Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport – Friday July 12, 15:00 UTC

July 13, 2013

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

Source (wikileask.org)


Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

July 2, 2013

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013

Source (www.guardian.co.uk)

Europe and the EU need to offer political asylum to Edward Snowden now if we still care about Democracy!

And once more the most important part of the statement above:

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be.


FUCK ACTA: Anti ACTA demonstration in Vienna, February 25th 2012

February 26, 2012

Since I’m currently back home in Vienna I went to the Anti ACTA demonstration yesterday, starting from Europaplatz, down the Mariahilferstraße and over the Ring to the Parliament. It was an almost warm Saturday in late February and at the same time similar demonstrations took place all over Austria and Europe. My guess is we were about 5000 to max. 7000 people, police say 3000, organisers say 10 000. The crowd was mostly young, quite a few school students, the mood may be described as cheerful anger if this makes any sense to you.

As you would expect there were quite a few people with Guy Fawkes masks and other internet and reddit memes. So what I found most interesting were the banner people had brought and here is a best of selection of my favourite ones:

ACTA = Stasi 2.0

A movie is not a car

ACTA ad Acta

.

System failure: Capitalism not working

System (I) Reset

.

Stopp ACTA

Sharing is not stealing

bekACTA Scheiss (= Shity Shit)

“Niemand hat die Absicht eine Mauer zu errichten.” (= “No one has any intention of building a wall.”)

ACTA Assholes Creating Tyranny Again

ACTA La Vista

.

Capitalism not working

End?

Yes No

Join the revolution.

.

Meine Freundin ist schwanger. Mein Provider wußte es vor mir. (= My girlfriend is pregnant. My provider knew it before I did.)

You can’t control 500 Million PPL w/o making a few enemies.

Yet the best one and the one that most demonstrators seemed to agree on was pretty short, a good one to shout as well:

FUCK ACTA

Expect us.

Update (29.02.12):

There were two more banner at the demonstration that I keep thinking of and that I have not mentioned here yet (I did not write down those in my notebook – at least in terms of meaning they should be accurately quoted):

Wenn ihr uns das Internet nehmt, nehmen wir euch eure Faxgeräte (= If you take away our internet, we’ll take away your fax machines)

Ignorant me I did not quite understand that one at first and so one of my friends who was there with me on Saturday enlightened me: apparently unfriendly politician’s fax machines are being served by activists with a pitch black piece of paper – that has been looped… Now that’s mean.

And last but not least there was this one, surely way too important to be forgotten!

Don’t take away my porn


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