The case is obvious
However, for the exact obvious reasons, there will be a political decision not to consider it.
Super-leaker Edward Snowden is suing the government of Norway. What? Isn't Snowden in Russia? And isn't his beef with the United States? Yes, on both counts. But Snowden has just been awarded something called the Ossietzky Prize, an award named after German pacifist, journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Carl von Ossietzky …
He can test the waters all he likes, but he will always be looking over his shoulder nervously no matter where he goes or stays. Uncle Sam is unlikely to forget any time soon...
Long term his prospects aren't that good. He's a young man with many years to live, and he kinda needs Russia to remain politically at odds (and therefore inclined to let him stay) with the USA all that time. It's not like he was working for them (not AFAIK anyway); they don't have a residual 'duty of care' for an ex-employee. He went to them and they're doing him a favour.
If Russia ever normalises its position in the world and wants to chummy up with the West, they'll have no political problems putting him on a plane heading States-wards. Given the age gap between Putin and Snowden it's guaranteed that there will be significant political change in Russia before Snowden gets too old to care about it any more.
There's already some signs that even Putin wants to calm things down a bit on the International stage. If Snowden does go to Norway, there's no guarantee that Russia will let him back in afterwards.
I doubt Norway will give him a cast iron guarantee; no Western government wants upset the US government, and frankly I think Norway would prefer it that he didn't go to Norway at all. No other country has been prepared to give him asylum, and I doubt anything has changed to make them change their minds.
Russia wasn't actually the destination he was heading for, he was going via there to somewhere else when his passport was cancelled, rendering him stuck. If they win this case that extradition for his whistleblowing would be illegal under Norweigan law, it would make things significantly more difficult for Norway to extradite him without running afoul of the European courts, who aren't on good terms right now with the US because of the whole privacy shield thing
I've always wondered why he didn't take the path of sending the leaked data to journalists in an encrypted package, then sent them the password once he was safely settled at his destination. Or sent the password by way of a delayed email so that even if he was detained, no one could stop the documents from leaking.
My understanding is that he feared they would be able to figure out what he had done fairly quickly, and hoped going public would offer him some measure of safety. I don't know if that was a good move, but I can understand the reasoning. With the benefit of hindsight, I guess I'd have to say he probably should have delayed the reveal a bit longer,
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"If Russia ever normalises its position in the world and wants to chummy up with the West, they'll have no political problems putting him on a plane heading States-wards
Do you mean bend over and pucker-up so as the US can insert it, similarly to the 'special relationship' the UK has with America.
I assume Snowden is treating the waters to check if he could leave Russia for good. I doubt it would be worth the effort just to pick up a prize in person.
Nonsense. From Snowden's point of view, he acted on a principled ethical stance. He's lost a huge amount as a result and is not going to return to his home country in the foreseeable future. Small gains - like acknowledgement that he did the right thing - are definitely worthwhile to maintain a coherent sense of self.
Er, whilst Sweden is a jolly nice place, the "land of the free" is normally taken to mean the US.
There seems little prospect of him being extradited to the US by anyone anywhere. The US didn't try whilst he was in custody in the UK (and the UK would be the most likely country to be willing to extradite him if the US asked).
Also the US long ago put out a statement along the lines of not having anything to charge him with. He's not a US citizen, and he wasn't in US jurisdiction when he was handling their documents. For the same reason they don't go levelling charges at the head of the Russian FSB/KGB who no doubt have also handled classified US documents in their time.
"He's not a US citizen, and he wasn't in US jurisdiction when he was handling their documents."
So all this guff about Kim Dotcom is actually an elaborate hoax?
I'm not suggesting that the two cases are the same by any means, just pointing out that extradition treaties exist that enable things to be interpreted rather more loosely than that.
Unidentified Congressman: "Think of it: an entire nation founded on saying one thing and doing another."
John Hancock: "And we will call that country the United States of America."
~South Park, "I'm a Little Bit Country" [S7, E4, 2003], written by Trey Parker & Matt Stone
I know that "the land of the free is the US". I had assumed every else did as well, and that they had read the original article all the way to the end. This is why I didn't explicitly state that it would be a stupid idea to try to consider a move to Norway with big wide open spaces rather than staying in an embassy where the longest walk is from the couch to the nearest door and back. It is why I didn't explicitly state that Norway's only exception for extradition is where they consider the reasons for extradition to be the result of a political act.
Also, thanks to all the downvoters, I feel suitably chastised. I apologise for:
1) mistakenly believing that Reg readers were a cut above the general population in terms of ability to make an inference from literal shorthand;
2) assuming that Reg readers actually read an entire article before voting on the comments.
3) writing a comment having drunk a triple "Armorik" single malt from Bretagne having discovered that it is the equal of some of the best Scotch ever made. [for the hard of reading I have NOT stated that it is better, only the EQUAL OF SOME and you should note that sense of taste is a very personal thing]
I take solace that readers such as dan1980 understand the ways of the world.
" He's not a US citizen, and he wasn't in US jurisdiction when he was handling their documents. "
Let me remind you that the US fought hard, very hard, to get this poor autistic sod extradited, who had hacked some US computers to try to prove that US had covered up UFO/alien information. Pretty harmless stuff really.
I don't remember the UK government stepping up to protect this individual against a foreign power.
From what I remember it was a long ongoing legal battle to finally not have this UK citizen extradited.
Someone correct me if I remember wrongly.
No wonder some people are worried about US's long reaching tentacles.
"He also faces some jail time in the UK"
Bail breaches are contempt of court. For a first offence it's highly unusual to get more than a telling off and perhaps the rest of the day in the cells.
Even seasoned bail-breaches seldom get more than this - personal experience after a stalker (with a history of gbh convictions) ignored all his bail conditions. The judges clearly saw a lot of it but continued reimposing the same non approach orders which continued being ignored.
Bail breaches lasting many years with the breachee publicly taunting the UK courts is something that I suspect will result in a pretty bad loss of the judge's sense of humour.
Ecuador's unwelcome guest is likely to spend several months in the slammer followed by a pretty rapid deportation plus bonus cancelling of all UK visas.
"plus debate about just how far the long arm of US justice can and should be allowed to reach."
...and there endeth the point. Hello? Osama Bin Laden, anyone? Since when does the USA play by the rules or give a shit about another countries laws if its own interest are at stake? For fuck sake, whatever they do and whatever their court says, Snowden might as well walk in to Washington DC with a hundred foot high placard saying, "Here I am!"
It seems that Norway *does* have a short land-border with Russia, in the very far North. It would be an extraordinarily long drive right around the coast without crossing into Finland or Sweden - Google reckons over 60 hours from Moscow to Oslo that way - but in principle it's doable without stepping into a plane. You'd get some nice views of the fjords too :-)
Unfortunately Norwegian roads are riddled with toll booths. So you end up with a longer and more expensive drive (I'd guess £100 - £200 in toll booth fees alone) on worse roads. Can't beat the view though.
Also worth keeping in mind Norway's irrational choice of signing up for F-35s. We have been in the US' pockets for a long time.
Apart from the world's oldest parliament, they also have a willingness to stick a couple of fingers up at the US when it suits them, having given chess champion Bobby Fischer a home when the US were after him for taxes earned when he hadn't been in the US for many years.
given that a Norwegian court recently found that the Norwegian state was violating the human rights of Alders Behring Brevik, who is serving a sentence in a three-room suite in Skien prison for murdering some 77 people several years ago, due to the restrictions on his meeting other people than prison personnel which had been imposed upon him. But of course, the treatment of Behring Brevik doesn't touch upon Norway's relationship with the United States, before which concerns about «human rights» tend to vanish like morning dew after the rise of the sun....
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