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.


Beyond ACTA: en vogue – about a fashion victim (45 sec., b/w, silent, 16mm, 2012)

July 8, 2012

Change “Quality” to HD: via gears symbol (appears on playback, bottom right video)

What this is

This is a short clip originally made for an ongoing fashion event in Vienna. We (now former) Schule Friedl Kubelka students produced a series of shorts you currently still can see (until 29th August) on DVD in the Icon shop window at the MQ in Vienna. Topic: “fashion”…

While this week the European Parliament gloriously defeated ACTA (see discussion/articles on Slashdot, TorrentFreak and Netzpolitik 1, 2) the above clip en vogue – about a fashion victim features some more ACTA-like as well as other related acronyms:

ACTA, INDECT, IPRED, SOPA/PIPA, TRIPS, GATSEC/ECB/IMF (EC, ECB, IMF), WTO, FRONTEX, ECOFIN

If you are from Europe make sure to check out INDECT

4th of July 2012, European Independence Day: the European Parliament votes against ACTA by 478 to 39 votes

How it was made

We shot this in Vienna back in March using a Bolex (hand-cranked) and 16mm color negative film (that I got developed/printed at Synchro Film). Since we were supposed to have a first version for school in an analog film format I then cut the rushes on a Steenbeck.

Later I got my negatives transfered (2K) and re-cut the clip digitally in Blender (using single frames, 16-bit TIFFs – Ubuntu does not seem to be eable to handle 12-bit TIFFs (!!!))  – while having a cheap transfer/telecine from that 16mm cutting copy as reference).

Grading was also done in Blender.

For exporting/encoding to .webm (VP8) Kdenlive was used.

I have another 16mm short (4 min., experimental/minimal story telling) that I plan to post at some point this Summer (pictures is done, I’m still thinking about the rest) and I’ll be posting more details from that 16mm footage/Blender workflow together with that…


The End of Democracy: Say NO to ACTA (video)

November 3, 2011

Transcript (via LYBIO.net):

“Can you imagine your internet service provider policing everything you do online? Can you imagine generic drugs that could save lives being banned? Can you imagine seeds that could feed 1000′s being controlled and withheld in the name of patents? This will become reality with ACTA!!!

ACTA is the “Anti-Counterfeiting Trading Agreement”. Disguised as a Trade Agreement, ACTA goes much, much further than that.

For the past three years, ACTA has been negotiated in secret by 39 countries. But the negotiators are not democratically elected representatives. They don’t represent us, but they’re deciding laws behind our backs.

Bypassing democratic process, they impose new criminal sanctions to stop online file sharing. ACTA aims to make Internet Service & Access Providers legally responsible for what their users do online, turning them into private copyright police and judge, censoring their networks. The chilling effects on Free speech would be terrible.

In the name of patents, ACTA would give large corporations the power to stop generic drugs before they reach the people who need them and stop the use of certain seeds for crops.

The European Parliament will soon vote on ACTA. This VOTE will be the occasion to say NO, once and for all, to this dangerous treaty. As citizens, we must URGE our representatives to reject ACTA!!!

NO To ACTA

Learn more
laquadrature.net/ACTA


Pirates, Wall Street and World Revolution

October 5, 2011

8,9% and I am one of them

8,9% of Berlin voted for the Pirate Party last month and I’m proud to say that I was able to contribute to that outcome: while being an Austrian living in Berlin I am allowed to vote in my district. For the first time there was the candidate “Piratenpartei” on the ballot and that’s where I made my cross. And So did many other. And news that close to 10% of Berlin is now in Pirate Party hands spread quickly around the globe (blog.p2pfoundation.net).

I was actually a bit surprised about just how wide that news travelled: it seems people have been waiting for this (blog.p2pfoundation.net). Those 8,9% for the Pirates in Berlin are a signal for others: if Berlin can do it your city, your country can do it too.

And guess what, now after the success in Berlin the German Pirate Party gets around 7% in polls – that is 7% Germany wide: should there be general elections next Sunday we’d had the Piratenpartei sitting in the German Bundestag.

And there is still much more potential for sure: I would not be surprised at all should Pirate Parties around Europe get two digit results in elections within the next five years.

People this is it, this is the time to get out and vote for the Pirates. And if you can’t vote let your family know, your father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt etc.:

Let them know why you want the Pirate Party in your (local) government, explain to them why the Pirate Party is like “a patch for Democracy” as I read somewhere.

Let them know why (software) patents are truly evil and why Copyright is in fact Copywrong.

Let them know about the Patent Trolls and Copyright Thieves.

Let them know about h.264.

Let them know that Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Frauenhofer Institute and all those others h.264 patent holders are S-T-A-E-L-I-N-G everyone’s video footage using software patents (you do not own your own h.264 video footage, not even after transcoding to e.g. an open format: licensing fees for any “commercial” use will need to be paid to all those thieves hiding behind the acronym MPEG-LA).

Let your people know the truth about why a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs could “achieve” what they did in those last 30 years:

Gates, Jobs etc. are a simply a special kind of breed of thieves who (while now retired used to) organise, set up and run a wide range of (in the US legal, in Europe for sure quite illegal) extortion schemes based on software patents and related “legal” constructs. Latest examples: the Samsung tablet that Apple tries so hard to block via court orders or the fact that Microsoft will make money with basically every Android phone you buy ($5/phone Protection Money for the IP lawyers thanks to software patents).

Or maybe there is something else that makes you angry…? Maybe it’s the RIAA or the MPAA (better know as MAFIAA)…?

There surely are many good reasons to be very angry these days (WikiLeaks censorship, youngsters/hackers who defend Democracy put in jail, Greece looted by the Banks, …) and each reason is a good one to turn your anger into real political change by voting Pirate Party!

This is our chance to get rid of those governments that have been corrupted be the Content and Copyright Mafia.

This is our chance to get rid of ACTA and all future attempts by the Content Mafia who is trying to undermine Democracy in order to save their dying business model, a model that never was right in the first place, a business model that is based on stealing but never giving back to society. One of the best examples being The Walt Disney Company and the Micky Mouse Protection Act from 1998.

Occupy Wall Street and World Revolution

“I see Corporatism, Fascism, chronic Capitalism. I don’t see a free market. I see a police state, I see an American Empire, I see 700 military bases in 135 foreign countries. I see 5000 dead bodies in Iraq. A welfare warfare state which gives out billions of dollars in foreign aid for dictators (…).”

(From the Voice Over/interview at the beginning of the embedded video about the current Occupy Wall Street movement:)

Nobody Can Predict The Moment Of Revolution (2011), 8:01

by Martyna Starosta & Iva Radivojevic, CC BY-NC 3.0

Video’s page on Vimeo.

One more thing…

Now that we have Freedom from Steve:

Steve Jobs,

You personally may get away with this and keep making your dirty money for quite a while. Yet not forever.

Thing is you are old and I am so much younger than you. Chances are I’ll still be around when you are long gone. And I’ll make sure the world will hear the true story about h.264. I’ll make sure that people get a chance to remember Steve Jobs for who he really was. You are no innovator, your are no inventor. At the end of the day you are simply that: a thief.

And Fuck You for that.

FUCK YOU STEVE JOBS FOR H.264.

FUCK YOU.

FUCK YOU.

FUCK YOU.

And FUCK YOU.

Update (06.10.11) :

Steve Jobs died this morning. Here the discussion on Slashdot.

Yes, it’s always very sad when someone dies and I’m sure many including his family will miss him. Yet death does not mean you have to be dishonest. The man may have done a lot for the Apple shareholders and may have pushed the industry in the directions he wanted, but for me personally he is one the biggest disappointments when it comes to role models:

I used to watch his Apple sales shows back in the ’90 on a Performa 5200, connected to the internet via modem. He was a brilliant sales person. He really was. Unfortunately he was not honest about his products shortcomings and he betrayed a whole generation of artists, film makers and young ones who bought his h.264 pitch. Steve Jobs choose to betray and steal from everyone (h.264 video footage) so that he could build a monopoly around/by using the moving image:

* He tried to push h.264 as the only legal video codec for distribution: when you already own an online store for movies (iTunes) as well as parts of a Hollywood film studio (Disney, before that Pixar) this simply is extremely greedy and shows you do not like competition at all. For over ten years open-source audio/video codec developers were severly bullied by all those who stand behind h.264. In his own words (blogs.fsfe.org):

“All video codecs are covered by patents. A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other “open source” codecs now.”

* At the same time, knowingly, just as all the other h.264 patent holders, he was happy with stealing your and mine h.264 video footage: I got an h.264 camera and went out shooting footage, for weeks, months. I was planing to use that footage commercially until I found out about the scheme that Jobs etc. had set up/were happy to make their dirty deals with: the MPEG-LA.

Jobs not only wanted a monopoly on distribution but he also wanted to control independent content, e.g. accepted – and never communicated – the MPEG-LA’s rules e.g. about how long (!!!) your h.264 online video can be before you have to start paying fees to them. Steve Jobs was prepared to and did sell his user, did betray those artists who trusted him and who supported his company in all those years when Apple almost went out of business.

Steve Jobs betrayed us with h.264. I won’t forget that. And I will make sure that this story reaches as many people as possible, now and in the future.

A monopoly on the moving image is simply a very, very dangerous thing. It would be highly irresponsible not to let future generations know about this. Basically what Jobs opened up/promoted is a road to Fascism. People need to hear the h.264 story so that something like this can never happen again!


A cure for ACTA: FACTAP!

November 13, 2010

ACTA vs. Democracy

Corporations, their lobbyists, the puppets they bought (aka politicians) and those who make the world go round (aka bankers) will be meeting for another secret round of ACTA talks soon: Anti-Piraterie-Abkommen ACTA wird weiter verhandelt (www.heise.de).

Time for the system we got to know as Democracy is running out.

I believe the only acceptable way out of this mess will be to completely:

* reject ACTA
* name and shame those who initiated, designed and promoted it

But this might not happen.

That’s why we should be thinking ahead, for a solution to ACTA, once/if it is put in place. After thinking long and hard about all of this I believe I found it: FACTAP

You see once a system is so badly broken, so unjust, so corrupted as ours, there might not be an easy fix, a simple reform might not do any more.

On the positive side…

Lately there seem to be a few sane high-profile voices joining in an important debate, see (EU) Commissioner Kroes: Copyright Reform Needed (www.osnews.com), European Commissioner Lambasts ‘Copyright Middlemen’ (torrentfreak.com) or UK copyright laws to be reviewed, announces Cameron (www.bbc.co.uk).

I wonder if this is not too little too late…?

I’ve been supportive of the Creative Commons movements for years by publishing all my online works under one of their licenses and I will be supportive of this movement in the future. It’s a good start. Yet I feel it might not be enough any more…

I used to vote for the Green Party and while I am delighted that the Greens are doing sensationally well in Central Europa at this moment (23% in Germany should there be elections) I will be voting for the Pirate Party at future occasions where possible. I can’t agree with the argument that “Those pirates who really want to shape intellectual property policy will be better advised to join the more established parties” (fosspatents.blogspot.com). I’d be glad to see the Greens taking on the copyright issue, yet so far I simply have not heard enough from them to satisfy me. And even the Pirate Party might not be enough once and if ACTA is in place…

“Reforming” a system that’s so badly broken as ours simply might not work out: once Democracy is gone for good and Plutocracy, Corporate Fascism or whatever you want to call it has (semi-)officially arrived it might be too late to even talk about these things in public.

We live in a time where those defending free speech (in Europe) have to fear for their safety: Wikileaks founder may seek Swiss asylum: interview (news.yahoo.com). Be prepared to hear about people with critical minds tragically dying in an “air plane accident”, a “car crash” etc. It happened before and it might happen again.

Add to the mix yet more government surveillance (look at the UK for inspiration). This of course will, as always, be for “public safety”: Big Brother, thanks to TV networks, is now simply known to most people as an entertainment format. That’s brainwashing at it’s best. George Orwell would be proud.

In the end I don’t care if the Green Party or the Pirate Party or (as unlikely as it seems) any of the more mainstream parties brings back sanity.

For me this is not about about left and right, simply about right and wrong, or better: it is about fair and unfair.

So what is FACTAP…?

First of all it is a cure for ACTA, the antidote.

ACTA is a “treaty” negotiated in secrecy by lobbyists. It’s about corruption and it is dangerously undemocratic.

FACTAP shall be a public discussion – if public discussions will still be possible that is… Food for thoughts: ACTA will force your ISP to censor your work if someone lodges an unsupported trademark claim (www.boingboing.net)

The idea is that the system then will be broken so badly, so corrupted that something more radical than a simply “copyright reform” will be needed.

Basically FACTAP is about:

* Getting rid of copyright altogether. No replacement. Whatsoever.

* Getting rid of (software) patents altogether. No replacement. Whatsoever.

* What remains is that someone gets credit for their work.

Now it’s interesting that credit not only is about getting named in the context of your work/recognition for your work, but also has to do with credibility, someone might trust you with money (that is if money should still be worth the sum that’s printed on it in the near future…), someone gives you credit, since you previously have proven to produce something of value, e.g. written a book. Getting credit is like collection Karma points.

Since I still think that no one actually can “invent” anything that was not there already (we can only “discover” what nature previously “invented”), copyright and patents are simply an expression of human arrogance, they show our darker sides, the urge to control, conquer and posses for the sake of feeling in control of life, yet in the end we all still remain mortals. “Intellectual property” is really just the latest new age religion (without a spiritual element) for the rich and wealthy, an intellectual frame work constructed to justify their highly immoral deeds and practices.

I believe getting “credit” for one’s work is really all that we need.

Money of course always seems to mess up things and instead of going the more adequate, more humble road, we (might) end up with a monster like ACTA.

And if you think the content MAFIAA was bad then be prepared for the next round: White paper on 3D printing and the law: the coming copyfight (www.boingboing.net)

So dear “politicians”, if you still care a little bit about the people that elected you (that is if elections were not rigged), now is probably one of the last chances to stop this madness and reject ACTA for good!

Then maybe a “copyright reform” might still make sense.

Yet if ACTA should be installed, Democracy will be gone. There will be no need to insult us any further by holding elections that fewer and fewer people turn up to for good reasons. Be honest and call it Corporate Fascism. It’ll make things much easier for everyone. Really.

Once ACTA is in place the only thing we might need is FACTAP as its cure.

And FACTAP is so simple, that even politicians should be able to understand it:

Fuck All Copyright Trolls And Patents

That’s FACTAP.

“Choose wisely”, as they say.


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