back to article Edward Snowden denies making a deal with the Russian secret service

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has not done a deal with the Russian state security agency to acquire political asylum, the whistleblower revealed in a television version of a BBC interview. The programme, though failing to reveal anything new about surveillance, provided some interesting insights. During a 30-minute …

  1. Bota

    So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

    I'm pretty sure they mean on US soil,so a little flight to Eastern Europe or Cuba will soon change that.

    "We dun had enuff of yous tray-tors"

    Murica.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

      And anyway waterboarding isn't torture. Apparently.

      1. JetSetJim
        Black Helicopters

        Re: So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

        Indeed - it's an Enhanced Interrogation Technique. Not torture. No siree.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

        And anyway waterboarding isn't torture. Apparently

        Not according to Obama, no.

        Obama wants Snowden and Assange and he's going to get them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

          Obama wants Snowden and Assange and he's going to get them.

          Snowden, yes, Assange, nah. Not worth the effort. As a matter of fact, going after Snowden and explicitly leaving Assange to fester in the Ecuadorian embassy will harm Assange more than to pay him any attention. There is no crueler way to torture Assange than to ignore him..

          1. BillG
            Paris Hilton

            Re: So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

            As a matter of fact, going after Snowden and explicitly leaving Assange to fester in the Ecuadorian embassy will harm Assange more than to pay him any attention. There is no crueler way to torture Assange than to ignore him..

            I agree, and I'll go you one better.

            Imagine Assange is extradited to Sweden and found Not Guilty, then as Assange is free to roam about the country he discovers that the USA doesn't want him either.

            His ego would implode!!!

            1. DaveDaveDave

              Re: So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

              "Assange is free to roam about the country he discovers that the USA doesn't want him either."

              Assange knows full well that the US doesn't want him. He made up that ridiculous story after fleeing Sweden when they tried to arrest him.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Captain DaFt

              Re: So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

              "Imagine Assange is extradited to Sweden and found Not Guilty, then as Assange is free to roam about the country he discovers that the USA doesn't want him either.

              His ego would implode!!!"

              Padawan, you underestimate the power of ego.

              If the above happened, he would be on every medium that'd have him, crowing, "Aha! I'm too powerful a force for them to engage!"

          2. DaveDaveDave

            Re: So far, they’ve said they’ve won’t torture me

            Why on earth would the US want to get in the way of Assange pleading guilty to a string of rapes and going to jail for a few decades? What could more thoroughly destroy his credibility?

            I don't know why people still argue about this shit given that Assange has only ever claimed that his rape spree was legal (through some strange loophole known only to him), not that it didn't happen. Essentially his defence is that he cannot technically rape anyone because no-one, not even someone saying 'please stop' and physically fighting him off, can fail to consent to sexual intercourse with Saint Assange - that's what 'presumed consent' really means in this case.

  2. hatti

    Soup Dragon Algorithm

    As a patriotic lean, I thought GCHQ would have gone for the 'Clangers' toolset over the 'Smurf' toolset.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Soup Dragon Algorithm

      I find the notion of modems whistling like Clangers strangely appealing.

      W

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward 101

    "...but didn’t say how much because “it would probably violate some customs’ declaration”.

    Whatever, Ed. We believe you.

  4. DaveDaveDave

    Be accurate

    Snowden didn't deny making a deal, he denied making a deal for asylum. He obviously did a deal with Russia for money, that was clearly all in place before he stole the secrets they'd contracted him to provide.

    Seriously, you have to be incredibly gullible to believe any of Snowden's claims. The stories about whistle-blowing are pure fabrication, for one thing: he deliberately maneuvered himself into a position where he had access to secret information, stole it, and sold it to Russia and China, then released a bunch of minor stuff and claimed it revealed something which was in fact already public knowledge.

    It's very simple, really: Snowden committed treason for money.

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Be accurate

      If one is gullible to believe Snowden's claims, then why would one be any less gullible to believe the US / UK government's? Or anyone else's? And as a couple of points to counter your own:

      A) If he released a bunch of minor stuff that was already public knowledge, the reporters would have had nothing to report on. Typically, restating public knowledge doesn't tend to attract many readers.

      B) If he did make such a deal, why bother releasing such knowledge in the first place? Surely it would be better for all concerned to keep the whole thing under wraps. Russia / China would have a shed-load of useful data (and the US et al might not know exactly what they had), the US wouldn't be made to look like fools in front of the entire world, and Snowden would probably be a hell of a lot happier knowing that the whole world didn't know of such a deal.

      Whether he legally committed treason or not (I will leave this to open discussion, as I've said my piece on it before), it does at least stand up to initial logic that he was motivated by his own sense of morality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be accurate

        You're replying to DaveDaveDave. I'm not sure he's a troll. He might just be insane.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Joke

          Re: Be accurate

          > I'm not sure he's a troll. He might just be insane.

          DaveDaveDave denies being an insane troll.

        2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: Be accurate

          You're replying to DaveDaveDave. I'm not sure he's a troll. He might just be insane.

          Not mutually exclusive conditions..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @My-Handle

        In some circumstances treason may be the morally better choice; it depends on whether your state lives up to moral values. Perhaps like Claus von Stauffenberg who betrayed the Nazi state as he saw that it was itself immoral

        Just don't claim that it is not treason of some form.

      3. DaveDaveDave

        Re: Be accurate

        "If one is gullible to believe Snowden's claims, then why would one be any less gullible to believe the US / UK government's?"

        Eh? Which claims? Snowden's are obviously false if you consider the evidence, and I can't comment on the claims you haven't detailed: they may or may not be more plausible than his ridiculously threadbare story.

        "If he released a bunch of minor stuff that was already public knowledge, the reporters would have had nothing to report on. Typically, restating public knowledge doesn't tend to attract many readers."

        Have you never seen a newspaper? Unfortunately for your argument, that holds less water than a tea strainer. They're quite capable of sensationalising and rehashing old news. In any case, public knowledge and known by the public aren't the same thing.

        To be clear, though, Snowden did release a bunch of sensitive operational details that helped black hats, but he didn't reveal any program/activity that wasn't already public knowledge.

        "If he did make such a deal, why bother releasing such knowledge in the first place? "

        Because he did the IT equivalent of smashing down doors and ransacking the place, so the US knew they'd been done over. If he hadn't come up with some kind of cover story, he'd simply have been an obviously treasonous spy on the run, and Russia would have pretty much been forced to hand him over under those circumstances, or create the most almighty diplomatic row.

        Now consider the counter-case.

        - It beggars belief to suggest that Snowden, with his experience in the field, didn't know that taking the data into Russia and China is handing it to them. So why were they where he went?

        - If his claims to be a whistleblower were actually true, he could claim political asylum in almost any country, including the whole EU, Australia, etc. So why did he go to Russia again?

        - The information he leaked contained nothing that wasn't mundane, common-sense, or simply obvious, except for the kinds of operational details that everyone who's looked at the data has said were secret for good reasons. There's nothing in it to cause Snowden's claimed moral outrage that he pretends was the trigger for his fake whistleblowing.

        - There's clearly no argument about how Snowden deliberately got himself a position with access to sensitive data.

        You have to be incredibly naive not to believe that adds up to spying-for-money against his own country.

        1. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: Be accurate

          I was with DaveDaveDave up to parts of the "counter-case."

          Mr. Snowden has said he made physical delivery of all copies of the illegally copied material to the journalists, and all claims to the contrary seem to be speculation based on fairly weak circumstantial evidence. Those journalists certainly are no friends of the US government, but aside from putting the worst and most alarming spin on their articles have not shown themselves to be dishonest or spies. Absent specific evidence that would be quite hard to validate, it is reasonable to assume that Snowden is telling the truth about this.

          There also is no need to think he was a spy, or acted for money. First, quite a few actual spies were motivated by considerations other than money, even many who took money as part of the deal. Second, the focus on money overly discounts the capability of some, perhaps most, people for rationalization and self-delusion. While Mr. Snowden undoubtedly is worth quite a lot to them, Mr. Snowden is pretty much stuck where he is and the Russians have little need to pay him much beyond a reasonable stipend. It also is plausible to doubt that they would pay much for information that he caused to become notorious, a great deal of which was either already publicly knowable or straightforward to infer from what was.

          The US government might be better off, at least from a PR viewpoint, to drop the effort to prosecute him under Espionage Act and go for more reasonable charges based on something like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

          1. LucreLout

            Re: Be accurate

            @Tom Dial

            There also is no need to think he was a spy, or acted for money. First, quite a few actual spies were motivated by considerations other than money, even many who took money as part of the deal.

            I'm not even sure there was an actual deal. Certainly not up to the point he was running.

            Dangle Anna Chapman et-al in front of enough guys and pretty soon one of them will stop thinking with the big head and start thinking with the little head. Money isn't the only motivator.

            But again, I've not seen any suggestion, even from the USA, that Snowden was a mole/plant/spy rather than a conscientious objector - Has the NSA even hinted that they think there was an upfront deal for data? Not to my knowledge.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be accurate

        With the whole oath to Constitution part of the deal, Treason is keeping silent or, worse, wholehearted cooperation. That much is eminently clear from the instructions I received from the US government in '79 as well as my readings in constitutional law. Merely obeying orders died as an excuse at Nuremburg as was also clearly stated.

        I almost certainly would have done the same but I find it extremely unlikely that anyone in their right mind would even consider placing me their. My views on topics in this arena were very well known. I wish him all the best.

      5. LucreLout

        Re: Be accurate

        @My-Handle

        I really don't buy that Snowden did what he did for personal gain. I've seen no evidence at all for this, and you can be sure the US has trawled every account it can link to him, so unless he has a very big wall safe of cash, it seems unlikely.

        However, responding specifically to your points:

        A) ... Typically, restating public knowledge doesn't tend to attract many readers.

        To refute that I give you any/all celeb gossip mags, pages, and media coverage. Kerry whatshername from atomic kitten has a life best described as a car crash. Yet every time a new piece of debris pops up its on the news.

        B) If he did make such a deal, why bother releasing such knowledge in the first place? Surely it would be better for all concerned to keep the whole thing under wraps

        Its much easier to assasinate a man the world does not know exists. If the whole world knows who you are and that America is upset with you, well, its just logically harder for them to harm you.

        To summarise, I think you're right, but not for the reasons you give. Snowdens motivations seem largely altruistic to me, and even while they most probably are legally treason, I don't believe he undertook his course of action for personal gain.

        1. DaveDaveDave

          Re: Be accurate

          "Snowdens motivations seem largely altruistic to me"

          I still remain baffled as to what possible basis anyone might have for that belief. What on earth makes you think so? Is there any evidence for it at all, or just the heaps of evidence against?

          It's really pretty clear. Snowden was not altruistic if he was lying about being a whistle-blower, right? And if he wasn't lying he could claim asylum all over the world, and would never have had to go to Russia. It is manifestly obvious that Snowden is in Russia because he was lying about the whistle-blowing, and therefore that he was not motivated by altruism.

          Given that we've established that altruism is not plausible, the only question is about what personal gain Snowden was pursuing. There's no suggestion he was honeytrapped. Financial it was, then.

          "you can be sure the US has trawled every account it can link to him, so unless he has a very big wall safe of cash, it seems unlikely."

          It's really not that hard for the Russians or Chinese to have given him an anonymous account which the US can't trace.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Be accurate

            Why do you keep claiming he was "lying about being a whistle blower"?

            The US government was acting outside the Constitution. He made it public, i.e. blew the whistle. What other qualifications for being called a whistle blower are there in your mind?

            1. DaveDaveDave

              Re: Be accurate

              "The US government was acting outside the Constitution. He made it public, i.e. blew the whistle"

              But they weren't, and he didn't. Have a look at the AC comment titled 'oddball' - makes a very good case that the story was another along the lines of 'nanobots=grey goo'.

              If they had, and he had, then he'd be entitled to political asylum in France, the UK, wherever. So why's he in Russia, if you believe he could legitimately claim asylum because he wasn't lying about being a whistle-blower?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be accurate

      He obviously did a deal with Russia for money, that was clearly all in place before he stole the secrets they'd contracted him to provide.

      Are you actually allowed to use the Internet from the US embassy?

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Are you actually allowed to use the Internet from the US embassy?

        It would appear so, at least from the non-secure network. That was the only way embassyt employees would have been able to send email to Secretary Clinton.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be accurate

      I don't know what you're talking about.

      Snowden was FSB.

      At least that's what my Russian friend tells me. ;-)

      He's no patriot. He wasn't a whistle blower but intentionally falsified his background, took a TS contract and then stole the information and fled the US.

      I'm sure I'll be down voted for this post...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Snowden was FSB"

        You do know his family history, right? Pretty much everyone in his family has worked for the military or US government in some capacity. You're a clueless moron if you think he some Russian educated FSB golden boy that moved to the US at 21 and infiltrated the NSA.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be accurate

        "I'm sure I'll be down voted for this post..."

        Too fucking right you MI# / GCHQ treacherous tosser.

    4. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: Be accurate

      It's very simple, really: Snowden committed treason for money.

      Thank you Mr Not Safe Aitha. Now tell us where you housed ALL the troops.

  5. El_Fev

    Snowden better get used to russia...

    Because if he ever leaves, the US will get their hands on him and throw him into a deep hole, and then throw that hole away!

    1. Danny 14

      Re: Snowden better get used to russia...

      I have a feeling he knows that already.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snowden better get used to russia...

      throw him into a deep hole, and then throw that hole away

      I'd watch fewer Roadrunner and Pink Panther cartoons if I were you :)

    3. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Snowden better get used to russia...

      No, they won't. They will try him for some violation, or negotiate a plea bargain with an agreed maximum sentence, likely including a term of imprisonment. By reasonable and widely agreed definitions, he will not be tortured.

      He never will get a US security clearance again, though.

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        US security

        > He never will get a US security clearance again, though.

        You mean now that he has demonstrated there is no such thing, he won't get a job that allows terrrrsts to fly aircraft into buildings, pay fortunes to chief executives of banana republics for non payment of tax and order imprisonment without trial indefinitely to people who are presumed to be guilty until not proven guilty?

        Sounds like a job worthy of a human being. Where else can I not get one too.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snowden better get used to russia...

      He didn't even intend to stay in Russia, that was just a transit point to his final destination but things moved a bit too fast and he got stuck there.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    US Senator Dianne Feinstein: no evidence Snowden spying for Russia

    Dianne Feinstein sees no evidence Snowden spying for Russia

    Dianne Feinstein is NSA's BFF.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US Senator Dianne Feinstein: no evidence Snowden spying for Russia

      Isn't this the same woman who backed Grandma Pumpkin? (Hillary Clinton's new Secret Service code name...)

      Sorry but I think Dianne has a selective memory ...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I were Snowden I'd stay put otherwise he could end up being found zipped up in a holdall just like Gareth Williams.

  8. The Dude

    Asylum for Snowden

    I still do not understand why Snowden isn't offered asylum in Canada. There is a election on, perhaps people could ask their candidates for parliament about that.

    1. DaveDaveDave

      Re: Asylum for Snowden

      "I still do not understand why Snowden isn't offered asylum in Canada."

      Because his claims to be a whistleblower are fake, obviously. He could get asylum nearly anywhere if they were true.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Asylum for Snowden

        Snowden had alternatives to act as a whistleblower that did not choose to exercise, but would have spared him both exile and the possibility of prison time.

        On the other hand, a Five Eyes associate seems a very unlikely candidate for an asylum offer.

      2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: Asylum in Canada? Really?

        > > "I still do not understand why Snowden isn't offered asylum in Canada."

        > Because his claims to be a whistle-blower are fake, obviously. He could get asylum nearly anywhere if they were true.

        There are some gormless people around. Just in case you really are so ignorant:

        Canada kidnapped one of its own ambassadors on the say so of the CIA and ended up killing him. You should stop listening to Fox news as that Australian shit has turned your brain to lager and pissed it all down your shirt.

        1. x 7

          Re: Asylum in Canada? Really?

          "Canada kidnapped one of its own ambassadors on the say so of the CIA and ended up killing him."

          interesting claim. Care to elaborate on who / when / where / why ?

    2. Flip

      Re: Asylum for Snowden

      Snowden wouldn't take it even if it was offered. I suspect that he knows Canada would ship him back to the US if requested to do so.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Asylum for Snowden

      I still do not understand why Snowden isn't offered asylum in Canada. There is a election on, perhaps people could ask their candidates for parliament about that.

      Both the Canadians and Snowden are realists: placing him but a road trip away from the US is making it more likely that someone may decide to ship him over in a sort patriotic, foaming-at-the-mouth fervour. Some commentards here seem to qualify for the foaming-at-the-mouth status already, but that also may just be drugs.

      1. DaveDaveDave

        Re: Asylum for Snowden

        "Both the Canadians and Snowden are realists: placing him but a road trip away from the US is making it more likely that someone may decide to ship him over in a sort patriotic, foaming-at-the-mouth fervour."

        Fair enough, now what about every other free country on the planet? If the claims were true, he'd even be safe from extradition in the UK, with our spineless no-lube extradition treaty with the US.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Asylum for Snowden

          Fair enough, now what about every other free country on the planet?

          Can you define "free country"? I've not located any yet... Every country that calls itself "free" isn't. Them that don't, don't even make a pretense of it.

          1. DaveDaveDave

            Re: Asylum for Snowden

            "Can you define "free country"? "

            Fair enough, I wouldn't suggest for a moment that anywhere is absolutely free, so that's a valid nitpick.

            From now on, consider my original text amended to 'freer than Russia'.

  9. DaveDaveDave

    "I suspect that he knows Canada would ship him back to the US if requested to do so."

    Come on Eddie, I know Russia's boring enough that you've got the time to spend on this, but you must have better lines than that.

  10. Gis Bun

    This coming from a traitor and a liar.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Really, this is no place to admit to being a traitor and liar. Though quite why you think "This" is such a state secret I can't quite fathom.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting comments here

    It appears the US has started to seed some commentards, at least, it's the only conclusion I can come to when I see the comments about Snowden. There is no way they can come from European soil.

    Having said that, I did find some of the answers in the BBC Panorama interview less than solid, but they were also accepting Facebook statements at face value, so I guess that matched the general tone and the need to fit it all in 30 minutes.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Interesting comments here

      Oh I don't know, Europe has plenty of trolls, and not just under Scandinavian bridges doing a bit of goat-bothering.

      Just put up something with a political or religious slant and they come out of the woodwork. Logic and reason are not required, in fact, really take away from a good rant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting comments here

        Logic and reason are not required, in fact, really take away from a good rant.

        Id' agree, but for trolls they're pretty pathetic too. No pathos, no capital letters, no invective and frankly disappointing uncreative name calling that calls for some help from Art Plotnick. I have read bookkeeping audits that were more entertaining than these posts and less compelled an outburst of uncontrollable yawning..

    2. DaveDaveDave

      Re: Interesting comments here

      "It appears the US has started to seed some commentards, at least, it's the only conclusion I can come to when I see the comments about Snowden"

      Why? What on earth do you find so convincing about his ridiculous claims that you are entirely unable to believe anyone might honestly hold a contrary opinion?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting comments here

        Why? What on earth do you find so convincing about his ridiculous claims that you are entirely unable to believe anyone might honestly hold a contrary opinion?

        There is a difference between having an opinion supported by facts and being a deluded moron. So far, your reasoning has failed to nudge the meter much out of the latter corner.

        Here is a hint: the process is normally started by collecting and analysing available facts, check their veracity and adding your own experience (which is possibly where your problems start), and only then form an opinion. Starting with a conclusion tends to create problems later on when you discover that there are no facts to support it..

        1. DaveDaveDave

          Re: Interesting comments here

          "There is a difference between having an opinion supported by facts and being a deluded moron."

          Quite. And what is it you'd like us to believe your current sock-puppet believes about your story, Eddie? You haven't actually pointed out anything you believe to be convincing about that threadbare work of fiction you used as a cover.

    3. John Crisp

      Re: Interesting comments here

      Yeah the Facebook 'we give nothing away' was painful too watch....

      I was wondering how he could lie with such a straight face. Ex poker player perhaps ?

      :-)

      Think the biggest problem was the interviewer was working on a subject way too complicated for him, compounded by then trying to explain that to the masses in 30 mins. Had to stop several times to explain various relevant points to my son due to errors or omissions...

  12. url

    jesus wept

    the usb handed over had a key

    without detailed knowledge of what and where the key would work it's useless

    the time in hong kong was a consolidated training program to ensure the security of access to the data

    the data is on an amazon vm, with enough credit for a few years

    the 4096 bit key is required to access it

    the access gives you a live snapshot/clone of the gchq wiki upto 2013

    the wiki was simply scraped using a slow running wget and then recompiled

    the wget was run from other peoples accounts where he snowjobbed people into allowing a password reset - this means very little is likely to have been done from his own accounts - (likely clappers etc - thats why they dont want to and cant possibly account for the full number of documents even at this stage)

    bear in mind: there is literally nothing to say he wasnt able to use his privac to generate fake CIA/NSA employees with TS type access, and lol - also nothing to say they aren't still sending him a monthly paycheck

    This was all explained in the releases, assertions beyond this are the 50c, 50p, 50fen sockpuppet army period

    1. LucreLout

      Re: jesus wept

      @url

      Citation please. No because I disagree, but because I want to learn more before forming an opinion on what you've said.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: jesus wept

      Frankly, stopping people from handing me their passwords was a problem for years. I've always made a point of turning away while people logged in and forcing a reset if they tell it to me. [I didn't need to know and not knowing covered both our butts.] The people at the top were the worst about passwords and handling classified material, so what else is new. A quiet word once or twice, very nicely put, sorted out low and mid-level personnel.

  13. martinusher Silver badge

    GCHQ As Subsidary of NSA

    This is well known but at the same time systematically overlooked. Its how the NSA keeps tabs on US citizens -- they're not supposed to spy on people in the US but there's nothing in the fine print that prevents GCHQ doing the spying for them and 'sharing' the results.

  14. x 7

    "Edward Snowden denies making a deal with the Russian secret service"

    Mandy Rice-Davis applies

  15. Turtle

    Images, Self Images, And Public Images

    “'I burned my life to the ground to work against surveillance"'

    Except... that it doesn't appear that Snowden's original intention was to do so. Apparently he thought that he'd just sort of mosey on over to Ecuador. It didn't work out quite the way he wanted.

    'Why would I suddenly turn around, because I’m in a different geographical location, and say 'I’m all about surveillance ... that’s what I’d like to do from now on'.”

    Possibly because he wanted asylum and the Russian government was not inclined to grant it without some sort of quid pro quo. The Russian government is not a blagotvoritel'noe uchrezhdenoe - that is to say, not a charitable institution. And possibly because he's now stuck, not in warm and sunny Ecuador, within easy reach of the American media, but far, far away in cold and snowy Russia, rather nearer to the Arctic Circle than the equator. Irrespective of whether or not this is actually the case, Snowden refuses to understand that it's not necessarily unreasonable for people to think that way.

    "He admitted FSB officers had quizzed him while he was stuck in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport but denied handing over intelligence."

    Why does he think that his denials are credible? There are plenty of people who consider that he betrayed a trust and therefore consider him capable of aggravating the first betrayal, or committing new betrayals. He does not grasp that not everyone shares his very high opinion of himself. Not that there's anything unusual with people having very high opinions of themselves but Snowden seems incapable of understanding that not everyone considers his actions as unambiguously good as he does.

    '“I’ve volunteered to go to prison many times,' he said. 'What I won’t do is serve as a deterrent to people trying to do the right thing in difficult situations.'”

    I don't recall him "volunteering to go to prison" but aside from that, he seems to be saying that he'll pay a penalty as long as he himself gets to decide what that penalty will be. Good luck with that.

    “The best thing about being a marked man is that you don’t have to think about tomorrow. You live for today,”

    I'm glad to see that he enjoys it so much, because he's going to be living like that for a long, long time.

    As a general public relations note, his repeated insistence that he's having a good time and doesn't mind how things are going probably earns him more animosity than does him any good. So you could take his statement to be "I burned my life to the ground and I'm having a GREAT time! : )))))"

    Even from his point of view, that's hardly the smartest thing to say.

    He reminds me of Kim Philby; see especially https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Philby#Moscow .

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Images, Self Images, And Public Images

      Things moved a bit faster than he anticipated and he got stuck in Russia as he couldn't board his next flight. I don't think he ever felt he could 'mosy on over' as he knew he was going to be in trouble with the US. He probably felt that a flight out of Russia would be free from US interference but apparently not.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting coincidence

    I must admit I find the timing of the fairly sudden flood of Snowden, er, "negativists" and the painful FB vs EU ruling remarkable. It's almost suspiciously in sync.

    What? No, I'm naturally paranoid.

  17. HonestAbe

    "Edward Snowden denies making a deal with the Russian secret service"

    He's not bright enough to now that he actually has made deals with them. Putin undoubtedly assigned his top KGB guys as Snowden's handlers, playing to Snowdens's ego and manipulating Snowden into developing useful ideologies.

    The biggest lesson we should all take from all this is that no individual IT support person should ever, without a second and third set of eyes, be permitted to have access to anyone's confidential information. I've put that rule to work in my own job, and so should you.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oddball

    The weirdest thing for me about the whole Snowden saga is how mundane most of what he has released is (and he and Greenwald have claimed things - I'm only talking about his documents). PRISM was OMG, the NSA can access stuff from Google accounts!!! (actually, I doubt this is even true because I'm pretty certain Google have a "let's see your warrant" department). What's that? With court-approval? So, the difference between that and the NSA turning up with a warrant on Google's doorstep is? So far, so mundane.

    Then Snowden starts talking about how he can read any email or listen to any phone conversation. What's the difference between that and opening someone's post? Or an old fashioned wiretap? Again, Scary computers. And just because, as he says, he can click a button to do it doesn't mean he would. Because that would be illegal without a warrant and get into all sorts of hot water.

    The problem with the whole Snowden story is that it's basically a Scary Computers story that met journalists with weak critical facilities who are desperate for a Watergate. There's nothing there that worries, shocks or concerns me. At some point, you have to give spooks some powers. What's important is that there's oversight of those powers. There's nothing Snowden has said has been done that falls outside of US law.

    I think the bloke's a real oddball. And he's stuck in Russia for it. I don't think the USA cares that much about whether he comes back or not. If they thought for a second he had anything the FSB could sweat out of him, they'd be cutting a deal.

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