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realclearworld

If Snowden thinks things are bad in the U.S., wait until he gets to Ecuador

NSA leaker Edward Snowden has picked a helluva country to hide in and avoid the intrusive invasion of privacy being perpetrated on American citizens by the U.S. government.

Can you say "phony"?

Via Buzzfeed:

Exclusive: Documents Illuminate Ecuador’s Spying Practices

The country where anti-surveillance hero Edward Snowden wants to take refuge spent half a million dollars on an Israeli-made “GSM interceptor” in a deal brokered by a U.S. middleman. Seeking the capacity to “intercept text messages, falsify and modify the text messages” among other tricks.

http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/webdr06/2013/6/25/18/enhanced-buzz-26788-1372198432-10.jpg

WASHINGTON — The intelligence agency of Ecuador appears to have sought in recent months to obtain new equipment for a large-scale surveillance, according to confidential government documents obtained by BuzzFeed.

The capabilities sought by Ecuador resemble the National Security Agency practices revealed by Edward Snowden, who is reportedly seeking asylum in the left-leaning Latin American republic.

The Ecuadorian documents — stamped “Secret” — obtained by BuzzFeed appear to show the government purchasing a “GSM Interceptor” system, among other domestic spying tools, and they suggest a commitment to domestic surveillance that rivals the practices by the United States’ National Security Agency that are at the center of a fierce national debate. They include both covert surveillance capacities and the targeting of President Rafael Correa’s enemies on social media. According to the files, SENAIN keeps close tabs on the Facebook and Twitter accounts of journalists, opposition politicians and other individuals, some with few followers.

Ecuador, which has been harboring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for over a year at its embassy, has been internationally criticized for a recent communications law that is widely seen as a gag order for the media and includes prohibitions on “media lynching.”

Ecuador also has a record of being ahead of the game in domestic surveillance. Last year, it became the first country in the world to implement a nation-wide facial and voice recognition system.

Continue reading HERE.

3 comments to If Snowden thinks things are bad in the U.S., wait until he gets to Ecuador

  • La Conchita

    We should care more about what truths have been revealed, and less about where he winds up.

  • pototo

    Exactly! What he said about spying on us needed to be revealed.

  • Honey

    I disagree. If there were any possibility that Snowden was on the side of liberty, I have lost my ability to believe that anymore once I see where he is seeking refuge. Any intelligent, clear thinking person understands that there are no ethical principles and no one's privacy is safe in the countries Snowden feels comfortable choosing to escape to. He could have gone to someone on the intelligence committee with his info or Fox News or Drudge. He could have used what he acquired to illustrate how easy it is to obtain secrets or to let Americans know that they are being watched. But he chose to flee and not to an ally, but to countries that are no friends of the United States.

    Want to hear a crazy theory? Perhaps Obama wanted these secrets shared with communists so he used Snowden to get the info out to them. This makes just as much sense as Snowden thinking he is better off in Russia, Cuba or Ecuador. And Obama, by his own admission is not doing a whole lot to try to get him back.(Of course Obama cannot do much since no one is paying any attention to him.)
    I can't get that image out of my head of Obama whispering to Putin about waiting until he is reelected, then he can have a more free hand.