Crouch writes: "The whistleblower will not travel to Norway next week to accept award after national broadcaster released letters US sent in 2013 requesting extradition."
Edward Snowden. (photo: Mark Wallheiser/Getty)
FBI Demanded Scandinavian Countries Arrest Edward Snowden
By David Crouch, Guardian UK
28 August 15
The whistleblower will not travel to Norway next week to accept award after national broadcaster released letters US sent in 2013 requesting extradition
The FBI demanded that Scandinavian countries arrest and extradite Edward Snowden if he flew to any of those countries and claimed asylum, newly released official documents reveal.
In the summer of 2013 the whistleblower had left his hotel in Hong Kong and was holed up in Moscow airport applying to various countries, including Norway, for asylum after leaking to the Guardian a massive cache of documents disclosing the shocking extent of US and British surveillance of digital communications.
Suspecting that Snowden might seek asylum in Scandinavia, the FBI wrote from the US embassy in Copenhagen to the police forces of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland to inform them that the US Department of Justice had charged Snowden with theft and espionage, and issued a provisional warrant for his arrest, according to documents released by Norway’s national broadcaster NRK.
“The US Department of Justice is prepared to immediately draft the necessary paperwork to request the extradition of Snowden to the US from whichever country he travels to from Moscow,” the letter, dated 27 June, states. “The FBI expresses its gratitude … for any assistance that can be provided on this important matter.”
In a separate letter to the Norwegian foreign ministry on the same day, the US embassy in Oslo spelled out its request that the government of Norway should “effectuate the return of Mr Snowden to the United States by way of denial of entry, deportation, expulsion or other legal means”.
In a subsequent letter dated 4 July the embassy repeated its request that Snowden be arrested and extradited to the US under the 1977 extradition treaty between the two countries.
Snowden’s lawyer Ben Wizner told NRK he suspects that the US sent similar documents to most of Europe and other countries at the time.
Snowden has been invited to Norway next week to receive the Bjørnson Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression, but he decided not to travel because he could not receive guarantees from the Norwegian government that he would not be extradited, the academy told NRK.
The Norwegian government said it had not replied to the requests from the FBI and the US embassy in Oslo to extradite Snowden because he had not come to Norway.
Julian Assange, the whistleblowing journalist wanted by the US for leaking thousands of diplomatic and military communications, sought asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London three years ago because of his fears of extradition to the US should he comply with Swedish demands to travel to Stockholm for interrogation over sexual assault allegations. Sweden has declined to issue a guarantee of his safety, arguing that Assange would be adequately protected by human rights legislation.
Informed by the Guardian about the NRK revelations, Thomas Olsson, one of Julian Assange’s legal team in Stockholm, said: “This shows the Americans are very determined to get their hands on people that they think have damaged their security or a threat to security policy, and that includes of course Julian Assange.”
A spokesperson for the Swedish police said the FBI’s request was a matter for the Prosecution Authority, which stated: “Normally the Swedish Prosecution Authority gets involved after a person is apprehended and the police need to contact a prosecutor in order to get the suspected under
C 2015 Reader Supported News
Peralta writes: "In some ways, this decision is much less important now that Congress has passed a law that changes the way metadata is collected by the government. If you remember, after a fierce battle, both houses of Congress voted in favor of a law that lets phone companies keep that database but still allows the government to query it for specific data."
An aerial view of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland. (photo: Reuters)
US Appeals Court Overturns Decision That NSA Metadata Collection Was Illegal
By Eyder Peralta, NPR
28 August 15
A three-judge panel for a U.S. appeals court has thrown out a lower-court decision that sought to stop the NSA from continuing to collect metadata on phone calls made by Americans.
The lower court ruling had found that the practice was unconstitutional.
In some ways, this decision is much less important now that Congress has passed a law that changes the way metadata is collected by the government. If you remember, after a fierce battle, both houses of Congress voted in favor of a law that lets phone companies keep that database but still allows the government to query it for specific data.
The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia still decided to take on the case, because that new program doesn't begin until 180 days after the date that law was enacted (June 2, 2015).
Until then, and as a result of this decision, the NSA is allowed to continue with its metadata collection program.
The court reversed a decision by Judge Richard Leon and sent it back to him for further proceedings.
This court did not make its decision on Constitutional terms; instead, it ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to receive a preliminary injunction. The court sent the case back to Judge Leon to see if the plaintiffs could cobble up more evidence showing they are being directly targeted by the bulk collection program.
The complication there is the U.S. government has in the past refused to turn over that evidence, claiming it is secret.
C 2015 Reader Supported News
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