back to article Icelandic biz baron: 'I have a private jet waiting in China for Snowden'

An Icelandic entrepreneur is offering to fly former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden to Iceland on a private plane, should the chilly island nation grant him asylum. Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson, director of DataCell, a company that at one time offered payment processing services for WikiLeaks told Reuters: "A …


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  1. NukEvil

    Sounds sorta familiar...

    Is this going to be another one of those Assange situations, where the dude has to be holed up in an embassy, surrounded by police officers from the hosting country threatening to take him away the second he steps foot out of the embassy?

    1. Luke McCarthy

      Re: Sounds sorta familiar...

      Well no, he's not in an embassy and the Chinese govt have said they have no interested in extraditing him (yet).

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: Sounds sorta familiar...

        The US and China aren't on 'favors for friends' terms. I'm sure China would hand him over, but they'll want something of value in return. Likely something we won't hear about - a provision changed in some obscure treaty, or US support in a vote at some UN committee. This is one leaker - it's not world-changing. In international diplomacy, he isn't worth much.

        1. John Deeb

          Re: Sounds sorta familiar...

          "in international diplomacy, he isn't worth much."

          His current worth seems to lie in letting him leak in peace. For a country whose wall is under fire [pun intended] as well as because of some of the more intrusive pollicies this is all pure gold for future talks on the subject. It takes the heat off!

          When he's done leaking, another game will start. Another reason to leak in a slow pace and keep the escape route standby.

      2. Wzrd1 Silver badge

        Re: Sounds sorta familiar...

        Interesting, as he is not anywhere near China this morning.

        Turned on the news and apparently, he was in Russia, attempting to move to Cuba.

        The US trying to pressure Russia, probably by telling them that we'd forbid Russian adoptions or something.

        Oops, that was tried by Russia.

        Still, if he goes to Cuba, the US will end up isolating Cuba and refusing to trade with them at all.

        Crud, already tried, with only one nation not trading with Cuba.

        Seriously, too much stupid, too much speculation, zip for facts. About the only thing that is certain is that the US government is extremely miffed with the man.

        Giving greater credibility to his words...

    2. BillG

      Re: Sounds sorta familiar...

      Speaking of familiar...

      "Snowden" is an anagram for "Ends Now".

  2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    "This is Captain Buzz Lightyearson from Texas ... err ... near Reykjavik. We are experiencing a slight engine malfunction which means we will have to make an unscheduled landing at a friendly airbase ... sorry airport ... for repairs. I hope you are not inconvenienced by a potentially long, long delay ... wha ha ha ha."

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Assange will be mightily pissed off

    But what about me?

    1. Robert Helpmann??

      Re: Assange will be mightily pissed off

      I think comparisons with Assange are quite apt. Running counter to Snowden's statements concerning motivation are his actions. As far as I can tell, he is simply an attention whore. That he disclosed the US government's classified data was simply a means to an end, not so much an act of conscience.

      1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

        Re: Assange will be mightily pissed off

        Let's see now. The US is turning over diplomatic stones after Snowden. Not even shaking the brush for Assange.

        Why would that be?

        Oh, wait. Assange didn't violate any US law, as any US law that he did "violate" was outside of US jurisdiction, hence not a violation. Just as the US doesn't attempt to prosecute the king of Saudi for bigamy.

        Snowden violated US national security laws and a sworn and signed NDA.

        Of course, one ponders about a man who sold secrets about the SR-71 to the USSR, but was never prosecuted.

        Crud, bad example, that man went on to return to the US and shoot JFK.

  4. Don Jefe


    I was going to say, why in the hell would you announce this to the press. It would be much better announce it after it was already done. Then I remembered the NSA probably already knew anyway.

  5. Anomalous Cowshed

    Beware of Icelanders bearing gifts

    A few years ago, a relative of mine said: "Cowshed! Check out this bank, which is offering 12% interest. I'm going to put all my cash in it, you should do the same" I remember it being a very complicated name beginning with a K. On account of the name alone, let alone the offer of several times the official interest rate in the UK at the time, I strongly counter-advised against either of us putting our money in that bank. The rest is history.

    So, Mr. Snowden, please exercise due caution when accepting any seemingly amazing offer, whether it involves a private jet or the promise of sanctuary onboard a private space station in orbit around Jupiter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beware of Icelanders bearing gifts

      History indeed. I did put an amount (below the FSA guarantee limit) in said bank. And bank did have problems ... but then I got all of my money, plus all of the promised interest back. Great investment. Icelanders bearing gifts are nice people as are their gifts

      1. Anomalous Cowshed

        Re: Beware of Icelanders bearing gifts

        Dear family member (on account of the 'cow' prefix in your family name):

        I'm not disputing that Icelandic people are nice people, but Icelandic con artists posing as bankers and international businessmen may not be.

        As for getting your money back...Is it not possible that you got the money back because there is some kind of limited government-backed insurance scheme for bank accounts in the EU? And yet did I not hear that lots of local authorities and other bodies had lost millions on Icelandic banks? I may be wrong, but I remember reading something like that.

        All the best

        Cousin Cowshed.

        1. Andy 61

          Re: Beware of Icelanders bearing gifts

          I remember reading a quote just after it all went tits up. Something along the lines of:

          "Who in their right mind would invest all their money in a volcano surrounded by fish"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beware of Icelanders bearing gifts

      You're thinking of "Kaupthing"

      On the plus side, you have to hand it to the Islandic government that they did at least sling the responsible people into jail instead of inviting them to retire in full possession of a massive pension.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Beware of Icelanders bearing gifts

        On first read I saw that link as "Kaputthing" which seemed portentous. This can only mean that it's Friday and beer O'clock...

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    direct route

    he's not stopping over in Azerbaijan where our cousins happen to have a semi-extra-territorial base in the war on terrorism?

    So... perhaps Turkey, which happens to provide bases for our....

    in either case, he'd have to be flying over international airspace at some point, which is "good enough", right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: direct route

      The man highlights the Yank EVIL and all he gets are trolls condeming him. We shouldn't worry troll opinions are as worthless as the trolls life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: direct route

        sarcasm is the lowest form, etc, and, unfortunately, it doesn't show well unless you use winks. But hey, you take you pick.

      2. Wzrd1 Silver badge

        Re: direct route

        Not a troll here.

        When asked by those who know me and my rather lengthy US military career about this man and his misdeeds, I had one comment.

        It is possible to do the right thing in the wrong way.

        The *right* way would have been to pick a few trusted senators and representatives and give them file identifiers to find the evidence in their house of Congress' SCIF.

        *NOT* releasing the information to a foreign news service.

        Sorry, but he didn't even attempt to do something legal first. He instead, did an alleged Manning.

        Hence, he rightfully should be in an adjacent cell to Manning.

        BTW, for civilians, no charge that Snowden faces would be a capital offense. Only military can face capital punishment for espionage, treason, sedition or mutiny.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The yanks caught with their pants down again!

    I'd respect them if they told the truth and "we" didn't have the need for whistleblowing.

    I suspect the NSA need to look at recruitment and ask candidates if they have any integrity. If they have, they are no good as they could be the next whistleblower. Of course those working on contract knowing the evil that is going on and syaing nothing are those without integrity and are easily bought like a bitch.

    No wonder the number of Islamists is growing!

    The yanks are their own worst enemy!

    1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      First, I'll agree with your first and second sentences.

      For your third paragraph, you obviously don't have any knowledge on how security clearances are granted. Hence, in your ignorance, you blame an agency, rather than a process that is operated by OPM to grant a security clearance.

      As for the Islamist nonsense, you somehow link a gaff on the part of OPM in granting a clearance to recruitment of terrorists. Again, displaying your abject ignorance on anything relevant to the topic at hand.

      But then, you've obviously never held a security clearance or dealt with Islamists. I have.

      For your last sentence, that is also quite true. We've always been our own worst enemy.

      But, as Churchill said, "The Americans will do the right thing. After exhausting every other possibility."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Just be careful what plane you get on.....

    Bad signs:

    1) Pilot is wearing aviator glasses--and he's still in the terminal!

    2) Airline in question has a name like "China International Airlines"

    3) Likewise you may not reach your chosen destination if you fly "Nanking-Shanghai Airways"

    4) Mid-air depressurization safety instructions helpfully suggest "please remove the black bag from your head before putting on the oxygen mask"

    5) Airline promotional literature says "To make your flight more comfortable, 100% of our flights have heated cargo bays"

    6) When you book your flight, all the special dietary section asks about is whether you have any medical conditions that would prevent force-feeding during a hunger strike.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Just be careful what plane you get on.....

      Heh. The worst part for the 'customer' is when on boarding he sees the 'flight staff' all have aluminium teeth and bowler hats. ;->

      1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

        Re: Just be careful what plane you get on.....

        Dunno, when I was hopping across the pond, I was on a US Airways flight that had the first class seats duck taped together and an inoperable in flight entertainment system.

        Funny thing, US school buses have more foot room than a US aircraft. As does a Turdis.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good practice

    This asylum flight would be good practice for military fighter jets to take out the trash.

    1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      Re: Good practice

      In other words, you advocate for summary execution and the murder of between 80 and 300 innocent passengers.

      How civilized of you!

      So, which does your nation give to the world? Apple pie or blood pudding?

  10. John Savard


    Extradition treaty or no, I thought that Iceland, like Denmark, is part of NATO. Shouldn't he instead go to a neutral country like Sweden or Finland, which may extradite common criminals to the U.S., but not people accused of political crimes?

    1. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up

      Re: NATO

      I'm told that Scandinavian women (particularly the Swedish variant) are delectable and most welcoming.... long as you wear a condom. :p

      1. h3

        Re: NATO

        That is like listening to an orchestra with a sock in your ears total waste of time.

      2. Bleu

        Re: NATO

        Have you met any?

        In my experience, they combine extreme bossiness with a large overdose of xenophobia (not Nordic, not human to them), only reasons Assange `scored' were the celeb dong and possibly the honey trap.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Private jet standing by

    Am I the only person reminded of the beginning of Inception?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lisa Snowden is welcome on my private jet, as soon as I get one.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Alternatively she may spend the weekend on my boat, if she wishes.

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