Friday, April 12, 2019

Assange, Manning, and Snowden Thoughts

I am forced to post once a week on my blog as I am working on my book.  I feel that I have to comment on the arrests of Julian Assange and Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning and Edward Snowden's continued exile in Russia.  Some like Noam Chomsky below see it as a blatant violation of freedom of the press.  Others see it as necessary to protect counter terrorism operations.

There is a sexual assault allegation against Assange in Sweden which may or may not be true and which was the original reason for him to be ensconced at the Ecuadorian embassy.  He is also charged in the US with working with Manning to hack into a defense department account for classified info that he (he was a he then) did not have access to.  It is so far unclear if Assange will be extradited to the US or Sweden.

Snowden remains in Russia with asylum from the government.  Russia hasn't always been a paragon of virtue on civil liberties and the freedom of the press.  His asylum could be revoked at any time and he would have to face the music in the US.  

It is always dangerous to be a whistle blower at the highest level of the US power structure. It takes a lot of bravery to challenge the powers that be.  For me it is possible to learn a lot by investigating publicly available data.  I have no desire to have access to national security data as it is increasingly dangerous to work with.  Having access to a small piece of data can be easily misinterpreted when the proper context is not understood.

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