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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:00 PM

The Errors of Edward Snowden and His Global Hypocrisy Tour

2:00 PM, June 26 2013
By Kurt Eichenwald

... I know that, from the time he disclosed classified documents about the mass collection of Americans’ telecommunications data, there have been plenty of debates about whether Snowden is a whistle-blower or a traitor. And I can understand that disagreement when it comes to the data-mining program that slurps up e-mail and phone data of American citizens. But what, exactly, is Snowden attempting to prove with his China revelations? That countries engage in espionage? That the United States listens in on communications of countries with which it maintains often tense and occasionally volatile relations?

The existence of electronic espionage seems to be his beef ...

The irony of someone purportedly dedicated to privacy and human rights aiding the Chinese government grew even starker while Snowden was in Hong Kong. Last week, Human Rights Watch issued a report condemning a massive surveillance campaign undertaken by the Chinese government in Tibetan villages, which results in political re-education of those who may question the Communist regime and the establishment of partisan security units ...

As for Russia, the crackdown on public activism has intensified in recent months, which, again, has led to Human Rights Watch issuing a report just a few weeks before Snowden landed in Moscow. “The crackdown is threatening civil society,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The EU has spoken out strongly in recent months, but now is the time to directly call on Russia’s leadership to revise restrictive laws and stop the harassment of independent groups.” Primarily, the Russians are going after hundreds of rights groups and related activist organizations as part of a massive campaign to force them to register as foreign agents. “The authorities are seeking to define ‘political’ so broadly as to make any involvement in public life that is not controlled by the government off-limits,” Williamson said. “They are also trying to tarnish groups with the ‘foreign agents’ label, which in Russia can only mean ‘spy’”


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