June 10, 2013

Why Hong Kong of All Places?

So...you strike a blow for civil liberties.....by leaking classified, highly sensitive info that you feel really needs to get out.

OK.

It also has potential to do much harm and you are likely to be prosecuted.

'Kaaaay.

Which stalwart defender of free speech and liberty do you flee to?

Switzerland
New Zealand
The Cayman Islands
Sealand
Liechtenstein
Iceland
Finland
...
...
CHINA *

OK I'll kind of agree with him on SeaLand. Also,  Canada and Australia are off because of very very strong extradition treaties with the US...but on the other hand.. CHINA? Seriously!?

I'm entertaining the admittedly odd theory that this is actually a Chinese move to embarrass the US and...assuming the guy has as much info as he says he has....pull off an intel coup.

Now intel coups generally don't involve one side running around saying things like "Hey Hiiiiiitler...We've got ENIIIIIGMAAA!" but in this case the data trove is...ummm...not easy to make obsolete.

I think that to the Chinese, starting a debate about civil liberties in the US is seen a major blow against us. Any reduction in state surveillance, to them, probably seems like a debilitating action. They simply don't grok the benefit of civil liberties, but they fully understand the power of information monitoring.

Even if this wasn't initiated by the Chinese, having this fellow in Hong Kong does not give me the warm fuzzies.

Did he defect or did he derp?

In one sense it doesn't matter, any damage is done and we still have the root problem to contend with.


UPDATE:
Jerry Pournelle has thoughts on the nightmares of the moment.

UPDATE 2 23:07:
Professor Jacobson points out something I'd utterly missed.
The revelations came at an opportune time for the Chinese in that they rather neutered US complaints about Chinese spying.


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:14 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1

He want to Hong Kong, which is not under the control the central Chinese Government. (It says here.)

In theory, Hong Kong has different rules, and I think that's what he was relying on.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Mon Jun 10 20:52:03 2013 (+rSRq)

2 Bradley Manning leaks, hurts Bush = National Hero
Edward Snowden leaks, hurts Obama = Off with his head!

I actually heard a Democratic lawmaker start talking about Treason charges.

Posted by: Mauser at Tue Jun 11 02:33:04 2013 (cZPoz)

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