Feeds

Ecuador denies granting asylum, safe passage to Snowden

NSA leaker's travel documents 'have no validity'

Top three mobile application threats

The government of Ecuador has stepped back from its support of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, saying it has not granted him asylum and that a travel document purportedly allowing him safe passage to the country is invalid.

For days, Ecuador's leftist government has been blasting the US over what it describes as "pressure and threats" in the Snowden affair, going as far as to renounce $23m in annual US aid and instead offer Washington $23m per year to fund "human rights training."

But in a press conference on Thursday, Fernando Alvarado, secretary of communications for Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, told the Associated Press that Snowden's status in Ecuador is hardly assured, contrary to earlier claims by WikiLeaks.

The former CIA contractor has not been granted asylum, Alvarado said, adding that for Ecuador even to process an asylum application, Snowden would need to be physically in the country or in one of its embassies – "and he isn't."

Snowden's exact whereabouts are unknown, as he hasn't been seen in days. But he is believed to be holed up somewhere within the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, consulting with lawyers from WikiLeaks as he ponders his next move.

The US government has revoked Snowden's passport, limiting his travel options considerably. Yet while he was a no-show on a flight to Cuba on Monday, he was believed to be making his way to Ecuador under a travel document issued by that country's London embassy.

The Spanish-language news service Univision leaked a copy of that document on Wednesday, which asks that other countries "give the appropriate help" to Snowden as he heads to Ecuador "for the purpose of political asylum."

But during Thursday's press conference, Betty Tola, Ecuador's secretary of political management, said the document had been issued without the authority of the government in Quito, the Andean nation's capital, and that it therefore "has no validity."

The lack of valid travel documents could be a serious roadblock for Snowden. Some Russian officials have suggested that the NSA PRISM leaker could request asylum in that country – which, if granted, would at least allow him to leave the airport – but the tense political relationship between Russia and the US makes that option unlikely.

On Thursday, President Obama cautioned Russia and any other country considering granting asylum​ to Snowden to "recognize that they are a part of an international community and they should be abiding by international law."

Whether the President's comments have cooled support for Snowden in Ecuador – which uses the US dollar as its legal tender – is unclear. When asked about the matter on Thursday, Ecuador's President Correa said only, "It's a complex situation, we don't know how it'll be resolved." ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.