back to article Edward Snowden's 40 days in a Russian airport – by the woman who helped him escape

Sarah Harrison, the British WikiLeaks journalist who successfully spirited Edward Snowden from Hong Kong to safe(ish) asylum in Russia, has told The Register how she did it – and what’s next for the NSA whistleblower, and for Julian Assange. She spoke to us a week before the Oliver Stone film Snowden is released*, although she …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    It's interesting to read the second page regarding Miranda and his detainment under the Terrorism Act, especially after last week when Liz Truss (which is ye olde English for "Village Idiot") stated they would be getting rid of the European Bill of Human Rights and establishing a British version - exactly what that would entail she never said. While the authorities said that no rules were broken when detaining him, it did infringe on his human rights under the European bill. But it's as clear as the light on the screen I am using that he was taken in to questioning because of the Snowden revelations and the fact his partner documented it all via The Guardian. I also recall their computers being seized under the same Terrorism Act? I think when you remember this case, which I had forgotten about, it's a bit clearer to what this Government wants to achieve with the British Bill of Human Rights. Every one has a right, unless of course we think you've been naughty.

    But how does one defend their innocence, under a system of "innocent until proven guilty", without the right to a lawyer or lengthy detention without a court appearance? Readers of The Daily Fail and The S*n, possibily The Torygraph too, won't think like this. But if I come back in to the country after reading a Wikileaks article regarding the Snowden revelations, am I a terrorist or someone who is researching terrorism? Likewise am I more liable to be detained coming from Ireland (for example) because I bought a balaclava in Cork because I want to keep my face warm when riding a Motorbike, because I bought terrorist material? I know the latter is unlikely and it's conjecture, but it's a serious question to ask when the partner of a journalist is detained purely on the basis of what their partner has done has questioned the Government's tactics. Where does the line start and end?

    The Government in the UK, the USA, et al are legalising the illegal. They are elected representatives, who we have chosen to represent us and do what's right for us. However, powers like this errode that trust to a point where, unless there's an election every 5 years, how can we hold our MP's to account? These are dangerous days, not for our safety but for our liberty. For the last 15 years this freedom has been curtailed. Not by terrorists, but by countless governments who have sought to "protect" the public from "terrorists", who are they allowing custodians of the law to hold innocent members of the public to account through sheer Government embarrassment? We know all too well that encryption, aparently, helps terrorists - even though it's documented that Al Qaeda tell their members to take the batteries out of their phones and leave them miles apart before attending meeting places.

    So who's helping who protecting who from what? Because the older I get, the less I believe there is some big nasty man in a beard wanting to blow me up. Rather some older gentleman in a suit wants to know what I'm doing, a la 1984.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Elections

      Slightly off-topic, and I hope not overly-cynical but

      "unless there's an election every 5 years, how can we hold our MP's to account?"

      I think that "holding to account" is an over-used term in regard to politics.

      In a 2-party democracy (e.g. UK, US) I don't think that elections can really be a way for the electorate to hold politicians to account - particularly on single issues - since the choice is binary (as a vote for a minor party is likely to be marginally dilutive at best). You are voting on a manifesto - a package - regardless of whether you agree with all of its contents.

      You might see protest votes in local council or by-elections but not in a General Election.

      Given the binary choice, I would suggest that most people won't switch allegiance between the side that they have settled on.

      Therefore if you "hold MPs to account" at the General Election (assuming they are the ones you voted in last time) then you will get the lot you didn't want and have never wanted.

      I don't think PR helps either, since the pool of parties (and hence manifestos) is still pretty small.

      Do we need to discard political parties, but vote for policies and have them delivered by a neutral Civil Service? But then who decides on the policies, if they are consistent/deliverable/mutually-exclusive and who is actually in charge?

      Discuss...

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: Elections

        I don't think PR helps either, since the pool of parties (and hence manifestos) is still pretty small.

        PR helps by reducing the chance of an absolute majority provided at least 3 parties gain seats. That makes it much harder to force through the most despicable parts of each manifesto and injects some fine grain into policy&law making. If nothing else it slows down gov and it's endless, wasteful see saw lurches left & right.

        PR should improve the pool of parties as well since your vote is much more likely to be represented in parliament, even if there's no chance of government. Should...

        But of course this country voted against PR so apparently the 'majority' quite like pissing money away on left-right excursions into madness.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Elections

          So who, exactly, in our current government has been voted in? By the populace, I mean, not by each other.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Elections

            "So who, exactly, in our current government has been voted in?"

            Everyone in the government (everyone in the Commons in fact) has been voted in as an MP by their constituents. They are all democratically elected representatives.

            If you mean, who voted to give them the individual jobs they hold (PM, Foreign Secretary etc.), well, the Tory party voted for May to be PM, and the PM chose the rest, as has been the case for many years.

            1. Adam 52 Silver badge

              Re: Elections

              "Everyone in the government (everyone in the Commons in fact)"

              Like Baroness Evans of Bowes Park you mean?

          2. David Neil

            Re: Elections

            Every single MP in the house, we do not elect members of the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister. We elect local MPs who follow their own parties rules for choosing a leader, who in turn picks a cabinet/shadow cabinet.

            The idea that we elect a single person as PM has never been accurate in this country.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Elections

              Political parties are a waste of time. All politicians are basically the same and in the game for themselves no matter which party they belong to. We might as well do away with the parties, accept politician as a profession and just vote for individual politicians. How often has any party opposed something in opposition and when in power revoked it? It's more likely that they will reinforce whatever they were against, especially any law that restricts our freedom or ability to hold them to account?

              1. DanceMan

                Re: All politicians are basically the same

                "All politicians are basically the same and in the game for themselves no matter which party they belong to."

                Sick of hearing this untruth. There is no shortage of the type of politicians you're describing, but to tar them all this way is simply not true. Someone who pays closer attention to politics will figure this out, instead of spouting populist nonsense.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Elections

              > We elect local MPs who follow their own parties rules for choosing a leader

              Exactly. So it doesn't matter who you choose as your MP, they're just going to tread the party line, which has been decided by whoever holds a position of influence¹ in that party, rather than through active and open participation by their bases.²

              Sorry for the analogy, but liberal democracy is as much about choice as your power company saying "we're going to hike the prices up 20% next month, OK?" You can either say yes, or you can go to the other power company which charges the same prices, or you can stockpile candles. That's the "choices" that you get.

              ¹ Large businesses.

              ² When was the last time you collaborated on the elaboration of your party's program, rather than having it shoved on your face and asked to vote for it?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: [PR] makes it much harder to force through the most despicable parts of each manifesto

          ... unless the parties collaborate in a kind of "you agree to my despicable thing, and I'll agree to yours" arrangement.

        3. Graham Marsden

          @Paul Shirley - Re: Elections

          > this country voted against PR

          No, it voted for not replacing FPTP with AV, a false dilemma choice foisted on us by the Tories when they comprehensively out-manoeuvred the Lib-Dems who had sold their souls for a sniff of power and got shafted for it.

          We never got a choice of *what* FPTP was going to be replaced by and many who were in favour of PR voted against AV because it wasn't what they wanted. This doesn't mean, despite what the Tories et al claim, that the country voted *for* FPTP.

        4. salamamba too

          Re: Elections @Paul Shirley

          While your vote may be more represented under PR, this is generally only the case if you vote for small parties, as these tend to gain a disproportionate amount of influence. Individually, you won't be more represented as the severing of the link between constituency and MP reduces accountability, and you never get to vote for an individual, only a party, further reducing individual accountability.

          First past the post has a number of drawbacks, but so does every other system, and I prefer the current failings to those of PR.

        5. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Elections

          I voted against what was presented as PR - because it isn't.

          What was offered was a very minor tweak on FPTP which makes no difference to electoral results (ie, as a PR system it's the one which offers highest level of disproportionalty)

          Take a look at how New Zealand did it. That was the "right" way (First ask if the system should be changed and then ask which alternative (of 6) is preferred if it changes)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Elections

            > "Take a look at how New Zealand did it. That was the "right" way (First ask if the system should be changed and then ask which alternative (of 6) is preferred if it changes)"

            The only way this isn't a trick to rig the results is if the existing system is one of the alternatives people can choose.

            Every voting system has flaws, and proportional systems tend to put excessive power in the hands of the third and fourth parties ahead of the first and second most preferred parties, which is unfair to the voters who chose the two most popular parties, and thus to a plurality or majority of the voters.

            If you do some poking about in an extensive library, you can probably find the relevant analyses, along with the math.

            1. strum

              Re: Elections

              >proportional systems tend to put excessive power in the hands of the third and fourth parties ahead of the first and second most preferred parties, which is unfair to the voters who chose the two most popular parties, and thus to a plurality or majority of the voters.

              Patently untrue. Under PR, parties get precisely that response they deserve. You are assuming that the status quo (with a duopoly alternating power) is the Right Way, and any variation is the Wrong Way.

              It isn't. A proportionally-elected Commons would have to sort themselves out, and work to represent us - not just the few people who voted for each of them.

              This is especially true for STV (MMC), in which pols would have to compete for votes against their fellow party members.

              1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

                Re: Elections

                Patently untrue. Under PR, parties get precisely that response they deserve. ...

                ... A proportionally-elected Commons would have to sort themselves out, and work to represent us - not just the few people who voted for each of them.

                We saw during the last government a glimpse of what happens when there's two large parties and a third "runner up" with the "casting vote". What happens is that horse trading happens, and rather than working to the public good, it's more a case of the minor party cutting a deal with the larger party that will pander best to it's policies.

                The end result is that the small party can have a key policy that perhaps few of the electorate like, was even campaigned against by both the larger parties, but the smaller party can effectively blackmail their way to getting it through. The blackmail basically goes ... "X has 45%, Y has 45%, we have 10% - we can derail ANY vote regardless of whether X or Y forms the government and we will unless X or Y gives us <something>".

                It happens every time there is a coalition in this country.

                "Full" PR might change things a bit - but I doubt if (in this country) we would get anything other than Labour and Tory as major parties with Liberals as a significant runner up. The main difference PR would do is get a handful more minority parties with seats - but at least for a long time I very much doubt that they'd be enough to derail the "give me <something> or I'll derail everything you want to get through" power of the third placed party.

                That's not to say I think the current system is either right or the best - it clearly has a lot of faults, and I (amongst many) am wasting my time voting since my parliamentary constituency has only once elected anything but a candidate from one party in living memory. Under PR, my vote would carry some weight, while under the current system it does nothing.

                But, I would also not like to see "pure PR" since (as many have pointed out) there would be a (potentially) bigger disconnect between how people in this constituency vote and who we get representing us. Test: Without looking it up, can you say who represent *you* in the EU Parliament ?

        6. Jess

          Re: this country voted against PR

          It wasn't really PR. It was a preferential vote, still pretty much binary, it's just those with other views get to chose the lesser of the two evils.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elections

        I think that "holding to account" is an over-used term in regard to politics.

        .. and government agencies. If I see GCHQ getting off with quite simply breaking UK law by a retrospective adjustment in their favour, if I see the CIA successfully getting away with spying on the very people that are supposed to check they stick to the rules (and in case you're wondering, that was as illegal as their approach to torture - the real name for what they called "enhanced interrogation") - all of this points at government entities that are really beyond control: the are NOT held to account in any way, shape or form, even less so than politicians. After all, they "live on" while politicians come and go.

        I honestly don't see a positive end to this, and with the UK foolishly seeking to extract itself from the few external controls that held its government at least to some account I can't see this Brexit doing the UK citizen doing much good either.

      3. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Elections

        > In a 2-party democracy (e.g. UK, US) I don't think that elections can really be a way for the electorate to hold politicians to account

        In my circles, this is why Trump has even the shred of hope. He's the "fuck you" candidate, and I'm planning to vote for him because while he's the worst choice to lead the country, he's not the current establishment of backstabbing and lying (hello, Obama) politicians. Hillary has already demonstrated several times she doesn't give a shit about rule of law.

        It'll be interesting to see just exactly what percentage of votes he gets in less than 2 months. I think it'll be a direct metric as to how pissed off this country is.

        1. Allonymous Coward

          Re: Elections

          > I think it'll be a direct metric as to how pissed off this country is

          We had an adventure a few months ago when the British population got the chance to quantify at the ballot box just how pissed off they were.

          It's been... an interesting ride so far. Good luck.

          1. DropBear
            Thumb Down

            Re: Elections

            Unfortunately, voting is meaningless until there's a mandatory, valid "none of the above" option on any and every voting form. How exactly the votes falling under it should be processed is up for debate, the only non-negotiable point being that under no circumstances can they be redistributed to any of the original parties present on the form. Until then, all we ever get to do is rationalize away voting for one of the two or more equally horrible options (you don't get to pick any lesser evils - they are not even on the table nowadays, sorry).

        2. Anonymous Blowhard

          Re: Elections

          "In my circles, this is why Trump has even the shred of hope. He's the "fuck you" candidate, and I'm planning to vote for him because while he's the worst choice to lead the country, he's not the current establishment of backstabbing and lying (hello, Obama) politicians"

          This sounds like flooding your house in order to protest about a dripping tap!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Elections

          It'll be interesting to see just exactly what percentage of votes he gets in less than 2 months. I think it'll be a direct metric as to how pissed off this country is.

          Yup, and God help you guys if he wins, because then you would be *really* neck deep in the same sort of sh*t that the UK finds itself in after doing the same "let's give them a bloody nose" voting thing and not paying ANY attention whatsoever to the consequences (which, if you're not very rich, are rather dire).

          That's probably also why you had some help from one of those Leave people who have now quickly scurried away so they don't have to deal with the consequences of what they caused.

          Honestly, I sometimes get the feeling we're already gathering sticks for WW 4 :(.

        4. IT Poser

          Re: Elections

          I respect your choice. Since you admit Trump isn't a good choice we have nothing to debate.

          I am voting for Johnson because his policies match mine the most. There isn't a realistic hope of victory but if I ever want to have a politician I can support I have to 'waste' the vote now. The Prohibition Party got, at most, 2% yet the major parties both embraced those voters so the other side wouldn't get them. I see no reason why the same won't work again. The key is to find a candidate with feasible policies.

      4. mathew42
        Thumb Up

        Re: Elections - Preferential Voting

        I suggest that preferential voting provides a way of supporting minor parties and logding a protest vote without the risk of dividing the vote between similar candidates of similar political positions. A candidate receving 10% or more first preference votes can be sufficient to make major parties listen. Major parties also tend to adopt positions closer to the centre as votes flow in from the extremes.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elections

        > Do we need to discard political parties, but vote for policies and have them delivered by a neutral Civil Service?

        You have just described the European Commission, which honestly, does a much better job than the "elected" European Parliament, at a fraction of the cost.

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Dangerous times ...

      Hello:

      "These are dangerous days, not for our safety but for our liberty."

      Quite so...

      And they're getting more and more dangerous every day.

      In the meantime, 98% of the public out there remains oblivious to this state of affairs with their heads buried in their fondleslab as they go about life messaging, chatting, youtubing or concentrated in doing this pokemon crap that seems to have become (the gods help us) the ultimate rage.

      Makes me wonder what the ultimate rage will be when you can't cut a fart without the government/autorities/police knowing every detail about it?

      Interesting times, indeed.

    3. ElectricRook
      FAIL

      epic fail

      who we have chosen to represent us and do what's right for us

      The elected officials aren't here to assist the people any more than fleas are on the dog to assist him. The police department isn't here to protect the people, they are here to provide enough justice that the people don't get frustrated and form a new body of protection which could rival the current form of government. Anyone who receives a paycheck isn't showing up out of the goodness of their heart, they're there for the money.

  2. adam payne

    "But how does one defend their innocence, under a system of "innocent until proven guilty", without the right to a lawyer or lengthy detention without a court appearance?"

    You can't and that's it what they want. A nice quick and easy throw them in a cell and forget about them.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      It's no longer "innocent until proven guilty"

      The current system is innocent until suspected of guilt.

      Proving guilt is becoming less and less mandatory. I'm reminded of police procedures in the late 1800s, where you had inspectors gathering a fourth of a proof, a half proof, and a few eighths of proof, and hey ! that adds up to a full proof ! Guilty as charged !

      "Justice" is going the same way now, with the terrism charge demonstrably used as go-to-jail card. Once there, they gather just four quarter proofs and you're never getting out again.

      Ain't progress wonderful ?

  3. andy 103

    A fair trial?

    It's as simple as this - those who don't like him are angry that he's shown them up and exposed them for what they really are, or were (and continue to be) doing.

    He would never be given a fair trial - if he was brought before any court - because of this:

    People either (1) Disagree with what he's done due to embarrassment / bitterness he's caused them. OR (2) They sit on the other side of the fence and hail him as some kind of hero for exposing what was really going on.

    It's hard to understand what the word "justice" means when you have a situation like that. I don't think he would face a fair or balanced trial anywhere in the world. People are either very much with him, or very much against him.

    The irony is that he's tried to expose events where people have not been treated in-line with what others have been told is the right and proper way in which things should be done. And ultimately he will be treated the same way.

    He's done things wrong...by exposing that others were doing wrong things?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A fair trial?

      He's a Patriot, but we know how they are treated in the US. He is wanted for Espionage for exposing Constitutional rights violations while Hillary gets a free pass on every crime she commits, up to and including Espionage.

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: A fair trial?

        The yanks never quite understand that patriotism is not rubber stamping whatever your country is already doing, it's making sure what you're country is doing is right and worth your support.

        Sadly most of the UK has gone the same way.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: A fair trial?

          ... patriotism is not rubber stamping whatever your country is already doing ...

          From A few Good Men

          Downey: What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong!

          Dawson: Yeah we did. We were supposed to fight for people who couldn't fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willy.

          It's a while since I've seen it, but ISTR it was a good film. And that bit at the end really hits at the point you make. Apologies if you haven't seen it and I've spoiled the ending.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear...

    Discuss.

    1. Steve Kerr
      Big Brother

      Re: If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear...

      If you've got nothing to hide then they will produce some trumped up charges to get you regardless therefore you have everything to fear.

      Don't worry, soon, it'll be brought up that citizens will always commit some crime at some point so whereas in Christianity you get original sin, there will be original crime so every baby will be barcoded on their forehead at birth. Any attempt at coverage will result in instant jail time and there will be barcode scanners on every lamppost, every street corner, every bit of roadside furniture.

      Oh yeah, in case of any governments getting thoughts about this, I patent it so I can be barcode free :)

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear...

        They're not particularly trumped up charges though, he did commit "unauthorized communication of national defense information", the argument is whether his doing that was in the public interest, and if it was, whether that should make a difference.

        As US law stands right now though, he is likely to be found guilty, and would almost certainly get quite a severe punishment. What he's hoping for is a change in the law which would take into account that his actions were in the public interest (which presumably he would have to prove).

        Personally I don't believe he should be punished (working for the US government as a Sharepoint admin is cruel and unusual enough imo), but according to the letter of the law he's being charged under, he should be.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Discuss

      Not understanding a topic well enough to take or describe one of the various positions but posting key words and phrases is characteristic of a bot or agent. Even more so when the post ends with "Discuss".

  5. Chad H.

    >>>>Given the broad nature of the 1917 Act, a public interest or whistleblower defence would not be permissible; the judge would only have to prove that the information had been stolen and shared.

    The judge doesn't prove anything. It's for the Prosecution to prove their case, and no one else.

    1. Uffish

      Re: "The judge doesn't prove anything"

      Literally, of course, you are right - but it is the judge's court and he would detail and explain all relevant points to the jury before they decided on a verdict.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No greater story in our time

    Snowden, and the many before them that tried to expose illegal but now standard operating procedures of Western Democracies, or at the very least the Five Eyes, is the greatest story of our age. Even if most of the voting population have not heard of him or know little of the story.

    The fact that he isn't a common household name in the homes of all voters and that only certain groups and circles in society can recall any of the details he has brought to light shows that Democracy as most understand it does not exist except, maybe, the least important issues.

    Without knowledgeable and informed voters there can be no mass democracy and Snowden has shown us that our democracies do so much in secret, claim so much of what our governments do must be kept secret, that it is not possible to be informed, to be the voter needed to have a democracy.

    Even more so when it is now apparent our governments have and are feeding us, the voters, so much dis-information and outright lies that even those who try cannot be informed.

    This isn't a case of “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” or seeing voters as morons and idiots because we do not agree with their priorities. This is a case of even the brightest and best being deceived and lied to for generations.

    So who is the real threat to the free world? Those that would allow voters to be informed OR those that have so undermined the ability of voters to know what their governments are doing that no voter or representative is able to be truly informed?

    An informed voter can no longer support their democratic systems, can no longer have faith that their government or it's agencies are carrying out the wishes of the people or even acting in the peoples best interest.

    That is the greatest and clearest present danger to everything we hold dear. That is the greatest threat to our nations, our legitimacy and our peace and security.

  7. agatum
    Black Helicopters

    Suckers.

    US government had filled out the forms incorrectly

    Government filling out forms incorrectly: priceless.

  8. davcefai

    It seems to me that Edward Snowden has has done most European countries an enormous favour. Isn't there ONE country whose politicians have the cojones to give him asylum?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > It seems to me that Edward Snowden has has done most European countries an enormous favour. Isn't there ONE country whose politicians have the cojones to give him asylum?

      In Europe? Yup, Russia.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Isn't there ONE country whose politicians have the cojones to give him asylum?

      As far as I recall from earlier discussions, the problem is not finding a nation for asylum, but getting there without being subject to either a black bag operation or nations diverting the plane due to international agreements about warrants.

      That said, the moment someone finds a way to give Snowden a false ID with matching passport it'll get interesting. After a couple of false leads will have diverted planes containing preferably journalists or heads of state it'll become increasingly hard to do that again, so with a bit of luck Snowden might just make it, especially if there is a whole collection of countries offering asylum as it'll be hard to work out his true destination.

      It appears unfortunately not as easy as spy stories make believe, especially with proper trained intelligence people on his tail.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elephant in the room

    Assange is still a tool.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elephant in the room

      Assange lost the last shred of credibility when he started lobbying for Trump with the DMC emails stolen by Russia

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elephant in the room

      Assange is still a tool.

      Yes, the onanist is strong in this one. He could do himself a favour by starting to engage in things that would benefit others, but I don't see that happen anytime soon.

  10. nilfs2
    FAIL

    The USA created the terrorists

    If it weren't for the US military aide given to this groups of bearded nutjobs, we wouldn't have to be worrying about terrorists. The USA government is the biggest terrorist of them all, they live by the motto of "do as we say, or we will bomb the shit out of you", making up wars where there is no war just to keep the military industry cash flowing and stealing resources from the weakest.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: The USA created the terrorists

      There is a playbook in operation which determines that every choice we are *presented* with equates to a win for the elite.

      Propaganda isn't just about spin and lies, it's about framing everything in such a way that people don't think of alternatives - aka brainwashing. In a pseudo-democracy the vast majority of the public are totally brainwashed and this leaves no reasonable avenue of response for the enlightened individual.

      Seriously, you could take the average voter and explain in detail that they are effectively slaves and it won't make a bit of difference. They'll put you in their little 'nut job' box and move on to their next tweet.

      Personally I believe the best that can be achieved right now is to keep the seed of freedom alive and pure in some small way (each of us choosing that way) in the hope that one day the ground will be more fertile for that seed to grow.

  11. JustNiz

    > Apple stood firm to legal threats and the FBI was forced to back down - for now.

    Well of course they would SAY that, wouldn't they?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    "the judge would only have to prove that the information had been stolen and shared."

    A lack of understanding of the U.S. legal system here. The judge does not prove anything, his job is to make sure that the letter and spirit of the law are followed. However, the Espionage Act does not allow for public service or personal conscience defenses, so if Snowden attempted one of those in U.S. court, the prosecution would most certainly object and the judge would be obliged to sustain their objection.

    You can still have jury nullification, so the jury can be instructed to ignore Snowden's hypothetical public service defense, but whether or not the jury actually does during deliberations is another question entirely.

  13. Herby

    Then there is "equal justice"

    "Snowden has been indicted in the United States on charges under the 1917 Espionage Act, including theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person. If found guilty, he faces 30 years in jail and additional fines."

    Interesting that Snowden was charged, when others high up on the food chain were given a "free pass".

    "Theft of government property" - check.

    "Unauthorized communication of national defense information" - check.

    "Willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person" - check.

    Former Secretary of State - check.

    She ticks all the boxes!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      Re: Then there is "equal justice"

      @Herby

      What you pointed out goes a long way in explaining why Hillary Clinton is only a few points ahead of an obvious dim bulb/narcissist/loud mouth/fibber, and the gap is narrowing some.

      And for the record, I'm not in favor of either of the two options offered up by the major parties.

  14. C0p3n

    "...and was told that America does not torture people."

    Oh yeah, I'm sure his treatment would be simply delightful.

  15. Guildencrantz

    Snowden revealing methods security services use to covertly intercept terrorist communications

    Isn't the above just an eeny weeny bit appalling for all of us?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Childcatcher

      Re: Snowden revealing methods security services use to covertly intercept terrorist communications

      Snowden mostly revealed methods security services used to intercept OUR communications, and some terrorist chatter along the way.

      Did it help terrorists and organized criminals to evade some interception? Yes it did, but but it also gave the 95%+ of internet users who are not criminals some pretty important insights into what was being done in their name and to their own data and free speech rights.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021