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 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. frank ly Silver badge

    the press had to endure a long flight with no alcohol

    Stand by for lots of negative articles about him.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

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

      No booze - on an Aeroflot flight?

      1. Captain DaFt

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

        Hey! There was barely enough for the flight crew!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

        2. Gannon (J.) Dick
          Happy

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

          Perfect. Thank you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        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?

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          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...)

        2. LateNightLarry
          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...

      4. 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.

      5. Lars Silver badge
        Pint

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

        Perhaps credit cards where not allowed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Might be a typo ..

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

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      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.

  2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    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.

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    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

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      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?

    2. seven of five

      Re: International law?

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

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vicor Bout

        Victor Bout ? Vicar Bout ?

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

        1. Scorchio!!

          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.

    3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      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!

  4. LinkOfHyrule
    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!

  5. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    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

    1. fedoraman
      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 ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    3. Don Jefe
      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.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        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.

  6. wowfood

    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.

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      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)

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      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...

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge
    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.

    1. Twits R 4 Twats
      Thumb Up

      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?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: ahh American frustration

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

    2. Naughtyhorse

      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.

  9. peter 45
    Happy

    Awwwww

    "American officials confused and increasingly frustrated. "

    Awww. Bless.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Awwwww

      "Awww. Bless."

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

  10. Mike Richards Silver badge

    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.

  11. Tachikoma
    Big Brother

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

    1. spold Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      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.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    2. Naughtyhorse

      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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)

  13. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    What a difference a dipthong makes

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

  14. chris lively
    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.

    1. Grave

      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

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Snowden staying away from microphones

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snowden staying away from microphones

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

  16. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

    Complicity

    With a complicit government, willing to turn a blind eye to certain "irregularities" in documentation, Mr Snowden, ex-employee of Booz Allen, could now be Mr Bond of Universal Exports (or any other name you care to apply). He may not even be travelling by air - an unwarranted assumption if ever there was one.

    The US administration is rapidly finding out how little pull it has with the other big players at the moment - Russia don't care, and China has the whip-hand in terms of damage that can be done to the US economy. There will be a lot of people with dangerously high blood-pressure as a result of realising how impotent they are - and I am enjoying the schadenfreude! The US* is realising that it has no moral high-ground from which to preach any more (everything has been done that it criticised Russia and China for doing), and now it has no bargaining chips. It is just another bully in the playground.

    *and other countries, but this is about the USA

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iceland?

    my mum is already there

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019