Russian leaders see Snowden’s case as a way to again push for a U.N. body to control the Internet, a move the United States has opposed, reports Anna Nemtsova.
Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who became the biggest leaker in the history of the National Security Agency, is on the run. On May 20 the 29-year-old left Hawaii for Hong Kong, shortly before The Guardian and The Washington Post began publishing what’s become a stream of stories about secret surveillance by the NSA on American citizens and others based on highly classified documents that he provided. While in hiding in Hong Kong, he outed himself as the source of those stories, and Sunday he was spirited to Russia, apparently en route to Ecuador, after the American government formally accused Snowden of willful communication of classified communications intelligence, theft of government property, and unauthorized communication of national defense information—charges that could send him to prison for 30 years.
A TV screen shows at a shopping mall in Hong Kong shows a news report about Edward Snowden on June 23. Snowden left Hong Kong for Moscow on Sunday. (Vincent Yu/AP)
Will seek asylum in Ecuador.
Just two days afer U.S. officials filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old NSA leaker reportedly left Hong Kong on a flight bound for Moscow—and the fugitive has reportedly then gone to Ecuador's embassy in Moscow. WikiLeaks issued a statement saying that Snowden is seeking political asylum in that country, which was later confirmed by a foreign minister. It's rumored that he will fly there via Cuba, which has no established extradition policy with the U.S. In the end, Hong Kong concluded that the request "did not fully comply with the legal requirements" under their own law.
One step closer to extradition.
Is Edward Snowden a spy? Officials say federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Snowden, charging him with espionage, theft, and conversion of government property. The 29-year-old intelligence analyst leaked a trove of information to reporters detailing top-secret surveillance programs. The filing was registered in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Snowden's former employer Booz Allen Hamilton is headquartered. Snowden is believed to be in Hong Kong, but now with the criminal complaint, prosecutors will be able to legally back up an indictment and extradition request.
If you only read the headlines, the government snooping scandal sounds worse than it is. Charles Johnson explains how tech, confirmation bias, and media laziness are complicating the issue.
The domestic surveillance scandals deserve serious discussion, but unfortunately there’s a lot of misinterpretation and misinformation flowing through the mediasphere. I believe it’s driven by misunderstanding of technical issues as well as a phenomenon known as confirmation bias. The result smacks of paranoid fear-mongering inside a cloud of unknowing instead of a clear-eyed search for the truth.
Yesterday in the OJ comment thread (by the way, sorry for mangling those dates), Onsafari wondered why I hadn't weighed in on the Snowden business. Then, pumpkinface huffed that Onsafari shouldn't hold her/his breath because Tomasky must surely be flummoxed by the fact that Obama has approved something like this, so silence had to be the only option.
Actually, I wrote about it the day after the story broke. I called the post "Big Brother Is Watching, and People Don't Care," and I took the view that even putting terrorism aside, there's bound to be a trade-off between privacy and the astonishing amount of information we have at our fingertips, and that while I wasn't thrilled that this was the case, I could live with it provided--provided--the things the government is now saying are true.
Tells PBS the program isn’t listening in on your calls.
The president is sticking by his guns. In an interview on PBS, Obama defended the spying program that has scandalized the country, telling Charlie Rose that the NSA tapping system "is transparent." He outlined the system in place to implement its use, and noted, "My concern has always been not that we shouldn’t do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances?" The bottom line: The U.S. isn't eavesdropping on your calls. "What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your emails … and have not," Obama explained.
In 2003, two New York Times reporters caught the scent of the story that would come to define the surveillance state and the press’s response to it. Stuart Stevens tells the story behind that story.
The current NSA spying story is the latest chapter in one that that started in September 2001, and began to be uncovered in 2003. That’s when two reporters in the New York Times D.C. bureau—James Risen covering the CIA, Eric Lichtblau the Justice department—independently begin to pull on the threads of a fascinating story.
Protesters accused the Times of publishing information that harmed the nation's security and called for the prosecution of publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Executive Editor Bill Keller and reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau on July 3, 2006 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty)
As official Washington sizes up Beijing’s willingness to wade into the controversy, the next move may belong to Hong Kong, reports Nick Frisch.
HONG KONG—Is he cunning or crazy? Even Hong Kong’s own politicians and legal experts can’t agree whether NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s escape to the former British colony was a canny gamble or a shortsighted sprint. That debate may blossom into a defining test of Hong Kong’s vaunted “autonomy” from Communist China.
A TV screen shows the news of Edward Snowden at a restaurant in Hong Kong. (Kin Cheung/AP)
Also wrote for an anime website.
Someone appearing to be NSA leaker Edward Snowden wrote hundreds of comments to ArsTechnica, a tech culture site. It was believed Snowden didn't have much of an online presence, but BuzzFeed has compiled his most interesting posts from the past ten years, including a question posted on May 21, 2012, asking how to create a program that would automatically wipe a computer if its owner didn't log back in. Previously, as an 18-year-old, Snowden was a web editor at a friend's anime company website, where he wrote of his video game prowess and popularity with the opposite sex.
President Eisenhower was ridiculed as a conspiracy theorist for his famous remark about the “military-industry complex.” But Edward Snowden’s leaks have reminded us it’s real, it’s bigger and more wasteful than ever, and its bloat can even threaten our national security.
The president has evolved from ardent civil libertarian to surveillance hardliner. With liberals outraged by the Verizon court order, Daniel Klaidman and Eli Lake chart the change.
After a brief speech on Obamacare Friday, the president was asked about the NSA secretly obtaining Americans' personal information (spying?). Didn't catch his lengthy, wide-ranging response? Here are the important bits, boiled down to a very manageable 129 seconds.
Caitlin Dickson on how far it’s gone, who’s involved—and how Obama just defended it at a press conference.