

          "... Officially."

          Kinda like how you are not yet officially a pedophile?

      2. Naughtyhorse

        Re: @ elDog

        I thought the umbrella thing was the east germans

        1. Bumpy Cat

          Re: @ elDog

          The poisoned umbrella was the Bulgarians, working with the Soviets. The target was also a dissident in London.

  3. Warm Braw Silver badge

    >So the odds of him coming to the UK are pretty low then, I imagine...

    It probably depends on whether we can persuade Russia to take Assange in exchange...

    EDIT: sorry, previous poster mostly beat me to it!

  4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Well, it's a start

    and I hope the MEPs who voted for this will follow through.

    1. Soap Distant

      Re: Well, it's a start

      "and I hope the MEPs who voted for this will follow through."

      Depends on the quality of the catering at the event I guess.

      SD

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Well, it's a start

        Actually I'm going to say today is a day to be nice to MEPs. At least the ones who voted in favour of granting protection. Good for them! I'm trying to find a list so I can see how mine voted.

  5. Number6

    Popcorn

    I can see hours of entertainment from this one as various personages get excitable and throw teddies from prams.

  6. Charles Manning

    Talk is cheap

    It is easy to say you'll grant him protection... But how do they stop him being grabbed off the streets?

    Anyway this puts Assange in an interesting position. If Assange was to have the same protection offered, he would then have no good reason to stop hiding from the Swedish law.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Talk is cheap

      >If Assange was to have the same protection offered, he would then have no good reason to stop hiding from the Swedish law.

      The same benefits... and the same drawbacks.

      The benefit is that the presenting (Swedish) legal issues could be dealt with under the appropriate jurisdiction. The drawback - the US has a history of just snatching people and making them disappear to places with no due process.

      Both Snowden and Assange would be taking a huge risk if they took advantage of even iron-clad legal protections.

      I wonder how long the US has contemplated the fact that its quest for the freedom to do as it wishes in the world is actually impeding justice, because no-one feels safe anymore?

      In metaphor, for showing evidence of Prince John's illegal taxation, the accountant who signed an NDA has a choice of being hanged or joining Robin in the Forrest. Sure he can go to the archery competition, but there are risks.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: no-one feels safe anymore?

        Is kinda the whole point.

        Murica is owned by people who make things go bang.

        Expensive things that go bang.

        So expensive that only a whole bunch of shit-scared people would even consider paying the price.

        manufacture the fear, pass that appropriations bill.

    2. Thesheep

      Re: Talk is cheap

      Because kidnapping high visibility people off the street of an ally with whom you have an extradition treaty is going to cause a huge international crisis. Which means that (for example) you would put at risk, at least in the short term, all of those nice information sharing agreements you have. And all those trade deals. You can't really send him to Gitmo because he's clearly a US citizen charged with a crime in the US, so you'll have to take him into the official system.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Talk is cheap

        Because kidnapping high visibility people off the street of an ally with whom you have an extradition treaty is going to cause a huge international crisis.

        I am pretty certain that the US (or in fact most nations) could make him disappear, or mysteriously suffer a tragic accident, without leaving enough evidence to cause such an international crisis. There may be strong suspicions, but no evidence.

      2. Naughtyhorse

        Re: can't really send him to Gitmo

        Can't and US Govt.

        Is that the same can't as in 'the us can't kill us citizens with drones'

        Or more like the can't in ' the us government can't spy on it's own people'

        I only ask as international law is so nuanced....

  7. Dadmin
    Megaphone

    Safe Harbour gone, and now this?!

    These are steps in the correct direction! I'd say just cut off the US from your Internet and be done with our nonsense. What the hell does our Internet provide that you can't provide on your own Internet, from your own country, under your own rules? Facebook? Instagrandpa? Tweeters? Youporn? The US is not the Internet anymore. It ceased to be the Internet in 1992, but no one was paying attention, so let me clarify that: you don't need to get in bed with spies to have a nice web page. Stick to your principles and also stop spying on your own citizens in the same manner, GCHQ. Thanks. Pricks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Safe Harbour gone, and now this?!

      Reports of the death of "Safe[sic] Harbor[sic]" are, sadly, greatly exaggerated.

      It's not dead, it's resting! Remarkable agreement, Safe Harbor, idn'it, ay? Beautiful opacity! ...probably pining for the hollow mountains of Utah.

      Its total lack of movement is due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged slurp.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Resting?

        it's only still on it's perch cause you nailed it there....

        (not disagreeing, just couldn't resist)

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Resting?

          it's only still on it's perch cause you nailed it there....

          There's some joke to be made here about fjords and what sort of harbors they make...

  8. x 7 Silver badge

    where is Assange now? has he left the embassy yet? or is he worried about someone waiting for him on a dark street, putlog in hand?

  9. Mephistro Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Good news, indeed!

    It will take some time, but this particular house of cards is beginning to shatter. We EU citizens should make clear to our politicians that we are finally aware of the issue, and that any move on their part to help the USA's snooping will cost said politicians many, many votes.

    I consider it shameful that no European govt. has offered yet political refugee status to Mr. Snowden, but that seems due to change soon.

    Thanks, Edward, and keep on fighting the good fight!

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Good news, indeed!

      I have no problems understanding the for and against regarding Snowden, but we will always end up with the question if, we as humans, are allowed to expose our "lords" for wrong doing or not. In a perfect world our "lords" would be self-regulating themselves in the superb way our industry has done it too, he he. Then there is the question of humanity and decency regarding the law, especially regarding the US law.

      Absolutely mad sentences for the small guys and nothing for the real big crooks. This difference between the US and Europe has become just too big to accept, (where does the US fit in regarding death sentences Saudi Arabia, Iran, China). even if the the big crooks probably get away as easily. What has made you so damned scared about the world and your own population.

      Good for you MEPs, nice, but will you actually do something.

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Meh

    EP votes on yet another non-binding resolution

    Everything carries on regardless...

  11. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "The US has long-standing extradition treaties with all European countries."

    Moscow is to the left of the Ural mountains.

    1. x 7 Silver badge

      Re: "The US has long-standing extradition treaties with all European countries."

      ""The US has long-standing extradition treaties with all civilised European countries."

      get the facts right please

    2. Irony Deficient

      ”The US has long-standing extradition treaties with all European countries.”

      JeffyPoooh, presuming that Kieren used the phrase “all European countries” to mean “all EU member states”, given that the article is about a vote in the European Parliament, then it is precisely the longest-standing treaty which would be likeliest to be most advantageous to Snowden, since it would lack coverage of “modern crimes”. Among the EU member states, that would almost certainly be the extradition treaty with Croatia, which is one of the inheritors of the 1902 extradition treaty with the Kingdom of Serbia (via the post-WWI Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, then through Yugoslavia).

  12. Nolveys Silver badge
    Meh

    A glimmer of sanity in government...

    ...I'm scared.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A glimmer of sanity in government...

      Don't worry, it won't last.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/28/nsa_spying_on_eu_subject_judicial_review/

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big mistake

    The EU just burned a very important bridge as they will come to understand very soon.

    1. h4rm0ny
      Thumb Up

      Re: Big mistake

      Great. Marshmallows are on me! :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: Big mistake

      As a present, I'll give you the beer for your party, free of charge. I brewed it myself!

      (wink wink nudge nudge)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Grikath Silver badge

      Re: Big mistake

      ah.. we have the first AC with teddybear-pram syndrome..

    4. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: Big mistake

      The EU just burned a very important bridge as they will come to understand very soon.

      To the US*? Good! Go fucking isolationist, the rest of the world would be entirely grateful.

      BTW: We have the oil and the decent food, you have genetically modified (probably cancer causing) crap (of which the 1% will take 95%), fructose, overly expensive pharmaceutical drugs and Hollywood - to which you're welcome to keep.

      @ Edward Snowden. If you can sneak into Holland they'd probably let you stay, and they're pretty cool.

      *If you didn't mean the US, then apologies for the rant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: Big mistake

        "...rant... ...rant... ...rant... ...rant... fructose ...rant... ...rant... ...rant... "

        WTF?

        Nothing wrong with fructose. That's a myth propagated by the sucrose industry. It's the (≈50%) glucose in "HF"CS* that fucks the gluttons' biochemistry up. Exactly the same ≈50/50% glucose/fructose composition as honey, sucrose, etc.. as it happens.. somewhat ironically.

        Otherwise, total agreement. Rant on...

        *It's "high fructose" in comparison with ordinary "corn syrup" which is overwhelmingly glucose.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Big mistake

          Nothing wrong with fructose. That's a myth propagated by the sucrose industry. It's the (≈50%) glucose in "HF"CS* that fucks the gluttons' biochemistry up.

          Most HFCS used in the US, at least, is HFCS-55, which is rated at 55% fructose. Some studies claim analysis shows levels up to 65% fructose are common in actual commercial samples.

          In any case, the evidence is mixed. It's true that serious methodological concerns have been raised about both the 2004 Bray et al study (which mostly showed a historical correlation between HFCS use and obesity, for which there just might be some other explanation), which kicked off the whole thing, and the 2013 Page et al study (which looked at signalling pathways in rodents but used unrealistic feeding patterns).

          However, we now have 2015 Ruff et al, which used a much more reasonable feeding schedule and showed a significantly (p = 0.012) elevated mortality rate for female mice on the high-fructose diet (compared to sucrose). No difference was seen for male mice, and presumably most Reg readers are not mice;1 but the claim (most famously endorsed by Klurfeld, Rippe, and their co-authors) that fructose and sucrose are metabolically indistinguishable is suspect. As is, even more so, your claim that it's all a conspiracy by Big Sucrose.

          As for "it's the ... glucose ... that fucks the gluttons' biochemistry up": that's not even supported by the papers published by the HFCS defenders. They claim that either high monosaccharide levels don't cause endocrine issues in the first place,2 or that any problems are due to both fructose and glucose, not fructose alone.

          My guess is that the problem is too much damn sugar, particularly in SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages), combined with insufficient exercise, and a host of inherited and environmental factors. But this isn't my field. Personally, I rarely drink SSBs, but that's as much because I don't care for them as for any other reason.

          1Industry demographics suggest most aren't female, either, though more study is needed in this area.

          2"a number of research trials have demonstrated no short-term differences between HFCS and sucrose in any metabolic parameter or health related effect measured in human beings including blood glucose, insulin, leptin, ghrelin and appetite" (Klurfeld et al 2013).

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big mistake

      "The EU just burned a very important bridge as they will come to understand very soon."

      Yes we just burned one that US regard for Human Rights was trying to hide behind. It was presumably a very small bridge.

      "I'll give you the beer for your party, free of charge"

      As we say, once you drink British beer, it then becomes American beer...

  14. Speltier

    Don't look behind the curtain...

    ... or you might find the FSB. Or DGSE. Or BND. Or... NSA just comes out on top at the moment, due to being overly well endowed with black budget cash. Perhaps a better description with regards to this is NSA and the 28 dwarfs.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Don't look behind the curtain...

      NSA and the 28 dwarfs

      OK, that one I like :)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    any European country that welcomed Snowden in would find itself under enormous pressure from the United States government to hand him over

    See, Assange? That is a REAL risk of extradition, accompanied by paperwork and all. Not the BS you have been spouting.

  16. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "The EU just burned a very important bridge as they will come to understand very soon."

    *rolls eyes*.

    US likes to say they are the world's last superpower, but I just don't see it any more. I'm not seeing any important bridges being burned here.

    1. O RLY

      And "superpower" isn't synonymous with "benevolent". Standing up to a bully can look an awful lot like burning a bridge depending on what side one's on.

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