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Snowden granted 3-year stay in Russia.
August 7, 2014 5:14 AM   Subscribe

After several days in legal limbo, the world's most notorious whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been granted a three-year stay in Russia. This is amid breaking news of Russia's issuing of a menu of its own sanctions against U.S./E.U. countries, et al. The former NSA employee has been stranded in Russia for more than a year. Recently, new leaks by other, as yet unknown whistle-blower(s) other than Snowden have surfaced, according to U.S. authorities. The leaks detail certain "rules" for targeting of people for surveillance (including merely searching for privacy software), as well as details on the kind of activity or relationships which may put innocent people on terrorist watch lists.
posted by fantodstic (54 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
What's the American version of the order of Lenin? That's what this guy deserves.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:28 AM on August 7


That would be the Presidential Medal of Freedom. However, with Secretary Kerry calling Snowden a coward and a traitor, the odds of that are pretty low.

Perhaps our next president, whoever he or she is, will have the wisdom and clarity of spirit to recognize the enormous public service that Mr. Snowden performed at great risk to his own life.
posted by DWRoelands at 5:38 AM on August 7 [14 favorites]


At this point I'm surprised Russia didn't make him Head of Reprisal Sanctions on the West.
posted by gman at 5:46 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


the world's most notorious whistleblower

Also,

the world's most famous whistleblower
the world's most celebrated whistleblower
posted by Mister Bijou at 5:57 AM on August 7 [28 favorites]


the world's foremost whistleblower
posted by Foosnark at 6:17 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


From the last link (which is a great article and worth an FPP alone):

The rulebook, which The Intercept is publishing in full, was developed behind closed doors by representatives of the nation’s intelligence, military, and law-enforcement establishment, including the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI. Emblazoned with the crests of 19 agencies, it offers the most complete and revealing look into the secret history of the government’s terror list policies to date. It reveals a confounding and convoluted system filled with exceptions to its own rules, and it relies on the elastic concept of “reasonable suspicion” as a standard for determining whether someone is a possible threat.

I work with a lot of low- and mid-level people in federal agencies and have met socially more than a few FBI agents and the like. They are pretty much all nice, well-intentioned people, but the idea of them being handed loose guidance that encourages them to place names on secret lists -- from which your name will never be removed -- does not fill me with confidence in the strengthening of our democratic processes. This is not how you get good results, and I can guarantee that a generation from now we are not going to look back on this episode with pride.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:19 AM on August 7 [22 favorites]


the whistleblower heard 'round the world
posted by hat_eater at 6:22 AM on August 7


I can guarantee that a generation from now we are not going to look back on this episode
posted by CautionToTheWind at 6:25 AM on August 7 [18 favorites]


the blower who accidentally the whole whistle
posted by Behemoth at 6:27 AM on August 7 [21 favorites]


This is not how you get good results, and I can guarantee that a generation from now we are not going to look back on this episode with pride.

Who needs to wait a generation?
posted by Atreides at 6:32 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Over a half a million people, nearly half of whom have no known terrorist affiliation, are currently on the US government watchlist.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:49 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Over a half a million people, nearly half of whom have no known terrorist affiliation, are currently on the US government watchlist.

And, from somewhere deep in the ocean, Bin Laden's ghost chuckles merrily.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:55 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


And, from somewhere deep in the ocean, Bin Laden's ghost chuckles merrily.

Not to mention the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover.
posted by briank at 7:07 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


while i certainly hope that there's an additional leaker feeding docs to the intercept (which seems to be the case as the nctc report released two days ago appears to have been created post-snowden), there's almost definitely another source feeding docs to jacob applebaum/der spiegel, which is very encouraging
posted by p3on at 7:23 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


And, from somewhere deep in the ocean, Bin Laden's ghost chuckles merrily.

He sounds like a comic book supervillain when you describe him like this. "You THOUGHT you could kill me Wolverine, but ten long years feasting on the output of this NUTRIENT-RICH SEAFLOOR VENT have only made me STRONGER."

All day long the undead Bin Laden sits on his undersea throne. It's a gigantic chair made out of a Civil War-era ironclad that inexplicably sank in the Indian Ocean. There he weaves 12-foot-long tube worms into a protective robe clad with bioluminescent armor. At night he sleeps in a kelp hammock strung between two brain coral. He dreams of revenge.

When the time is right, he rises to the surface. There he will exercise his newly acquired seafloor-thermal-vent superpowers. For his first attack he chooses a "zany" city like San Francisco, where everyone is totally weird. No one there would ever notice his crazy costume because it totally does not stand out at all. He walks into City Hall and smiles at the mayor, who smiles back. Seafloor Bin Laden presses his index fingers to his temples and grimaces.

ZOT!

Mayor Donald Fuego is now a bivalve. Seafloor Bin Laden tilts his head back and laughs maniacally, like a cerulean Hitler.
posted by compartment at 7:30 AM on August 7 [34 favorites]


Whoever the next leaker is, I hope he or she makes it to a Venezuelan beach, instead of, y'know, Russia.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:32 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Mayor Donald Fuego is now a bivalve. Seafloor Bin Laden tilts his head back and laughs maniacally, like a cerulean Hitler.
I'm pretty sure this is exactly why the watchlist inventors invented the watchlist.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:42 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


At one point I was kind of wondering if Putin would have said "Hey, drop the sanctions and I'll put Snowden on the next flight to the UK".
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:48 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


How Al-Qaeda Uses Encryption Post-Snowden (Part 1) and Part 2, via Washington Post/Volokh Conspiracy: As evidence mounts, it’s getting harder to defend Edward Snowden

I'm actually surprised AQ had somewhere to upgrade to. I'd have thought they were using top-of-the-line already.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:48 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I saw Cerulean Hitler open for Dragonforce in '97.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:49 AM on August 7 [12 favorites]


As evidence mounts, it’s getting harder to defend Edward Snowden

Hmm yes I can't imagine why pro-Clipper Chip spy-on-every-American George W. Bush DHS Undersecretary Stewart Baker would say that
posted by Awful Peice of Crap at 8:01 AM on August 7 [21 favorites]


Yes! Anyone want to celebrate in Atlanta tonight? I'd thought about doing this anyways.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:06 AM on August 7


Wait wait wait...

"The published documents describe government efforts using the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE)"

Datamart. Datamart? AH YES, DATAMART!

"Datamart: For all your information trafficking needs. One shop. One stop."

I think I'm going to just start calling the NSA "datamart" even though they're two completely different things, it has a nice american capitalist ring to it. Patriotic even. Nothing sinister like "KGB" or "PLA"
posted by symbioid at 8:22 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I suspect that the NSA, CIA, etc... have some back doors that hackers made, and they can't find, and the second leaker story is just them covering their asses.

As for the sanctions... it's all about the US Dollar as a global reserve currency.
posted by MikeWarot at 8:34 AM on August 7


the world's most famous whistleblower
the world's most celebrated whistleblower


Also: current holder of Osama Bin Laden's old #1 spot on the US Global Most Wanted list.
posted by acb at 8:37 AM on August 7


Whoever the next leaker is, I hope he or she makes it to a Venezuelan beach, instead of, y'know, Russia.

Yeah, I suspect that when you really get down to it, Snowden's out of sight out of mind to most of the people in the political intelligence complex. He's already done all the damage he can do, and if they had him they'd just stick him in a federal prison somewhere and let him rot. Between that and living in Russia as Putin's occasionally useful propaganda tool, I honestly don't know which one I'd choose.

(see Julian Assange. Okay we can't put him in a cell, but we can take away his power to do anything and confine him to a closet in the Venezuelan embassy. That's close enough.)
posted by Naberius at 8:44 AM on August 7


I dunno - it may be Russia, but it's still more freedom than a US prison.
posted by symbioid at 8:46 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


(see Julian Assange. Okay we can't put him in a cell, but we can take away his power to do anything and confine him to a closet in the Venezuelan embassy. That's close enough.)

Ecuadorian embassy not Venezuelan.
posted by Talez at 8:50 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


and if they had him they'd just stick him in a federal prison somewhere and let him rot.

Or very publicly put him before a firing squad, as a deterrent to others. Which could have tremendous value in asserting the US's power and prestige, especially if they get him from a place previously thought to be out of reach.
posted by acb at 8:50 AM on August 7


Datamart: For all your information trafficking needs. One shop. One stop.

Shop smart. Shop Datamart.
posted by kokaku at 8:50 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Ecuadorian embassy not Venezuelan.

Ah, thank you Talez.
posted by Naberius at 8:51 AM on August 7


Well we all know Snowden is bad because he didn't leak and stay around to face the music. That always works out well for people who go against the organization and they are treated even-handedly and fairly.
Pedene, 56, is the former chief spokeswoman for this VA hospital. Now, she is living in a bureaucrat’s urban legend. After complaining to higher-ups about mismanagement at this hospital, she has been reassigned — indefinitely — to a desk in the basement.
...
In 2010, Pedene joined a group that complained to VA’s upper management about the Phoenix hospital’s director. They alleged that the director had allowed budget shortfalls and berated subordinates.

And it seemed to work. VA’s inspector general investigated and found an $11 million shortfall in the hospital’s budget. The director retired voluntarily. “I felt we had actually done the right thing,” Pedene said.
Make sure you get to the real money bit in the article, when the reporter tries to get a quote from the person who transferred Pedene.
posted by phearlez at 9:01 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]


I wonder how it feels to be Snowden and know that his next extension will similarly depend on how much Russia is interested in poking the U.S. in the eye.
posted by bearwife at 9:02 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Two things:
1) Because of his work and his interests and the fact that he's helped dissidents in other countries continue to access the Internet, my husband is reasonably sure that he's on a watch-list somewhere.

2) He also asked that if we have a kid, we name the child Edward Snowden. I told him that I'd compromise and have Edward be the kid's middle name if it's a boy and he can call her "Eddie" if it's a girl.

I have to wonder if any other I.T. and Internet security folks feel the same way. Also, I am very glad that at least one news story about this whole thing used "the Snowdens of yesteryear" in their headline.
posted by TrishaLynn at 9:16 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


This thread needs a theme song (YouTube link).
posted by iviken at 9:29 AM on August 7


ou sont les neigedons d'anton?
posted by j_curiouser at 10:03 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]



I saw Cerulean Hitler open for Dragonforce in '97.
posted by XQUZYPHYR


No, I think you're mixing them up with Prussian Blue! (Wikipedia, SFW)
posted by spitbull at 10:05 AM on August 7


Also, obligatory South Park sneer at the whole thing:

Eric Cartman Bill Clinton infiltrates the NSA.
posted by spitbull at 10:17 AM on August 7


spitbull: "I saw Cerulean Hitler open for Dragonforce in '97.
posted by XQUZYPHYR


No, I think you're mixing them up with Prussian Blue! (Wikipedia, SFW)
"

I think you're mixing up threads.
posted by symbioid at 11:13 AM on August 7


Eric Cartman Bill Clinton infiltrates the NSA.

Ah, South Park. At last, a legion of bros will be able to stupidly quote out of context about a cursory, dismissive gloss of one of the most frightening and ominous trends of our age.
posted by JHarris at 11:51 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


I'm actually surprised AQ had somewhere to upgrade to. I'd have thought they were using top-of-the-line already.

Yeah, look what they did with their sweet cave, but not only that, they were able to transform all of that back into a regular cave by the time the US troops reached it!

Ok, sorry, I'm just tired of how whoever is enemy du jour always get their technical capabilities dialed up to "FREAK OUT!" simply because it serves so many of our different agendas to do so, then a generation later, a very different truth comes out. My impression is that most people who want to advance their religious beliefs by killing everyone... they're not the brightest knives in the sparkplug.
posted by anonymisc at 11:52 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


I worry for Snowden's safety, to the extent that three years is not a very long time. It signals Putin's unwillingness to commit to his freedom (as such) and shows a continued disregard for human rights. Snowden's three years are likely a bargaining chip that could convince the US look the other way as Russia expands its covert invasion and takeover of Ukraine; in that sense, three years (or less) seems a delayed death sentence, a prelude to backroom deals that lead to his extradition to the US.
posted by Mr. Six at 11:53 AM on August 7


" Washington Post/Volokh Conspiracy: As evidence mounts, it’s getting harder to defend Edward Snowden"

… Harder to defend the NSA, since their over-zealous, certainly unethical and likely illegal surveillance was what prompted the leaks. No overreach, no leaks, no Al Qaeda upgrade — blaming Snowden is stupid.
posted by klangklangston at 11:58 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


I worry for Snowden's safety, to the extent that three years is not a very long time. It signals Putin's unwillingness to commit to his freedom (as such) and shows a continued disregard for human rights

I don't necessarily agree. I suspect it's pretty rare - in any country - for a lone refugee to gain confirmation of permanent residence inside a year. My impression is that those kinds of processes typically take years. Immigrating to the USA by comparison, it often takes a decade or more to get beyond temporary permits unless you have marriage/family who are citizens. Snowden is a special case getting special handling, but he's only been there a year, which in bureaucracy-years, is probably about four weeks. Adding another 3 years to his stay is a good sign.
posted by anonymisc at 12:02 PM on August 7


I think you're mixing up threads.
posted by symbioid


No, I'm punning.
posted by spitbull at 12:03 PM on August 7


When Vlad 'The Impaler' Putin is the only thing standing between you and Seal Force Six (because there is no freaking way the US Powers That Be want him alive to be subject to any kind of 'trial'), there's no way you are going to live out your life in a Happy Place.

Yes, Washington Post/Volokh Conspiracy/the man of twists and turns, Snowden is America's Greatest Enemy. Not the enemy we needed, but the enemy we wanted.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:01 PM on August 7


As evidence mounts, it’s getting harder to defend Edward Snowden

Phooey. The NSA's actions have show everyone they need to improve their security. Al Qaeda is a subset of "everyone," impossible to separate out.

This is like saying "We'd like to improve general well-being for everyone, but a few of those people are terrorists. Sorry everyone else!"
posted by JHarris at 4:27 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Yeah, look what they did with their sweet cave, but not only that, they were able to transform all of that back into a regular cave by the time the US troops reached it!

I'm actually kinda sad this wasn't real. If only because if it had been, then james bond would have actually been very prescient.
posted by emptythought at 5:12 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


"When Vlad 'The Impaler' Putin is the only thing standing between you and Seal Force Six (because there is no freaking way the US Powers That Be want him alive to be subject to any kind of 'trial'), there's no way you are going to live out your life in a Happy Place.

Yes, Washington Post/Volokh Conspiracy/the man of twists and turns, Snowden is America's Greatest Enemy. Not the enemy we needed, but the enemy we wanted.
"

C'mon. Snowden's not a socialist head of state. And we don't even really assassinate those anymore. And why wouldn't they want to try him? They tried Manning and won.

Putin's a lot closer to America's greatest enemy, what with pretty openly agitating for WWIII. All we have to do is have one of our Central Asian colonial misadventures run into his Lebensraum and boom.
posted by klangklangston at 11:06 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


C'mon. Snowden's not a socialist head of state. And we don't even really assassinate those anymore. And why wouldn't they want to try him? They tried Manning and won.

Also, just flying in and killing Snowden won't sell as well as doing so to Bin Laden. OBL was, in the public discourse, a Monster, and (short of the killjoys who bring up boring things like “due process”) the public was happy to see him gunned down like a dog. (“Live by the sword, die by the sword” was the prevailing sentiment.) Which, of course, is very convenient for those who had done business with him a few decades earlier, but that's neither here nor there.

Snowden, meanwhile, is more ambiguous; he's from the same culture as many Tea Party/Militia/Open Carry Patriots types, and for every Murdoch indoctrinee enthusiastically joining in the Two Minutes Hate, there are several libertarian types who see him as a hero exposing Obama's socialist NWO tyranny. (How many would be defending him were it Dick Cheney in the Whitehouse is another question, of course.) If he dies resisting capture by Seal Team 6, there'll be at least as many conspiracy theories as for the David Koresh siege, and probably an order of magnitude more. Meanwhile, the criticisms of Snowden-the-traitor will go to the same historical dustbin as those of Princess-Diana-the-airhead did after her death.
posted by acb at 7:31 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the idea that there'd be wetwork against Snowden if not for Putin generally presumes a level of stupidity not generally seen in this administration.
posted by klangklangston at 4:06 PM on August 8


Ain't completely clear any administration has the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. on a short enough leash though either.

ACLU : Happy Anniversary, CIA! 12 Years of Lawlessness!
posted by jeffburdges at 6:21 PM on August 9


NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting

Cory Doctorow: Security in Numbers
The fact that security can’t be an individual matter isn’t surprising when you think about it. Road-safety is collective, too: it doesn’t matter how defensively you drive, if everyone else is a lunatic. So is health security: as the anti-vaccination movement has shown us, without herd immunity, we’re all at risk. Even society itself can be thought of as a collective security exercise: through legitimate laws made by legitimate governments, we set out the rules, the administrative systems, and the punishments by which we’ll all be secure.
The NSA Revelations All in One Chart

NSA/GCHQ: The HACIENDA Program for Internet Colonization via Schneier on Security
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:49 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]


How the NSA built its own secret google
posted by bukvich at 9:55 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]


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