back to article Snowden is FREE to ESCAPE FROM RUSSIA, say officials

Russia has given fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a three year residency permit after his previous visa expired at the end of July. Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told journalists that Snowden's request for a residence permit had been granted. “He will be able to travel freely within the country and go abroad …

  1. KjetilS

    The lawyer also dismissed an attempt by the US to have Snowden extradited back to America on spying charges, saying, "There has been no request which complies with international law."

    I wouldn't call that a dismissal, though. When has the US ever made an effort to give requests in compliance with international law?

    1. VinceH

      In US Gov and US TLA agencies' eyes, US law is international law.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        In US Gov and US TLA agencies' eyes, US law is international law "What is law?"

        Fixed it for you.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re:KjetilS

      ".....When has the US ever made an effort to give requests in compliance with international law?" So you've never heard of Gary McKinnon? I suggest you try a lot more reading in the subject, possibly starting here http://london.usembassy.gov/mobile/gb176.html, to help you deal with your groundless preconceptions.

      The whole 'legal extradition' thing works best when there is a proper and legally-independent judiciary at both ends, so the chances of anyone being extradited by the US from Pootie's Playpen with the current state of relations are zero.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pootie's playpen

        Similar to the chances of anyone being extradited from Obama's playpen perhaps then.

        1. Vociferous

          Re: Pootie's playpen

          "Similar to the chances of anyone being extradited from Obama's playpen"

          To Russia? Gee, I sure hope so, a democracy extraditing people to an oppressive fascist dictatorship wouldn't be a good thing at all.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: To Russia? Gee

            Pot, meet kettle. You're all the same

            1. Vociferous

              Re: To Russia? Gee

              > You're all the same

              Yeah, Obama totally oppresses and censor opposition just like Russia. You probably have black helicopters buzzing your house right now, poor honest patriot!

          2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Re: Pootie's playpen

            To Russia? Gee, I sure hope so, a democracyoligarchy extraditing people to an oppressive fascist dictatorship wouldn't be a good thing at all.

            Fixed it for you and for other wide-eyed innocents who like to live in denial and think that raising flags and singing national anthems in the morning is called "freedom"...

            BBC article here

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: AC Re: Pootie's playpen

          Why is it so many of the Yank-haters that post here haven't bothered to do even basic research before posting complete male bovine manure?

          "......Based on the numbers provided to Sir Scott Baker’s panel, under this treaty, 130 extradition REQUESTS were submitted from the U.S. to the UK. Of those 130 requests, the UK has refused 10. Of the remaining 120, 77 individuals were extradited from the UK to the U.S.; the other 43 cases remained pending in the UK system, or the individuals returned to the U.S. on their own, or other circumstances made the extradition no longer necessary. During the same time period, the UK submitted 54 extradition REQUESTS to the US, of which none have been refused. Of those 54 requests, 38 resulted in extradition of an individual from the U.S. to the UK. In the remaining 16 cases, the individuals either returned to the UK on their own or other circumstances made extradition from the U.S. to the UK no longer necessary....." - http://london.usembassy.gov/mobile/gb176.html

          Good thing you posted AC considering how clueless you now look.

  2. Semtex451
    Joke

    Hope he read the small print about being used as a cyber warrior against Ukraine

    1. Vociferous

      > cyber warrior against Ukraine

      Speaking of that, and surprising absolutely no one, Ukraine is under sustained attack from state-sponsored hackers.

  3. hammarbtyp

    Here's optimism for you...

    “He’ll be able to stay abroad for not longer than three months.”

    Oh, I think if he visits certain countries they will be happy to ensure he stays a little longer than that

    1. James 51

      Re: Here's optimism for you...

      Presumably they'll go and fetch him back.

  4. NoneSuch Silver badge

    True justice would involve two pieces of paper.

    A Presidential Pardon for Edward Snowden followed by a Presidential resignation letter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      True justice would involve two pieces of paper

      Do you really think the President gets told about what the security services are up to? Do you really think that, if he had closed Gitmo and pardoned Snowden, Boehner and his mad associates wouldn't have stopped the entire business of the US government in their quest for impeachment?

      Don't forget that while Harold Wilson was PM, SIS and MI5 were spying on him. If you aren't a far right nationalist, being an elected politician makes you more suspicious, not less.

      1. O RLY

        Re: True justice would involve two pieces of paper

        Yes, I do think that had Obama closed Gitmo, ended renditions, drone strikes, and warrantless wiretapping, and fulfilled a few other campaign promises, "Boehner and his mad associates wouldn't have stopped the entire business of the US government in their quest for impeachment" because they would still be the minority party in the US House. Obama had a decisive electoral win in 2008 and the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for his first two years in office. Meaningful accomplishments would have likely kept control of the House in 2010. Alas, there were none, just continuations of the worst excesses of Bush and the shattering of the illusion of 2008 Obama.

      2. Charles Manning

        NSA spying on prez

        "If you aren't a far right nationalist..."

        It does not matter who you are they'll spy on you.

        The KGB got to be a self-preserving entity that rose above the law. USA three-letter agencies have done the same.

        You're either in the NSA, or you are the enemy. It does not matter how left or right winged you are, you just are not one of them.

        It does not matter that Obama says they must not spy on Merkel, they will just continue to spy on both of them.

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: NSA spying on prez

          "The KGB got to be a self-preserving entity that rose above the law. USA three-letter agencies have done the same."

          That is so true.

          All "intelligence" organisations in the world are primarily concerned with preservation of their own power (and funding).

          They do it, primarily, by falsly claiming to the public that some other country is their mortal enemy and then assuring, equally falsely, the same public that they can protect them.

          Secondarily, they preserve their power and funding by black-mailing politicians...

  5. IHateWearingATie

    I suspect...

    ... there aren't that many countries that he would be risking travelling to anyway, but nice to have the option.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor attempt

    Gareth, I realise the "FREE to ESCAPE" bollocks is an attempt at sensationalism, as befits a tabloid... unfortunately it is a pretty poor one.

    Mr. Snowden is and has always been free to leave the Russian Federation any time he wished, although this would have jeopardised his asylum status as in many other countries. The condition for not spending extended periods abroad (without due justification) is also a common part of residence (not "residency" as you have written) permits.

    Let us not forget: it is our American "cousins" trying to hunt down the poor bastard. Russia might be taking political advantage (or not) of the situation, but it is not them trying to ruin Mr. Snowden's day. Whatever you think of the former red country (and allow me to doubt you're much familiar with it), methinks a little respect is due.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Poor attempt

      > Whatever you think of the former red country (and allow me to doubt you're much familiar with it), methinks a little respect is due.

      I think the Tartars in Crimea have a different opinion about the "former" red country being a changed for the better country. Plus, with all of the new laws enacted recently to monitor the internet activities of its citizens, controlling all media outlets, and making it unlawful to have mass protests critical of the ruling elite, I don't think it has changed all that much.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Poor attempt

        > I think

        My dear fellow AC, may I enquire whether your familiarity with the Russian Federation goes beyond your exposure to mainstream Western media?

        Ironically, in my experience, the common Russian citizen, subject mostly to Russian mainstream media, seems to have a much less distorted view of the West than the other way around.

        To put an example: Ask a Saudi what they think of Israel and they'll tell you they eat Arab children for breakfast. Ask an Israeli what they think of Saudi Arabia and they'll tell you they eat Jewish children for lunch. In reality, both are quite decent people and both have a strong preference for coffee during breakfast and chicken and rice, or vegetarian dishes, for their noon meal. But you wouldn't know that unless you lived long term in both places (which I have).

        Nothing beats first hand experience to realise to what extent the media distorts things, usually for commercial and/or political interests. I would more or less understand if at least they did it out of sincere ideological convictions, but that's rarely the case. :(

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Poor attempt

          @AC...er...#3

          Was the information about new laws being passed for better government monitoring of its citizens internet activities, the state controlling media outlets, and making it illegal to have mass demonstrations (protests) against the ruling elite incorrect? Please correct me where I am wrong.

          Also, are you implying that majority of Tartars are completely happy having Putin as their dear leader?

          1. Tony Paulazzo

            Re: Poor attempt

            Was the information about new laws being passed for better government monitoring of its citizens internet activities, the state controlling media outlets, and making it illegal to have mass demonstrations (protests) against the ruling elite incorrect?

            You do realise the exact same laws are being passed in the UK, US & Australia, and where they are not enshrined in law the NSA / GCHQ / Whatever acronym Australia has, does it anyway.

            The state have always controlled the media and when was the last time a demonstration changed anything? that's right, the poll tax riot in 1989, and that was only getting rid of Thatcher, they just renamed the poll tax to council tax and lowered it a tiny bit.

    2. Vociferous

      Re: Poor attempt

      Well aren't you endearingly naive.

      Snowden was passed to Russia from China because China already had everything Snowden had. Now Russia has got everything he had, plus used him a bit for propaganda against the US, so it's time to pass him on to the next dictatorship wanting some insight in US espionage - I'm thinking Snowden will soon go on a three-month vacation to Iran, Venezuela, Zimbabwe or North Korea.

      He's being passed around like a drunk 10-year-old at a pedophile convention.

  7. The Grump
    Mushroom

    He can STAY there for all I care

    That commie loving piece o crap Snowden is right where he belongs. The US clearly cannot trust him. No sane country on Earth would trust him (Russia included). Snowden is a traitor - truly the modern version of a "man without a country". Let him rot in his adopted "worker's paradise" while, ironically, his handlers keep a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year watch over every little thing he does. Even his bathroom is monitored.

    For a guy with a bug up his butt about freedom from government intrusion, he REALLY picked the wrong country to adopt. Snowden is the runner-up ULTIMATE LOSER. (Sorry Eddie, Obama holds that title for life. You only screwed up twice - being a traitor, and picking Russia to live in).

    Have a nice day !

    1. John Sanders
      Flame

      Re: He can STAY there for all I care

      I agree that he's a traitor, I doubt he's a communist.

      Why is he a traitor?

      He could have disclosed all the information openly over the Internet, then facing the consequences of what he did at home. I would have been the first to jump in his defense.

      But he did not, he fled to Russia.

      1. Combustable Lemon

        Re: He can STAY there for all I care

        Good point, after all that approach worked REALLY well for a certain other person..

        (Although admittedly they were found out, they didn't volunteer they had done it but do we really think that would have made any difference?)

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: He can STAY there for all I care

        @ John Sanders

        I am sure you would understand why he wouldnt put his faith in keyboard warriors. And what would you defend? Everything he disclosed was denied outright until it was demonstrated beyond possibility of doubt. He was branded and condemned without any possibility of being heard excluding the fact that he got away. And he only just got away as his stop over (hong kong?) was pressured into giving him up. Something they may have considered if he didnt have evidence of US attacks.

        In short he is a traitor of the administration but that says more about the administration than the man. He can never have a fair trial nor a fair hearing. His freedom rests on staying away from the bringers of 'freedom and democracy'. Not because he killed anyone. Not for being a terrorist. Not for causing any harm beyond exposing illegal activity and attacks against the population of the US and the world.

        What corner of the world do you think he can hide in? What can a keyboard warrior like you do in his defence? And what are you doing for other 'traitors'?

      3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: He can STAY there for all I care

        he fled to Russia.

        Or, more accurately, he fled from America.

        And I can't say I blame him.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He can STAY there for all I care

        Given the US approach in the past to perceived traitors, and comparing the fate of the Rosenbergs with, say, Philby, I really don't blame Snowden. Dying for your country - that's to say, the part of your country that isn't part of the oligarchy in power - is a bit silly if you can do the same thing without dying. It's OK perhaps if you're Socrates* and extremely old in a society with no modern medicine - for all we know his rheumatism was killing him- but the people who went around writing bullshit like "dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" weren't the ones in the front line. Or even in the back. They were safely at home making speeches.

        It's paradoxical, perhaps, that Snowden fled one oligarchy to live in another, but it's hardly uncommon. Dante, after his expulsion by the Guelphs, stayed with various dictators while writing a big book in which he gave his home city a right kicking. Nowadays, nobody seems to think he should have been branded a traitor and returned to Florence for execution.

        *My contact person for such things tells me that Socrates' real offence was agitating against democracy and for oligarchy, basically by putting spin on everything ("corrupting youth"). On that basis, the US Administration should be preparing quite a lot of hemlock for the likes of Messrs. Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck and co.

      5. Vociferous

        Re: He can STAY there for all I care

        "he fled to Russia"

        No, he fled to China when he found out the CIA was on to him. China isn't sentimental and wont help a spy if it might hurt business, so they passed him on to Russia.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He can STAY there for all I care

        > But he did not, he fled to Russia.

        Errm... He fled alright (and that in itself should tell you there is something not quite right with the US), but not to Russia. He got stuck there when the Septics, in a spectacular lapse of judgement, cancelled Mr. Snowden's passport while en-route via the RF.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He can STAY there for all I care

      "That commie loving piece o crap..."

      Hysterical! You people really are fucked for an easy to pronounce slur that sticks these days, aren't you?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He can STAY there for all I care

      "...while, ironically, his handlers keep a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year watch over every little thing he does."

      Doubly ironic then that his 'crime' was to expose the NSA doing exactly the same thing, apparently with the intention of rolling it out to everyone on the planet. Embarassing for you that you seem to think there's a difference.

    4. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: He can STAY there for all I care

      Snowden is a traitor

      If you cannot see that the current puppets 'running' your country are not utterly corrupt and bereft of any moral rectitude, then I submit sir, that it is you who are a traitor, to your founding fathers and their beliefs.

      http://www.roc-usa.net/PDF%20FILES/28%20Principals.pdf (PDF Warning & most of it is fairly religious in tone).

      Some of my favourites...

      The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.

      A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power by the different branches of government.

      Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained by the people.

      A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education.

      A free people will not survive unless they stay strong.

      “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none.” Jefferson

      The burden of debt is as destructive to human freedom as subjugation by conquest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He can STAY there for all I care

        and of course for the rulers of a state; If treason be sucessful none dare call it treason

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The proper term is whistleblower

    And the fact that the USA, long-standing champion of Justice and Freedom has, for the past quarter century, trampled over everything it used to stand for is reason enough to flee.

    Ask yourself one thing : if Snowden's name had been Snowdenskiya and he had fled from Moscow with such a collection of documents outlining Putin's secret organizations activities, would you still be throwing the book at him ? I don't think so.

    Well the fact is that Snowden had just as much to fear from his government spooks than a Russian version would have had to fear from Putin's gorillas.

    You do not publish such information and sit back counting on Justice when your country has denounced the Bill of Rights, rejected the Geneva Convention on specious terms and has secret tribunals deciding things without proper oversight. To do so would be simply stupid in the extreme.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The proper term is whistleblower

      Pedantic note, it's Manning who is having the gender reassignment. -a and -ya are Russian feminine suffixes.

      But I agree with your post.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: The proper term is whistleblower

      "Ask yourself one thing : if Snowden's name had been Snowdenskiya and he had fled from Moscow with such a collection of documents outlining Putin's secret organizations activities, would you still be throwing the book at him ? I don't think so."

      No: Putin would be preparing the polonium sandwiches.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The proper term is whistleblower

        From what we read, it's Putin who is worried about the Po-210 sandwiches. (he has a food taster.)

        He may have enriched himself, but he has repatriated a lot of assets from some bad men. Some of whom live in this country.

        1. Vociferous

          Re: The proper term is whistleblower

          Putin is the biggest mafia boss in a mafia-run country, of course he's worried -- haven't you seen the Godfather movies?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The proper term is whistleblower

      I seem to recall a whistleblower type case in the UK some years ago (others may have the details) where the judge instructed the jury that an act done against the government of the day is done against the country. The jury disagreed and found not guilty. I expect we have secret courts without juries to make sure that doesn't happen now.

  9. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Sir

    When people start to think more in terms of being a citizen of this planet, rather than some outdated notion of sovereignty then we stand a chance of an objective form of government.

    Until then, same old shit, different day.

    I won't be holding my breath, unless they're water-boarding me of course.

  10. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I see the trolls are out in force today. Is it the weather? Too warm to stay under their rocks, maybe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Too warm to stay under their rocks, maybe.

      No, just regular monthly drills. New HSE requirement. :(

  11. intrigid

    Snowden is a refugee. Saying that he should man up and face justice is no different than saying that a raped woman from Saudi should return home and face her honor killing.

    And on top of being a refugee, he's an international hero.

  12. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith
    Joke

    In the words...

    ..of the late George Carlin

    "They mention it's a nonstop flight. Well I don't care for that sort of thing. Call me old fashioned, but I insist my flight stop. Preferably at an airport."

    Near miss is another one, dear old George also points out that it should *really* be a near hit!

  13. phuzz Silver badge

    "Another whistleblower is reported to be following in Snowden's footsteps"

    I still maintain that it is Snowden, they just forgot to cancel his VPN access when he quit.

  14. Vociferous

    Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe...

    He's got so many semi-permanent vacation options to choose from!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe...

      as he is a saint why not the Vatican City?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe...

        The new Pope might well give him a job. But I think he would be at more risk of assassination in the Vatican. Also, where do you go for a holiday?

  15. RobTub

    Offer Snowden a job

    Those who support what Snowden did should offer him a job. I could imagine him working for Apple, then he will be drawing two salaries - one hefty amount from Apple, and twice that from Samsung. Any job offers from Microsoft? Wall Street? Banks? After all, there is the added advantage that if Snowden works for you, it proves that your organization has nothing to hide.

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