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Bolivian President's Plane 'Rerouted Over Snowden Suspicions' 621

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the plot-continues-to-thicken dept.
niftydude writes with the latest news on the Edward Snowden saga. It appears that the Bolivian President's plane was denied access to French and Spanish airspace due to suspicions that Snowden was on board. Quoting a few pieces from the Guardian: "In an extraordinary move, France and Portugal revoked flight clearances for the Bolivian President's plane on Tuesday after representations were reportedly made by the U.S. State Department. Mr Morales was flying home from an energy conference in Moscow and his aircraft was hastily rerouted to Vienna, Austria. Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca angrily denied that Mr Snowden was on the President's aircraft, a fact later confirmed by Austrian authorities, and said France and Portugal would have to explain why they abruptly canceled authorization for the flight. AP reports that Venezuela's foreign minister Elias Jaua has condemned the decision by France and Portugal to block the plane from its airspace. He claimed that changing a flight's route without checking on how much fuel was left in the plane, put Morales' life at risk." Spain claims they only agreed to allow the plane to refuel there if it were subject to search, and France did end up authorizing use of their air space today. In related news, Julian Assange and the general secretary of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire published an Op-Ed today why Europe must protect Snowden. And: dryriver sends news that Ecuador discovered that their embassy in London was bugged, describing the incident as "another instance of a loss of ethics at the international level in relations between governments."
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Bolivian President's Plane 'Rerouted Over Snowden Suspicions'

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  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @11:52AM (#44177389)

    My country's dick is so fucking big that we can have entire continents close off their airspace! Jesus, I want to snort a mountain of coke and fuck my wife's sister!!!

    • by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad,arnett&notforhire,org> on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @11:55AM (#44177423)
      "Home of the brave, land of calling for the assassination of anyone who pulls back the veneer hiding the relentless authoritarianism" just didn't have the same ring, I guess.
      • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:12PM (#44177633) Homepage Journal

        It'll be fun when we slaughter a political dissenter who was forced to flee to a south American country on July 4. So much freedom!

        Maybe we should use an axe to kill him. That won't, in any way, draw parallels to anything else that happened in history.

      • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:31PM (#44177929) Homepage Journal

        A'int no "home of the free". The US has more people incarcerated - per capita and in raw number - than any nation on Earth, or even in all of human history!

        While accounting for a mere 5% of the global population, the US has an aggregated 25% of the world's prisoners, and is growing this at a consistent, exponential rate.

        You have states, like Louisiana, where one out of every 55 people in the state is a prisoner for the duration of a year or more.

        We make China look like amateur hour. Stalin? a blip.

        Now. How can anyone argue that there's no such thing as "brainwashing", or that it only works on stupid or ignorant people?

        • by thomasw_lrd (1203850) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:47PM (#44178229)

          I agree that we in the US have long ago since stopped being the land of the free, but I don't think Stalin is a good comparison. I doubt we really know how many people disappeared in the night, how many were actually incarcerated, how many were sent to Siberia, how many were just killed outright.

          • by starless (60879) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @01:08PM (#44178553)

            I agree that we in the US have long ago since stopped being the land of the free,.

            Just wondering when the US was supposed to be the "land of the free"?
            Even after the era of forcefully removing the previous population from their land coming to an end, and slavery ending, there has still been apartheid
            (including anti-miscegenation laws) and anti-communist drives until rather recently.
            Despite the multitude of current problems, it may well be that the US is the most free it has ever been.

            • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @03:02PM (#44180289)

              Well it was really only ever truly free for people who were not of African descent. If your ancestors were from Africa (in the recent past) then the US had no freedom at all. But since I am of European descent, if I had been born in say 1805 I wouuld have lived in what may have been the freest society that human beings have ever known. It wasn't really until the early 20th century that the US really stopped being free for white people. That's when the US really started to develop a taste for tyranny.

              If you are trying to figure out why such an unfree country is full of people who like to talk about freedom that is why. It's because we have a very unusual history. The only other country I know of that had a similar experiment in freedom is France, but their experiment died a lot faster.

          • by timmyf2371 (586051) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @01:49PM (#44179197)

            Apologies if you were trying to be ironic, but that sounds like a perfect comparison.

            How many people disappeared in the night, only to be rendered to random countries around the world to be tortured?
            How many were sent to Guantanamo?
            How many were just killed by extra-judicial drone attacks?

            • by anyanka (1953414) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:02PM (#44181803)

              In terms of numbers, Stalin's atrocities are off the chart; Bush/Cheney/Obama are peanuts in comparison.

              However, saying that the other guy was 1000x worse shouldn't be valid defense when it comes to war crimes, atrocities, tyranny and oppression(*). And – saying that it was the other guy who did it, I just let him get away with it, shouldn't be a defense either.

              (*) Though, it is interesting to note that several Germans had their sentences commuted during the Nüremberg trials for crimes that had also been committed by the allies.

          • by Nyder (754090) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @02:25PM (#44179763) Journal

            I agree that we in the US have long ago since stopped being the land of the free, but I don't think Stalin is a good comparison. I doubt we really know how many people disappeared in the night, how many were actually incarcerated, how many were sent to Siberia, how many were just killed outright.

            At the rate the United States Government is going, I expect people that speak out to start disappearing...

        • by radiumsoup (741987) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:50PM (#44178283)

          Stalin? Really?

          So we've sent 4 million political dissidents to their deaths and left another 8-10 million to starve to death, then?

          Idiot.

          • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @01:44PM (#44179121) Homepage

            Hair splitting. So instead of sending them to their deaths, they get sent to their prison rapes. Sure they don't die per se, but they don't often get a trial either. May not be political dissidents, but most of them never actually hurt anyone either, they just happened to be brown people who chose to smoke a joint like the white kids do.

            So yah, these distinctions are not really that important to me. I definitely put them in the same general category of evil.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @03:15PM (#44180471)

            Stalin? Really?

            So we've sent 4 million political dissidents to their deaths and left another 8-10 million to starve to death, then?

            Idiot.

            The USA has killed that many civilians and dropped bombs on a quarter of the world's countries, since the end of WWII.

            Perhaps you need to remove the blinkers and learn a little about you own country's history?

          • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @03:50PM (#44180893) Homepage

            Well, if you want to get into raw numbers, the United States is responsible for at least a few million deaths worldwide since the end of WWII. If you count our proxy wars and the wars we helped arrange, such as the Iran-Iraq War, the Soviet-Afghan conflict, various central American death squads, etc, then it is upwards of 20-30 million dead in the last sixty years or so.

            (Here's a weak source [countercurrents.org], but discussing our empire isn't exactly acceptable conversation in regular media outlets. The basic facts are undeniable, even if you'd like to discount our role in arranging, funding, and supplying arms for war that are in our own interest.)

            We're not above watching people die of starvation either:

            As many as 576,000 Iraqi children may have died since the end of the Persian Gulf war because of economic sanctions imposed by the Security Council. ...
            The sanctions were imposed by the Security Council after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. Led by the United States, the Council has rejected many Iraqi appeals to lift the restrictions, which have crippled the economy, until Iraq accounts for all its weapons of mass destruction and United Nations inspectors can certify that they have been destroyed in accordance with several Council resolutions.

            I think we all remember how many WMDs were found after we spilled the blood of our own and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, along with emptying our treasury of five trillion dollars.

            In any case, what is undeniable is that the United States of today and the Stalinist era of the USSR both share one common feature: the respective governments of both nations are hiding their decisions to have people killed and imprisoned from a transparent judicial process. Our government has now openly declared that the political elite are above the law.

            But instead of talking about those hard realities, you have backpedaled to the position that we are not as bad as Stalin.

            Well, that's a load off my mind! I hope Obama spends the 4th helping military doctors force feed hunger striking prisoners at Guantanamo while they celebrate spending the rest of their lives without the right to a trial. I even have an idea of what we can write on the cake:

            "NOT AS BAD AS STALIN!"
            "USA! USA! USA!"

      • by meta-monkey (321000) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @02:39PM (#44179969) Journal

        To be honest, I'm kind of shocked at how far they've let that veil fly open, and for how long. If there's one thing politicians are good at, it's PR and vague, meaningless statements. But they're being really specific. "These programs are legal! Full oversight! Bipartisan support! That dude's a traitor!"

        It's incredibly (or intentionally?) botched PR. Why is the NSA still in the spotlight (or at least light) instead of slipping back into the shadows?

        Usually, it would go something like:

        1) Whistlerblower: "They doin' the snoops!"
        2) Republicans: "Saint Bush never intended this! It must be a secret Muslim plot by Obama to install Sharia law!"
        3) Dems: "No way, it was the Cincinnati branch of the NSA!"
        4) Senate hearings: "Mr. Snowden, thank you for your service to your country."
        5) Snowden: "No prob. I'll go rot in obscurity now."
        6) NSA: "Ow. My wrist. From the slapping." (Goes right back to biz as usual)

        Instead we've got international relations breakdowns, furious Internet rage that might actually result in demonstrations (for what that's worth).

        What the hell is going on?

    • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:05PM (#44177559)
      Worth pointing out [guardian.co.uk] that some of those same EU countries trying to impede and/or deny Snowdens asylum requests ("a centuries-old right in international law") are also responsible for allowing CIA extraordinary rendition of unknown prisoners via their air space without any due process, airplane checks (yes Spain, that includes you).

      As usual, US officials and their acolytes who invoke "the law" to demand severe punishment for powerless individuals (Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning) instantly exploit the same concept to protect US political officials, their owners and their allies from the worst crimes: torture, warrantless eavesdropping, rendition, systemic financial fraud, deceiving Congress and the US public about their surveillance behavior. If you're spending your time calling for Ed Snowden's head but not James Clapper's, or if you're obsessed with Snowden's fabricated personality attributes (narcissist!) but apathetic about rampant, out-of-control NSA surveillance, it's probably worth spending a few moments thinking about what this priority scheme reveals.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:14PM (#44177675)
        I like this quote: "Index on Censorship said to EU states this morning [indexoncensorship.org]: "Members of the EU have a duty to protect freedom of expression and should not interfere in an individual's attempts to seek asylum. Edward Snowden is a whistleblower whose free speech rights should be protected not criminalised.""
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It must be nice to be the Index on Censorship and not really have to give a shit about your own foreign relations. Or about the fact that the rest of Europe does the exact same shit as the US, only they just haven't been ratted out yet.

          Why do you think that they are helping the US? They want to show their own prospective leakers that they had better not get any ideas.

          Europe's current "moral high ground" is based solely on the fact that they currently have two fewer leakers than we do, and their government

          • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @02:09PM (#44179465)

            Why do you think that they are helping the US? They want to show their own prospective leakers that they had better not get any ideas.

            They might think they are intimidating prospective leakers, but what they are really doing is encouraging them. Snowden saw what the US did to people like Bradley Manning and the NSA leakers who came before him and he STILL decided to go ahead.

            It was apparent from the first mention of his name that he was motivated by patriotism and idealogy - all this bootlicking by EU members is only going to push their own leakers that much closer to a similar breaking point as Obama's 180 on warrantless wiretaps pushed Snowden.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:10PM (#44177617)

      land of the free, home of the "shit, that guy must be snuffed out, he told the world how dirty we really are. an example must be made so that others think twice about being a whistleblower".

      happy fourth of july, fellow americans ;( can't say I'm very proud to be american right now. in fact, I'm ashamed of what my country is looking like, to the rest of the world.

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:20PM (#44177753)

        lets also blame our fellow geeks who have ENABLED this spying via their tech efforts.

        do you work for a networking company and have you worked on any sniffer or DPI code or hardware? you are to blame - you are part of the problem!

        do you work for anything having to do with calea? you are to blame!

        do you look the other way when you go into work each day? how do you justify the harm you are doing? oh right, you're helping to 'catch bad guys'. yeah, keep telling yourselves that.

        fellow geeks who enable the evil governments that spy are FULLY TO BLAME just as much as the politicians and folks in power who ordered the equipment and software to do this.

        seriously - if we, as a group, said NO to such jobs, they would not get done. but we are whores and will work for spying companies and not even think twice about it.

        its fucked up beyond belief. and we are part of the problem.

        • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:23PM (#44177813)
          I think the movie Cube was about this. You don't know you're part of the problem because you're working on just a tiny piece of it.
    • by auric_dude (610172) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:11PM (#44177623)
      Team America to police the World but who will police America?
    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:22PM (#44177795) Homepage Journal

      This is the THIRD story today, where commenting with the following quote appears both appropriate and relevant to topic:

      "The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth
      and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought"

      -- George Orwell, 1984

    • Do what we say or we'll declare bankruptcy and trash the world economy?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @11:54AM (#44177407)

    A harsh, but reasonable punishment would be to re-route Airforce One to Austria every time Obama wants to visit some country in Europe.

  • by haruchai (17472) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @11:54AM (#44177409)

    No matter what you think of Snowden, at this point he's just a whistleblower or spy.

    If the US wants to search plane, they can fucking do it themselves - they still have an Air Force, after all.

    • by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad,arnett&notforhire,org> on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @11:57AM (#44177445)
      He must be something much more dangerous to somebody. I don't understand how everything he revealed can be so trivialized, and yet he be this sought after.
    • by Jawnn (445279) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:03PM (#44177521)

      No matter what you think of Snowden, at this point he's just a whistleblower or spy.

      Just a whistle blower? He's God damn American hero, even if most American's can't understand that. Where are the yellow ribbons reading "Support Our Whistle Blowers"?

      • There's laws (in theory at least) in the US to protect whistle blowers, even those who release information the way he did. While we can argue back and forth over whether he'll get a fair trial, he is entitled to his day in court. From what I've read of it, the information gathering being done is against the US constitution, and he should be exonerated.

        So why, then, did he choose to go into exile rather than accept the consequences and justify his actions in court? And what did he think he had to gain by goi

        • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:28PM (#44177881) Journal

          So why, then, did he choose to go into exile rather than accept the consequences and justify his actions in court?

          Because he knows there's no chance of a fair trial. Those whose crimes he exposed won't see a courtroom, why should he?

        • by morcego (260031) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:38PM (#44178071)

          There's laws (in theory at least) in the US to protect whistle blowers, even those who release information the way he did. While we can argue back and forth over whether he'll get a fair trial, he is entitled to his day in court. From what I've read of it, the information gathering being done is against the US constitution, and he should be exonerated.

          So why, then, did he choose to go into exile rather than accept the consequences and justify his actions in court? And what did he think he had to gain by going to Julian Assange? These are the questions people need to be asking about this situation...

          I'm sorry, but your arguments sounds a lot like the ones we hear against anonymity, and in favor or letting the government spy on its people.

          The reason he went into exile is simple: he doesn't trust the government. And rightly so.
          Maybe he doesn't want to be a martyr?

        • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:50PM (#44178281)

          There's laws (in theory at least) in the US to protect whistle blowers, even those who release information the way he did.

          Citation? Examples?

          So why, then, did he choose to go into exile rather than accept the consequences and justify his actions in court?

          Because, as someone who only just turned 30 he is not prepared for his life to end either through execution (USC 18, section 2381; http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2381 [cornell.edu]) or just life in prison. It is true that no good deed goes unpunished, but I think Snowden would still like his choice of punishments. Like most people he prefers exile over death.

          When he released classified documents he did in fact break US law. He publicly admitted to doing it. Short of a sympathetic jury who believes in jury nullification he has zero chance of being found not guilty of leaking classified documents. So, like everyone else, he has no illusions about living free ever again in the country of his birth.

          It always annoys me when people claim that by not choosing to spend the rest of his life in prison he is not facing the consequences of his actions. The dramatic events we are all watching unfold are the consequences. Exile is simply the only option he has that is preferable to suicide. I highly doubt you or any of the others claiming he is avoiding the consequences of his actions would act any differently. Remember that he and many other people all over the world do not believe he did anything wrong. On the contrary, many believe he is a hero.

          And what did he think he had to gain by going to Julian Assange?

          I'm not sure if you are following the news, but at no point has he been to London. He is still in the Moscow airport. So I'm not sure what you mean by "going" to Assange. He accepted help from one of Assange's associates, which is precisely what you would have done in his situation. Any other questions?

        • by jdev (227251) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @01:18PM (#44178685)

          So why, then, did he choose to go into exile rather than accept the consequences and justify his actions in court?

          Have you seen what due process has been for Bradley Manning? During his nine-month stay in Fort Quantico, he was reportedly held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, forced to sleep naked without pillows and sheets on his bed, and restricted from physical recreation or access to television. A military judge ruled that his treatment was excessive and credited him with some time served against any future punishment.

          The government has demonstrated that it will crush whistleblowers who try to defy it. Who in their right mind would allow this to happen to them? Extreme measures for Snowden to protect himself just mirror the extreme measures our government has taken to punish those who oppose it.

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:28PM (#44177887)

        the highest rule one can follow is to Do The Right Thing. we each should have some idea as to what that is.

        this is higher than any loyalty to a government or country. higher than loyalty to a religion. higher than what your employer wants you to do.

        I include manning and snowden as true heros and patriots. when a country or government goes bad (ours has, in case there was any doubt) then its your DUTY to Do The Right Thing and inform on them.

        the notion of checks and balances is near and dear to my heart. those who keep the people informed of wrongdoings are at the highest level of hero.

        its sad that our modern heros are being treated like criminals. isn't that a laugh, the criminals are punishing the good guys. I'm not sure when things got so backwards, but they clearly are, now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:02PM (#44177513)

    and I'll bet France and Portugal have business interests associated with Bolivia's lithium deposits. Morales could spank both of them by levying an access fee amounting to a few hundred million Euros. Gotta make it more expensive to be a USA poodle if we want this bad behavior to stop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:05PM (#44177557)

    If this was done to Air Force One, there would be outrage and calls for war.

    It's not supposed to be legal to interfere with the travel of diplomats or search them.

    If this was done at the request of the Americans, they've well overestimated their own importance. If this was done by someone trying to keep the Americans happy, they crossed well over the line.

    But America seems to believe the rest of the world should be subservient to their wishes -- and the rest of the world is waking up to a big "Fuck You".

    Keep braying about how you're the defenders of Truth and Freedom, while lying your faces off and becoming an authoritarian state. What Snowden has done is demonstrate that the US only gives a shit about themselves, and will break any law that stands in their way.

    • by mcvos (645701) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:15PM (#44177685)

      If this was done to Air Force One, there would be outrage and calls for war.

      Of course. But it wasn't Air Force One, it was merely the plane of the president of some unimportant country that's not the US. So who cares, right? Only the US really matters. Only the people in charge of the US really matter, I mean. If there's one thing abundantly clear now, it's that.

    • by zlives (2009072) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:30PM (#44177911)

      i assume some blame must also reside with the ball-less wonders of Europe?

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:31PM (#44177919)

      If this was done at the request of the Americans, they've well overestimated their own importance

      I take great offense at that statement. the corrupticians in power run bartertown. the american people have no say in things anymore.

      please do not assume that We The People have any control over our lawless government officials. that boat sailed a long time ago and it isn't coming back any time soon.

  • Dear leaders: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:10PM (#44177619) Journal
    Snowden didn't make you look bad by revealing your little games both at home and abroad. You made us look bad by pulling this shit in the first place.

    Cut it out and give Snowden the hero's welcome home he deserves.
  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:16PM (#44177701)

    What concerns me the most is just how aggressively the entire world seems to be against him, when all he's basically revealed is the existence of a high-level domestic spy program. Yeah, that's horrible and shit, but that alone wouldn't have the US government moving political mounts pressuring other countries not to harbor him.

    What did he potentially have access to that's so damning to the government that it's strong-arming the entire world over the possibility that he could release it?

    • by xstonedogx (814876) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:36PM (#44178019)

      Isn't it obvious?!

      He has evidence:

      1. The moon landing was faked.
      2. The U.S. is complicit in the alien abduction of its citizens.
      3. The U.S. is reverse engineering alien technology at area 51.
      4. Bigfoot is real and a consultant for the DEA.
      5. JFK was killed by Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis.
      6. The U.S. is run by lizard people of which George W. Bush is one. (Also Morena Baccarin.)
      7. Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, and other supposedly dead musicians are alive, well, and immortal prisoners in an underwater city in the Atlantic for the rich and powerful.
      8. (The truth about eight is too awful to print.)
      9. Tater Tots are PEOPLE.

    • by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:44PM (#44178183)
      > What concerns me the most is just how aggressively the entire world seems to be against him

      Nope. The world is not against him. The world is against the possible [economic] retaliation from the US. That's kind of funny: during the cold war, a time people were worrying about possible armed conflicts, Snowden would have been granted asylum from many countries, including USSR. Nowadays, it seems the economic threat has more impact than nukes.
    • by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @01:01PM (#44178455)

      His problem is he's a geek and doesn't understand how social relations work between people, much less countries. For example everyone spies on everyone-else's diplomatic missions, but everyone also pretends that no such thing ever happens. In a lot of ways these spy-missions-between-allies are actually in everyone's best interest because if French spies tell the the French government the UK really is serious about issue #47, the French know that pressing the Brits too hard on Issue #47 is likely to lead to big problems in other areas. But it's considered rude to talk about this stuff openly because the voters don't understand this, and the Brits will have to do something if anyone ever points out to those voters that the French spies got all Britain's documents on Issue #47.

      Snowden and co. just did that to the US. Instead of doing whatever they were actually planning on doing today, the Foreign ministers of multiple countries have to be self-righteous hypocrites for the next three months. They know they are being hypocrites, they do not like it, and they blame Snowden/Wikileaks for forcing their hands. Therefore they are sending a message to Evo Morales. Helping Snowden is going to have repercussions with his relationships with them. I'm not sure whether Morales cares one way or the other about that, but now he knows.

      If Snowden had stayed in Hong Kong, and avoided Assange religiously he'd be a lot better off. Since he's with Wikileaks he's burned his entire stock of moral authority with all people who have legal authority, he's also guaranteed that his information is worthless to those people because Wikileaks always tells everyone everything eventually. But he fled to Russia with Wikileaks help, now the Russians don't know what to do with him, and the Latin American countries that might shield him as a FU to the US are finding out that they'd be telling a lot of other countries FU2.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @02:07PM (#44179453) Journal

      What did he potentially have access to that's so damning to the government that it's strong-arming the entire world over the possibility that he could release it?

      A conscience.

  • Grow a pair, Europe (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:17PM (#44177703)

    On the heels of revelations about US spying on its European Allies [slashdot.org], why are you people putting up with this crap?

    • by arth1 (260657)

      People don't just put up with it, they revel in it. It's panem et circenses for today's plebs.

      As long as something does not appear to affect an American's ability to buy cheap cheeseburgers and petrol, it's only entertainment.

  • by 3seas (184403) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:17PM (#44177707) Journal

    ... isn't that supposed to be a given in todays spy vs. spy MAD comic?

    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @01:21PM (#44178733)

      Bugs were invented for the purpose of spying on embassies, which were from time immemorial used as a good place to headquarter your espionage operations in foreign countries.

      I remember a story from the '80s where a new US embassy in Moscow was so infested with bugs that it had to be abandoned. The very concrete rebar served as antennae for the bugs.

      http://articles.latimes.com/1991-07-29/news/mn-177_1_embassy-building [latimes.com]

      So it should be no surprise at all that any embassy is buggier than an ant hill.

      My favorite story was the the bugged version of the Great Seal Seal given to the US Ambassador, which hung in his residence. Dr Theremin got an order Stalin award for that one.

      It's one thing to be bugging private citizens, and another altogether to be bugging embassies.

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:25PM (#44177843)

    From the BBC article...

    Meanwhile, France has urged EU-US trade talks be delayed amid the fallout from secrets leaked by Mr Snowden.

    The talks are due to begin on Monday but claims that the US bugged EU diplomatic offices in the US, and spied on internal computer networks, have upset transatlantic relations.

    French government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Berkacem said the talks should be suspended for 15 days to enable mutual trust to be restored.

    Yet at the same time it is claimed that the French potentially violated the diplomatic priviledges of the President of an interntionally-recognised, non "axis-of-evil", democratic nation-state in order to please the USA?

    Looks like genuine 'realpolitik' at its cynical best; we're pissed that you're spying on us, but we'll still help you collect your "bad guy" in case we need you to return the favour in the future. Just like what happened when NZ gave back the Rainbow Warrior killers so fast...

    Bottom line: Why is this spying stuff so persistent and pervasive? Because everybody in power wants it...

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:35PM (#44178003) Homepage Journal

    By now US is at war against the world, by their own definition [washingtonexaminer.com], the ones that act as allies in things like this are targets too, even if they keep covering they ears and eyes to not see the evidence. Even if international law and rights used to have some meaning, is not anymore.

    Ok, maybe they have to act like this even if they don't want to. The biggest benefit of massive, worldwide snooping on everything digital is not stopping terrorist, is just have a really big database for blackmailing, to force anyone to do what they want, from the top governors to the last shoeshiner.

  • by photonic (584757) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:37PM (#44178033)
    Dear opposition parties of all involved countries (France, Spain, Austria, ...), please drag the responsible ministers to parliament and have them explain every detail of the closure of the airspace as soon as possible. I don't know how it is organized exactly in those countries, but in the political system I know (Netherlands), all ministers are forced to respond to any question posed by members of parliament. The sillier questions can be answered by mail within a few weeks deadline, but I guess that for more important issues like this one, they can have any minister get his ass in parliament with a few days notice. Willfully giving wrong answers is political suicide via a 'motion of no confidence'. In the more likely case that the relevant ministers are supported by the leading majority, they can still be forced to make some embarrassing statements (yes, Obama did call us to close the airspace ...), which could lead to ridicule in the press and losses in the polls.
  • by jasper160 (2642717) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:42PM (#44178131)
    "Enough is enough! I have had it with this motherfucking Snowden on this motherfucking plane!"
  • I am proud (Score:5, Funny)

    by vikingpower (768921) <exercitussolus@gmaiYEATSl.com minus poet> on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @01:36PM (#44178973) Homepage Journal

    ...to live in Austria, where Mrs. Miki-Leitner, the Minister of Interior Affairs, said ( after the dust had settled somewhat, this afternoon ):

    "This was a missed chance for Mr. Snowden. Austria has shown not to let itself be intimidated by the US. If Mr. Snowden had come here, he would have gotten a serious examination of his request for political asylum, as well as an investigation into recognizing him as a political refugee."

    I would say: Edward, life in Vienna is more than bearable. Plenty of high-tech firms in case you ever need a job again ( which I doubt ), and the border to Switzerland is only a few train hours away, in case you need to run. Come over here, man !!!

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel

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