Feeds

Screw it, says NSA leaker Snowden: I'm applying for asylum in Russia

Web-spying whistleblower proves he's still alive ... and not already in the clink

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Cornered NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has surfaced in Moscow's Sheremetevo International Airport - and he's seeking temporary asylum in Russia.

Snowden, who blew the lid off the Americans' mass surveillance of the planet's internet, previously requested asylum in the country, but withdrew it after President Vladimir Putin said that would only be possible if the leaker stopped harming the US (he must "cease his work aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners", as the ex-KGB officer put it).

But it was revealed during a press conference today that the whistleblower has again applied for political asylum in Moscow to avoid extradition to the States.

Snowden sat before the media alongside representatives from WikiLeaks, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch in the airport where he has been in hiding for weeks.

The American government, seeking to capture the ex-spook contractor, has been lobbying countries to turn away Snowden, and cancelled his passport shortly before he travelled between Hong Kong and Moscow on 23 May.

The US authorities are also suspected of incorrectly warning European nations that Snowden was onboard the presidential jet of Bolivian premier Evo Morales as it flew over Austria from Russia last week.

That rumour prompted officials to ground the aircraft in Vienna and search the plane for Snowden. Morales' private jet was en route from an energy conference in Moscow to his home in La Paz, Bolivia. In addition, the US has preemptively filed extradition requests to countries considering offering Snowden a bolt-hole.

Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia all said they would offer asylum to the NSA leaker in the wake of the Bolivian president plane inspection, which ignited indignation among left-leaning Latin American governments. That still leaves the problem of how he might reach South American soil without passing through either US or a friendly nation's airspace.

Snowden and his team reckon the only way he can guarantee his safety for now, before attempting to obtain asylum in Latin America countries, is to gain temporary asylum in Russia. Snowden's physical security in his precarious position ultimately depends on keeping the Russians on-side so the move makes sense, it would seem.

Disappointingly, there was no word from the press conference on what Snowden made of smoking-hot though ineffective former Russian spy-turned-TV-presenter/model Anna Chapman's marriage proposal, which would presumably involve a more permanent stay in Russia. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
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
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
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
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.