Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Movies Privacy Security The Courts Politics

Conservative Site Argues Profiting from Snowden 'Treason' May Violate Law (judicialwatch.org) 236

"A federal appellate court has ruled that government employees, such as Snowden, who signed privacy agreements can't profit from disclosing information without first obtaining agency approval," writes the conservative advocacy site Judicial Watch. Slashdot reader schwit1 quotes their article: This would make it illegal to profit from his crimes and the Department of Justice should confiscate all money made by the violators. Snowden is no whistleblower. In fact he violated his secrecy agreement, which means he and his conspirators can't materially profit from his fugitive status, violation of law, aiding and abetting of a crime and providing material support to terrorism.
In addition, they argue that both an upcoming movie about Snowden by Oliver Stone and the 2014 documentary Citizenfour "may be in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which forbids providing material support or resources for acts of international terrorism... It's bad enough that people are profiting from Snowden's treason, but adding salt to the wound, the Obama administration is doing nothing about it. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Conservative Site Argues Profiting from Snowden 'Treason' May Violate Law

Comments Filter:
  • But.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, 2016 @05:36PM (#52657233)

    This "Conservative site" is also profiting from Snowden with their bullshit click-bait article.

    • Re: But.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So did the 90% of the media, heck Slashdot has ads and is profiting right now. I say lockem all up!

      • Except he wasn't (Score:5, Interesting)

        by duckintheface ( 710137 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @07:26PM (#52657647)

        Snowden worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor to the NSA, at the time he leaked classified documents. Since he was NOT a government employee, he is not covered by the court decision mentioned in the article. Of course, Judicial Watch knows that.

        And if Snowden HAD been a government employee, he would have been covered by the Federal Whistleblower law and would not be at risk of prosecution for the leaks, since he proved that the US government was breaking the law.

        • by WarJolt ( 990309 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @07:38PM (#52657665)

          Quiet....this the year of no accountability. We can't have whistle-blowers running rampant in our federal government.

        • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @07:59PM (#52657713)
          When has a common sense interpretation of the law stopped prosecutors from twisting its purpose to suit their agenda, such as trying to force a plea bargain. By the time Snowden won on the law he could be $10M in debt.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Since he was NOT a government employee, he is not covered by the court decision mentioned in the article. Of course, Judicial Watch knows that.

          Snowden was an CIA employee before going to work for Booz Allen, so he would have, like the former CIA employee Snepp in the court case, signed a standard agreement [archives.gov] not to divulge classified information either during employment or after. In addition, he would also have to sign a similar document working for Booz Allen since it was doing contract work for the NSA and

        • No, he would be. Had he released just information related to NSAs illegal activities, then he would be fine. But, he detailed how spy on other nations and even terrorist groups. IOW, he is a traitor.
        • he would have been covered by the Federal Whistleblower law

          He would most certainly not have been protected, as has been covered ad nauseam elsewhere. One of the critical factors in civil disobedience/whistleblowing is procedual adherance (i.e. going through authorized channels). If you think Snowden is some sort of latter-day Ellsburg, you might want to be aware of the fact that Ellsburg not only attempted Congressional channels but also turned himself in after leaking the information. Civil disobedience means holding yourself accountable to the system. It is most

    • Re:But.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @08:11PM (#52657733) Homepage Journal

      This "Conservative site" is also profiting from Snowden with their bulls**t click-bait article.

      That about sums it up. Their analysis is fundamentally flawed. As a general rule, "Son of Sam" laws make it illegal to profit from your own crime. Snowden can't legally sell his movie rights. They don't prevent him from giving those rights away, nor prevent anyone from making a movie about him or profiting from it, so long as those people were not involved in the original crime. Any law that went further than that would almost certainly fail a first-amendment challenge.

      More significantly, those laws apply only after conviction for that crime, or in some cases after a plea bargain. In this case, he hasn't been tried (even in absentia), so those laws don't factor in.

      And that's assuming those laws even pass constitutional muster. Many of these laws have been overturned for unconstitutionality. And because laws can't generally be overturned until someone can show harm from the law, the fact that they haven't been overturned yet does not necessarily mean that the laws are constitutional, because there may not have been anyone with standing to challenge them yet.

      • They are just trying to apply civil forfeiture laws to the Snowden case. It works so well (/s) for other cases why not try it for this one!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Study Soviet History, and you will see many parallels between Stalin's goons and "the conservative advocacy site Judicial Watch". Vile and Unamerican.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The DOJ ought to arrest the conservative advocacy site Judicial Watch for treason. Not treason against the nation but treason against their own conservative values.

      Time was an authentic 'conservative' understood the need for privacy, individual liberty, and freedom. The government was potentially dangerous and had to be kept limited. Also, there's this little known and widely abused document called the Constitution that conservatives used to like a lot. Time was.

      Snowden is more 'conservative' by these m

      • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday August 07, 2016 @11:11AM (#52660075) Journal
        I really hope that the law that they're citing is as badly worded as they claim, because if it is then then that would mean that any elected official who voted for invading Iraq or Syria could be prosecuted for 'providing material support or resources for acts of international terrorism' (after all, we saw a lot more terrorists recruited as a result of the US participation in both). Find a partisan judge and bring a private prosecution against someone in the other party...
    • Re:But.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LifesABeach ( 234436 ) on Sunday August 07, 2016 @11:32AM (#52660189) Homepage
      Lets see if I understand this. The US government is violating constitutional law. A US citizen tells the US people that this is happening. And the US government says that this bad. US government employees say they can do this unlawfulness because they were ordered to. I guess the defenses and verdicts at Nuremberg were forgotten. If the CIA doesn't know how the folks like the Bin Laden group get their money. Maybe they should get training on something else; because they sure as hell don't know how to do their jobs.
  • treason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, 2016 @05:42PM (#52657263)

    The current US administration has been caught spying in violation of the constutition. The penalty for treason includes death. I'm not sure why snowden gets brought up when I would like to see the current heads of the FBI and homeland security swinging from the end of a noose as justice demands.

    • Why stop there? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, 2016 @06:12PM (#52657415)

      Plenty of congresscritters, state legislators, justices of the court, prosecutors, law enforcement, and military personnel who similiarly deserve a trip to hangtown for taking actions in direct contradiction to their oaths.

      Did Snowden take an oath, or did he merely get security clearance and an NDA? Because if it was the latter then he's a hell of a lot less guity of wrongdoing that the aforementioned parties.

    • Re: treason (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your vote isn't what counts. What counts is the person counting your vote.

    • I don't think it is that simple. Perversion of the constitution appears to go beyond party lines and more into the current culture of the halls of power - congressional, president or bureaucratic. The difference now is that someone noticed and blew the whistle. The result of those who would wish to hide the dirty laundry are doing everything to point fingers elsewhere.

      It can be argued than an NDA that is incompatible with the constitution should be null and void?

    • Re:treason (Score:5, Informative)

      by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @08:25PM (#52657761) Journal
      The current US administration has been caught spying in violation of the constutition.

      Because the Bush administration was never caught spying in violation of the Constitution. Forget the whole PATRIOT Act or the administration forcing phone companies to install digital taps so the government could listen in on everyone's phone calls?

      As soon as Bush and Cheney are swinging from the end of a noose I'll be more than happy to agree with your demand.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        The current US administration has been caught spying in violation of the constutition.

        Because the Bush administration was never caught spying in violation of the Constitution. Forget the whole PATRIOT Act or the administration forcing phone companies to install digital taps so the government could listen in on everyone's phone calls?

        As soon as Bush and Cheney are swinging from the end of a noose I'll be more than happy to agree with your demand.

        I don't think the GP was arguing against Bush and Cheney being hanged for treason; he was only addressing the current administration.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You keep using those words, but I don't think you know what they mean.

    • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

      I think you could at least argue treason (hopefully unsuccessfully since if anything he uncovered a lot more violations of the Constitution than his own actions). Certainly what he did violated Federal laws.

      But claiming it's terrorism is absurd. The most common definition: "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." He neither made any threats, used any violence, nor benefited politically from it. In fact, even if he had threatened to release documents b

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @08:36PM (#52657793)

        I think you could at least argue treason

        Only if the facts of what he leaked and why are completely ignored, along with his Oath of Office, the definition of Treason, the 4th Amendment...

        Certainly what he did violated Federal laws.

        Federal laws meant to cover up shredding of our 4th Amendment rights. But hey, we gotta have priorities, like talking about how Snowden must must must face trial, while ignoring the fact that each and every warrantless NSA wiretap is punishable by 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

        • by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @10:38PM (#52658115) Journal

          The current government only prosecutes peons and gives themselves exception, so they will never face trial. Hell when the White House itself committed treason a few years back for violating the same law as Snowden (the Espionage Act of 1917) by releasing a CIA agent's name and it was pretty much laughed off as a mistake. Pretty much the same thing happened in Plamegate.

          • The current government, the last government, the one before that... right back to the first time some tribal strong-man proclaimed himself king.

      • by qeveren ( 318805 )

        The US has an extremely narrow definition of the term "treason", for reasons having to do with the monarchy they rebelled against. Snowden is most certainly not a traitor under his nation's laws.

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      You keep using those words, but I don't think you know what they mean.

      "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

      That very much applies to these words.
      Treason law is rarely and inconsistently applied in the US. The last case was the Rosenbergs, who passed atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets in the early Cold War.

      But back in the US civil war, a man was executed for treason for pulling down a US flag.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • They are among a small set of words and phrases that let a politician pass almost any piece of legislation without attracting much scrutiny. Other words and phrases include "to protect our children", "socialism", and "communism" (though this is mostly historical).

  • I accept and believe Snowden performed treason. No doubt in my mind. But I don't think making a movie about it, absent any other strong ties, amounts to support; we have all sorts of movies about criminals as well as current events that happen to be illegal. Without some actual ties, I'd prefer to err on the side of having robust public discussion of these matters rather than worrying about this kind of thing.

    • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @05:51PM (#52657323)

      Y'know what else was treason?

      Back in the late 1700s, there was this infamous gang of subversives calling themselves the Founding Fathers. Oh, the things they did. It ended with bloody revolution.

      Anyone that profits from anything they did back then should have all their assets seized, it is only right. Let's start with all the politicians.

      • by Improv ( 2467 ) <pgunn01@gmail.com> on Saturday August 06, 2016 @05:59PM (#52657365) Homepage Journal

        The founding fathers certainly committed treason. The term doesn't necessarily mean something bad in every circumstance.

        • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @06:34PM (#52657487)
          It's only treason if you lose. If you win, it's revolution.
          • by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @07:53PM (#52657699)

            Did the Americans overthrow the King? Did they at least overthrow Parliament? Did they even get within 3000 miles of the King and Parliament? Or did a bunch of colonial governments in N. America decide to secede?
            Secession is not a successful revolution.
            Next people will be claiming that it is perfectly fine for the American Congress to pass laws limiting speech even though the 1st amendment to the American Constitution stops them.

            • Actually, you're right. It was a "war of independence", not a "revolution" in the classical (i.e. French) sense. However, what the Founding Fathers (the "Revolutionaries" in common parlance) did was both treason and sedition.

              And you're right on your second point as well, but it will involve the Second Amendment, not the First.
              • by dryeo ( 100693 )

                Yes, it was treason and sedition and particularly pissed off the King, especially as it was triggered by the King proclaiming that all his subjects were equal (Royal Proclamation of 1763), the last thing that the American colonists wanted to admit as obviously Papists, Savages and Niggers weren't equal.
                As for the Second, it is ignored or limited by everyone as it simply says that the People have the right to bear arms. Nothing about only some people having the right like the Bill of Rights of 1689 which onl

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Uberbah ( 647458 )

              Pedantic distinction without a difference. The government of the colonies was British - a government that was overthrown. In the colonies.

            • by quenda ( 644621 )

              Did the Americans overthrow the King?

              That would be high treason. But it is treason to wage war against the king in his realm. If that's not enough, they allied with the French when they were already at war with England!
              But treason is always political: none of the Confederate leaders were ever charged with treason, even though clearly guilty under US law.

              Its funny how history always sides with the victors. The War of Independence was good, the Confederate war of indep^Wsecession^Wrebellion was bad.

              • by dryeo ( 100693 )

                No, High Treason is disloyalty to the State, vs petty treason which is disloyalty against a lesser master, eg a servant killing his master. While there were a few ways to commit high treason in Great Britain, fucking the Queen or Princess (heir might not be the Kings), counterfeiting coins, the main law was similar to what was written into the American Constitution, at least as of 1695.
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          • It's only treason if you lose. If you win, it's revolution.

            No, it's both things either way. The winning sides' rhetoric doesn't change the underlying reality.

      • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @06:29PM (#52657465)

        Y'know what else was treason?

        Back in the late 1700s, there was this infamous gang of subversives calling themselves the Founding Fathers. Oh, the things they did. It ended with bloody revolution.

        Anyone that profits from anything they did back then should have all their assets seized, it is only right. Let's start with all the politicians.

        When you overthrow the government you too will be able to say what is and isn't treason.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, 2016 @05:54PM (#52657339)

      Did Snowden have any choice? He couldn't blow the whistle as it would have been covered up and he would be in a very dark hole. What the government agencies did was illegal, unethical and they abused their powers without oversight. Should Snowden have remained silent?

      • He did blow the whistle internally - his concerns were completely ignored, and he was instructed to do his job and stay out of things not his concern. That's why he went public.

    • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

      I accept and believe Snowden performed treason.

      Then you're a fool. The only path for Snowden to have upheld his Oath of Office and defend the Constitution was to do exactly what he did. It's funny, though, how you guys never call for FISA laws to be enforced against government employees, all the way up to the president himself. Up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each warrantless wiretap.

      We're talking millions of years in prison and trillions in fines, collectively. Yet the slobbering authori

      • by Improv ( 2467 )

        I'm not sure what "you people" you imagine me to be part of.

        As to the "you never call" bit, FISA doesn't apply or do what you think it does if you're seriously suggesting that. Even if we imagine some alternate world where it were entirely different but kept that name, you might want to look into "sovereign immunity" as a doctrine. It does not alone decide the issue (see also the "stripping doctrine"), but there are many hurdles to meet to do as you say even were it basically plausible. Which it is not.

  • Fair is fair... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by magusxxx ( 751600 ) <magusxxx_2000&yahoo,com> on Saturday August 06, 2016 @05:50PM (#52657317)
    How much money have they confiscated from the paid military advisors for the movie Blackhawk Down? While others have been accused, and found guilty, for releasing this same information they were allowed to cash a check.
  • I know conservative publications make a living by complaining about the president, but fabricating something new to be offended about every single day eventually leads to some really bizarre complaints. Like the $400 million payment to Iran that was part of a deal announced in January.

    It's just not working anymore.

    • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @06:31PM (#52657479) Homepage

      We owed them the money for over 30 years, after all. That's how far from "new" it was.

      The thing is, Iran paid us the money for military equipment right before they experienced regime change, and then afterwards we weren't willing to give them the weapons. However much we hate their new government, we do have to give the money back. They paid us real cash money for products that we refused to deliver. They were owed a refund.

      But relations were so bad, even though we knew we owed them the money we never got along with them well enough to even be able to hand it over to them. Eventually it happened, because of the nuclear deal.

      There is real diplomatic value in paying it, because it has always been an important propaganda point for them. Now the story is, in the end the Americans paid the money they owed, with all the interest, in the amount that was determined by arbitration. Because the American government always pay its debts.

      And we had to pay in euros, because Congress. wtf, why does Congress hate dollars?

  • "It's bad enough that people are profiting from Snowden's treason, but adding salt to the wound, the Obama administration is doing nothing about it."

    It's not surprising he has a different viewpoint than that of these conservative bloggers... after all, he's from Kenya.

  • OK, it's a 'conservative site' that presents this argument against Snowden. And here, for a mostly progressive audience, it is presented as a troll to bait the eager readers to reply with venom. It is a common tactic at slashdot to rile up the readers and it's commonly called clickbait.

    It's an election season in the US and more than usual we see the polarity between left and right, progressive vs conservative. And here we may be encouraging the divide between Americans to assure there is no middle ground.

    I have always thought of slashdot readers as more astute than most. I don't do Fecebook or others because they seem less astute, more strident. I hope to see some balance in this particular discussion. If some consider Snowden to be a criminal, let's examine their motivations and see if there isn't some compelling reason for that belief.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      progressive vs conservative

      The conservatives have left the building. The word you are looking for is "reactionaries". They want a LOT of change so are by no means conservative.

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @06:35PM (#52657495)
    It is a shame that Snowden isn't old enough to run for president. Otherwise, with our current two despised candidates, he might have been able to win for a third party. I would very much like to see him in the office.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We already have a candidate Jill Stein that recognizes the power of healing crystals. We don't need anyone else. She is already the best candidate in history.

      • Don't know if it was as famous in the US but the Natural Law Party of Canada [wikipedia.org] wanted to further research yogic flying as a tool for achieving world peace. They had the magician Doug Henning as a member of the party. It was pretty well known when they were around. Not very respected, but well known.

  • by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @06:39PM (#52657509)

    The claim that Snowden's act constitutes 'Terrorism' is an example of the abuse of the term - and of legislation if it does - that needs to be highlighted. From first principles it can be argued that Snowden shouldn't benefit from his actions, or not, but the use of 'terrorism' legislation should be unacceptable...

  • does not equate to being convicted of a crime.

    As he has yet to stand trial ( especially since it would be a one sided joke of a trial ) they would be hard pressed to follow through since he has not been convicted.

    Except in very selected public opinion circles that is.

  • by TheDarkener ( 198348 ) on Saturday August 06, 2016 @08:27PM (#52657767) Homepage

    If I were Snowden I'd be looking at every possible media outlet to get the word out about the disgusting things I've learned. Some of those media outlets require money/funding, and inevitably will return some kind of profit (ticket sales for movies for example). But them trying to play that card on Snowden in the first place is just proof that they need to examine his motives and his position as someone who wants to stop the breaking of laws and constitutional foundations that his country was founded on by its own government. Relating him, even remotely, to "terrorism" is appalling and insulting to his integrity and willingness to essentially throw his life away for the sake of informing people that their government isn't playing by its own rules.

  • I haven't seen a front-page article here that criticized a conservative anything in a long time.
  • Any one else following what's going on with Manning? There's a whistle blower if there ever was one and the U.S. tortures him/her endlessly.

  • So acting against corrupt spooks to tell citizens of the USA what they were getting up to is treason now? That sounds like something Putin would have said when the remains of the KGB were taking over Russia.
    Keep in mind that Snowden leaked to Americans and the it was the Washington Post etc that told others, but they are not being accused of treason.
  • Judicial watch? Why not save everyone the time and link to the enquirer or Onion instead? At least their bullshit is entertaining.

  • They have no comment section, no way of telling anyone that reads this site to be able to inform their readers that Snowden was not a "federal employee" like they claim.
    • Judicial Watch is... well, you could accurately call them a conservative website, but they reflect only the worst aspects of what conservative means. They also outright lie. A lot. They are responsible for starting and occasionally perpetuating a rumor that ISIS has a training camp in northern Mexico and the Obama administration is covering it up - according to unnamed 'sources,' of course. ( http://www.judicialwatch.org/b... [judicialwatch.org] )

  • Shouldn't he be charged with treason? After all he leaked confidential material to his mistress/biographer. Or are we only allowed to go after people who aren't in the boys club?
  • It's bad enough that people are profiting from Snowden's treason, but adding salt to the wound, the Obama administration is doing nothing about it.

    I love how neo-cons/tea# are coming to this site always screaming and lying about O or Hillary. So what can O do? Snowden lives in Russia and published via China. Exactly what can O do? Nothing.

  • US journalists must not report it? Ok, the internet is big and US laws don't apply in Russia, so I guess I have to turn to RT from now on for more Snowden reports...

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel

Working...