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)


Cameron’s Sick Society

August 11, 2011

More shocking than the England/London riots themselves are the reaction of politicians and other officials. In denial and fear of loosing their jobs they go on attacking those involved in the riots and the looting.

I agree with David Cameron that society as such (not just in the UK) is “sick”. Yet when you have a serious flue what does the doctor do to cure you? Punish you for being sick? Or find out why you are sick and see how he can help you getting back to normal?

It is most astonishing to hear Nottingham Magistrates’ Court Judge Devas say to a convicted looter: “Don’t you feel ashamed that you are now counted among the hundreds of yobbos arrested and now considered as scum by the public?” So this is justice in the year 2011? Public humiliation..? Just wow. And people wonder why there is no respect for society and the system. Just listen to yourself Judge Devas…!

We have David Cameron talking about “phony human rights concerns” (in context of identifying potential rioters) and hear suggestions to evict people involved in riots from council houses.

Of course with this kind of language there was quickly a successful e-petition (100 000+) that asks for rioters loosing their benefits.

A social media ban for suspected rioters is yet another of David Cameron’s brilliant ideas.

And of course we had a suggestion of assembling all the rioters in Wembley stadium Just wow.

This is politics and courts failing those they have failed before yet once more:

rubber bullets, humiliation and exclusion are the answers to a “sick” society from those in charge. Fail, fail, fail.

Yes, society is sick. But it’s also true that:

The fish always stinks from the head downwards.

Be careful who you call “scum”. If the tone we hear does not change quickly this will backfire sooner or later with much greater force than what we have seen in recent days. And next time I guess the mob will be smarter and attack the CCTV cams first: Big Brother is not the solution but part of the problem.

This surely does look like Capitalism failing and Fascism rising.

Update 1:

The system is obviously a joke: you steal a bottle of water worth £3.50 and get six months in jail plus the prime minister’s and the honorable judges’ “scum'” tag. Yet those who looted society – politicians helping bankers, bankers helping politicians – are still walking around freely, anonymously and with no justice done whatsoever! David Cameron tries to punish and exclude the UK youth out of fear of loosing his job. So 11-17 year olds, their families and communities are now paying the prize for the failure of politics. The world is looking at you UK, the world’s youth is looking at you David Cameron and be sure that people know who the real “scum”, the real looters are. Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y…?

Why, just why is it that the majority of our leaders are such a miserable failure…?!

Update 2:

London riots: Wandsworth council moves to evict mother of charged boy (www.guardian.co.uk): “…they will have to find housing in the private sector and that will be tougher for them. But they should have thought about that before they started burgling” = “Let them eat cake.”

David Cameron, your society is very, very sick. Excuse me, I now need to go and puke while thinking of you and your pals from Wandsworth coucil!


WikiRebels – The Documentary

December 12, 2010

This is a pretty good documentary by Swedish TV station svt about those (who used to be) behind WikiLeaks and why they do what they do.

There is some war footage in there (the one previously released) that is disturbing. But so is war.

Recommended viewing.


WikiRebels – The Documentary (2010), 57:25

Video’s page (svtplay.se).


18+, “looking younger”…? Depictions of your naked body may be illegal in the EU soon!

November 25, 2010

A new EU legislative proposal may well in fact turn out to be a de facto criminalisation of any kind of “erotic” depiction of adults who, in the eye of a judge, may “look younger than 18”: EU verbietet erotische Darstellungen von Erwachsenen (EU banning erotic depictions of adults) (www.pornoanwalt.de).


“David” by Michelangelo can – at this point – still be seen at the Galleria dell’ Accademia, Florence/Italy

(Source: Wikipedia)

In the near future it may not matter how old you actually are (!!!), “erotic” depictions of your naked body or any erotic material may be highly illegal to produce or possess, even if you can prove that those involved are e.g. 25!

Of course there is a very cynical pretext, this legislative proposal says it aims at child pornography. Yet de facto this is “freedom from porn” the way Steve Jobs was preaching it. This law should be a pope’s wet dream come true…

So e.g. if your partner happens to be Asian and you made some nude snapshots on the beach you may already be out of luck: if a European judge feels that your Asian partner “looks younger than 18” you and your partner may already be in serious legal troubles.

And what about art…? Caravaggio’s nude boy in “Amor Vincit Omnia”…? Will it have to be moved from the museum…? Could Michaelangelo’s David not seem (too) erotic and look like he was under age…? Careful if you are a film maker and planing a coming of age drama! I guess Larry Clark’s “Kids” could already be highly problematic in this context…

Of course a whole generation of Xtube, Porntube etc. (young) adults of 18+ will face a serious problem: if someone thinks you “look (!!!) under 18” it will be enough to criminalise you and your fans. Your ID card will not help you here! And once e.g. a news paper writes that you have produced or possessed child porn it will be almost impossible to defend your good name.

“Amor Vincit Omnia” by Caravaggio can – at this point – still be seen at the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin/Germany

(Source: Wikipedia)

This really is simply how censorship starts. Just take a delicate topic like CP, broaden the definition and once the laws are put in place it will be easy to use this to get rid of anyone you wish to target. An art book with nude paintings or a David Hamilton photography book may be enough. And an erotic Manga style comic book may be even more dangerous to possess… Also be sure to get rid of that old sex education book or your parent’s naturist guide from the 1960s, it may well get you in serious trouble!

I wonder if those “looking younger than 18” or those possessing “erotic” depictions of those “looking younger than 18” will at one point have to wear some kind of label…? I suggest a star. Pink should do. This worked before and should work again.

As the lawyer linked from that article above says: this legislative proposal does not help children at all, actual victims of CP. What it does is possibly criminalise any “erotic” depiction of those who are 18+ and it also potentially criminalises a whole generation of teens/young adults. The only legal porn in Europe then would be one for and with old people. I’m sure there is a market too. Yet all youngsters and couples who might share nude pics and videos among one another or anyone using sites like Porntube could easily face jail time. So if you are a parent beware of your teenage kids: their naked bodies are about to be declared “illegal”. Be prepared to visit them in prison.

Europe beware. It looks like a storm is coming. (Corporate) Fascism is definitely just around the corner. This one is about censorship and the pretext is as cynical as it could possibly get.

And what a coincidence that at the same time the TSA porn scanners, that are according to experts not helping with safety at all, but as Americans found out are only there to humiliate you, are being installed at an airport near you. This is all about intimidation and control. “You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.”

ACTA is on the way (EU-Parlament begrüßt Anti-Piraterie-Abkommen ACTA/EU parliament welcomes Anti-Piracy-Agreement ACTA) (www.heise.de), “terror warnings” make the round and lobbyists are trying to pass laws that will bring us back to the middle age. That’s real “freedom from porn”. By all means do enjoy your iPad – while you still can…

It’s so good to know that young people will still be sent to fight wars and while they may drive a car and buy alcohol at (around) 18, “erotic” depictions of  their bodies and their sexual practices may soon be illegal and could destroy their and their loved one’s lives.

I also wonder if those very young, semi-nude boys with wings in all those Catholic Churches around Europe will then have to be removed one day too…? Probably they will be exempt from censorship for “religious” reasons – now that the pope has allowed condoms for male prostitutes it looks like these are going to be good times indeed for those highly respected moral guardians of our society. Think of the children…!

Witches will be hunted. Books will be burned. Again.

 

18+, “looking younger”…? Depictions of your naked body may be illegal in the EU soon!

 

A controversial EU legislative proposal may well in fact turn out to be a de facto criminalisation for any kind of “erotic” depiction of adults who, in the eye of a judge, may “look younger than 18”.

 

In the near future it might not matter how old you actually are (!!!), “erotic” depictions of your naked body or any erotic material may be highly illegal to produce or possess, even if you can prove that those involved are e.g. 25!

 

Of course there is a very cynical pretext, this legislative proposal says it aims at child pornography. Yet de facto this is “freedom from porn” the way Steve Jobs was preaching it, this law really should be a pope’s wet dream come true.

 

So e.g. if your partner happens to be Asian and you made some nude snapshots on the beach you may already be out of luck: if a European judge feels that your Asian partner “looks younger than 18” you and your partner may already be in serious legal troubles.

 

And what about art…? Caravaggio’s nude boy in ““Amor Vincit Omnia”…? Will it have to be moved from the museum…? Could Michaelangelo’s David not seem (too) erotic and look like he was under age…? Careful if you are a film maker and planing a coming of age drama! I guess Larry Clark’s “Kids” could already be highly problematic in this context…

 

Of course a whole generation of Xtube, Porntube etc. (young) adults of 18+ will face a serious problem: if someone thinks you “look under 18” it will be enough to criminalise you and your fans. Your ID card will not help you here! And once e.g. a news paper prints that you have produced or possessed child porn it will be almost impossible to defend your good name.

 

This really is simply how censorship starts. Just take a delicate topic like CP, broaden the definition and once the laws are put in place it will be easy to use this to get rid of anyone you wish to target. An art book with Caravaggio paintings or a Larry Clark photography book may be enough. And an erotic Manga style comic book may be even more dangerous to posses… Also be sure to get rid of that old sex education book or your parent’s naturist book from the 1960′, it may well get you in serious trouble!

 

I wonder if those “looking younger than 18” or those possessing “erotic” depictions of those “looking younger than 18” will at one point have to wear some kind of mark…? I suggest a star. Pink or yellow should do. This worked before and should work again!

 

As the lawyer linked from that article above says: this legislative proposal does not at all help children, actual victims of CP. What it does is possibly criminalise any “erotic” depiction of those of 18+ and it potentially criminalises a whole generation of teens/young adults at the same time. The only legal porn in Europe then should be one for and with old people. I’m sure there is a market too. Yet all youngsters and couples who might share nude pics and videos among one another or anyone using sites like Porntube could easily face jail time. So if you are a parent beware of your teenage kids: their naked bodies are about to be declared “illegal”. Be prepared to visit them in prison.

 

Europe beware. It looks like a storm is coming. (Corporate) Fascism is definitely just around the corner. This one is about censorship and the pretext is as cynical as it could possibly get.

 

And what a coincidence that at the same time the TSA porn scanners, that, according to experts are not helping with safety, but are really only there to humiliate you, are being installed at an airport near you.

 

ACTA is on the way, “terror warnings” make the round and lobbyists are trying to pass laws that will bring us back to the middle age. That’s “freedom from porn”. By all means do enjoy your iPad – while you still can.

 

I also wonder if those very young, semi-nude boys with wings in all those Catholic Churches around Europe will then have to be removed one day too…? Probably they will be except from censorship for “religious” reasons – now that the pope has allowed condoms for male prostitutes it looks like these are going to be good times indeed for those highly respected moral guardians of our society. Think of the children…!

 

It’s also good to know that young people will still be sent to fight wars and while they may drive a car and buy alcohol at (around) 18, “erotic” depictions of their bodies and their sexual practices may soon be illegal and could destroy their and their loved one’s lives.

 

Witches will be hunted. Books will be burned. Again.


Larry Horn translated for all non-lawyers!

May 23, 2010

“Yes, in view of the marketplace uncertainties regarding patent licensing needs for such technologies…”

= “In view of the FUD we spread…”

“…there have been expressions of interest from the market urging us to facilitate formation of licenses…”

= “…we’ve been repeatedly told that we are nothing but a patent troll Moloch (supported by Apple, MS and others)…”

“…that would address the market’s need for a convenient one-stop marketplace alternative to negotiating separate licenses with individual patent holders…”

= “…that is simply collecting protection money…”

“…in accessing essential patent rights for VP8 as well as other codecs, and we are looking into the prospects of doing so.”

= “…since we actually believe we own the moving image per se.”

Once more the translation:

“In view of the FUD we spread we’ve been repeatedly told that we are nothing but a patent troll Moloch (supported by Apple, MS and others) that is simply collecting protection money since we actually believe we own the moving image per se.”

Source Larry Horn interview: Digital Daily (digitaldaily.allthingsd.com)

Further reading and discussion: Patent Troll Larry Horn of MPEG-LA Assembling VP8 Patent Pool (www.osnews.com)


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