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UN Human Rights Commissioner Says Snowden Shouldn't Face A Trial

from the disclosing-human-rights-violations dept

We just noted that the UN has made it clear that mass surveillance and broad data retention likely violates international law. Given that, perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise to hear that UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay has said that Ed Snowden should not face a trial, since he was revealing human rights violations:
"Those who disclose human rights violations should be protected: we need them," Pillay told a news conference.

"I see some of it here in the case of Snowden, because his revelations go to the core of what we are saying about the need for transparency, the need for consultation," she said. "We owe a great deal to him for revealing this kind of information."
While this is unlikely to lead the US to suddenly drop its Espionage Act charges against Snowden (when has the US ever cared about what the UN has to say?), it's yet another example in a growing list of people recognizing just how extreme and isolated the US government's kneejerk reaction was to the Snowden revelations. If the US government were actually willing to be self-critical, it might realize what a mistake it's doing in trying to string up the messenger. We should be examining the appropriateness of the surveillance state, not whether the person who revealed the details should spend the rest of his life in jail.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 4:15pm

    "While this is unlikely to lead the US to suddenly drop its Espionage Act charges against Snowden (when has the US ever cared about what the UN has to say?)"

    I find it rather likely that they now double down on it, just to stick it to the rather unpopular UN (for the government at least).

    Because, how dare those peasants to challenge their lord and master...

     

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  2.  
    icon
    Peter (profile), Jul 17th, 2014 @ 4:15pm

    Your right, of course..

    I completely agree with you -- I just hope most people do. Obama's making a giant mistake, but there is still time to fix it if he chose. He just has to be brave, which it turns out is not one of his stronger qualities. But who knows -- sometimes he will have a revelation and really change.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 4:39pm

    Rephrase that please

    Since we know the US government would interpret "shouldn't face a trial" completely differently, namely jump straight to murder.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Your right, of course..

    Clinton was a mistake, Bush as a bigger mistake, and Obama IS a giant mistake. He is not fixing anything or have you missed the past few years of his dereliction of duty to the Oath he took as president?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Adam, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 5:03pm

    Snowden's crime was embarrassing the USofA. No politician ever forgives that.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 5:12pm

    the US government never listens to anyone else but expects everyone else to not only listen to it but to take notice of, even if that means fucking over the citizens of the countries involved!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 5:41pm

    Re:

    Oh, they listen all right; That's what Snowden revealed. It's just that they only use it for their own benefit.

     

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  8.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 17th, 2014 @ 5:46pm

    Not a problem

    'UN Human Rights Commissioner Says Snowden Shouldn't Face A Trial'

    That's okay, they never planned on holding one for him anyway.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Jul 17th, 2014 @ 5:47pm

    (when has the US ever cared about what the UN has to say?)

    When the UN position agrees with the US position.

    Otherwise it is sand pounding time.

     

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  10.  
    icon
    Whatever (profile), Jul 17th, 2014 @ 6:38pm

    UN so cool

    I have to love the UN, a powerless, toothless tiger with lots of roar and very little bite. Now they have started down the same sort of road that clever politicians like Putin use:

    Bootstrapping.

    Yesterday, it's a story of how the UN thinks that bulk gathering might, maybe, possible, could be sort of kinda in violation maybe sort of of human rights we think.

    Today, it's well, we have already shown that data gathering was a violation of human rights, so Snowden should get off scot free.

    You don't even have to be sensitive to smell how putrid this one smells, it will be interesting to see who is behind these two shocking revelations!

    It's an incredible jump of logic. In the mean time, the UN as a whole ignores some of the most serious human rights abuses of mankind's history, because it's not convenient to point them or try to deal with them.

    Back to sleep toothless tiger.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 7:08pm

    Re: UN so cool

    Yeah, wouldn't you like it if this human rights abuse was conveniently not pointed out or dealt with.

     

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  12.  
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    Whatever (profile), Jul 17th, 2014 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: UN so cool

    yes, the US can learn a lot about human rights abuses from Cuba and North Korea. Their glass houses are remarkably intact!

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 7:29pm

    Of course Snowden shouldn't face trial. He's not the one violating international laws on human rights. He's the one exposing these heinous crimes. It's the equivalent of prosecuting someone for calling up a silent observer hotline to report a crime.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 8:54pm

    Re:

    You forgot to mention that the ITU (UN organization) is going to destroy the internet...
    TechDirt link about the evils of the UN.
    (゚д゚)
    Just adding some conflict to the debate ;)

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    David, Jul 17th, 2014 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Your right, of course..

    Obama will become white before he becomes brave.

    Frankly, the "birthers" may suspect that Obama was born in Kenya. But a more realistic fear is that he was born amongst the Death Eaters in Fort Meade.

     

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  16.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Jul 17th, 2014 @ 10:04pm

    Re:

    With the amount of eavesdropping that has been revealed, and the apparent unwillingness of LEOs to actually investigate, I supect this has already happened.

    Many times.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Source, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 1:51am

    Re: Re:

    Thats why anyone with any resemblance of reality handles those kind of things by talking quietly to other people who will pass information on.

     

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  18.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:39am

    If the US government were actually willing to be self-critical

    This massive paradox, if it ever happens, would create a space-time rift that would destroy the universe.

    Other than that you were right on spot: the US doesn't care about being isolated in some endeavor it seems.

     

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  19.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 5:38am

    Re: UN so cool

    Yeah, look at their Human Rights abuses, ignore ours, no need to worry, they are small.

    Great approach I tell you.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Re: UN so cool

    Yes, there are very disturbing human rights abuses going on throughout the world.

    That does not mean that State Surveillance is not a serious human rights violation.

    You're quite the master of false arguments.

     

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  21.  
    icon
    Whatever (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: UN so cool

    No false argument. State surveillance outside of the law is a serious issue, but it doesn't even stand close to the execution of close family members or the shooting of people trying to escape the repressive regimes. Sort of comparing a paper cut to a gaping wound.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UN so cool

    -- State surveillance outside of the law is a serious issue --
    But we should completely ignore it because LOOK OVER THERE

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 9:28am

    Not, as you say, that the executive branch of the US government gives a damn about the opinions of the EU or it's courts, the UN membership, or even it's own citizens, courts, or Congress. The executive branch of US government is a sovereign entity unto itself, and answers to nobody...period.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    The executive branch answers to their corporate paymasters. The corporate paymasters answers to Wall Street. So I guess Wall Street is running the show. Which would explain why no banksters have gone to prison yet.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re:

    This is an interesting train of thought. I guess the Occupy protesters had it 100% right. They were actually protesting against the one's in charge. Which explains why their protests were cracked down on so viciously.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    sigalrm (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 10:04am

    Wrong headline...

    It reads "UN Human Rights Commissioner Says Snowden Shouldn't Face A Trial"

    It should read: "UN Human Rights Commissioner and US Government in Full Agreement that Snowden Shouldn't Face a Trial"

    See? The US and the UN occasionally agree on policy matters.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    sigalrm (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UN so cool

    State surveillance outside of the law is a serious issue, but it doesn't even stand close to the execution of close family members or the shooting of people trying to escape the repressive regimes.

    ...and there's absolutely no historical precedent to suggest that extensive state surveillance has ever resulted in the execution of close family members or the shooting of people trying to escape the repressive regimes.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Not a problem

    Actually, they already held the trial, announced the verdict and declared the punishment, the day after they realized Snowden confiscated their stash of super secrets.

    Mind you, the whole thing took place in a secret room in a secret bunker and the secret members of the secret court and secret jury are duty bound by secret oath (right fist on chest, left hand covering mouth, eyes looking upwards), and the threat of painful slow death, to keep the secret verdict and secret punishment decided upon, a complete secret from the US public, because - money, prison, heads-on-pikes.

    They did however, scribe the details of the court case, verdict and punishment on the front end of the drone missile they call "The Executioner".
    ---

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 10:40pm

    Re: UN so cool

    As far as slaying messengers go, that was pretty lame.

    Ya really need a bigger gun son.
    And a better aim really wouldn't hurt none.

    Real sad when ye canna even bag a toothless tiger. :)

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UN so cool

    Yes, I'm a doctor and I'm not treating your tetanus because people are dying of real problems like Ebola. Seriously, appeal to worse problems is /not/ a justification.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 2:15am

    American Justice

    "UN Human Rights Commissioner Says Snowden Shouldn't Face A Trial" - and we agree whole heartedly.

    However, the directors and department heads of the NSA, FBI, CIA and Homeland Security for the last decade, should all face a trial for a large number of criminal charges.

    However under the modern American Justice System, only the good guys need to fear legal prosecution for their actions, regardless of how many crooks those actions expose.

    The law is now primarily there to protect the criminals.

    After all, they are the ones that are writing them these days.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UN so cool

    This argument is made all the more hilarious by the fact that it's coming from an absolute jackass.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2014 @ 1:00pm

    Re: UN so cool

    So... the basis of your argument is that the UN should ignore the Snowden issue because it ignores other human rights issues? That isn't logic, that's insanity.

     

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


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