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Old 06-21-2019, 03:06 PM
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Snowden now?


I for one have changed my opinion of Edward Snowden over the years, especially over the last three.

In fact I'm pretty sure I stated here on this board that I thought he was a traitor and should suffer for it (and I know I wrote it somewhere). I was wrong. I have read more about him and about what he says and thinks, and, yes, I also saw Citizenfour. As I say, I was wrong - he is brave, brilliant, and I hope not broken, now or ever.

And this is not a 'Trump thing'. No matter which party or person happens to be in power, Snowden's concerns and actions transcend it. I know he's alerted me to the profound potential for modern communications surveillance, even by an ostensibly benevolent state, to disrupt and possibly reverse everything I hold dear. Reading about the Uighurs reminds me of the importance of his message.

I admire him. I think he has made a huge personal sacrifice for the proverbial 'something he believes in', and I believe his motives were true and his actions heroic.

ETA: Well, maybe it is a bit of Trump thing, or the potential of someone like him or, god forbid, worse.

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Old 06-30-2019, 06:14 PM
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I always considered him a hero of sorts, everyone knows the government spies on us, but I don't think most people understood the true scope of their surveillance and meta data and such they are collecting every second of the day. The government should be watched and controlled by the people and held to account not the other way around.

I always felt that what Pfc Manning did was completely different, she swore and oath to the U.S. Army, though I'm not sure if what she did actually caused any real damage to actual people or just embarrassed the Army. Regardless she served her time and Obama commuted her sentence so it's a moot point now anyway. I've always kind of wondered what would happen now if Snowden returned to the U.S. and also what allowed him to stay in Russia, did he have to sell out the U.S. Government secrets to remain there? If so that would obviously change my opinion of the guy.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:25 PM
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I'm just the opposite--used to support him, now think he is scum.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:29 PM
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My understanding is that Russia considers Snowden a substantial propaganda coup--showing the U.S. is not morally superior to Russia. For him to stay there the fundamental requirement was to not criticize the Russian government. I don't think Russia got any secrets with the possible exception of the the ones he gave to Western journalists--of which probably not all have been published.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:30 PM
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He was scum then and he's scum now. He belongs in prison for the rest of his life.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:57 PM
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Manning and Snowden are heroes. Everyone always thinks that "state secrets" means things like battle plans, troop movements, weapons vulnerabilities, locations and identities of undercover espionage agents, things like that, which will get innocent Americans killed if they aren't kept secret. But in reality the vast majority is about atrocities being committed, along with wasteful spending and other fuck ups that will cause government officials to fear for their jobs if the public knew about them.

The former type of secret: Yeah, you're scum if you publish it. The latter: every American with access to those "secrets" has a duty to spread them far and wide. Unfortunately, very few of them actually do, because they fear the exact consequences we've seen in whistleblower after whistleblower the past few decades. Snowden and Manning knew the consequences, and did their duty anyway. If only we had a few million more government employees like them.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:21 PM
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He was scum then and he's scum now. He belongs in prison for the rest of his life.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:26 PM
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One man's scum is another's hero.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:16 PM
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My feelings about Snowden are complex.

A part of me wonders who made him, of all people, the chosen one to leak highly classified secrets? There are probably tens, even hundreds of thousands of people with access to classified material. He gave his word that he would protect the secrets of the US government, and he betrayed the trust of his colleagues. He absolutely did.

At the same time, it's clear that he exposed the fact that our government was lying to us about the degree to which ordinary people were being swept up into the web of data. If you've listened to him in interviews, it's clear that one of his concerns was the imbalance between the government's ability to operate in secrecy while having very broad powers to conduct surveillance on individuals with little recourse.

I guess I disagree with his conduct, but I understand the reasoning behind and share some of his concerns.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:21 PM
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I supported what he did but I wish he had gone to a neutral country. My understanding is that Russia has all his documents. Not sure if thats true, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Also some of his documents were classified. Like info on US & Israel being behind Stuxnet.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:30 PM
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. . . A part of me wonders who made him, of all people, the chosen one to leak highly classified secrets? There are probably tens, even hundreds of thousands of people with access to classified material. . . .
I'm not sure there were many others who shared his unique positioning. By virtue of his skills and reputation, he basically had carte blanche access to a shitload of actively deployed programs. And, because his job involved frequent 'business'-associated travel, wherever he showed up, or left, he attracted no attention. Plus he was connected to smart people he could trust.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:31 PM
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I supported what he did but I wish he had gone to a neutral country.
Are there "neutral" countries where he'd be safe that don't have extradition treaties with the US?
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:31 PM
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My understanding is that Russia considers Snowden a substantial propaganda coup--showing the U.S. is not morally superior to Russia. For him to stay there the fundamental requirement was to not criticize the Russian government. I don't think Russia got any secrets with the possible exception of the the ones he gave to Western journalists--of which probably not all have been published.
Who...okay i know who...but who could think the USA is morally superior to Russia??? LOL.

Snowden is a hero.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:15 PM
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the first thing any President should do is pardon Edward snowden immediately.

The second thing they should do is reduce our abuse of the espionage act.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:56 PM
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Yeah, Snowden did the right thing at a great personal cost.

It's a classic case of conflating one's country with one's government. It is more than possible to love one's country while having to fight against one's government. The country is the people and the culture thereof. The government is, in theory, the end result of that.

In Snowden's case we see a situation where the government is not representing the culture and ideals of the country. Such should always be exposed and the exposed subject to punishment. To think otherwise is to allow government to become a self-perpetuating force that is above the law, the people and the ideals under which it was founded.
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:26 PM
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The John Oliver interview is very much worth a look. I invite anyone with a strong opinion of Snowden to watch the whole thing and see if that opinion changes.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:01 AM
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the first thing any President should do is pardon Edward snowden immediately.
A pardon? For betraying his country, putting innocent lives at risk, critically jeopardizing our nation's security apparatus, stabbing his co-workers in the back, and fleeing to an enemy power to live rent-free as a propaganda tool?

What's next - Chelsea Manning for SecDef?

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Yeah, Snowden did the right thing at a great personal cost.
What personal cost? If he wanted to put his money where his mouth is, he'd have turned himself in to face charges before a jury of his peers.

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It's a classic case of conflating one's country with one's government. It is more than possible to love one's country while having to fight against one's government.
Not in a country where the government is the people.

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In Snowden's case we see a situation where the government is not representing the culture and ideals of the country. Such should always be exposed and the exposed subject to punishment. To think otherwise is to allow government to become a self-perpetuating force that is above the law, the people and the ideals under which it was founded.
What American "culture and ideals" are being violated by the government monitoring data to catch lawbreakers?
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:36 AM
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Not in a country where the government is the people.
C'mon, man. At least try. Do you genuinely believe that the 'government is the people' at this point? Government is a self-perpetuating series of personal and group interests with little time for 'people'. I'd say you need to re-examine your postulates.

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What American "culture and ideals" are being violated by the government monitoring data to catch lawbreakers?
That would be fine, so long as you don't believe in things written in the constitution and trust government to never exceed its mandate. That's a leap too far for me when the numbers already indicate that the government's surveillance exceeded 90% those not involved in or in any way connected to potential hostile targets.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:43 AM
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C'mon, man. At least try. Do you genuinely believe that the 'government is the people' at this point? Government is a self-perpetuating series of personal and group interests with little time for 'people'.
The government as an institution is stronger and more meaningful than the petty agendae of the individuals currently mismanaging it.

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That would be fine, so long as you don't believe in things written in the constitution and trust government to never exceed its mandate.
The Constitution is a good but fundamentally flawed document in many ways and could do with some updates.

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That's a leap too far for me when the numbers already indicate that the government's surveillance exceeded 90% those not involved in or in any way connected to potential hostile targets.
If you're not one of the people the government is looking for, then there's no need for you to be afraid of them seeing your metadata. You're far too uninteresting to them, and honestly, Google knows more about you than they do.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:42 AM
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What personal cost? If he wanted to put his money where his mouth is, he'd have turned himself in to face charges before a jury of his peers.
Do you think hes living a better life now, in exile in Russia, the he was when he was living in Hawaii, being paid extraordinary amounts of money to help spy on American citizens?
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:08 PM
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. . . What personal cost? If he wanted to put his money where his mouth is, he'd have turned himself in to face charges before a jury of his peers. . .
I respect you for taking and defending your position, but this is the height of disingenuousness. Do you really think he incurred no huge personal cost? Living away from his home, among strangers, followed and monitored everywhere, always at risk whether real or perceived? Exiled from his previous life, vilified by his countrymen, and with no prospect of a road home?

Or, as you suggest, maybe he should spend the next 60 years in a supermax following the verdict of his peers?

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Old 07-08-2019, 02:45 PM
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Let's take these one at a time, shall we?

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The government as an institution is stronger and more meaningful than the petty agendae of the individuals currently mismanaging it.
This is, meaningfully, untrue. The agendas of the people managing the government are directly responsible for the actions of government. This should not be difficult to believe. If government violates the Constitution, is it somehow doing that in a way that is NOT due to the actions of those managing the government? If you believe that, I'm afraid I disagree with you.

Government is the people who are elected - in less and less free elections - and who control the levers of state. That does not get people off the hook, however. "Just following orders" isn't a viable defense. If one finds government breaking the law, does one have a duty to report it in clear? I believe so.

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The Constitution is a good but fundamentally flawed document in many ways and could do with some updates.
This is certainly true, but it is not the case that this has occurred. Are you arguing that government should operate outside the scope of its purview because it believes it has a right to do so? If so, where does that stop? The constitution is there, largely, to set controls on government. Should that be ended and government allowed to do as it pleases?

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If you're not one of the people the government is looking for, then there's no need for you to be afraid of them seeing your metadata. You're far too uninteresting to them, and honestly, Google knows more about you than they do.
And finally, ah, yes. The old chestnut of 'If you're not a bad guy you have nothing to fear'. It's a fallacy, of course. When government violates a right - civil or otherwise - it becomes easier for it to violate other rights. If government can disregard the fourth amendment - that controlling unreasonable search and seizure - what is to later prevent it from violating the second amendment and seizing guns? Or the first and preventing you from speaking out against it?
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:46 PM
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Do you think hes living a better life now, in exile in Russia, the he was when he was living in Hawaii, being paid extraordinary amounts of money to help spy on American citizens?
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Do you really think he incurred no huge personal cost? Living away from his home, among strangers, followed and monitored everywhere, always at risk whether real or perceived? Exiled from his previous life, vilified by his countrymen, and with no prospect of a road home?
Yes. He gets to live rent-free, all expenses paid, as the honored guest of a state that ensures his wellbeing because of how usefulness to them, and gets to be feted and treated like a celebrity by people who are mad at George W. Bush.
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:46 AM
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And finally, ah, yes. The old chestnut of 'If you're not a bad guy you have nothing to fear'. It's a fallacy, of course.
Why?

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When government violates a right - civil or otherwise - it becomes easier for it to violate other rights. If government can disregard the fourth amendment - that controlling unreasonable search and seizure - what is to later prevent it from violating the second amendment and seizing guns? Or the first and preventing you from speaking out against it?
I don't consider archiving metadata to be "unreasonable", especially since the NSA is actually gathering less information about you than you're voluntarily giving to Google and Facebook.

I don't consider seizing guns to be a violation of the Second, either.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:57 AM
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In Snowden's case we see a situation where the government is not representing the culture and ideals of the country. Such should always be exposed and the exposed subject to punishment. To think otherwise is to allow government to become a self-perpetuating force that is above the law, the people and the ideals under which it was founded.
Great paragraph, and I find myself nodding in agreement. In Snowden's case, it's a ultimately a question of whether or not outing the government's wrongs are/were worth the price he's paying. He seems to believe that it is.

It's also worth pointing out that James Clapper pretty clearly committed perjury before Congress when he was asked by Sen Ron Wyden of Oregn an explicit yes/no question about whether the government was essentially snooping on citizens and responded in the negative. Why is it legal for Clapper to commit perjury but not legal for Snowden to share secrets that expose both the abuses of civil liberties and subsequent perjury?
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:14 AM
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Why?



I don't consider archiving metadata to be "unreasonable", especially since the NSA is actually gathering less information about you than you're voluntarily giving to Google and Facebook.

I don't consider seizing guns to be a violation of the Second, either.
Yes, but in the case of Facebook and Google, we are essentially consenting to provide information about our activity in exchange for free use of their product. And even then, people are pushing back and urging the government for regulation of data collection when they believe that their fundamental 'agreement' has been violated. Thus, one problem with the bulk data collection is that the government is collecting data about our private communication without our consent.

Another problem with the program was the lack of oversight, and the reason for this lack of oversight had everything to do with the program's secrecy. The data collection procedures were apparently so secret that even the people responsible for its oversight were not truly aware of what the agencies were collecting, for what purpose, and how it was being used.

One of Snowden's chief concerns and motives for is defiance of the government is the fact that the government is increasingly operating in secrecy whereas it simultaneously has access to limitless streams of data about individual citizens. It fundamentally represents an imbalance in power between the state and the citizen, and I find it hard to disagree with him. In one of his interviews before the 2016, he presciently cautioned that we tend to trust the government's data collection practices because we trust the right people to carry them out, but what if this power falls into the wrong hands? That's especially important to consider now when you have a government that is increasingly willing to weaponize its bureaucracies against political opposition, is it not?
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:16 AM
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It's also worth pointing out that James Clapper pretty clearly committed perjury before Congress when he was asked by Sen Ron Wyden of Oregn an explicit yes/no question about whether the government was essentially snooping on citizens and responded in the negative. Why is it legal for Clapper to commit perjury but not legal for Snowden to share secrets that expose both the abuses of civil liberties and subsequent perjury?
Clapper had an obligation to keep classified information confidential that trumped his obligation to answer the question in any way other than in negative.

Snowden decided on his own that he was above the law and knew better than anyone else what should or shouldn't be classified.

Noone's civil liberties were violated by the existence of the program.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:19 AM
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Yes, but in the case of Facebook and Google, we are essentially consenting to provide information about our activity in exchange for free use of their product. And even then, people are pushing back and urging the government for regulation of data collection when they believe that their fundamental 'agreement' has been violated. Thus, one problem with the bulk data collection is that the government is collecting data about our private communication without our consent.
If you consent to provide this information to corporations, then you have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to the government acquiring it.

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Another problem with the program was the lack of oversight, and the reason for this lack of oversight had everything to do with the program's secrecy. The data collection procedures were apparently so secret that even the people responsible for its oversight were not truly aware of what the agencies were collecting, for what purpose, and how it was being used.
And this is a good thing. If no one person knows the scope of the data being collected, then its potential to be misused is mitigated.

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One of Snowden's chief concerns and motives for is defiance of the government is the fact that the government is increasingly operating in secrecy whereas it simultaneously has access to limitless streams of data about individual citizens. It fundamentally represents an imbalance in power between the state and the citizen, and I find it hard to disagree with him.
It's not his decision to make as to whether the government has "too much power", and he's wrong in believing that it does. The state should have more power than the citizen.

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In one of his interviews before the 2016, he presciently cautioned that we tend to trust the government's data collection practices because we trust the right people to carry them out, but what if this power falls into the wrong hands? That's especially important to consider now when you have a government that is increasingly willing to weaponize its bureaucracies against political opposition, is it not?
Donald Trump isn't going to be president forever, and we're still going to need to be able to hunt down pedophiles, drug dealers, slave traders, and terrorists after he's gone. If anything, we'll need those abilities even more when the time comes for a proper de-Republicanization of our body politic.

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Old 07-09-2019, 07:14 AM
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Yes. He gets to live rent-free, all expenses paid, as the honored guest of a state that ensures his wellbeing because of how usefulness to them, and gets to be feted and treated like a celebrity by people who are mad at George W. Bush.
I haven't seen him in the news, where are you getting this info about his all expenses paid celebrity lifestyle?
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:18 AM
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Snowden decided on his own that he was above the law and knew better than anyone else what should or shouldn't be classified.

No, he emphatically did not. His whole process was to send information to select newspapers and let them decide whether or not they should publish it, whether or not this was a national discussion worth having, how much of the information to reveal and so on.

He could have dumped the lot on WikiLeaks if his motives were those you ascribe to him. He did not.



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Why?

Because I'm a government employee who doesn't like you. Or has been assured you're hiding something. Or just feels it in my bones. So every morning, every noon and every evening I'm going to detain you for a 30 minute search of your person. I will also regularly toss your entire home searching for evidence while you're at work.

Surely you have nothing to fear, no right to complain and don't see any problem whatsoever with this state of affairs ?
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:23 AM
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I haven't seen him in the news, where are you getting this info about his all expenses paid celebrity lifestyle?
Via Wikipedia;

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In May 2015, Snowden's lawyer Ben Wizner said that Snowden's main source of income was speaking fees, which sometimes exceeded $10,000 per appearance.
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As of 2017, he was living in an undisclosed location in Moscow.
He is living as a guest of the Russian government and getting paid to give talks to people who are still mad at George W. Bush.

Some people would commit treason to have a lifestyle like that.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:25 AM
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He was already earning six figures and living in Hawaii, dude.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:27 AM
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No, he emphatically did not. His whole process was to send information to select newspapers and let them decide whether or not they should publish it, whether or not this was a national discussion worth having, how much of the information to reveal and so on.
It wasn't his place to decide whether newspapers should make that decision. He decided that he was above the law and he knew better than anyone else what information the press ought to have.

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Because I'm a government employee who doesn't like you. Or has been assured you're hiding something. Or just feels it in my bones. So every morning, every noon and every evening I'm going to detain you for a 30 minute search of your person. I will also regularly toss your entire home searching for evidence while you're at work.
You're going to get bored pretty quickly and your boss is going to have your ass on a platter about you wasting so much time on a middle-aged loner with nothing interesting or noteworthy about him.

Also, remind me exactly who's being detained for 90 minutes every day by the programs Snowden compromised?

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Surely you have nothing to fear, no right to complain and don't see any problem whatsoever with this state of affairs ?
Hell, I get paid by the hour.

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He was already earning six figures and living in Hawaii, dude.
But he had to work back then. Clearly he felt he'd be better off as a living piece of Agitprop.

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Old 07-09-2019, 07:33 AM
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Got paid. In 2015.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:34 AM
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But he had to work back then. Clearly he felt he'd be better off as a living piece of Agitprop.
Or maybe you are being completely silly. I'm not saying you should like the guy but trying to say he did what he did for a personal lifestyle bump makes you look rather irrational on the subject.

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Old 07-09-2019, 07:35 AM
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But he had to work back then. Clearly he felt he'd be better off as a living piece of Agitprop.
Or he thought the world would be better off at his considerable expense.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:39 AM
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Or maybe you are being completely silly. I'm not saying you should like the guy but trying to say he did what he did for a personal lifestyle bump makes you look rather irrational on the subject.
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Or he thought the world would be better off at his considerable expense.
If that was what he wanted, he'd be in prison right now.

Or was putting his money where his mouth was too expensive for the "benefit" the world would gain from destabilizing America's national security?

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Old 07-09-2019, 07:50 AM
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You're going to get bored pretty quickly and your boss is going to have your ass on a platter about you wasting so much time on a middle-aged loner with nothing interesting or noteworthy about him.

Also, remind me exactly who's being detained for 90 minutes every day by the programs Snowden compromised?

The point was here.
















You're here.

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  #39  
Old 07-09-2019, 08:35 AM
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If that was what he wanted, he'd be in prison right now.

Or was putting his money where his mouth was too expensive for the "benefit" the world would gain from destabilizing America's national security?
This is what I mean by sounding irrational. What he wanted was to get the information out, not be Smapti's perfect example of a martyr.
  #40  
Old 07-09-2019, 08:54 AM
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Or was putting his money where his mouth was too expensive for the "benefit" the world would gain from destabilizing America's national security?

That was not what he was after, either.
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  #41  
Old 07-09-2019, 02:20 PM
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Yeah, I've got to hold that we, as a people, are more secure when we're aware of the ways our government is violating our founding documents.

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 07-09-2019 at 02:20 PM.
  #42  
Old 07-09-2019, 02:45 PM
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If you consent to provide this information to corporations, then you have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to the government acquiring it.
So if you tell one person a secret, everyone else has the right to know your secrets - after all, at least one other person knows your secret now. Piss poor logic, mate, try again.

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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
It's not his decision to make as to whether the government has "too much power", and he's wrong in believing that it does. The state should have more power than the citizen.
Yes, the state should have power, but it should not have the power to violate people's privacy without oversight. Having oversight, having the ability to review the shine the light on the conduct of agencies we trust with that power is our insurance policy to make sure that they don't abuse it. What were the Pentagon Papers? Who were the whistle blowers at My Lai?

Empowering a government to operate in secrecy inevitably leads to an erosion of governmental accountability to its stakeholders. I don't mean this as a personal attack, but you are espousing authoritarian views, just as many of the people from John Brennan to James Clapper have, and now ironically express concerns about the dangers of having an authoritarian like Trump in power. This is exactly why Snowden was concerned, and Trump is exactly the sort of authoritarian that he feared could use the extraordinary powers of the executive against his critics.

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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Donald Trump isn't going to be president forever,
Maybe not, but a president's legacy can remain years after his departure.

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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
and we're still going to need to be able to hunt down pedophiles, drug dealers, slave traders, and terrorists after he's gone.
I certainly have no objection to any of that, but there should always be mechanisms for oversight, and that should include people who have direct dog in the fight.

Last edited by asahi; 07-09-2019 at 02:46 PM.
  #43  
Old 07-09-2019, 04:18 PM
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Yeah, I've got to hold that we, as a people, are more secure when we're aware of the ways our government is violating our founding documents.
None of the information Snowden leaked documents any such violations.
  #44  
Old 07-09-2019, 08:07 PM
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Although Snowden exposed how the government of a 'free' nation, can spy on its citizens, his actions illuminated a far larger problem - privacy could soon vanish (and it may already be too late to resurrect it). Without privacy in communication, does freedom even exist?

Beyond simple lack of privacy, elections are meddled, a corporate guiding hand is empowered, civil discourse is weaponized, all in a manner chillingly akin to what Snowden has revealed about how the US government goes about its secret freedom-keeping business.

But above all, modern communications have created a world where the most powerful can be aware of - and suppress - all dissent. A world where the eye of the 'leaders' is everywhere and their grip is unbreakable.

Anyone would do well to read about the Uighurs or this piece about people visiting the Uighur province Xinjiang.

Snowden was a prophet.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 07-09-2019 at 08:09 PM.
  #45  
Old 07-09-2019, 08:18 PM
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Snowden was in a position of trust, and decided to use that position to steal as much information as he could to sell it to the highest bidder, purely for purposes of enriching himself. There's nothing at all noble about that. And it turns out that the juiciest information he could get ahold of was the knowledge that the US government was doing exactly what we, through our elected officials, told them to do. Unfortunately for Snowden, nobody's willing to pay very much to learn that government agencies are following the Patriot Act.

Yes, the people of the US needed to have their attention called to the fact of what the government is doing. A lot of folks tried to call attention to that way back when the Patriot Act was being passed. Those folks who tried to call attention to it back then deserve praise, and it's not their fault that not enough people listened to them. Snowden doesn't deserve more praise for the fact that when he tried to line his own pockets, people finally paid attention.
  #46  
Old 07-09-2019, 08:22 PM
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Snowden . . . tried to line his own pockets . . .
Can you elaborate please? Brother Smapti has also alluded to this.
  #47  
Old 07-09-2019, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Snowden was in a position of trust, and decided to use that position to steal as much information as he could to sell it to the highest bidder, purely for purposes of enriching himself.
Who did he sell it to, and how much money did he get for it?
  #48  
Old 07-10-2019, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
A pardon? For betraying his country, putting innocent lives at risk, critically jeopardizing our nation's security apparatus
Citation needed.
Quote:
What personal cost? If he wanted to put his money where his mouth is, he'd have turned himself in to face charges before a jury of his peers.
Well of course! If I found the government was doing something massively illegal, and nobody else was willing to expose it, I should be willing to sacrifice 20 years of my life to set things right.

Boy howdy, the notion of whistleblowing must be something that you hate.
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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Snowden decided on his own that he was above the law and knew better than anyone else what should or shouldn't be classified.
And his alternative, other than allowing this massive illegal domestic surveillance program to continue, was...?

Oh yeah, 20 years in the slammer.

Quote:
Noone's civil liberties were violated by the existence of the program.
Sez you.
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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Yes. He gets to live rent-free, all expenses paid, as the honored guest of a state that ensures his wellbeing because of how usefulness to them, and gets to be feted and treated like a celebrity by people who are mad at George W. Bush.
Quote:
He is living as a guest of the Russian government and getting paid to give talks to people who are still mad at George W. Bush.

Some people would commit treason to have a lifestyle like that.
I've spent time in both Hawaii and Moscow.

I can tell you right now, I'd rather have a 6-figure income in Hawaii, but have to go to work every day, than have a 6-figure income in Moscow with no job and few expenses.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 07-10-2019 at 10:57 AM.
  #49  
Old 07-10-2019, 10:59 AM
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Short answer: I thought Snowden was a hero then, and I still think he's a hero.
  #50  
Old 07-10-2019, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
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Yes, the people of the US needed to have their attention called to the fact of what the government is doing. A lot of folks tried to call attention to that way back when the Patriot Act was being passed. Those folks who tried to call attention to it back then deserve praise, and it's not their fault that not enough people listened to them. Snowden doesn't deserve more praise for the fact that when he tried to line his own pockets, people finally paid attention.
So trying to stop something wrong from happening is praiseworthy but exposing an ongoing wrongness is not? Even though you agree the American people needed their attention called to it?
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