I liked the press release issued by the Hong Kong authorities on the departure of Edward Snowden “before the United States could get its extradition paperwork correct”. It was a splendid piece of wording, complete with a polite threat of retaliation: worthy of our own Foreign Office in its halcyon days. Is Snowden on his way, via Moscow to Ireland (in furtherance of conspiracy theory four), Iceland, New Zealand (to join Kim Dotcom), Cuba or Ecuador (to join Julian Assange if the latter does not die of old age in London)? Moving from Hawaii, via Hong Kong to Moscow would be a high price to pay for treachery but may explain the motivation, especially if the reward is luxury in Cuba.
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My thanks to Ian Brown and FIPR for helping keep me abreast of the story without having to read all the newspapers. I also enjoyed Ian’s attempt to summarise UK law in this area. I am not qualified to comment on its accuracy but conspiracy aficionados might like to know that the requirement under the ETSI Lawful Intercept Standards to be able “to hide the existence of other simultaneous wiretaps from each intercepting agency.” was supposedly to handle situations where independent French investigating magistrates were organising parallel surveillance operations which might or might not have the support of the various state security services, or be into them. It was not to handle situations where MI5 is spying on MI6 (or vice versa), as in some of the episodes of Spooks – which I am rewatching with renewed interest between episodes of The Americans.