Snowden Gives Testimony To European Parliament Inquiry Into Mass Surveillance, Asks For EU Asylum

from the impressive,-as-ever dept

A few weeks back, we reported that the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee planned to send some questions to Edward Snowden as part of its inquiry on electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens. He's now replied to these, prefacing them with a short statement (pdf -- embedded below.) Although there are no major revelations -- he specifically states that he will not be disclosing anything not already published -- it does contain many important clarifications and interesting comments. For example, he confirms that:

The NSA granted me the authority to monitor communications world-wide using its mass surveillance systems, including within the United States. I have personally targeted individuals using these systems under both the President of the United States' Executive Order 12333 and the US Congress' FAA 702. I know the good and the bad of these systems, and what they can and cannot do, and I am telling you that without getting out of my chair, I could have read the private communications of any member of this [LIBE] committee, as well as any ordinary citizen. I swear under penalty of perjury that this is true
Before moving on to the parliamentarian's questions, he concludes his opening statement as follows:
For the record, I also repeat my willingness to provide testimony to the United States Congress, should they decide to consider the issue of unconstitutional mass surveillance.
The first question from the MEPs on the committee concerns the extent of the cooperation between the NSA and EU member states. Snowden's answer includes some new background information on what's been going on here:
One of the foremost activities of the NSA's FAD, or Foreign Affairs Division, is to pressure or incentivize EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance. Lawyers from the NSA, as well as the UK's GCHQ, work very hard to search for loopholes in laws and constitutional protections that they can use to justify indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance operations that were at best unwittingly authorized by lawmakers. These efforts to interpret new powers out of vague laws is an intentional strategy to avoid public opposition and lawmakers' insistence that legal limits be respected, effects the GCHQ internally described in its own documents as "damaging public debate."
That makes a mockery of the UK government's insistence that GCHQ's actions were always "within the law": that's only true to the extent that the agency happily exploited to the maximum loopholes its lawyers have spotted in the already weak UK legislation covering this area. In terms of the spying programs, Snowden hints that there's much more to come, and underlines that revealing them is now a matter for journalists, not for him:
There are many other undisclosed programs that would impact EU citizens' rights, but I will leave the public interest determinations as to which of these may be safely disclosed to responsible journalists in coordination with government stakeholders.
Another question probed the options for raising concerns about spying programs, and asked him whether he thought he had exhausted them before deciding to leak the documents himself. He explained that he had reported programs that seemed problematic to "more than ten distinct officials, none of whom took any action to address them." So much for the idea that he didn't try hard enough to use official channels before taking more drastic action. On the question of what the European Parliament could do to help him, Snowden's answer is characteristically self-effacing:
If you want to help me, help me by helping everyone: declare that the indiscriminate, bulk collection of private data by governments is a violation of our rights and must end. What happens to me as a person is less important than what happens to our common rights.
But he then goes on to say:
As for asylum, I do seek EU asylum, but I have yet to receive a positive response to the requests I sent to various EU member states. Parliamentarians in the national governments have told me that the US, and I quote, "will not allow" EU partners to offer political asylum to me, which is why the previous resolution on asylum ran into such mysterious opposition. I would welcome any offer of safe passage or permanent asylum, but I recognize that would require an act of extraordinary political courage.
Sadly, it seems unlikely that political courage will be forthcoming given the extremely weak responses from European governments to the spying leaks. Snowden was also asked about economic espionage:
global surveillance capabilities are being used on a daily basis for the purpose of economic espionage. That a major goal of the US Intelligence Community is to produce economic intelligence is the worst kept secret in Washington.
In this context he makes an astute observation:
Recently, governments have shifted their talking points from claiming they only use mass surveillance for "national security" purposes to the more nebulous "valid foreign intelligence purposes." I suggest this committee consider that this rhetorical shift is a tacit acknowledgment by governments that they recognize they have crossed beyond the boundaries of justifiable activities..
He also elaborates on an early comment that encryption, done properly, does offer a measure of protection against the kind of surveillance programs he has revealed:
The good news is that there are solutions. The weakness of mass surveillance is that it can very easily be made much more expensive through changes in technical standards: pervasive, end-to-end encryption can quickly make indiscriminate surveillance impossible on a cost-effective basis. The result is that governments are likely to fall back to traditional, targeted surveillance founded upon an individualized suspicion.
In other words, encryption brings a double benefit. It helps preserve people's privacy and freedom, and thanks to the high costs of breaking properly-encrypted communications, it encourages governments to move back to the older, more targetted kind of spying that Snowden himself calls "above reproach". Finally, he was asked some more hostile questions from the right-leaning members of the committee, including whether the Russian secret service had approached him:
Of course. Even the secret service of Andorra would have approached me, if they had had the chance: that's their job.

But I didn't take any documents with me from Hong Kong, and while I'm sure they were disappointed, it doesn't take long for an intelligence service to realize when they're out of luck. I was also accompanied at all times by an utterly fearless journalist [WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison] with one of the biggest megaphones in the world, which is the equivalent of Kryptonite for spies. As a consequence, we spent the next 40 days trapped in an airport instead of sleeping on piles of money while waiting for the next parade. But we walked out with heads held high.
As that hints, it's an eloquent and important document that is worth reading in its entirety. It not only adds useful details to many of the facts that have been published earlier, but also underlines the consistently rigorous and moral approach that Snowden has taken from the beginning.

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Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:14am

    A dangerous game, you play

    Ackbar just called, he has news for you

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:26am

    Now Snowden has done it...

    He actually asked for asylum. Not that it's bad or unexpected but you can be damn sure the supporters of mass surveillance will jump on this saying he's obviously done something wrong and wants protection because of it.

    Just hope they happen to miss this bit so we can discuss the programs not the person.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:27am

    I hate the game being played here. Looking for revelations to gain concessions under the name of citizen protection is cowardly.
    The EU has made far too many concessions to the US and absolutely need to declare some independance. When they put another country's demands ahead of their citizens they simply cannot be taken seriously.

    Grant the guy irrevocable asylum.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:27am

    Yup. The US gov dictates who can be given asylum in the EU. Russia is big enough not to be bullied, but I wonder what the US would actually do if the EU told them to go [redacted] themselves and give Snowden asylum...

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:36am

    Re:

    The US and EU should be ashamed that Russia is demonstrating better morality in this case.

     

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  6.  
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    Quinn Wilde, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:38am

    History

    History is going to be kind to this boy.

     

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  7.  
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    pegr, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:44am

    They keep forgetting the core principal

    They keep forgetting the core principal that rules always and forever.

    You cannot keep your secrets secret forever. The best you can hope for is to keep your secrets secret long enough to be effective. If your strategy requires you to keep your secrets forever, especially with close to a million people in on it, you are destined to fail.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:53am

    There is nothing interesting in those questions, and therefore nothing in his response.

    I agree with him that collect-it-all diminishes resources. They will keep drowning in garbage info forever, while missing legitimate points.

    The only use will be for arecheologists in 3254 AD.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:58am

    Awesome. Good job, Snowden. Let's hope they actually listen to you now, both the EU and the US government.

    I'm also disgusted about the fact that US would "not allow" EU countries to give him asylum. What a bunch of cowards. Is the whole EU a vassal to US? I thought EU countries were being integrated into the European Union, not United States.

    If US pretends to be our master, too, now, can we at least get the right to vote for the US leaders?

     

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  10.  
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    Easily Amused (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re:

    Russia is definitely not demonstrating morality here. They are just behaving as any playground bully does when they find out they have something someone else wants an start playing keep-away with it. They knew within 30 minutes of finding out his passport was revoked at the airport that he didn't have any juicy secrets to give them and was not interested in being a propaganda mouthpiece for the FSB. Everything since then is just theater to keep the USA looking foolish on the world stage.

    If Kerry/Obama/Clinton told Putin tomorrow that we would shut up about Crimea if they gave us back Snowden, he'd be on a CIA plane within minutes.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 8:27am

    'underlines the consistently rigorous and moral approach that Snowden has taken from the beginning'

    and yet he is still the one being sought so as to be able to be charged with all sorts of bogus crap, just to make the White House and the NSA to feel good. it should be the security forces heads and the likes of Feinstein who should have their heads laying on the chopping block!
    i would have hoped that the EU member states had more balls than they have shown/are showing up to now. if the threat from the USA of 'would not allow' Snowden into one of the EU countries, i wonder what they would do? threaten everyone, as usual, with the sanctions that are as gutless as ever, but still for some reason, countries fear? or would it go to all out war? that being the case, does the USA expect to be able to annihilate others without being annihilated itself? think again buddy! you would be in just as much shit as everyone else. and the ridiculous part of it all is ,the whole fucking issue has been caused by the USA in the first place! but in typical attitude form, it has done nothing wrong and is still condemning and threatening everyone else!! unbelievable!!

     

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  12.  
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    Jesse C. Anderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 8:45am

    Freedom

    I support that Snowden think that it ok to kill mass of people in the world,if it was not for the meg-data it would be hard to find the person who set the act of killing people around the world,if he think he so right then bring your big mouth back here and us hear what you get to say!

     

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  13.  
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    limbodog (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 8:45am

    Here's one who earned it

    The word "hero" gets thrown around too often in the USA. This man actually earned it.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 8:46am

    Re: History

    That remains to be seen.

    The common saying is that history will be written by the conquerors.

     

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  15.  
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    Jerrymiah, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They've already done that. That's following the deal they attempted to make with Putin just before the Olympics: "Have your judges vote for our athletes and our judges will vote for yours" but when they added to it "and extradite Snowden back to the US", that's when the deal fell apart.

     

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  16.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If Kerry/Obama/Clinton told Putin tomorrow that we would shut up about Crimea if they gave us back Snowden, he'd be on a CIA plane within minutes"

    I seriously doubt this. Not because of morality issues, but because Putin welcomes the US complaints about Crimea.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:17am

    I was also accompanied at all times by an utterly fearless journalist [WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison] with one of the biggest megaphones in the world

    Did you mean

    "I was also accompanied at all times by a journalist with gargantuan sized steel balls [aka WikiLeaks' Sarah Motherfucking Harrison] with one of the biggest megaphones in the world"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:19am

    The only testimony I want to see him give is to find out why he's such a douche. Who cares what this coward has to say.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:20am

    Re: Here's one who earned it

    Hahaha no.

     

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  20.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:21am

    Re: Here's one who earned it

    Of course. Even the secret service of Andorra would have approached me, if they had had the chance: that's their job.

    Yeah. You don't throw an implied "DUH" at the EU if you don't have what it takes to be a hero;

     

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  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:26am

    Re:

    If you're looking for reasons why people are douches, the best place to start would be within yourself.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:27am

    If he or any other person who believes in citizens rights ever needs a place to hide, I'm there for ya. I'm tired of the dinosaurs ruining the country and the 19 year olds who think they are contributing to the nation by working for the NSA, CIA, etc... throwing away the constitution.

    It is very sad, but people just like us with the same skill set are the ones enabling this type of destruction of our rights. I will never hire anyone who lists a government job on their resume.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:38am

    One of the foremost activities of the NSA's FAD, or Foreign Affairs Division, is to pressure or incentivize EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance.

    I thought that was the FUD division.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:39am

    So there are two kind of countries here. The ones who work closely with the US and will not do anything the US doesnt want, and those who try to fight against this soviet-style system and prefer to stay out of this charade.
    Its obvious that he will not get asylium anywhere until the US backs down, which will not happen until they get up from their lazy asses and tell their government that they dont agree with this shit

     

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  25.  
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    Lord_Unseen, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:40am

    Re: Freedom

    Can somebody translate this for me? There is no way the paragraph above was written in any human language.

     

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  26.  
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    Namel3ss (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    Re: Freedom

    Go away troll. Your argument about the usefulness of all that "meg-data" has been debunked here numerous times already.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:58am

    re: history

    History is going to be kind to this boy.

    not if richard iii is anything like typical. poor guy was butchered twice.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If Kerry/Obama/Clinton told Putin tomorrow that we would shut up about Crimea if they gave us back Snowden, he'd be on a CIA plane within minutes."

    Absolutely no chance. There's no way Putin would kowtow to US demands.

     

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  29. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re:

    I'm not the one who lied and conned his way into a job, stole a bunch of classified documents, and fled, like a coward, to China......

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:01am

    aw, man, snowden.  i know exactly the right place for you where decency and freedom reigns supreme.  unfortunately it exists only as a feint that i believed in when i was young.

     

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  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    True, you aren't the one performed the public service of exposing massive wrongdoing and dangerous overreach on the part of one of the most powerful spy agencies on the planet. I'll give you that.

    BTW, "conned" himself into the job? Citation, please?

     

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  32.  
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    Brazenly Anonymous, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:13am

    Re: Now Snowden has done it...

    He's been asking various non-US governments for asylum since June. Asylum is not a tacit admittance of guilt, it is a frank statement that one is under attack.

     

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  33.  
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    Brazenly Anonymous, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Freedom

    Translation:

    Jesse submits that Snowden thinks it is permissible to commit mass murder. Jesse supports this argument with his belief that meta-data is the only thing capable of discovering the identity of the perpetrators of such acts. Jesse further challenges Snowden to return to the US and make his statements directly to the US people [translator's note: presumably in front of a court].

     

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  34.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Here's one who earned it

    hahahaha yes

     

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  35.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I smell a butthurt intelligence fanboi (or employee). You'll get no fact or reasoning from this well my friend.

     

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  36.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:34am

    Re:

    Utopia?

     

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  37.  
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    Alien Rebel (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    "If US pretends to be our master, too, now, can we at least get the right to vote for the US leaders?"

    Be careful what you wish for. Getting the right to vote in the U.S. would probably come with our never-ending political campaigning and propaganda and an even more subservient media serving up political infomercials rather than actual news. Not to mention that, in the end, the people you do successfully elect would all too often find the fetid swamp of D.C. to be a comfy Jacuzzi they can relax in.

     

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  38.  
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    Brazenly Anonymous, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    BTW, "conned" himself into the job? Citation, please?


    Snowden, after having made the determination that something was really wrong with the NSA, switched contractor jobs (and technically employers) in order to obtain further documentation. Apparently he admitted this himself (I haven't seen the source on that).

    Note that the NSA defenders often try to spin this in a way that people will think Snowden joined the NSA in order to find something to leak, which is not the case. Rather, Snowden sought greater authority within the NSA to acquire more evidence.

    My source is a debate between the leaker of the Pentagon Papers and an NSA advisor.

     

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  39.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But where is the "con"?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Public service" /rolleyes

    Okay.

    The only "public service" Snowden ever did was show the world how much of a massive ego the douche has.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 11:05am

    Interesting suggestion by Snowden

    The oversight of intelligence agencies should always be performed by opposition parties, as under the democratic model, they always have the most to lose under a surveillance state.

     

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  42.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed, he sure exposed the arrogance and ego of the likes of Clapper and Alexander.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You really are an idiot. He did not lie or con anyone. The guy has seriously legitimate skills. He also was smart enough to know exactly what he was looking for, how to find it, and how to circumvent the safeguards there were around it.

     

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  44.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 12:03pm

    Re: A dangerous game, you play

    Yeah, actually leaving Russia, asylum or not, would probably not be the best(or safest, or sanest) idea, but even if he stayed right there, to have a country publicly grant him asylum would be quite the accomplishment, and a giant (well earned) middle finger to the USG over the matter, showing that that country at least was willing to stand up to the USG and refuse to bow to their threats.

     

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  45.  
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    PRMan, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: A dangerous game, you play

    This is why Brazil should do it. Their leader seems to have no qualms standing up to the US lately, especially over this indiscriminate spying.

     

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  46.  
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    PRMan, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Link?

     

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    PRMan, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Freedom

    Jesse's comment is even dumber after translation, which I didn't think was remotely possible.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Interesting suggestion by Snowden

    Not when both sides jobs depend upon contributions from the military-industrial-intelligience complex. Of course, now they have the 'Hooveresque' files on all those elected folks as well. Who's gonna stand up to whom?

     

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  49.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Freedom

    Holy fuck! I am so entertained right now. I simply can not believe this shit is free. Fifteen times I've read this paragraph and not one toll. Outstanding. Someone actually typed that. ... So cool.

    I posit that Mr. Anderson is, without a shadow of doubt, a free man. Us hear been wording ok until mcnugget not mouth fit more.

    Stay free brother, stay free.

    Tummy hurts.

     

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  50.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Re:

    erhm.. It looks to me like the European Union gives at least two fucks and I'm almost certain that there's at least two more fucks east & west of Europe and I give one fuck so that's potentially five whole fucks given. I forget, do you need the douche before or after you've been fucked? Fuck it, you should probably douche twice for safety's sake. Isn't there a pole somewhere you should be licking? Put that tongue to better use, maybe?

     

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  51.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ... In Congress?

    I'll see myself out, thanks.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 1:37pm

    Re:

    You do realize he has been seeking asylum from the very beginning right?...

     

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  53.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "They are just behaving as any playground bully does when they find out they have something someone else wants an start playing keep-away with it.

    While Russia are due plenty of criticism right now, it's not for this. Russia are not keeping Snowden there, they're simply letting him stay. The USG are the ones preventing him from leaving Russia thanks to a cancelled passport.

     

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  54.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: History

    That is simply not true any more.

     

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  55.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 3:15pm

    Re:

    Well you're obviously a pretty big fan of the NSA, so why don't you explain to us why you think secret mass surveillance of the public is such a good thing, and anyone who threatens that is a douche.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Re:

    This is no "secret mass surveillance", unless you're a tinfoil hat wearing Ron Paul guy. Nobody freaking cares about what Angry Bird game you play on your phone... get over yourself.

     

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  57.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What do you call it, then?

     

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  58.  
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    dualitycomplex, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 4:09pm

    all things aside

    I wonder what the trolls here would be saying if the things snowden brought to light were presented by a republican politician.....

     

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  59.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 4:16pm

    Re: all things aside

    Not much would change I'd imagine, this isn't a democrat/republican issue, as both parties are equally guilty.

    Now, some may try and spin it as all due to 'those dirty democrats/republicans', but that's just attempting to shift the issue, get people fighting over which party is 'to blame', rather than focusing on the actual problem.

     

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  60.  
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    dualitycomplex, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: all things aside

    yea i see where your coming from, I just had it in my head with all the stupid media in the country that a republican would be heralded as a hero for the people by the media for his/her heroism in bringing it to light.

     

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  61. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    average_joe just can't stand it when enforcement of due process occurs.

     

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  62.  
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    WulfTheSaxon (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: all things aside

    More likely he’d be painted as out to embarrass Obama for political reasons, even at the expense of national security. The US media is generally acknowledged to have a liberal bias, not the other way around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: all things aside

    I disagree. The notion of the "liberal media" is a fiction intentionally pushed as part of the partisan wars. It's not true, and enough people know it's not true that it's a stretch to say it's "generally acknowledged."

    The mainstream media does have a bias, but it isn't on the liberal/conservative yardstick. They're corporatist and slant in whatever direction their corporate owners feel is the most advantageous.

     

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  64.  
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    theGuruWithin, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 9:19pm

    Votes DONT count

    In this new style inverted totalitarian corruptocracy voting is an exercise in thinking our lives have meaning and that what we feel and think has an effect. IT DOESN'T ANY MORE!

    Time to take our feelings to the streets that is all that is left to save humans from extinction in this century perhaps.

     

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  65.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 8th, 2014 @ 1:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're right, it's not a secret any more thanks to Snowden. And that's the most pathetic attempt at redirection I've ever read.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2014 @ 4:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As others have previously replied, I highly doubt that Snowden would be on a CIA plane within minutes. US (government) criticism about Russian involvement in the situation in Crimea is nothing but obvious, blatant hypocrisy to most people's ears, and I doubt that a sophisticated country like the Russian Federation wouldn't know that. Given the vast amount of propaganda put out by the west against Russia, do you really think that they would give up someone so wanted by the USG over nothing more than a bit of every-day criticism?

     

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  67.  
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    David, Mar 8th, 2014 @ 5:35am

    Re:

    The U.S., as part of the allied sources, is entitled to tell the German authorities "hand this guy over", and Germany would be in violation of the treaties they signed on surrender. The U.S. could just use military force to get at Snowden and international courts would have to nod it off.

    Germany is legally occupied territory and they missed the opportunity when reuniting to have the old treaties cancelled.

    So yes: it would be irresponsible of Germany to pretend they are in a situation where they could grant anybody political asylum against one of the allied forces (I think that Russia, in contrast, is no longer in a special situation here).

    Of course, the current German government is so much of a U.S. lapdop (when then-chancellor Schröder denied support for the Iraque war to Bush, then-opposition leader Merkel flew into the U.S. and ascertained Bush of her personal fealty to the U.S.) that they would probably also mess things up when not having their hands forced.

    Who else is there? UK? Obviously not interested. France? They also have hell of a spy system of their own. Basically every country with reasonable military independence has its arm up to the shoulder in the cookie jar.

     

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  68. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Dan G Difino, Mar 8th, 2014 @ 8:38am

    Don't put sNOwden in an asylum

    Hang him high.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2014 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You can't be serious. Russia just watched their little brothers kick out a democratically elected government by in large because of the far right and in some case neo-nazis that were part of the protests (which is why they took such an ugly turn).

    The USSR gave Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR under Krutschev as a show of good faith. People in Crimea didn't go revolt when by large most people there are ethnic russians. A precedent has been set with Kosovo, if Crimeans vote to be an autonomous Republic under the Russian Federation (there's a lot of those), so be it, and no matter the if the retarded rhetoric of Stephen Harper (hilarious how Canada is under this creepy dictator-like "conservative" prime minister) gets louder and "outraged" about it. Russia still does not recognize Kosovo, and one Head of the security council of the UN won't recognize Crimea. Big fucking deal.

    At least the government of Crimea will not be led by gangsters/drug dealers.

    I'm not russian, american, or canadian for that matter, just a well informed Dutch. You know, that country that is by large the most free country in the white-dominated western world.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2014 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Freedom

    Jesse Pinkman on 72 hour meth bender would make more sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2014 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Freedom

    He's a contender to "Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"

    https://encyclopediadramatica.es/Has_anyone_really_been_far_even_as_decided_to_use_even_go_wan t_to_do_look_more_like%3F

     

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  72.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 8th, 2014 @ 12:12pm

    Gotta love that hypocrisy

    Ah, never gets old, seeing people like this who get angry at Snowden for 'harming 'murica' show such open contempt for such core principles of the US like 'everyone gets their day in court before punishment' and 'innocent until proven guilty'.

    Nope, far as they're concerned, they know he's guilty, so straight to the execution, none of that 'court to prove guilt' crap.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: all things aside

    Thanks for repeating the obvious, the hair-screeching words "liberal media" are so retarded and so 1996 that I can't stand one more soul spouting it mindlessly anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
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    WulfTheSaxon (profile), Mar 8th, 2014 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: all things aside

    I was originally going to say something like “if anything, the US media has a slight liberal bias” – perhaps that would’ve been better.

    I do think that media bias studies tend to suffer from experimenter’s bias. On the other hand, I find it difficult to argue with polls of newsroom workers (including by the American Society of Newspaper Editors) that show they’re significantly more liberal than the general population.

     

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  75.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 8th, 2014 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    None of which has anything at all to do with what JMT was saying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 8th, 2014 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: all things aside

    I can't even go with "slight liberal bias," because that's still using the wrong yardstick and misses the actual bias, which is to help the corporations that own the news outlets maximize their profits.

    Whether newsroom workers lean left or right isn't meaningful at all. They aren't the ones who set the slant of the news. The owners are, and the owners don't care one bit about left vs right. That's just the nonsense meant to keep us serfs fighting amongst ourselves so we won't notice that we have lords.

     

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  77.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 8th, 2014 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: all things aside

    I forgot to put the caboose to this train: "More likely he’d be painted as out to embarrass Obama for political reasons, even at the expense of national security."

    That could happen, or he could be hailed as the second coming. Which way the media would go with that has nothing to directly do with parties, conservatism, or liberalism. It would have to do with which way would get the owners more power and money.

    Would a boost for Obama be good for them? Then they'll give him the boost. Would knocking him down a few pegs be good for them? Then they'll knock him down.

     

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  78.  
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    techflaws (profile), Mar 8th, 2014 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So it's got nothing to do with tit-for-tat for when Russia asked the US for someone to be extradited and the US refused?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
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    techflaws (profile), Mar 8th, 2014 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Even the intelligence fanbois are pathetic. Who could have guessed that?

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    David, Mar 9th, 2014 @ 12:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, the distasteful thing here is that "by large most people there are ethnic Russians" is because Stalin had the original Tartans from Crimea killed and/or deported to Siberia and had Russians installed there.

    So having majority decisions decide about the fate of Crimea means that the majorities making the decisions are planted majorities. And it's not long enough ago that people, in particular the remaining now minorities as well as the now majorities don't remember vividly.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2014 @ 3:11am

    Re: Re:

    While it might be useful as a moderating influence to actually forcibly graft a left wing onto this bird I doubt most people would be happy with it even with nationalism thrown out the window. Let alone the discontents between the old and new system regardless of how the union resolved the differences.

    Although it would be fun and educational to grab the popcorn and watch news feeds from an alternate universe where this decision to form the EUS was actually made tomorrow, or even just placed on a ballot.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2014 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Really it is all Yanukovych's damn fault for being stupid and cruel. You hear about how Watergate's issue was the "cover up not the crime"? The protests didn't oust them, his reaction did. Really, after Libya and Syria there is no excuse for thinking that escalating things by shooting protesters would end well.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    David, Mar 9th, 2014 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Re: History

    The military and entertainment industry have better things to do than writing history books.

    They got their underlings for that.

     

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  84.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 9th, 2014 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you completely misread what I wrote...

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:01am

    average_joe just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Crimea, River, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:14am

    Crimea, Kiev ... now We Know

    Forcing the Ukraine, or any independent region near Russia, to join the EU and voila. We have access to the area's shale, oil and intelligence.

    So now I understand, why the U.S., et al., wants Ukraine and friends, to join the EU.

    Stay out of the EU. Seriously. Putin at this point is a better partner than NSA/EU/Spyworld.

     

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  87.  
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    EU +US = Married, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:20am

    Re:

    The EU and US are married. They are partners. Of course the EU will NOT stray from its relationship with a country that is enabling more surveillance.

    Seriously, Snowden needs to stay in the Russian area permanently, if the US let's him live much longer.

    I wonder why they haven't ... um ... faked his demise yet, via the usual hanging or some other faux "he couldn't cope with life" method. Why is he still able to communicate. How does his communication benefit the NSA? Is there something Snowden is distracting our attention from contemplating ... Anyone?

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Eddie Bates, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 4:37am

    Infringement of 4th Amendment Rights

    Americans shouldn't have to choose between new technology and keeping their personal information private. Protections for online privacy are justified and necessary, and the government must help draw boundaries to ensure that Americans’ privacy stays intact in the Digital Age. Americansrighttoprivacy.com DOES NOT collect your personal information. Regarding online privacy, we have heard people say they have nothing to hide and don't care if their privacy is violated. Sadly, they are missing the point. As Americans, it is about standing up for our privacy rights as a law abiding citizen per the Constitution.
    Our Fourth Amendment protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures which is being violated everyday by many Email providers, hackers and Government agencies through unwarranted searches. One only needs to just read the U.S. Patriot Act or the latest CISPA legislation to verify this disturbing trend.
    Americans Right to Privacy has solutions and I am anxious to share them with you. We offer secure, encrypted email, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which secures your computer's internet connection, to guarantee that all of the data you're sending and receiving is encrypted and secured from prying eyes. Also a "Swiss Bank Account for your Data" Digital Safe! Switzerland, a country known for its strict data privacy laws, has no back door access to encryption for
    any government agency, not even Switzerland itself
    We offer a professional global email service solution for both personal and business use. PrivacyAbroad email service is free of advertising, SPAM and provides private communication with your emails saved and backed up in Switzerland, renowned for its strong data privacy protection laws. Email comes with 1 GB of expandable storage space.
    Your search for online privacy is over...
    www.americansrighttoprivacy.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 9:23am

    Re: Gotta love that hypocrisy

    The trouble is, it's now seen as un-American and an admission of weakness to give 'everyone gets their day in court before punishment' and consider them 'innocent until proven guilty.' Anyone who asserts that these days, 'must be a liberal socialist.' I'm not joking, that's where we're at now.

    I really wish that 'Conservative' meant 'promoting traditional American values' instead of 'terrifying nutjob,' as it currently does. And yes, I still self-identify as conservative (moderate).

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Freedom

    Obligatory "Shutup meg-data"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
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    davidbarcomb (profile), Nov 24th, 2014 @ 4:37pm

    This is interesting

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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