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USA Calling For the Extradition of Snowden

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the we-want-a-word-with-you dept.

United States 955

Taco Cowboy writes "Edward Snowden, the leaker who gave us the evidence of US government spying on its people is under threat of being extradited back to the U.S. to face prosecution. Some people in Congress, including Republican Peter King (R-NY), are calling for his extradition from Hong Kong to face trial. From the article: 'A spokesman for the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said Snowden's case had been referred to the justice department and US intelligence was assessing the damage caused by the disclosures. "Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law," the spokesman, Shawn Turner, said.'"

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955 comments

Someone start a defense fund (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960195)

Seriously ... if there is anyone out there who is a lawyer, or is knowledgeable enough to take this on ... this is your issue. Start a fund. Start it now.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960337)

And if it turns out that he just blew what might have prevented several 9/11 level attacks?
We're talking about saving lives here. He should be prosecuted, no doubt.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#43960369)

So still less people than car accidents?

Why don't we prosecute unsafe/elderly drivers? That would save far more lives and not risk loss of freedom.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960397)

Oh yeah, unsafe driver and betraying democracy... same thing.
Seriously, this guy is a criminal and should face the consequences of his actions.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (4, Insightful)

stanIyb (2945195) | about 10 months ago | (#43960423)

and betraying democracy

When did that happen? What does that even mean in this case?

Seriously, this guy is a criminal

Even if that's true, he did nothing wrong. He merely shed light upon some of the government's wrongdoing.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 10 months ago | (#43960539)

and betraying democracy

When did that happen? What does that even mean in this case?

Seriously, this guy is a criminal

Even if that's true, he did nothing wrong. He merely shed light upon some of the government's wrongdoing.

He publicized information that was tagged as Top Secret. You know how Bradley Manning is in some hot shit, for close to 100,000 "secret" documents? This is basically as bad as that, but with ONE document. He may be morally in the right, to expose egregious abuse of power and trampling of the 4th amendment (and generally trampling human rights even if the US Constitution isn't the law of the land to whoever was spied on) but he is in some DEEP shit because it was classified the way it was. He stands no chance at avoiding a life sentence, whether we like it or not.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960569)

and betraying democracy

When did that happen? What does that even mean in this case?

Democracy is the rule of the people.

Betraying democracy would therefore be preventing the people from getting the information necessary to make informed choices about who to vote for.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (5, Insightful)

popo (107611) | about 10 months ago | (#43960585)

The Nuremburg trials are the defacto case setting the record *very* clear that humans have a moral obligation to defy the rules when the rules violate natural or moral rights. Privacy has *long* been established as a natural right and is codified in the highest legal document in the nation. Ergo, the responsibility was on Mr. Snowden to come forth with the information.

That the government is appalled, mortified and furious is clear. But what is even more clear is that there was a horrific abuse of power taking place and a voice of moral conscience stepped forward at great personal risk to protect you, me and all of us.

This is a hero. He deserves the protection of the public at large. And those within the government who have neglected their responsibilities, abandoned the cause of freedom and violated our constitutional and natural rights deserve prosecution to the full extent of the law.

What is just as disheartening as the government's efforts to extradite Snowden, is the total lack of silence in terms of desire to prosecute the actual wrongdoers.

Who were they? What were their names? How high did the chain of command go? When will there be a trial? How many dozens of people (or hundreds?) will be serving 20 year sentences? THESE are the questions that need to be answered. Not whether Mr. Snowden has violated the requirements of his day job.

Serious crimes have been committed. Snowden wasn't part of them.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#43960609)

Isn't it obvious? There is nothing more destructive to democracy than allowing the electorate to know what they are voting for! How can you possibly get things done with a bunch of 'constituents' whining about what is being done in their name?

Re:Someone start a defense fund (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#43960443)

I think unconstitutional spying is far more betraying democracy than releasing some information. Democracy without an informed populace cannot work.

I was not comparing the relative moralities only the headcount. Terrorism is simply too rare to dedicate so much resources too. It would be like the government spending billions to protect the populace from lightning.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (-1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 10 months ago | (#43960561)

I think unconstitutional spying is far more betraying democracy than releasing some information. Democracy without an informed populace cannot work.

I was not comparing the relative moralities only the headcount. Terrorism is simply too rare to dedicate so much resources too. It would be like the government spending billions to protect the populace from lightning.

To be fair, this program is currently legal. I don't think it will pass Constitutional muster if it ever hit the courts, but that hasn't happened yet. The appropriate course of action would be to challenge this law in the courts rather than releasing classified data.

On the other hand, you can't challenge a law if you don't know about it. Without this release, the law could not be challenged until the program was to gather evidence used to prosecute a citizen.

I don't have a problem with the government gathering this data to fight terrorism. Unfortunately, this administration has shown that it has no problem abusing government agencies to punish political opponents.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#43960617)

I agree, I also think it has been blown out of proportion. From what we have seen of costs and more information coming out, I think the program is far more limited than most foaming at the mouth posters believe.

I am not sure what you mean about that last thing. The IRS investigating anti-tax activists, is good policy. The DEA should probably keep tabs on NORML leaders as well. If you come out and say you oppose law X then I expect the agency in charge of enforcement will at least give you an extra look.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960487)

You are absolutely right that letting unsafe drivers on the road is different from betraying democracy. But we're talking about Snowden here, not the NSA.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (1)

Holi (250190) | about 10 months ago | (#43960511)

Wouldn't the spying on the entire population be a larger betrayal?

Re:Someone start a defense fund (5, Insightful)

harlequinn (909271) | about 10 months ago | (#43960577)

Not to someone who's already brainwashed into believing that giving up essential liberties for the illusion of safety is a good thing.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (5, Insightful)

stanIyb (2945195) | about 10 months ago | (#43960429)

And if it turns out that he just blew what might have prevented several 9/11 level attacks?

Freedom is more important than security, drone.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960563)

There's a difference between Freedom and Liberty. This case highlights it.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960541)

And if it turns out that he just blew what might have prevented several 9/11 level attacks? We're talking about saving lives here. He should be prosecuted, no doubt.

When you let your wildest fears direct your policy, you can justify almost anything.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#43960587)

And if it turns out that he just blew what might have prevented several 9/11 level attacks?
We're talking about saving lives here. He should be prosecuted, no doubt.

Do tell me, because I'd like to hear an actual argument to this effect, how his revelations threaten much of anything, except the wounded self-importance of the people behind the program...

It is customary to keep the existence of a specific wiretap a secret for a period of time, until the evidence has been gathered and is ready for use. The logic here is obvious: If wiretap orders were public, John Smith could just check the daily wiretaps RSS feed and determine whether he is being listened to, thus destroying the value of the wiretap.

For extraordinarily broad, no-end-in-sight, wiretaps, though, essentially no useful information is provided to any suspect by the revelation of the program. If all I know is that the NSA demands every phone metadata record in the US and has swift, privileged, access to the who's who of internet companies, that tells me absolutely nothing of use. All the paranoids and skeptics already strongly suspected that this was the case, so this merely provides proof in writing of what any sensible perp would have already assumed, and the scope of the programs is so vast that it is impossible to infer anything about your specific case that would make it easier to hide.

Obviously, the program was secret because its operators didn't want any inconvenient 'questions' or 'displeasure'; but that isn't a good reason, just an attractive one.

Had he leaked "The NSA knows Muhammad Ibn Al-Jihad's 4 phone-numbers-he-thinks-are-secret and is recording all of them", that'd be the sort of leak that would be obviously damaging and irresponsible. "The NSA tracks all calls routed through US telcos", though, tells nobody anything specific to them. Plus, the program is supposedly all-totally-legal-and-on-the-up-and-up-and-whatnot, so being exposed shouldn't even threaten its continuation(unlike the previous illegal wiretapping program that we threw some after-the-fact legality on when it was revealed).

So, please, let's hear an argument about why revealing this program is harmful. I'd be interested to hear a good one; because so far I haven't even heard bad ones.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (3, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | about 10 months ago | (#43960613)

We're talking about saving lives here.

If those lives are lived under constant surveillance then it's perhaps kinder to let them die. But hey, if you don't mind having a neckbeard at the NSA jerking off to the private pictures your girlfriend sent you, then that is your business.

Re:Someone start a defense fund (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960463)

While the US justice system responds well to money, good luck trying to outspend the government when it is pissed off at somebody. The only way money could realistically help him is if it prevents him from ever being extradited to the US.

Murrica (5, Insightful)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | about 10 months ago | (#43960205)

This is a textbook example of the government trying to apply "do as I say, not as I do." If they want us to respect the spirit and letter of the law, they first need to do the same.

Re:Murrica (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about 10 months ago | (#43960243)

kind of ironic he is hiding in Hong Kong...China....

Re:Murrica (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 10 months ago | (#43960305)

Not ironic at all. During the first cold war, all the defectors from USSR would come and hide in the west. Now, I expect that in this second cold war (yes, China is engaged in a cold war), that western traitors will run over to China. Of course, in about 10 years, they will want to come back.

Re:Murrica (4, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 10 months ago | (#43960341)

That might not be the best choice of hiding place, given the current talks on hacking and espionage between China and the USA. Snowden may have made himself into a bargaining chip; perhaps China will be happy to extradite Snowden as a gesture of goodwill.

Re:Murrica (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43960411)

Well, this is Hong Kong not mainland China, so there are some differences in the legal system and the like.

But, having said that, I have no idea if they will resist any extradition or not.

Re:Murrica (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#43960405)

Ironic in what respect? Hong Kong actually cherishes and nurtures their freedoms in ways that Beijing knows they can't control. There's a reason Beijing hasn't tried to step Hong Kong slowly into their own system. They know ruining Hong Kong with it would expose the destructive nature of their programs and heavy-handed authority. You know, the kind of programs Snowden exposed.

Re:Murrica (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 10 months ago | (#43960597)

Ironic in what respect? Hong Kong actually cherishes and nurtures their freedoms in ways that Beijing knows they can't control. There's a reason Beijing hasn't tried to step Hong Kong slowly into their own system. They know ruining Hong Kong with it would expose the destructive nature of their programs and heavy-handed authority. You know, the kind of programs Snowden exposed.

Hong Kong is a "special administrative region" which to China means "you can do what you want as long as we approve of it". This guy stands no chance, *especially* if it makes China look like they aren't in charge of HK.

Yah Snowden's a bona-fide bad guy (0)

mozumder (178398) | about 10 months ago | (#43960413)

This is a textbook example of an idiot IT geek trying to be smarter than what he really is. He got all uppity in there, and really thinks he's some sort of hero.

The idiot himself spied on some 5 PowerPoint slides at work, went "ZOMG TYRANNY!" and decided to call the press, screaming the NSA is spying on EVERY American and listening and recording everything, and other assorted COMPLETELY made up garbage.

He had absolutely NO clue what Prism was, what it was capable of, and what it was meant to achieve. That's because he's a clueless IT support geek, and not a real engineer.

Of course the public, being functionally retarded, guided by a low-IQ media, eats that shit up. (Remember when the media was looking for WMDs back in 2004??)

A real engineer would know that what he described PRISM as was completely wrong. Additionally, a REAL NSA blue-badge employee would be well aware of Posse Comitatus, which would prevent the NSA from spying on Americans anyways, since the NSA is a military organization.

The real heroes are the actual NSA agents, with PhD's in Mathematics from MIT, that get a quarter of his pay yet actually do prevent REAL terrorist attacks, while following Posse Comitatus.

All NSA employees are well versed in Posse Comitatus, so you don't need to get your panties up in a bunch about them spying on you.

This guy is a traitor in the fullest sense, with a low-IQ that traitors generally have.

Ultimately, GED students should never be allowed TS-SI clearance.

Also, these Ron Paul libertarian gun-nuts should be stripped of US citizenship. They are the LEAST productive members of a modern society, because they have too much 2nd-grader "belief" and not enough worldly knowledge.

The fact is, he wasn't able to show single case where PRISM actually violated 4th amendment or any privacy violation. These idiot functionally retarded Ron Paul gun-nut libertarians are always like that, they always live in a "potential" to violate 4th amendment, when in the real world, it actually never happens because the checks and balances are in place to prevent that.

Re:Murrica (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#43960465)

That didn't initially strike me but it is very ironic. And probably a very bad place to hang out. I'm sure China has people it would like to get back in exchange for Snowden.

Re:Murrica (4, Insightful)

oztiks (921504) | about 10 months ago | (#43960287)

I just find it amazing that no one has raised the argument that the Stop SOPA, PIPA, etc protests were a tremendous waste of time.

The PRISM program looks like the Govt has been making their own rules for some time now and with the surveillance revelations of the EAGLE program which Assange addressed in the past (but nobody really cared about because it may or may not of been speculative). I'd say with better judgement that that NSA is not the only organisation doing this.

BTW I recommend the Ghostery app for Chrome, great little tool, wont help with any of this but still an eye opener on what big business does.

Re:Murrica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960347)

The problem is they are following the letter of the law. Americans, unfortunately, allowed their politicians to write laws that make it legal for the government to collect this data. Sorry if you don't like it - perhaps Americans should elect better politicians and not succumb to fear mongering manipulation tactics next time - but the government is following the law, both the spirit and the letter.

And, you can support Snowden all you want but he did break the law. You may support his moral decision but what he did was illegal.

Re:Murrica (5, Insightful)

stanIyb (2945195) | about 10 months ago | (#43960449)

but the government is following the law

But they're not following the constitution; other laws are irrelevant.

Re:Murrica (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 10 months ago | (#43960403)

This is a textbook example of the government trying to apply "do as I say, not as I do." If they want us to respect the spirit and letter of the law, they first need to do the same.

I'm not defending the government, but you honestly thought there would be protection for a whistleblower at a spy agency?

Re:Murrica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960557)

It is quite ironic indeed. Because anyone who says, "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" -- that politician just justified Wikileaks.

It wont do much, but at least register interest (5, Interesting)

stewsters (1406737) | about 10 months ago | (#43960207)

Re:It wont do much, but at least register interest (2, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 10 months ago | (#43960363)

That would be actually reasonably smooth move by Obama if he wishes to temper the wrath of his own party. But it's completely absurd to imagine that it's the petition that would make him change his mind. Still, if you're into such things...

Re:It wont do much, but at least register interest (1)

mblase (200735) | about 10 months ago | (#43960457)

That would be actually reasonably smooth move by Obama if he wishes to temper the wrath of his own party. But it's completely absurd to imagine that it's the petition that would make him change his mind. Still, if you're into such things...

I liked it better when the trolls were subtle.

Re:It wont do much, but at least register interest (0, Flamebait)

ag0ny (59629) | about 10 months ago | (#43960381)

Are you going to petition your own corrupt government? The time for petitions is over. You have to man up, impeach Obama, and judge him and all his cronies for crimes against humanity.

This is what you've been keeping your beloved guns for. Use them.

Re:It wont do much, but at least register interest (5, Insightful)

MasseKid (1294554) | about 10 months ago | (#43960507)

And exactly what good is impeaching Obama going to do? You believe that Biden is secretly against these things and is the white knight that is going to come to our rescue? Or have you not actually thought that far ahead? Wait, let's say we impeach everyone till a republican gets back into office. Do you not remember who it was that signed the patriot act in the first place? I agree change needs to happen, however before rallying a cry for change, let's make sure the change will actually have a meaningful impact and give us the results we want.

Re:It wont do much, but at least register interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960601)

Whoa, first you suggest we make progress through non-violent means, then you turn right around and show yourself to be violent. That's more than just "respect" for the 2nd Amendment, that's really rash and uncivilized. And this is why I can't trust people like yourself.

Abide by the law? (5, Insightful)

cuncator (906265) | about 10 months ago | (#43960211)

Like, say, the 4th amendment protecting against unlawful search and seizure? Bastards were caught with their hands in the cookie jar and are trying anything to deflect attention.

Re:Abide by the law? (4, Insightful)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 10 months ago | (#43960315)

Meanwhile, a helpful Government spokeman is making hand gestures and saying:

These are not the rights you're looking for. Your privacy has not been violated. You may go about your business. Move along, move along. . . .

Re:Abide by the law? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#43960367)

Indeed, this morning during my commute, the radio hosts tried to play this as if the program were already completely known, and the only problem is that we "don't trust Obama having access to it". Fools.

I expect they are worried (4, Informative)

spacepimp (664856) | about 10 months ago | (#43960219)

I assume they are worried about what else he plans on releasing. If he has much more damning evidence (Which I assume he does) they want to get into the fold of Mother USA's arms to squeeze... hug him into silence before he says much more.

Re:I expect they are worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960297)

Yeah this.

It ruins their PR to actually go after him.

Re:I expect they are worried (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 10 months ago | (#43960299)

Already released pretty damning material, seems like it'd be pretty hard to top what he already released. He'd need video evidence of Congress colluding with a clone of Hitler to make waves.

Re:I expect they are worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960385)

Hitlers clone wouldenroll at the Art Institute After developing his mediocre art talent he would be too busy struggling with 60k of student loans while unable to find a job that pays more than 15/hr. This prevents dictatorships.

Re:I expect they are worried (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#43960333)

I would hope that if he had anything further, it's already in the hands of third parties. This guy's not stupid, and the people at The Guardian probably have it. If not others.

Re:I expect they are worried (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 10 months ago | (#43960351)

Also I suspect going public was a side effect of the NSA figuring out who leaked the info. He's obviously quite scared and the public eye is a lot safer than the shadows in these circumstances.

dinner is great here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960225)

how would you like regular meals, three times per day?

Fuck that (3, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | about 10 months ago | (#43960229)

You can have him back after you impeach and convict your traitorous president and dismantle your illegal domestic espionage complex.

These BASTARDS talk about the law even as they wipe their asses with the Constitutions. If ANYONE should be black bagged, it's these SCUM.

The damage to the freedom (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960233)

>"Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law," the spokesman, Shawn Turner, said.'"

Does security clearance prevail on a breach of the constitution ?

Re:The damage to the freedom (5, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#43960321)

The constitution is the highest law of this nation. Particularly the specific protections the constitution contains. If government uses "security clearance" to hide breaches of the constitution, anyone with clearance has an obligation to act. The constitution is above the government, not the other way around.

Re:The damage to the freedom (1)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#43960371)

Does it prevail if he's not in country?

Or is this where the Swedish rape allegations come in?

Doing what is right... (3, Informative)

mschiller (764721) | about 10 months ago | (#43960237)

We have an obligation to do what is right and proper above any other law. In the sense of the USA government, the Constitution is the highest law and lies out what is right and proper. If our government is unjust and doing something unethical and against the constitution, then we must first do what is right and proper to protect the constitution.

Our Government is given power by the people, if they steal powers without consent of the governn than the highest law calls us to correct the misdeed and that trumps the laws on secrecy, etc. A soldier need not follow an illegal order!

Now that being said: Breaking confidentiality on top-secret stuff is no laughing matter. It's treason, a capital offense. But that doesn't mean we aren't called to follow the higher law if the top-secret stuff is in itself illegal.

Re:Doing what is right... (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#43960277)

I question the justification for most "top secret" government information. The track record of declassified information ever having been material that justified the classified status is pretty poor.

Re:Doing what is right... (4, Informative)

mschiller (764721) | about 10 months ago | (#43960375)

Oh there is plenty of stuff that probably justifies a top secret stamp.

Examples:
1) Landing location for a major offensive in a declared war. [Eg how much better could Germany have prepared, in WWII, if they knew exactly which beaches we were planning on using and what day we were going to launch our offensive...]
2) Technical specifications for NEW military hardware
===> Once the hardware is out there for a few years, say 7 years, the secret rating probably isn't as justified
3) Technical specifications for Nuclear bombs (no age limit...)
4) Identities of Our Spies operating in foreign countries
===> Note, I'm not stating that spying on folks is a correct thing. But if you accept that we must do it, because everyone else does it, then the spies identities must also be protected.

And probably lot's of other examples.

Re:Doing what is right... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#43960407)

A lot of TOP SECRET information is related to weapons development, military operations and foreign intelligence gathering. The first is necessary because you don't want the enemy to know what your present and future capabilities are or use your research to shortcut their own versions of what you are developing. The second is necessary because too much knowledge of your military operations gives current and potential enemies the drop on you. The last is necessary because if foreign governments know how you're getting your information on them, they'll stop up your sources or feed you bullshit through them.

Re:Doing what is right... (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#43960503)

I question the justification for most "top secret" government information. The track record of declassified information ever having been material that justified the classified status is pretty poor.

Usually the important things to classify are the details, not the existence of big programs. Walker [wikipedia.org] was a traitor for giving codes to the USSR, but it was hardly a secret that we encrypted naval communications. Similarly the existence of almost all US weapons systems, and their basic construction and approximate capabilities, are public knowledge. The Pentagon talks about them in press releases! What's secret is their exact capabilities and the details of their construction. When the government attempts to keep the existence of big programs like this secret, it's usually to keep it from the public, not the bad guys. If we're dealing with terrorists who don't realize that their electronic communications may be monitored, then we have nothing to worry about.

Re:Doing what is right... (3, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 10 months ago | (#43960301)

Now that being said: Breaking confidentiality on top-secret stuff is no laughing matter. It's treason, a capital offense.

It's no laughing matter, but it's not treason. Treason is defined in the Constitution and this ain't it.

Re:Doing what is right... (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#43960303)

Also, I refuse your argument that this was in any way treason. The government will call it that, but the definition of treason does not fit this action, except in its weakest and most stretched-thin definition.

Re:Doing what is right... (1)

mschiller (764721) | about 10 months ago | (#43960489)

I agree with you. Since I reject that spying on the American people can be justified without a Warrant for the specific person/information that is to be found. Eg the 4th amendment.

1) Releasing sensitive information on how we spy on Terrorists/other countries can easily be argued to comfort or aid "terrorists". Therefore the US Government will at least consider the charge of Treason.

Do I agree that this material aids terrorists? Not really. But that doesn't matter they will make the argument.

And for some of the sheeple in the US, that argument will per persuasive because we are all to ready to give up our liberties for "security".

Re:Doing what is right... (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#43960345)

Breaking confidentiality on top-secret stuff is no laughing matter. It's treason, a capital offense.

It's treason to tell the American people that their government is spying on them? I don't think so.

Re:Doing what is right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960373)

Good luck with all of that!

Apparently there's a new reality TV show out now called "Look at everyone's dirty search results". Seems like a real hoot if you ask me and it should keep you busy enough behind your 99inch plasma to not get your lazy ass up off the couch and actually do something that will enact change in the world.

That is of course if you find time between airing out the crease in your favourite armchair and posting on Slashdot on your iPad from the toilet.

Re:Doing what is right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960535)

Here is a quote from your declaration of independence. I suggest you read it:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

Anyone who is surprised is a fool (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#43960261)

Even Snowden knew this would happen. There's a reason he's gone public with his identity. Now he can't be killed or disappeared without everyone knowing exactly what's going on.

Re:Anyone who is surprised is a fool (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 10 months ago | (#43960481)

Now he can't be killed or disappeared without everyone knowing exactly what's going on.

Do you know where he is? Have you seen him? He's gone public with his identity, but he's still essentially in hiding. If he disappeared and never surfaced again, I guess he just has a great hiding spot...

Re:Anyone who is surprised is a fool (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960527)

Won't matter... Coming back on US soil is a one-way ticket to Gitmo at this point.

The "USA" isn't calling for anything at this point (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960273)

Thanks for wasting my time, Taco.

Guess we'll find out ... (2, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#43960275)

Guess we'll find out if Hong Kong was a good choice. The extradition attempts should be interesting.

Re:Guess we'll find out ... (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 10 months ago | (#43960475)

We will see. Honk Kong has an extradition treaty with the US, but that was in place during British oversight, before HK was handed back to the Chinese. I'm guessing that the Chinese will probably hand him over, especially considering the US president is meeting with the Chinese President in person. Snowden will probably be some sort of trade concession, but that is just my guess.

Of course ... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43960325)

"Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law,"

Isn't widespread domestic spying without a specific purpose and a warrant against the law?

This guys is brave for identifying himself and releasing this information, but I fear he's going to get absolutely destroyed in this process.

I fear governments have tipped over to the point where security and paranoia will completely obliterate any privacy and anonymity.

Of course, the biggest fear is that now that Microsoft, Google, and almost everyone else have rolled over to help the US do this spying, every other country is going to demand the same. I'm hard pressed to see how they could refuse given the precedent they've set.

Some people in Congress? (4, Interesting)

brxndxn (461473) | about 10 months ago | (#43960327)

We should find out who 'some people in Congress' are, post their names, and make sure constituents in their voting jurisdiction fill their inboxes. And, parade their names all over the Internet so the other people in Congress will see them be vilified. Nobody here wants to see us continuing in the direction of a totalitarian police state.

According to the article, the people in Congress that are named are 'Republican head of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers' and 'Peter King, the chairman of the House homeland security subcommittee'.

Re: Some people in Congress? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960433)

Diane Feinstein, for starters.

Damage (2)

geekymachoman (1261484) | about 10 months ago | (#43960353)

And the "damage" done is that the people, finally got informed on what's going on, really. They now need to determine to what extent and what will be needed to remedy the situation. Extradition and severe prosecution after that is a message to all others potential whistleblowers.

Funny how every time there's a " information leak" like this, it reveals that the Gov and/or Companies are doing some bad stuff, and nothing else happens.
They'll not stop surveillance or testing experimental drugs on poor countries children, it will be just swept under the rug and whistleblower put to jail and then they gonna pretend everything is ok, while people will stop caring until it starts directly affecting them and their lives.

Meanwhile, Americans are asking for a pardon. (5, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#43960357)

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snowden/Dp03vGYD879 [whitehouse.gov] --- 8979 signed on in two days.
Also, over 4000 for repeal of the PATRIOT act so far and over 2000 for the impeachment of Roger Vinson, whose signature authorized some ridiculously broad data collection orders. And 11825 for the resignation of President Obama. I mention this last because people have been calling for his head for years and it's not clear what issue is the biggest factor in people calling for his resignation.

It really annoys the hell out of me... (5, Interesting)

Endimiao (471532) | about 10 months ago | (#43960377)

... how they placed a high school dropout in such a position of trust. Quoting the Guardian "Snowden is a 29-year-old high-school dropout who trained for the Army Special Forces before an injury forced him to leave the military. His IT credentials are apparently limited to a few “computer” classes he took at a community college in order to get his high-school equivalency degree—courses that he did not complete. His first job at the NSA was as a security guard. Then, amazingly, he moved up the ranks of the United States’ national security infrastructure: The CIA gave him a job in IT security. He was given diplomatic cover in Geneva. He was hired by Booz Allen Hamilton, the government contractor, which paid him $200,000 a year to work on the NSA’s computer systems." .. Wtf are people smoking in the US?

Re:It really annoys the hell out of me... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960453)

What does that have to do with anything? Maybe he is skilled enough to actual advance without having a degree. Other people doing it all the time.

It is more a question if he did the right thing or not by coming forward with this information to the people of America, so they actual know that their government is spying on them, not matter what their rights might be. Anyone with 2 cents should know the correct answer to that one.

Re:It really annoys the hell out of me... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960461)

Do you think there's a chance he received just a tiny bit more training at Booz Allen? Maybe a teenie tiny bit?

But more importantly, don't you see the irony that his "poor education" allowed him to know the difference between right and wrong where apparently you don't?

Re:It really annoys the hell out of me... (2)

hsmith (818216) | about 10 months ago | (#43960533)

If anything he is smarter because he got a decent paying consulting gig at BAH and didn't bury himself in college debt to major in some worthless field.

Re:It really annoys the hell out of me... (2)

stanIyb (2945195) | about 10 months ago | (#43960537)

... how they placed a high school dropout in such a position of trust.

What's wrong with dropping out of the piss-poor public education system in the US?

Request to Obama (5, Insightful)

muffen (321442) | about 10 months ago | (#43960387)

Mr Obama,
Can you please give me access to all your email and phone conversations? If you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

The traitors work in government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960389)

Criminal acts are not covered by classification and Snowden was duty bound to release the information.

Is not the real question in all this... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 10 months ago | (#43960439)

... why have not those in the position to, not prosecuted Obama for violating the US constitution and Bill of rights?
All the evidence of Obama intent and his execution of his intentis in his own words and actions of signing, and there is plenty of this on youtube and executive orders.

Exposing the facts of such violation does not break laws, simply because the Constitution and Bill of Rights over rule all other laws and attempted to get around the founders establish basis of our laws. For example, it is not considered legal to make a contracts to kill someone as that violates the base and as such is not recognized as being legal.

The right and wrong way to go about these things. (1, Troll)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 10 months ago | (#43960445)

"Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law," the spokesman, Shawn Turner,

The above is a key comment. Did Snowden violate the law, yes, he violated the agreements he made when he obtained his security clearance. This the US violate the laws by implementing this kind of program, probably. Was public disclosure the right way to go about it, absolutely not.

There are mechanisms in place for whistle blowers when it comes to classified information. Is it affective, well, I do not have an answer for that. Did Snowden follow channels first before going public, we don't know that yet either.

Whether we like it or not, there are process and procedures in place, and the Gov will do what the Gov does (if you think any other country does not do similar crap, you are probably deluding yourself). Follow the appropriate path, if no fruitful resolution comes from that, then public release is a possibility, but expect consequences.

Re:The right and wrong way to go about these thing (4, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | about 10 months ago | (#43960553)

Was public disclosure the right way to go about it, absolutely YES.

I fixed your typo.

I do not think you realize just how serious of a matter this is. This is exactly the sort of thing the US government criticizes other nations for. The People, as in the Citizens of The United States of America should not put up with this. If we take the future of our nation seriously we need to start no confidence recall elections where state constitutions allow it, demand the immediate impeachment and conviction or resignation of Barack Obama, and vote out the rest of the trash where state constitutions do not provide for recall elections.

This is a very serious issue and I for one am grateful that we have brave people like Snowden in the NSA who are unwilling to violate the Constitution and are willing to put their own lives at stake to report it to the people via the most public means possible.

Re:The right and wrong way to go about these thing (2)

Arker (91948) | about 10 months ago | (#43960619)

Official channels are worse than useless when the corruption is top-down.

One is not obligated to conceal a crime (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 10 months ago | (#43960471)

Nor to hide abuses of power and privilege, nor to protect traitors who have betrayed the trust which the public has placed in them that they will execute their offices faithfully and defend and preserve the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Hypocrisy (4, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | about 10 months ago | (#43960483)

Extreme hypocrisy exhibited by:

"Any person who has a security clearance knows that he or she has an obligation to protect classified information and abide by the law," the spokesman, Shawn Turner, said.'"

He WAS abiding by the law by exposing illegal activities carried out by the government on an ongoing basis. How is what he did illegal or wrong, by any stretch of the imagination? A law instructing any citizen to not report any illegal activity is itself an illegal law.

Don't talk about fight club.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43960497)

I worked for the DoD for 8 years of my life in my twenties.. You don't talk about fight club, regardless.. This is definitely a case of "Two wrongs don't make a right"

Anyone questioning this whole story? (1)

openfrog (897716) | about 10 months ago | (#43960517)

I am interested in issues of privacy, and considering that Google has left China over such an issue, the original story sounded quite implausible to me.

I have read the original document that was supposedly leaked about PRISM. I still have to be convinced of its authenticity.

Even more so after reading a quite sensible account of this whole story, gathered by eight contributors to the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/technology/tech-companies-bristling-concede-to-government-surveillance-efforts.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& [nytimes.com]

If people are led to believe that everything we do online is available to the NSA in the manner described in the supposedly leaked document, it will be much more difficult to lead campaigns about real threats, like SOPA, etc.

2 wrongs don't make a right.. (1)

houbou (1097327) | about 10 months ago | (#43960547)

So, in one hand you have the Illegal redistribution of top secret files and in the other hand, the whistle blowing nature of these files prove these are illegal activities unto themselves.
Now the US government wants their pound of flesh. Go figure.
This is really serious and I believe that POTUS is gonna have to intervene, if only to either save face and disavow and/or acknowledge the wrongness of the situation.
In a way, Snowden is being the ultimate patriot here, and you can't blame him for releasing this info.

More shocked that they hired contractors as FTE. (3, Insightful)

Viewsonic (584922) | about 10 months ago | (#43960565)

Am I the only one with their jaw on the ground that the NSA and CIA are hiring contractors as full time employees in top secret positions with access to everything, instead of doing actual short term janitorial type of work that contractors are supposed to be used for? If they need a printer installs, sure, use the contractor. Need to have a recorded wire tap scanned and sent over to secret building #2, use a contractor? REALLY??

Strange days indeed (5, Interesting)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 10 months ago | (#43960581)

I never thought I'd see the day when an American is seeking political protection in China.

Booz Allen should suffer (1)

Andover Chick (1859494) | about 10 months ago | (#43960605)

Anyone who has suffered management consultancy hogwash about "best practices" or "core values" should experience schadenfreude in Booz Allen agonize over providing a defective worker to the NSA at 200K+ a year. I say give Snowden a free pass on this one and instead imprison senior Booz Allen employees at Gitmo!
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