Friday, December 13, 2013


Like I have been saying "SNOWGLOBE" as more information comes out, and people see ...

NSA leaders split on giving amnesty to Snowden

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CBS News learned Thursday that the information National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has revealed so far is just a fraction of what he has. In fact, he has so much, some think it is worth giving him amnesty to get it back.
Rick Ledgett is the man who was put in charge of the Snowden leak task force by Gen. Keith Alexander, who heads the NSA. The task force's job is to prevent another leak like this one from happening again. They're also trying to figure out how much damage the Snowden leaks have done, and how much damage they could still do.

Rick Ledgett
 Snowden, who is believed to still have access to 1.5 million classified documents he has not leaked, has been granted temporary asylum in Moscow, which leaves the U.S. with few options.
JOHN MILLER: He's already said, "If I got amnesty, I would come back." Given the potential damage to national security, what would your thought on making a deal be?
RICK LEDGETT: So, my personal view is, yes, it's worth having a conversation about. I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured, and my bar for those assurances would be very high. It would be more than just an assertion on his part.
MILLER: Is that a unanimous feeling?
LEDGETT: It's not unanimous.

Gen. Keith Alexander
 Among those who think making a deal is a bad idea is Leggett's boss, Gen. Keith Alexander.
GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: This is analogous to a hostage-taker taking 50 people hostage, shooting 10 and then say, "If you give me full amnesty, I'll let the other 40 go." What do you do?
MILLER: It's a dilemma.
MILLER: Do you have a pick?
GEN. ALEXANDER: I do. I think people have to be held accountable for their actions. … Because what we don't want is the next person to do the same thing, race off to Hong Kong and to Moscow with another set of data, knowing they can strike the same deal.

We asked Gen. Alexander, Ledgett and former NSA Director Michael Hayden why the Russians would give Snowden amnesty if they already have Snowden's information, and they said they would be sadly disappointed in the intelligence services if they hadn't gotten that material.
The question is, for damage control, what's the difference between a couple of foreign governments having it -- that's bad -- or having it out there in the newspapers or across many other governments?
You can see more of this story Sunday on "60 Minutes."

EU has failed to defend Edward Snowden, says activist group

Index on Censorship claims European Union has also neglected to protect newspapers writing about mass surveillance

Edward Snowden
The Index on Censorship report says that, following the publication of NSA files obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden, pictured, the European Union failed to issue a strong collective statement against mass surveillance. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images/The Guardian
The European Union has failed to stand up for whistleblower Edward Snowden or properly defend newspapers that have written articles about the scale of mass state surveillance, according to freedom of expression group Index on Censorship.
To mark the launch of a report on Thursday, Mike Harris, the organisation's head of advocacy, criticised the EU for failing to take a strong stance against the mass state surveillance revealed by Snowden and a range of other freedom of expression issues in Europe and elsewhere.
"No EU member state defended Edward Snowden as a whistleblower," said Harris. "The EU failed to issue a strong collective statement against mass surveillance, nor have unjust laws such as criminal defamation or national insult laws prevalent across the continent been repealed."
He said despite new powers to deal with breaches to the right of freedom of expression the EU had failed to defend newspapers such as the Guardian, which has come under intense political pressure for reporting on the scale of mass state surveillance based on Snowden's revelations.
"Media freedom in particular has come under attack – from the recent seizure of the Guardian's computers, through to the Hungarian government's clampdown on their media – all in states that have signed up to strong human rights commitments. While the EU likes to talk about the importance of 'European values', it is failing to practice what it preaches."
The Guardian, along with some of the world's other major media organisations, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and Der Spiegel, began disclosing details of the extent and reach of secret surveillance programmes run by Britain's eavesdropping centre, GCHQ, and the National Security Agency in June.
The revelations have sparked a huge debate on the scale of mass surveillance and the legal framework and oversight governing western spy agencies. Civil liberties groups have criticised the UK government for putting intense political pressure on the Guardian and other media groups covering the leaks rather than addressing the implications of the mass surveillance programmes that have been uncovered.
The report, Time to step up: the EU and freedom of expression, says the EU should have done more and also highlights its failure to take strong action in Italy under Silvio Berlusconi where there have been serious concerns around media plurality concerns or in Hungary where there has been a severe crackdown on press freedoms. It also criticises the EU's lack of support for democrats in the Middle East prior to the Arab spring, saying it failed to actively encourage and foster the spread of freedom and democracy in the region.
Harris said: "The EU has a hugely positive role to play in the world, as the home to some of the world's best places for freedom of expression and as the world's largest trading block with huge economic leverage. It is beginning to take a more proactive stance with more funding for human rights defenders and targeted sanctions on Belarus, but it can do so much more to support freedom in its neighbourhood."

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