Clive Robinson January 30, 2014 7:21 AM

@ Bruce,

The “lawfareblog” link insists on having “javascript” turned on for mobiles. As it does not apparently alow access any other way I’m going to treat the site software with deep suspicion.

Douglas Knight January 30, 2014 10:44 AM

Here is a version of the first link viewable on a phone w/o javascript.

Clive, have you never encountered wordpress? Do you live under a rock?

AlanS January 30, 2014 11:04 AM

@Douglas Knight

The NSA is intent on leaving no stone unturned so it probably wouldn’t help Clive if he did.

Secret Police January 30, 2014 12:59 PM

Snowden dropped hints in a German interview the other day that he handed over proof of NSA industrial espionage on German corps to the 2 journalists he worked with. Who knows when they will release it

Tyco Bass January 30, 2014 12:59 PM

McLuhan once said that computers were the LSD of the business world. Even more so for intelligence? Clapper calling for Snowden to “return the documents”??? Is he so stoned out of his gourd that he thinks he’s inhabiting WWII?

Skeptical January 30, 2014 2:10 PM

Secret Police, Snowden has maintained for some time now that he retains no control over material taken and that he has deliberately removed himself from any decisions regarding what is published and what is not. In the interview, at least as I understood it, Snowden stated his belief that if the NSA acquired information from, say, Siemens, that was “useful” but “not for national security”, then they would still use it.

Again, since commercial espionage by the US Government would be an enormous deal, and since it has been looked into extensively for many years without finding that any existed, I would be shocked if any were now reported. And I’d be furious both at those who decided to do it, and at the journalists for not reporting it immediately.

I would really like Snowden to comment on allegations that he took 1.7 million documents, many relating to non NSA military matters. There’s been some scant, unverifiable additional color about the DIA report on which those allegations are based, but nothing definitive.

It does not reduce Snowden’s own security to disclose how many documents he took, or whether those documents relate to non NSA matters. It does allow people in the US who have nothing to do with the surveillance programs at issue to make a more informed judgment as to how much risk is entailed by reliance on various assets, systems, plans, tactics, and strategies.

If he’s hesitant to do so because of advice from his attorneys, then he’s getting conventional but bad advice. As far as evidence needed to convict him, the ship has sailed. From the perspective of his legal team, everything should be about three things: (1) substantiating his claim to be a whistleblower as much as possible (regardless of statutory eligibility under US law); (2) improving his standing with the US and the US public as much as possible; (3) gaining the option of asylum somewhere acceptable.

All three of those things will be greatly aided by positive steps by Snowden to minimize potential harm. He wants to enter into a virtuous cycle with the US, in which good acts foster good acts (the game is essentially tit for tat).

If he doesn’t, and that DIA report is as bad as the few who have commented on it have said… within two years he’ll be at the supermax near Florence. And the Russians will find a way to accomplish his transfer without losing face.

Wouldn't You Like To Know January 30, 2014 2:57 PM

@ Skeptical

“(3) gaining the option of asylum somewhere acceptable.”

He is somewhere acceptable. He is in the safest place on Earth he can be; Russia. Virtually anwhere else he would go he would be kidnapped within days by the world’s foremost terrorist organization*. There is most assuredly a multi-billion dollar bounty on him that would be happily paid out for his capture.

He will do the smart thing and remain in Russia indefinitely, which is exactly what I would do in his situation.

*USA Government

RMC January 30, 2014 4:04 PM

I don´t know… sometimes I feel tempted to think that this whole Snowden deal is premeditated.

The information leaked has at least four years. God knows what they are really capable of doing right now…

Skeptical January 30, 2014 4:43 PM

Wouldn’t you like to know… Russia ranked 127th in Transparency International’s 2013 CPI. This score is about equal to Pakistan, and below that of, among other nations, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Sierra Leone. In Russia you are safe so long as the right roof is above your head. Corruption means that you never know when a more powerful interest may buy that krysha away. I don’t think that will always be the case (Russia is a great culture that will continue to endure and progress), but at present that is the perception among many.

So… it becomes a transactional matter the longer he remains in Russia. Now, if Snowden were to work with the US, lower the fears of the US, increase his credibility as a whistleblower, and reduce the incentive of the US to spend resources leveraging other countries into deporting him, he might find asylum in a warmer place with better legal protection. At worst, by taking the measures I outlined he increases his chances of a truly lower sentence should he ever return to the United States, while also persuading more of his fellow Americans that he does not wish to harm their country.

Taking those steps is a no-lose line of approach for Snowden. It is, purely from the vantage of his interests, the right move. It’s also the right move from the vantage of the cause he wishes to advance.

It would be a move opposed by Russia, by Assange and Wikileaks, and by at least some persons associated with the journalists involved. I’m really not sure where Greenwald would fall on the matter.

Clive Robinson January 30, 2014 4:51 PM

@ Douglas Knight,


ul>Here is a version of the first link viewable on a phone w/o javascript. Clive have you never encountered wordpress? Do you live under a rock?

First off thanks for the link, second yes I’ve come across wordpress but it does not always require javascript, in this case it compleatly greyed things out so I could not read anything other than the message so as I only use this smart phone for Inet connection during working hours I was no going to go digging and let my lunch go cold.

I have a simple policy with Javascript on this smart phone, which is don’t run it except from trusted sites without advertising. If the site does not offer a non javascript option then I see no real reason to trust them or their advertisers. One downside of stock smartphones is that the web browsers on them are generaly not suitable for any other more sophisticated behaviour which can be done from more regular desk tops with more sophisticated bowsers.

As for “living under a rock” well it depends on which house I’m in at the time, one has very nice welsh slates on the roof do they count as under a rock? 😉

@ AlanS,

Plus 1 for the joke, Pluss another two for working the NSA into it 🙂

Another Kevin January 30, 2014 5:54 PM

“If he doesn’t, and that DIA report is as bad as the few who have commented on it have said… within two years he’ll be at the supermax near Florence. And the Russians will find a way to accomplish his transfer without losing face.”

That’s the best plausible outcome. Disappearing from Russia and being found dead in Syria several months later is more likely. Or being beaten to death by fellow inmates in a medium-security facility. Or having some FSB officer go insane and take him out in a shooting spree.

And a majority of Americans will say that he had it coming, for revealing state secrets to our enemies. We’re that terrorized.

Autolykos January 31, 2014 5:05 AM

@Another Kevin:
I’m not saying he is in a good place (far from it, actually), but probably still the best. Russia and China are the only two nations with enough sovereignty left that the US will think twice before pissing them off. Anywhere else he would have likely been disappeared long ago.
I can’t think of any other country the US don’t see as their personal b*tch (with the tacit approval of that country’s government, usually). Continental Europe (I’d start with France, Germany and Poland) could gain some independence if it acted more united, but as long as the Brits are allowed to have a word in the matter (and our governments keep brown-nosing the US) that’s not gonna happen.

Frank Ch. Eigler June 8, 2015 3:19 PM

(The lawfareblog snowden-revelations collection appears to have gone offline.)

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