21 Countries And Rising Have Joined Anti-NSA UN Resolution Discussions

RT reports that 21 countries have joined in draft discussions at the UN for an anti-NSA resolution to be passed. In the discussions are the following nations: Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Norway, Paraguay, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela. The resolution seeks to condemn indiscriminate and extra-territorial surveillance and rectify that with independent oversight of all electronic monitoring.

The resolution was proposed earlier this week by Germany and Brazil, two of the largest and most vocal critics of the USA’s global spying operations. While the document does not single out the USA or NSA specifically, the rhetoric is clearly a direct attack on the NSA’s exposed global surveillance practices.

The draft resolutions states that UN members are “deeply concerned at human rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of extra-territorial surveillance or interception of communications in foreign jurisdictions.” and that “illegal surveillance of private communications and the indiscriminate interception of personal data of citizens constitutes a highly intrusive act that violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society.”

Image courtesy of Joshua Lott / Getty Images / AFP

USA Applying Diplomatic Pressure To Latin America To Reject Snowden

 

In an attempt to prevent Edward Snowden from seeking asylum in Latin America the USA is applying diplomatic pressure to Latin American countries such as Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others. Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia have already made formal offers of asylum to Edward Snowden and the USA is trying to ensure that no other sympathisers get on board with the NSA whistleblower.

A NY Times report suggests that the USA has been threatening Latin American countries. They have stated that letting Edward Snowden in would “have lasting consequences” and “would put relations in a very bad place for a long time to come”. Furthermore they state that all state governments understand their position right now and should do their best to support the USA in bring Snowden back to the USA for trial.

Despite these threats it seems unlikely that Latin America will give way to American pressure any time soon as Ecuador and Venezuela have already publicly condemned the USA, Cuba have backed the actions of Latin America and at the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) meeting last week the overwhelming consensus was anti-USA.

We wonder what options the USA has left before it has to resort to dirty-tactics like anti-competitive trade practices or military expeditions.

Image courtesy of brlatina.com

Snowden Gets Issued A World Passport By World Services Authority

The World Services Authority (WSA) is a Washington-based branch of the world government of world citizens. Just yesterday it issued a “World Passport” to Edward Snowden giving him “world citizenship”. The announcement on Twitter by the WSA yesterday read:

“WSA issues World Passport to Edward Snowden Based upon article 13 (2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

The WSA founder stated the Snowden situation was unprecedented and revealed the power of one individual against the state. Hhowever he claimed that Snowden being stuck at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo was a fiction of the nation-state border and not fair. Sadly though, only four nation states recognise the world passport and they are Togo, Tanzania, Mauritania and Ecuador. Interestingly enough Ecuador was previously on Snowden’s asylum list and with a world passport he could legally travel there. Once he arrives there he is unlikely to be extradited as Ecuador have already stated they will stand up against “Imperialist Powers”.

We eagerly await what Ecuador has to say about this potentially loophole and wonder what Snowden’s prospects are for Ecuador. That said he still has offers from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia if he doesn’t feel like playing the lottery with Ecuador. That said the hardest part for Snowden is still going to be getting to Venezuela without being intercepted by the USA and its allies.

Image courtesy of abrighterfuture (MySpace) 

NSA Spied On Countries In Latin America

The NSA has been spying on the whole world, that’s not news to anyone. However, on the back of the USA trying to exert pressure on Latin America to not accept Edward Snowden’s asylum these latest revelations could deal a fatal blow to the USA. O Globo reports that the USA has been spying extensively on Latin America. Countries like Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador (and probably the rest of Latin America) have all been regular spying targets of the NSA.

Apparently the NSA hasn’t limited its spying operations to just military affairs and has also been stealing trade secrets from the Latin American oil industry, notably Venezuela. Latin America was targeted by “PRISM” and “Boundless Informant”. PRISM enables access to emails, chat logs and voice calls through American-based internet companies and Boundless Informant is capable of cataloguing phone calls and internet access.

The USA reportedly used PRISM to collect data regarding oil and military purchases fropm Venezuela and energy and narcotics from Mexico. Other victims of “lower level” spying were Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador. No doubt this latest revelation will spur more Latin American countries into offering Edward Snowden asylum. Investigations are already taking in Brazil over the reported intelligence breaches.

Image courtesy of Gringos.com

 

Ecuador’s London Consul In Trouble Over Assisting Snowden

Ecuador’s London consul, Fidel Narvaez, is facing the hot-seat after assisting Edward Snowden without the explicit permission or authority of the Ecuadorian government according to El Commercio. Fidel Narvaez assisted Edward Snowden to flee Hong Kong by providing him with the relevant travel documentation. He did so after receiving an emergency phone call in the middle of the night from Julian Assange and the decision was made without consulting the relevant Ecuadorian authorities or the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.

Ecuadorian authorities are unhappy that the London consul acted at the order of Julian Assange, a man being saved from extradition by Ecuadorian asylum by living in the Ecuador Embassy in London. Fidel Narvaez is now accused by the Ecuadorian government of exceeding his authorities of duty and will face punishment. Yet without the help of the London consul, Fidel Narvaez, Edward Snowden would probably have not made it safely to Moscow’s airport without being arrested by the USA. Though we cannot predict what the Hong Kong’s government response would have been to American extradition requests.

Either way some interesting developments are sure to come out of this situation with the Ecuadorian diplomats and government.

Image courtesy of KomoNews.com

Latin American Countries Host Emergency Meeting, Condemn The USA

The Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the incident in which Bolivia’s President Evo Morales had his plane forcibly grounded amid suspicions NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard. The incident triggered outrage from many Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador while other nations attended to show their support for the conclusion of the UNASUR meeting. Colombia, Chile and Peru all have very strong ties with the USA and thus did not attend but expressed their solidarity with Bolivia.

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro stated that “Violation of international law against Evo Morales is against all of us” while Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa said “We are here to support Bolivia”. Bolivia had much strong words to say calling the incident a “flagrant violation of international treaties” and demanded an apology from all involved parties. Furthermore, Evo Morales of Bolivia threatened to shut down the U.S embassy in his country. 

Of the denounced nations (The USA, Spain, Italy, France and Portugal) only Spain have responded stating “Spain doesn’t have to ask pardon in anyway because its airspace was never closed“. Some big rhetoric is now going down in Latin American with the USA and who knowes we might see Edward Snowden granted asylum as a political weapon against the USA.

Image courtesy of UNASUR

Ecuador Says It Has Been “Infiltrated From All Sides” By Surveillance

Ecuador’s heavy involvement with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as well as their relatively tentative involvement with the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, has reportedly left them being “infiltrated from all sides” according to their Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. He stated that they found a bugged microphone at their embassy in London where Julian Assange is currently residing. Ricardo Patino refused to state which nation the bugged microphone belonged to but he did mention that Ecuador would contact the appropriate nation to ask for an explanation.

Ricardo Patino went on to further state that he believed the bugged embassy in London showed a:

“loss of ethics at an international level in the relations that we have with other governments”

This loss of ethics towards Ecuador is probably in part due to their decision to offer Julian Assange a rite of safe passage and give him a safe place to stay in the Ecuador’s London embassy. Apparently the bug had been found 3 weeks ago but was kept quiet to avoid causing a stir as the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister visited the UK to discuss Julian Assange. This discovery comes in the wake of the EU calling for a search of all diplomatic ministeries and buildings to remove American surveillance bugs.

Image courtesy of KomoNews.com

Snowden’s Asylum Options: 1 Withdrawn 10 Rejected 10 Pending

According to reports by RT.com Snowden’s options for political asylum are rapidly evaporating. The NSA whistleblower has withdrawn his application for Asylum to Russia after they told him he could only have asylum if he stopped “damaging” the USA, a condition he was not prepared to agree to. Furthermore Finland, Brazil, Poland, India and Germany all rejected his asylum claim outright stating they were not willing to accept him. Spain, Norway, Italy, Ecuador and Austria also rejected Snowden’s asylum request on the grounds that he had to be already inside the country for it to be processed. These rejections bring the total numbers of rejections to 10, and with the single withdrawal, 11 of Snowden’s options have already been vaporised.

So what options are left for the NSA whistleblower? Well he still has Bolivia, China, Cuba, France, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Switzerland and Venezuela left to reply. Of those ten remaining options China says it is not aware of the request and France has denied ever receiving such an Asylum request and since they also recently blocked a Bolivian Jet from flying through their airspace because of suspicions that Edward Snowden was onboard it could easily turn out that France will reject the request too.

As of writing the most likely nations to accept seem to be Venezuela and Bolivia after they both expressed anti-USA sentiments and stated their willingness to protect Snowden.

Image courtesy of the Guardian

Ecuador’s President Correa Says He Helped Snowden By Mistake

According to fresh reports by RT.com the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will not be helped by Ecuador despite earlier rhetoric made by its president Rafael Correa. President Correa stated that he has no responsibility to get Edward Snowden safely to Ecuador and that it is Russia’s duty to do such a thing, this aligns with previous statements made by President Correa stating that Snowden’s fate is in Russia hand’s.

“Are we responsible for getting him to EcuadorIt’s not logicalThe country that has to give him a safe conduct document is Russia.”

Furthermore despite the words of Assange, Snowden and the Ecuadorian consul, President Correa states that Ecuador has no intention of issuing a pass of safe passage for the American fugitive. Referring to his diplomat who offered a safe travel pass without his authorisation Correa stated the following:

“So I told him: Okay, if you think you did the right thing, I respect your decision, but you could not give, without authorization, that safe conduct pass. It was completely invalid, and he will have to accept the consequences.”

To top everything off, President Correa was asked if he would like to meet Snowden and his response was a simple “not particularly”. It seems that the top expected destination for Snowden is now off limits and after the recent list published by WikiLeaks, about Snowden’s asylum applications, we can see Ecuador is no longer considered an option.

Has President Correa bowed down to the pressure of the USA, of whom Joe Biden VP contacted him to discuss some things. Or does President Correa just not want to get involved with the whole saga?

Image courtesy of the CostaRicaNews.com

Ecuador’s President Says Snowden’s Fate Is In Russia’s Control

The saga surrounding Edward Snowden and his ultimate destination seems to be getting more complex. Now RT reports that the solution to Edward Snowden’s situation is entirely in the hands of the Russia government and authorities. It also seems that Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa is becoming ever more frustrated with WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange who is trying to call the shots. President Correa reminded people that it is Snowden and others that contacted Ecuador first, not the other way around.

“We have not sought out this situation. Snowden is in contact with [WikiLeaks founder Julian] Assange, who recommended he seek asylum in Ecuador,”

Despite stating that it is in Russian’s hands Putin already dismissed such claims stating:

“We can only extradite foreign citizens to such countries with which we have signed the appropriate international agreements on criminal extradition…Snowden is a free person. The sooner he chooses his final destination, the better it is for him and Russia”

Furthermore, reports that Edward Snowden was given special travel documents by the Ecuadorian government were claimed to be false by Ecuador’s President. He stated that Fidel Narvaez, the Ecuadorian diplomant, was “exceeding his authority in”  granting travel documents that weren’t approved by the president and that he will now be punished.

Finally to make things even more confusing the Ecuadorian President stated that:

“when he [Snowden] comes to Ecuadoran soil, if in fact he ever does, and we have to process the request, the first people whose opinion we will seek is that of the United States.”

So for the meantime it looks like Edward Snowden is stuck in limbo and his safety might not be as safe as many think.

Image courtesy of TheCostaRicaNews.com

Ecuador And Venezuela Unite Against The USA

While the USA is increasing pressure on foreign countries to hand Edward Snowden over to them for criminal trials the rest of the world is standing defiant. Ecuador took their stand against the USA recently by flat-out rejecting a deal for customs privileges with the USA in return for handing over Edward Snowden once he arrives in Ecuador where he is believed to be seeking political asylum.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has backed the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa and stated that

“You can count on us, President Correa, in everything you may need” according to Itar-Tass.

Furthermore the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa stated yesterday that

“Ecuador will not accept pressures or threats from anyone, and it does not traffic in its values to allow them to be subjugated to mercantile interests” according to El Telegrafo.

And as if that wasn’t rubbing defiance in the face of the USA enough the Latin American presidential duo went as far as to offer yearly funding for human rights training in the USA just to drive their point home that they will not be handing Edward Snowden over any time soon.

This is certainly materialising into one of the biggest changes of the world’s geopolitical power in many years and it is great to see that internet freedom is driving it all.

Image courtesy of Nicolas Maduro

PRISM Whistleblower Snowden Travelling Via Moscow To Unknown Third Country

The American whistleblower Edward Snowden is a wanted man in the USA after spilling the beans on details so controversial they have millions of people bitter and angry. Throughout this storm the whistleblower has been riding it out in Hong Kong but recently the American government has been filing paperwork to force an extradition.

As a result of this Edward Snowden certainly doesn’t want to be hanging around and has already taken a flight to Moscow to then get another flight to an unknown third country. Apparently WikiLeaks are aiding Edward Snowden with finding political asylum in a democratic country, believed to be either Iceland or Ecuador.

The Hong Kong government stated that Edward Snowden left legally and voluntarily and that the extradition request submitted by the American government “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law”. The Russian government are apparently surprised by Edward Snowden’s arrival and were not expecting it but there is almost no doubt that they will let Edward Snowden pass through freely onto his final destination, whatever that may be.

Hong Kong’s statement about Edward Snowden was pretty interesting and it was almost a message of defiance against the USA. You can read it in full below:

Image #1 courtesy of the Guardian and Image #2 courtesy of RussiaToday

Google Street View Extends To…..The Galapagos Islands!?

If there’s one thing we’ve all learnt about Google by now, it is that they get absolutely everywhere. Their latest expedition extended Google “Street” view to the Galapagos Islands. No, it doesn’t have any streets but why not photograph it anyway? Google is on a mission to cover the whole world in street view and it is doing a pretty good job at it so far.

As the above image shows Google used its “Street View Trekker”, or backpack mounted Street View Cameras, to capture the beauty of the Galapagos islands. Google spent 10 days on the islands trekky to plenty of remote locations, hiking and even going into the sea to get some underwater pictures. I am sure it was a “really tough” trip for Google, having to spend 10 days in the Galapagos Islands “working” (more like on holiday…).

Unfortunately you’re going to have to wait a few months before the images are resized, sorted through, geotagged and uploaded to the Google Maps service to be viewed by you. Google has made a blog post about it if you are interested, so definitely check it out because it has some more pictures and some extra details.

Where do you think Google Street View should head off to next? Personally I think North Korea would make a great expedition!

Image Credit Google