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Edward Snowden : A Game Changer in the World of Digital Privacy

In an era where privacy has become a commodity and personal data a currency, Edward Snowden’s revelations were nothing short of a watershed moment in the history of digital privacy. A former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance programs of the NSA and its allies, exposing the extent to which governments and corporations had infringed on the privacy of individuals all over the world.


In 2013, Snowden, then a contractor for the NSA, revealed to journalists at The Guardian and The Washington Post, thousands of classified documents that he had collected during his tenure. These documents detailed the existence of numerous global surveillance programs, run by the NSA and its partners from the Five Eyes alliance – United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. One of the most controversial programs revealed was PRISM, which allowed the NSA to access the servers of major tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple, and collect user data without their knowledge.


Snowden’s revelations sparked a global conversation about privacy, civil liberties, and the role of government in the digital age. The documents he leaked exposed the vast extent of the surveillance state, revealing that the NSA had been collecting telephone records of millions of Americans, monitoring the communications of foreign leaders, and conducting mass surveillance on citizens all around the world.


The fallout from the Snowden affair was immediate and far-reaching. In the United States, the revelations led to a heated debate over the balance between national security and individual privacy. The exposure of these programs raised serious questions about the legality and ethics of mass surveillance, prompting calls for reform. In 2015, the USA Freedom Act was passed, ending the bulk collection of phone records by the NSA and requiring the agency to obtain a court order to access specific records.


Internationally, the Snowden revelations strained relations between the United States and its allies, as it was revealed that the NSA had been spying on foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Many countries, including Brazil and Germany, called for greater oversight of intelligence agencies and the creation of international norms for digital privacy.


Moreover, the Snowden affair led to a renewed emphasis on privacy and security in the technology sector. Major tech companies, facing a backlash from users, began to invest more in encryption and other security measures to protect user data. This increased focus on privacy also spurred the development of privacy-focused technologies and services, such as encrypted messaging apps and virtual private networks (VPNs).


In conclusion, Edward Snowden’s actions brought to light the alarming extent of government surveillance in the digital age, prompting a global conversation about privacy, civil liberties, and the role of government in a digital world. While the debate over the merits of Snowden’s actions continues, there is no denying the significant impact that his revelations had on the world. His courage to expose the truth, despite the personal consequences, has made him a hero to many and a traitor to some. Regardless of one’s stance on Snowden, his actions undeniably ignited a much-needed dialogue on privacy and surveillance in the modern age.

A Timeline of Events in the Edward Snowden Whistleblowering Saga


Edward Snowden’s journey from being a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor to permanent exile in Russia is marked by several key events:


Late 2005 to 2006: Edward Snowden begins working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a computer technician. He later becomes a CIA operative, stationed overseas.


2009: Snowden leaves the CIA and begins working for various private contractors, including Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, where he is assigned to work on projects for the NSA.


March 2013: Snowden takes a position with Booz Allen Hamilton as a systems analyst, working at an NSA facility in Hawaii. This is where he begins collecting classified documents that detail the NSA’s global surveillance programs.


May 20, 2013: Snowden leaves for Hong Kong, telling his employer he needs time off for epilepsy treatment. He carries with him four laptops containing classified documents.


June 5, 2013: The Guardian publishes the first in a series of articles based on the documents provided by Snowden, revealing the NSA’s collection of phone records of millions of Americans.


June 9, 2013: Edward Snowden publicly identifies himself as the source of the leaks in a video interview with The Guardian.


June 14, 2013: The U.S. Department of Justice files criminal charges against Snowden, including theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.


June 23, 2013: Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Moscow, despite having his U.S. passport revoked. He is accompanied by Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks advisor.

July 1, 2013:Countries, including Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and Venezuela. Many of these countries either reject his application or say it can only be considered if he is on their soil.


July 12, 2013: Several countries offer Snowden asylum, including Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia. However, travel becomes complicated because his U.S. passport has been revoked.


August 1, 2013: After spending over a month in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, Snowden is granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year.


August 7, 2014: Snowden is granted a three-year residence permit in Russia, which allows him to travel freely within the country and go abroad for short periods.


January 17, 2017: President Barack Obama commutes the sentence of Chelsea Manning, another high-profile leaker, raising hopes that Snowden might also receive clemency. However, Obama does not pardon Snowden.


January 18, 2017: Snowden’s lawyer says that his client would like to return to the U.S. if he could be guaranteed a fair trial.


2020: Snowden is granted permanent residency in Russia.

2021-Forward: Currently, Edward Snowden remains in Russia, where he continues to speak out about surveillance, privacy, and civil liberties.


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Amnesty Watch

Julian Assange // Amnesty Watch

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Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been detained in the United Kingdom’s Belmarsh Prison since April 2019, raising serious questions about the legality of his detainment. Assange has been a controversial figure since WikiLeaks began publishing classified documents in 2010, exposing corruption, human rights abuses, and war crimes committed by various governments around the world. His detainment brings to light critical issues regarding freedom of the press, political asylum, and extraterritorial jurisdiction.


Firstly, Assange sought and was granted political asylum by Ecuador in 2012, fearing extradition to the United States, where he could face charges that might lead to the death penalty or life imprisonment. International law recognizes the right to seek asylum, and the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention prohibits the refoulement of a refugee to a territory where his life or freedom would be threatened. Despite this, the Ecuadorian government, under President Lenin Moreno, controversially revoked Assange’s asylum in April 2019, leading to his arrest by British police. This revocation and subsequent arrest are dubious at best, as international law mandates that once asylum is granted, it cannot be arbitrarily revoked.


Secondly, the case against Assange revolves around his role in the publication of classified documents. However, it is crucial to recognize that Assange is a publisher and journalist. The charges against him set a dangerous precedent for press freedom, as they criminalize activities that journalists regularly engage in, such as receiving and publishing classified information. This has led many to argue that the charges against Assange are politically motivated and designed to stifle investigative journalism.


Finally, the extraterritorial application of U.S. law is deeply concerning. Assange is an Australian citizen who operated outside the United States, yet he faces extradition to the U.S. to stand trial for alleged offenses under U.S. law. This raises fundamental questions about jurisdiction and the extraterritorial application of national laws.


In conclusion, the detainment of Julian Assange raises significant legal and ethical concerns. From the revocation of his asylum to the implications for press freedom and the extraterritorial application of U.S. law, there are compelling reasons to argue that his detainment is illegal. It is essential to address these issues to uphold the principles of international law, human rights, and press freedom.

Timeline of Events that Lead to the Illegal Imprisonment of Julian Assange

April 2010: WikiLeaks releases a classified US military video showing an Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters journalists.


July 2010: WikiLeaks publishes the Afghanistan war logs, revealing covert operations and intelligence gathering in the Afghanistan war.


August 2010: Swedish prosecutors issue an arrest warrant for Assange on allegations of sexual misconduct and rape, which he denies. Assange leaves Sweden for the UK.


November 2010: Swedish authorities issue an international arrest warrant for Assange. He fights extradition from the UK.


December 2010: Assange is arrested in London on the Swedish arrest warrant. He is released on bail but fights extradition to Sweden.


May 2012: The UK Supreme Court rules that Assange should be extradited to Sweden. Fearing extradition to the US, Assange takes refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, requesting political asylum.


August 2012: Ecuador grants Assange political asylum.


August 2012 – April 2019: Assange stays in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid arrest and extradition.


April 2019: Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno revokes Assange’s asylum, stating that he violated the terms of his asylum. British police arrest Assange inside the embassy.


May 2019: Assange is sentenced to 50 weeks in prison by a UK court for breaching bail conditions in 2012.


April 2019 – Present: Assange is detained in Belmarsh prison in London. He fights extradition to the US, where he faces multiple charges related to the publication of classified documents with a possible prison sentence of 175 years – a number to scare any other international journalist to speak out against the United States empire.

The CIA’s Plan to Assassinate Julian Assange

In 2021, Yahoo News reported that the CIA had discussed plans to kidnap or assassinate Julian Assange during the Trump administration. According to the report, senior officials within the CIA and the Trump administration had discussed various options to deal with the WikiLeaks founder, who was at the time taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The discussions reportedly included proposals for kidnapping, poisoning, and even a shooting in the streets of London. These discussions were part of a broader effort by the CIA to label WikiLeaks as a “hostile non-state intelligence service,” which would then justify more aggressive actions against Assange and his organization.

The revelations about the CIA’s plans to assassinate Assange raised serious concerns about the lengths to which the US government is willing to go to silence its critics. It also raised questions about the legality and ethics of such actions. Many human rights organizations and legal experts have argued that the assassination of Assange would have been a clear violation of international law and an affront to the principles of democracy and freedom of the press.

The reports about the CIA’s plans to assassinate Julian Assange are deeply troubling and highlight the need for greater oversight and accountability within the intelligence community. It is essential that governments around the world respect the principles of international law and the rights of individuals, regardless of their actions or opinions.

Read Full Story at Yahoo News

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Amnesty Watch

Alexei Navalny // Amnesty Watch




Alexei Navalny is a Russian lawyer, anti-corruption activist, and opposition leader. He gained prominence in Russia and internationally for his investigations into corruption by Russian officials and his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government.

Navalny started his career as a lawyer and began blogging about corruption in 2008. In 2011, he started the Anti-Corruption Foundation, an organization dedicated to investigating and exposing corruption in Russia.

He has been arrested multiple times for his activism and has spent time in jail on several occasions. In 2013, he ran for mayor of Moscow and came in second with 27% of the vote, a remarkable achievement for an opposition candidate in Russia.

In 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent while on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. He was treated in Germany and made a full recovery. He returned to Russia in January 2021 and was immediately arrested upon arrival. He was subsequently sentenced to two and a half years in prison for violating the terms of a suspended sentence from a 2014 fraud conviction, a case that he and his supporters argue was politically motivated.

Navalny’s poisoning, arrest, and imprisonment have drawn international condemnation and have led to protests in Russia and around the world. His courage and determination have made him a symbol of resistance against the Putin regime and a key figure in the Russian opposition movement

Alexei Navalny Timeline of Events

1998-1999: Studied Russian law and securities and exchanges at Yale University.

2008: Started blogging about alleged corruption in Russian politics.

2011: Started the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK).

2013: Ran for Mayor of Moscow and came in second with 27% of the vote.

2014: Placed under house arrest for embezzlement charges, which he claimed were politically motivated.

2017: Announced his intention to run for President of Russia in the 2018 election but was barred from running due to his criminal conviction.

2018: Organized a series of nationwide protests against the government of Vladimir Putin.

2020: Poisoned with a nerve agent in August and spent several months in a coma.

2021: Returned to Russia in January and was immediately arrested. Sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in February.

2021: Went on a hunger strike in prison to demand proper medical treatment.

2023: As of my last update, Navalny is still imprisoned in Russia and just had 19 years added to his 3.5 year sentence for

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Amnesty Watch

David McBride // Amnesty Watch




🟠 // Support David McBride Directly

David McBride, lawyer and whistleblower. He served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and completed two tours in Afghanistan. He is best known for leaking classified documents to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that exposed alleged war crimes committed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.


The documents, known as the “Afghan Files,” were the basis for a series of investigative reports published by ABC in 2017. The reports alleged that Australian special forces had killed unarmed civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan, and that these incidents were covered up by the ADF.


McBride was charged with multiple offences, including theft of commonwealth property, unauthorized disclosure of information, and breach of the Defence Act. He admitted to leaking the documents but argued that he did so in the public interest, as he believed that the ADF and the Australian government were engaged in a cover-up.


His case has raised important questions about the balance between national security and the public’s right to know, and has sparked debate about the need for stronger whistleblower protections in Australia.


As of September 2021, David McBride’s trial was ongoing, and he faced the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. Please note that I am unable to provide any updates on his case or any other events that have occurred since that time

Timeline of Events in the David McBride Saga

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, here is a timeline of key events involving Australian whistleblower David McBride:


2014: David McBride leaked classified documents to ABC journalists.

2017: ABC published a series of reports based on the leaked documents, known as the “Afghan Files”.

2018: McBride was arrested and charged with multiple offences, including theft of commonwealth property and unauthorized disclosure of information.

2019: McBride was committed to stand trial in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court.

2020: McBride’s legal team argued that the charges against him should be dropped on public interest grounds, but this argument was rejected by the court and is now facing 50 years to life in prison


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