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1. Edward Snowden may return to the United States whenever he wants. He will face great legal risk. That is not the same as exile, no more than Roman Polanski is exiled.

2. Congresspeople, who answer primarily to their campaign donors (and secondarily to vocal radicals), do not abide the U.S. government breaching contracts with companies. Any government agency seeking to exploit IP from a U.S. company won't last long.

3. The NSA doesn't need to pinch pennies when it comes to IDA Pro site licenses. It declares those expenses in its budget. Government employees don't break the law to save money. They break it to accomplish their mission, handed to them by decision makers in Executive Branch and Congress. Moreover, government lawyers interpret the law in a manner that the individual employee isn't technically breaking the law (though many actions are immoral!)

Your overall sentiment is correct, that the U.S. government perpetrates wrongdoing. Your mental model needs to incorporate a legalistic framework around that, however.

The U.S. government is full of Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, and Lawful Evil components. The Chaotic Good and Chaotic Evil actors are the ones getting indictments.




> Edward Snowden may return to the United States whenever he wants. He will face great legal risk. That is not the same as exile,

Ah yes, the “I’m swinging my arms and if you get too close and I punch you it’s your own fault” big brother defense.




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