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

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 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder

    what would happen if the plods got a tip-off that Assange/Tony Bliar/Dubya/insert-name-of-wanted-criminal was on board Air Force One the next time it was heading for Europe. Would they refuse it permission to enter European airspace and force it to turn back? Or just insist on searching it when it landed?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I wonder

      An arrest warrant was issued for an Israeli general flying through Heathrow

      The police (definitely not acting under instructions from number 10) declared that they had no authority to board a civil commercial airliner parked at Heathrow and let him depart.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: YAAC Re: I wonder

        ".....The police (definitely not acting under instructions from number 10) declared that they had no authority to board a civil commercial airliner parked at Heathrow and let him depart." Completely different set of laws applied. If Snowden had been on the Bolivian aircraft, travelling without proper identification documents, not on the passenger manifest and without a valid visa to enter Austria, it would have been an infringement of aviation and immigration law, hence he could be arrested on the Bolivian aircraft. The Israeli general WAS on the manifest, was travelling with proper documentation and had permission to enter Britain, therefore the police had to wait for him to leave the aircraft and pass through immigration before they could act on a civil warrant.

        1. veti Silver badge
          Devil

          @Matt Bryant

          Does not compute.

          If the police don't have the authority to board a plane parked at Heathrow, then it makes no difference who is on board nor what paperwork they have, because they have no way of knowing either fact. For all they know, the plane might have been carrying Lord Lucan and Elvis Presley. Without passports.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: veti Re: @Matt Bryant

            "Does not compute....." <Sigh> I see the sheeple still have a problem dealing with reality.

            "......If the police don't have the authority to board a plane parked at Heathrow.....". For the police to have been able to arrest the Israeli general under the laws the arrest warrant applied to, he would have to be on British territory. If the Israeli general had been traveling without the correct legal documentation (visa and passport), as Snowden would have if he had been on the Bolivian jet, then the British immigration authority would have the jurisdiction to board the plane and arrest the Israeli general and THEN, once he was on British territory, he could be arrested under the other warrant. But the ordinary British police did not have the jurisdiction to do so until after he had passed through immigration. Fortunately for the Israeli general, seeing as he had not committed a crime under the Chicago Convention, he could not be arrested in transit. If Snowden had been on the Bolivian jet he would have been in breach of the international laws that govern the movement of people between countries, a whole and completely different kettle of fish.

            "....,, then it makes no difference who is on board nor what paperwork they have, because they have no way of knowing either fact......" The Israeli general, Doron Almog, had applied for a visa to enter Britain and was on the flight manifest, so the police knew exactly when and which flight he would arrive on. Do you have a problem understanding the concept of flight arrivals?

            "......For all they know, the plane might have been carrying Lord Lucan and Elvis Presley. Without passports." No, they had no grounds to suspect any such thing, whereas the Austrians were acting under a tip-off that Snowden may have been onboard the Bolivian jet, not on the manifest, and traveling without documentation.

            Your problem is your reasoning fails because your first thought is to accept as gospel whatever the shepherds tell you is The Truth. If the Austrian insistence on searching the Bolivian jet was so "illegal", why did the Bolivians agree to it and not simply say "That's illegal, kiss my llama"? Oh, maybe because they knew it was perfectly legal. Duh!

    2. LarsG

      Re: I wonder

      I'd like to see Tony Blair indicted for war crimes.

      1. Chris D Rogers
        Thumb Up

        Re: I wonder

        You and millions of others in the UK, never mind globally - so a big thumbs up on that proposal.

      2. Stephen Channell
        Unhappy

        Re: I wonder

        and what about Chirac's blocking of the second UN resolution to protect Total oil contracts with Saddam?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The man is a hero

    Why are none of the nations who said how shocked and disgusted they were with the US offering him asylum? I'm ashamed of my government. The US needs standing up to, not be allowed to do whatever they like.

    Anon, even though it's pointless. They know who I am

    1. mhenriday
      Big Brother

      Re: The man is a hero

      Because they are all playing footsie with the USA/UK, so that they can spy on their own citizens/residents and claim they aren't doing so. But maybe, just maybe, as a result of Mr Snowden's revelations, the US government will become a tad more circumspect at pointing its big fat - and rather sooty - finger at others and claiming that they are hacking into peoples' messages. That would reduce the degree of tribute paid by vice to virtue by at least half....

      Henri

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The man is a hero

      Perhaps the other nations do not agree with the principle that an individual like Snowden should decide what should and should not be made public.

      Perhaps other nations realise that they could just as easily end up in the same situation as the USA if Snowden gets away with this.

      Perhaps other nations realise the value of diplomacy and recognise that all Snowden is doing is adding tension and friction to international relations between countries.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: The man is a hero

        Perhaps other nations agree with snowden but have enough problems and dont want usa to make life hard for them. So its easier to ignore him. Latin america are strong together and are mostly piss sick of the usa Meddling in their affairs

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    USA to world

    Hello world, we own your ass, we have a lease-lend program if you'd like to use it.

    1. tonysmith

      Rest of World to USA

      We own you treasury bills, we'll hack you're networks all we like and this makes it even more convenient.

      Thnx - bye!

      1. tonysmith

        Re: Rest of World to USA

        *your

    2. Grave

      Re: USA to world

      if you take a look at world's history, you will see that all wannabe egotist tyrants ended up in the same way. and would be long forgotten was it not for the fact they are a laughing stock of history. and most importantly, they no longer exist. queue hahas

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: USA to world

      Hello America, this is China, we're calling in the loans.

  4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Own goal

    Aside from the fact that Snowden has only simply confirmed what most of us have suspected for years about the Puzzle Palace, this has to be a classic own goal for the US - unless they already have an agreement with Putin to ship him back for water-boarding.

  5. Anomalous Cowshed

    Cor

    If this works out, it might mean that the Russians are building a veritable team of Avengers: Gerard De Pardieu (the Tax Avenger), Snowden (the Snooping Avenger)...Who's next?

  6. alain williams Silver badge

    Travel plans

    How about this for a travel itinary:

    acquire temporary Russian passport

    Trans Siberian express to Vladivostok

    Boat to Nicaragua

    Mean while, occasional rumours of plane tickets bought from Moscow ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Travel plans

      Only problem with that is that the US Navy knows what and where everything larger than a dhow is on the oceans. Given how vindictive the US government (and Pres. Obama) is, flying or floating, he's a target.

      1. Anonymous Dutch Coward
        Pirate

        US Navy Target

        Apart from the fact that the US Navy has zero jurisdiction on the high seas... unless they of course think that ship is a pirate ship etc.

        The coat with the book on Law of the Sea is mine, thanks.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Anonymous Dutch Coward Re: US Navy Target

          "Apart from the fact that the US Navy has zero jurisdiction on the high seas... unless they of course think that ship is a pirate ship etc......" It's a tricky one, but it would certainly be possible for the US Navy or Coastguard to stop and search a ship and arrest Snowden if he was onbaord, it's whether the US government has the will to swallow the attendant political fuss that goes with such an action. But they may not even have to.

          Firstly, if the US knew or suspected Snowden was travelling on a ship belonging to a nation with an extradition treaty with the US, then the Yanks could go the diplomatic route and make a request for extradition. The foreign country could then grant the US the right to stop the vessel and arrest Snowden if he was onboard, or choose to do the stopping and searching themselves. Either way Snowden is off to a US courtroom and jail. The ship's owners and captain would also be in hot water for carrying a person without legal documents, effectively people-smuggling.

          If the ship is from a country without an extradition treaty then the US can still put in a request it be stopped and searched, though they may throw in a diplomatic bribe ("Would you like to buy some secondhand F-16s at a cheap price?") to grease the wheels. Again, no extradition treaty does not mean Snowden can be sure of not being extraditied to the US. So again, Snowden ends up in US hands.

          And finally, if the country the ship belonged to was one unlikely to co-operate, then the US could use the excuse of "We suspect the ship is being used for drug-/weapons-/people-smuggling", stop and search it, then weather out the diplomatic fall-out. Since Snowden is travelling without the proper documentation the act of carrying him amounts to people-smuggling.

          About the only way Snowden could guarantee safe passage at sea would be to travel on a foreign warship, and I'm not sure even Venezuela would be willing to send a warship all the way to Russia to pick up Snowden.

          /Yeaaargh, obviously.

          1. monkeyfish

            Re: Anonymous Dutch Coward US Navy Target

            Why the down-votes for the above? Unpopular it may be, but probably a fairly accurate description of what would happen. His best chance of getting out is still by plane, far easier to stop a boat mid journey than an aircraft.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Travel plans

      If you go that way, you have Japan and South Korea in the way. I'd probably want to join the Pacific a bit further north, but obviously making sure to keep well away from Alaska.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When a government begins to lie to its citizens to "protect" them, then anything they do is justified.

    Anyone who accepts this form of government to rule them deserves what they get.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Ben? Ben Franklin? Is that you on the interwebs?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PRISM working well ?

    "The US authorities are also suspected of incorrectly warning European nations"

    Seems like their big eaves dropping system doesn't work as advertised.

    American Intelligence - an oxymoron.

  9. SecurityPedant

    Wake up and realize this is global.

    Snowden is a naughty boy and has upset his employer. He's trying to do the right thing and inform the general populous of what his employer has been up to. But those of you that think this is purely a problem for the US... wake up.

    Since the birth of nations, organizations have spied on each other. Information is power and therefore anyone with an interest in their own empire will invest significant effort in getting information, both about its own citizens and it's enemy.

    You think the US is alone in this practice? You don't think Russia, the UK, Germany, France, China, Iran, Israel has similar practices? The only big difference here is that the US is fortunate to have a massive amount of the worlds traffic flow across networks and systems owned by companies on US territory. You don't think that if Apple, Microsoft and Google were Russian or Chinese companies that this sort of thing wouldn't happen?

    This whole conversation is going to end up with one fact. Everyone is doing covert stuff that is outside of the law. EVERYONE. And it's been happening for hundreds of years. What does that really mean? To your typical Joe, not much. A massive percentage of people in the world are not affected by this. The 99%? The 1%? The people this REALLY impacts, as in actually changing your life, is a tiny percentage. Sure your rights to privacy are violated and yes, that's not a good thing. But wadda ya gonna do? Move to a very remote location in the world, stop using email, quit posting to Facebook. That's your only way to get privacy nirvana.

    What about corporations around the world who need to protect data, what do they do? Well they do what they've always done. Slowly increase their ability to monitor, classify and protect data and then evaluate risks of doing so versus the costs. Companies outside the US will be more adverse to using Office 365. So another company somewhere is going to benefit by providing similar capabilities or an alternate approach to the same benefits that reduces the risk (either real or perceived). That will come at a cost, and companies will decide if that cost is worth the risk.

    Are Snowden's efforts going to stop the practices of the US and other nations? I doubt it. Imagine if this was about nuclear warfare. Pretend that Snowden had just gone public that the US has thousands of ICBMs hidden all over the US. You don't think Russia is in the same position? We all then realize that the countries who could afford nukes, have them. You think the governments would just get rid of them? We've been trying to go through the process of nuclear disarmament since the 80's and the US STILL has over 7,000 warheads with Russia beating them in the 8,000 region. And this is just about a deterrent. Information warfare is much more important, its essential. The same agencies everyone are now pointing fingers at have the same government mandate that led to the capture of the Enigma which helped end the second world war...

    I think this whole discussion Snowden has created is a great thing. We are going to see more and more technological innovation around how we can protect data. Citizens are going to be a little more informed and will do a little more to protect their information and privacy. This is a long road people, we just hit a bump, but the end is not in sight.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

      I agree with your post. However, the issue of the US is still the major problem here. It is a dangerous country. Yes it is an empire on the way down, but a wounded animal in its desperation can be even more dangerous than a healthy one.

      1. SecurityPedant

        Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

        I don't disagree with you that the approach in the US is a major concern. But a dangerous country? Maybe, but in comparison to what and who? Their practice is more dangerous that Russia? China? Iran?

        And I disagree with your empire on its way down. The modern global economy is such that empires are now critically dependent on each other. US economic power and the dollar is still a very powerful entity in the global economy. As is the English financial markets, Europe as a trading entity and China. Russia with its power exports are also intricately woven into the rest of the modern economy. It is harder than ever to predict the rise and fall of the super powers in their current state because they each rely on the others economic status. When the US economy goes down the pan, guess who else struggles? Europe. When Europe and the US struggle, who else feels the heat? China? Russia?

        I'm not a US citizen, but I do live there. I don't have any special affinity with the US other than being any regular citizen of the earth. But saying the US is in decline is woefully inaccurate.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

      "Since the birth of nations, organizations have spied on each other. Information is power and therefore anyone with an interest in their own empire will invest significant effort in getting information, both about its own citizens and it's enemy."

      This is quite right. There still is, however, a couple of points to be made.

      Until very recently, intelligence efforts of the world's governments, while common and often effective, did not include steaming every piece of mail open, employing an army of scribes to copy and archive the contents (and who wrote to whom when), and so on. At least not in Western liberal democracies - even for hundreds of years before they became liberal or democracies, or before mail services became widespread. Today it is possible, including slurping the metadata on phone calls and regular snail mail from billions of people. But this does not mean governments should be allowed - by us citizens/voters/public - to engage in such activities. Allow me to doubt the value of such data collection for promoting/defending genuine national interests of any country, unlike targeted intelligence gathering.

      "What does that really mean? To your typical Joe, not much. A massive percentage of people in the world are not affected by this."

      I find this supremely ironic as this kind of attitude is clearly rooted in the historical tradition of those Western liberal democracies where "typical Joes" were not spied upon by their own governments. I suspect that some of those who grew up in places such as - ironically again, given the latest news about Snowden - Russia (USSR, if you prefer) might think that it not only affects everyone but corrupts the very fabric of society. Many of the people who have experienced this kind of oppression - and it is oppression, make no mistake - first hand have preferred the hardships of immigration, and in some cases significant personal danger, to move to countries such as US, UK, France, Germany, or Israel. These countries, among quite a few others, are still expected to be - and make major efforts to present themselves as being - very different in terms of how they treat their citizens. Those of us who grew up in the atmosphere of personal safety and respect often tend not to appreciate the significance and importance of things we take for granted, or the ease with which these things can be taken from us. If/when they are taken from us they will quickly - but still too late - become personally significant.

      "Are Snowden's efforts going to stop the practices of the US and other nations? I doubt it."

      Me too. However, it is generating some noticeable debate, even in the US, it would seem. I, for one, would like to see new laws enacted in the various democracies that would react to the technological advances and will explicitly prohibit government agencies from engaging in such activities (while definitely allowing targeted intelligence gathering). The technological capability will not disappear, of course, but if in the future any civil servant or politician who makes any steps in this direction (or allows others, e.g., through negligence, to make such steps) risks being sent to jail for a very long time if found out, then maybe there will be a reasonably effective deterrent.

      Private companies are trickier. People are not forced to use their services, and restricting their activities may be bad for all sorts of important reasons. However, it is completely impractical even today to refuse to communicate with anyone who uses, say, GMail, and so your data and metadata wind up on Google (Yahoo!, Microsoft, Apple, etc.) even if you aren't a user, have never seen or agreed to the ToS, etc. One can start with governments, and if a) a secret court is by definition illegal, and b) a Google exec risks serious jail time for co-operating with such secret court, even if the secret court says otherwise, maybe this may help somewhat, too.

      No, I am not very hopeful. Low chance of success is not a reason not to try though, is it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

        A secret Presidential Executive Order was and still is the first requirement to circumvent such a law and if that isn't enough, the provision of a Presidential pardon in one's back pocket. Not a damn thing you can do in the face of both except impeach the President.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

      That's what I've been saying, just more emphasis on the "everyone's doing it" aspect, so having infrastructure on-site versus somewhere else doesn't make a real difference. Anything in transit anyhow is intercepted at the orgination point, some one or more intermediaries, or at the destination. Often by several different nation-states. You are more likely to keep your health by realizing that the nation-states spend billions on this type of intelligence gathering and even a budget of millions on your part to play with won't even get you on the playing field. So long as the intel isn't shared with competitors....

      I don't count "American Exceptionalism" out for the count, yet. But it has taken a severe self-inflicted beating over the last decade and a half. For someone that swore to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the US of A (Me, not Obama), this is heart-breaking.

    4. Werner McGoole
      Stop

      Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

      I find this notion that "it's always been like this" - so why all the fuss? - increasingly tiresome.

      In a democracy, it is necessary for the people to be able to overthrow the government - or at least to force it to take a route that it may be firmly set against.

      This shouldn't be achieved by violent revolution (which the state is quite right to protect itself against), nor by terrorism (although the terrorists are more attention-seekers than any real threat), but by the force of ideas and the power of persuasion aided by peaceful protest and the ballot box.

      The problem with blanket surveillance of the population is that it allows the government to defeat ideas that might threaten it before they see the light of day. Would women have the vote now, if this snooping technology had been available to use against the suffragettes? How long would the abolition of slavery have been delayed? We can't say, of course, but it's pretty obvious it wouldn't have helped any.

      And that's just in the rather safe and relatively recent UK environment. Elsewhere, there is no shortage of examples where horrendous crimes have been perpetrated against populations by leaders with blanket surveillance as their key method of retaining power against all opposition.

      Yes, spying has always gone on. But the line that has been crossed is the blanket surveillance of whole populations by their own governments at an unprecedented level of saturation. And it's all the more shocking that it's happening in countries that describe themselves as "free" and use the excuse that it helps protect us from other countries where there are totalitatian states.

      These days, all states are totalitarian, it seems. If that isn't something to worry about, I'm not sure what is.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Werner McGoole Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

        ".....Would women have the vote now, if this snooping technology had been available to use against the suffragettes?....." The British authorities DID spy on Emily Pankhurst and many other activists, and DID steam open their snail mail, but emancipation still happened. The FBI and co DID spy on black rights campaigners in the US too, and yet equal rights still came to be enforced and segregation in the Southern States was dismantled. Both those examples show that your paranoid claim that government surveillance prevents democratic argument is simply wrong.

    5. crayon

      Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

      The issue isn't in the actual spying, as you say everybody does it. As Snowden said himself it is more about shining a brighter light on the sheer audacity and hypocrisy of the US in bellicosely accusing others of spying and other misdeeds.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

        Indeed. It isn't so much that they are spying, but the scale on which they are breaking their own laws in spying on their own people.

        With that much disregard for the law, what hope is there for the rest of government?

        Morality has been dispensed with with people claiming that as long as the law is kept, it'll be ok. Strangely, those who despise morality care little for keeping the law.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: AC Re: Wake up and realize this is global.

          ".....It isn't so much that they are spying, but the scale on which they are breaking their own laws in spying on their own people......" OK, tempting as it is, I'm going to try not to just hit the down vote button but instead ask you to actually stop and think for a second - what laws have been broken and what is illegal about either the NSA's or GCHQ's actions? The NSA activity was covered by rolling warrants, which - although secret - made the acts completely legal. GCHQ has a get-out clause in RIPA. So, which laws have been broken? You may want to contend this "violates" the International Treaty on Human Rights or the Declaration of Rights, but good luck proving that in any court with any actual power over either the NSA or GCHQ. The best bet is that the diplomatic mess can shame the US politicians into acting, but it looks like they're grimly weathering the storm and waiting for some other shiny to distract the sheeple.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: AC Wake up and realize this is global.

            "OK, tempting as it is, I'm going to try not to just hit the down vote button but instead ask you to actually stop and think for a second - what laws have been broken and what is illegal about either the NSA's or GCHQ's actions? The NSA activity was covered by rolling warrants, which - although secret - made the acts completely legal. GCHQ has a get-out clause in RIPA. So, which laws have been broken? You may want to contend this "violates" the International Treaty on Human Rights or the Declaration of Rights, but good luck proving that in any court with any actual power over either the NSA or GCHQ. The best bet is that the diplomatic mess can shame the US politicians into acting, but it looks like they're grimly weathering the storm and waiting for some other shiny to distract the sheeple."

            The issue here isn't so much whether it is technically legal or not, but the morality of the situation. Both the US and UK get all high and mighty about other countries and companies. Take the recent spat over companies that pay very little tax. They're all legal and above board. No hint of law breaking there. Even so, the politicians etc. see fit to start calling them morally repugnant and have a go at people avoiding tax even though that is totally legal. So, a bit of hypocracy there I think.

            No fair legal system can have secrecy at its heart. If the decisions and laws etc. are not available to everyone, how can it function in a fair and open manner? What's to stop them passing a law in secret and then arresting people using it? The law then says these people can't tell anyone about why they've been arrested and charged etc.etc. effectively making it impossible to mount a defence. Secret laws are against natural justice and I would contend against human rights. How can you be prosecuted (or acted against) using a law you not only don't know about, but CAN'T know about?

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Mad Mike Re: AC Wake up and realize this is global.

              "....The issue here isn't so much whether it is technically legal or not, but the morality of the situation....." But the sheeple have been insisting it was illegal, and morality is simply a silly point to argue on. One could ask is it not more immoral that children still starve to death in the World? Both statements are "moral" but ignore the political realities of the World.

              "....Take the recent spat over companies that pay very little tax...." Unfortunately for you, I was one of those pointing out on these forums that what Google et al were up to taxwise was "imoral" but perfectly legal, whilst the sheeple were again shrieking and bleating about "illegal tax evasion". Either way, it has nothing to do with eavesdropping.

              "....No fair legal system can have secrecy at its heart....." This is not the legal system, this is the security system, a distinct and separate entity. When the security system is in breach of the laws of the land, both here and in the US, it tends to get slapped silly. But neither of the two are in breach of the law, as you admitted above, so you're just flailing around again. Admittedly, a bit more intelligently than the average sheep.

              "....What's to stop them passing a law in secret and then arresting people using it?....." Oh dear, that was a slip back down to the level of the average flock member. In both the US and the UK the laws are set by democratically elected officials except for those passed down by the unelected EU and UN beureaucrats, and even those usually receive plenty of debate both in the elected chambers and even legal courts. Sorry, but that bit of paranoia is just too silly for words. Try again.

              1. zooooooom

                Re: Mad Mike AC Wake up and realize this is global.

                "In both the US and the UK the laws are set by democratically elected officials except for those passed down by the unelected EU and UN beureaucrats"

                But those laws often contain clauses exempting "national security". Thats the problem.

                Right to Privacy:

                There shall be no interference by a public authority with the

                exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the

                law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of

                national security,

                Translation:

                We wont spy on you unless we do.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Happy

                  Re: zooooooom Re: Mad Mike AC Wake up and realize this is global.

                  "....national security....." Now if only we could write that into all the EU laws we'd be laughing!

                  "Sorry, but we're not paying for your winelake for reasons of national security."

                  "Zut alors! What national security is threatened by a windelake?"

                  "Sorry, can't tell you, chap, it's a secret....."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

    ....It won't be as comfortable and it could take days or weeks, but boat and bus travel is pretty common getting from, to, and around South America. So my question is: Is there an itinerary that won't cross EU / US airspace, but will get him out of Russian and to a bus or sea port? ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

      Because he is in the international part of an airport.

      He can not leave the airport and enter Russia without asylum documents or a Russian visa. He doesn't have either of these so it is impossible for him to reach either a boat or a bus.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

        "He can not leave the airport "

        Can he fly to a country that won't extradite him but that won't cross EU/US airspace.... ? If so, he could leave that airport and takes a boat / bus. That's what I'm asking... The media keep harping on about connecting flights only, but I want to know if there are options for travel by boat / bus...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

          > Can he fly to a country that won't extradite him but that won't cross EU/US airspace.... ? If so, he could leave that airport and takes a boat / bus. That's what I'm asking... The media keep harping on about connecting flights only, but I want to know if there are options for travel by boat / bus...

          That is an incredibly stupid question.

          If he can fly to a country that wont extradite him then his problem is solved and there is no need for a boat or bus.

          He can not fly to any other country at the moment because countries surrounding Russia have closed their airspace to him.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

            "That is an incredibly stupid question. If he can fly to a country that wont extradite him then his problem is solved and there is no need for a boat or bus."

            By 'that wont extradite him', I meant won't extradite in the immediate or short term, allowing him time to depart by other modes of transport. HK dragged their heals before. Why can’t he fly back to Hong Kong and leave immediately by boat south across the Pacific? What about the middle east too? North Korea would be risky but for the man with few other options...

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

              ".....Why can’t he fly back to Hong Kong and leave immediately by boat south across the Pacific?....." When he left Hong Kong originally, the US goofed on revoking his passport. Because the US forms telling the Chinese who they wanted stopped and held for extradition had the wrong spelling of his middle name, the Chinese had an excuse to let Snowden go on to Moscow. The is some suspicion that the Chinese were happy to offload the diplomatic hot-potato to the Russians. But now the US has issued the correct papers, revoking Snowden's passport and effectively trapping him in Moscow until he gets a new one, temporary or otherwise, issued by a country willing to grant him asylum. If he should try returning to HK, I'm not sure how he would be able to purchase a ticket and board a commercial flight without a passport, and should he somehow achieve that then he would arrive back in HK to find an extradition request now waiting for him. Seeing as the Chinese have declined to grant him asylum, Snowden then stands the risk of being arrested and locked up whilst his extradition request goes through the Chinese courts. The likely result is Snowden ends up on. Plane back to the US in handcuffs.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

                "Snowden then stands the risk of being arrested and locked up whilst his extradition request goes through the Chinese courts. The likely result is Snowden ends up on. Plane back to the US in handcuffs."

                I don't think China will bend to the US. I've lived in China. They are a proud people. They feel the country's ascendancy is assured. It would be a loss of face to hand over Snowden in this way. The MSM has repeatedly reported that Hong Kong's asylum law is "a black hole" too, and therefore his case would be tied up for years.

                But why isn't Snowden ok with staying on in China? That has never been explained. Can we assume the risk of being locked up waiting for asylum in China is very real? If so, what if he flew to Beijing this time? The extradition paperwork would be different than HK, and he could presumably leave while its being prepared.... The MSM has done a poor job of explaining the complexity here...

                In the original question I was asking what other countries could he fly to before taking a boat to S America? Are we saying there's absolutely nowhere left in the Middle East or SE Asia that can he fly to? The entirety of the ME and SE Asia will bend to the will of the mighty US....

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Happy

                  Re: AC Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

                  "I don't think China will bend to the US....." Snowden didn't either, but then realised that wishful thinking rarely trumps a bit of prep. He should have used his contacts to check his escape route and the likelyhood of being detained, as then he might have not gone to HK from Hawaii. Instead, he probably could have done better by jetting to a South American country like Mexico or Brazil via the US, and then escaping to somewhere like Venezuela where he was virtually guaranteed of being safe. If he had made at least the first leg before going public the US would probably have been able to do little to stop him. Snowden may be an intelligent chap but he seems a bit short on political and field operational smarts, and I don't think the "geniuses" from Wikileaks are much help given their cackhanded attempts to sort asylum.

                  "....But why isn't Snowden ok with staying on in China?...." A theory circulating is that the US authorities actually did a deal with the Chinese to scare Snowden into scarpering to Russia, where his options have proven to be so severely limited. Presenting papers in HK to revoke Snowden's passport with a mistake allowed China to decline to stop Snowden, but at the same time spooked Snowden into scrambling onto a plane to Moscow. China gets rid of the problem without losing face and Snowden ends up trapped in the transit zone at Moscow Airport, where Putin is happy to keep him in return for favours unknown from the US. The end result is Snowden boxed almost as amusingly as Assange is, and with very little public effort involved from the US authorities.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: AC Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

                    "The end result is Snowden boxed almost as amusingly as Assange is, and with very little public effort involved from the US authorities."

                    Yep, at the risk of being silly: 'Snowden sure is Snowed In'....With Wikileaks helping to snooker him! Good discussion. Interesting predicament.... But Snowden got from HK to Russia on transit papers to begin with, so I'm still unclear why the 3 countries offering asylum can't get him out of the airport with some new papers...

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      Boffin

                      Re: AC Re: AC Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

                      "....so I'm still unclear why the 3 countries offering asylum can't get him out of the airport with some new papers..." The first problem for Snowden is the three Latin American countries have all said he has to be on their soil to make an asylum application. If the Bolivians are really that miffed about their prez being stopped and searched then they may decide to make an exception and let Snowden apply from the airport. The new dicta- sorry, I mean president of Venezuela is looking to burnish his anti-Yank credentials and may decide Snowden is the right ticket.

                      But, let's say Venezuela stumps up a passport, what can Snowden do with it? If he boards any flight that crosses a US-friendly nation he risks the flight being refused entry of the airpsace, or it being diverted to land at an airport where the Yanks can be waiting to arrest him. The US has previous for arranging mid-air interception of someone it wanted to arrest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achille_Lauro_hijacking#Aftermath), though Obambi seems reluctant to be as brash as Reagan.

                      Snowden's best bet is a private long-range aircraft that can fly North out of Russia and all the way to Venezuela without crossing US-friendly airpsace - not impossible, but tricky and very expensive to complete. We're talking a chartered Antonov AN-124-100 from someone like Russian cargo company Volga-Dnepr, fitted with extra tanks instead of cargo.

                      Or he can accept Putin's offer, promise to be a good boy, and spend the rest of his life being really eavesdropped upon by the FSB.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: AC AC Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

                        It seems there are few options left. Perhaps its a pity he didn't take that private jet offer from the Icelandic businessman. But maybe that was all hyped by the MSM

    2. midcapwarrior

      Re: Why are Snowden's travel options ignoring legs by boat or bus?....

      since he's already toured 2 of the communist empires (and talk of plans for Cuba) then yes he could get out via NKorea.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"without passing through either US or a friendly nation's airspace"

    Clearly, the only solution is a sub-orbital lob. I am launching a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource funding to purchase an old ex-Soviet ICBM, which we can then place him into and launch him directly into South America without passing through anyone else's airspace.

  12. 2StrokeRider
    Pint

    Silly oath breaking hacker releases information that simply confirms what everyone suspected and he's a bloody hero.

    Almost as impressive as the agency that lets him slip four laptops into his trousers and walk out of the building....

    Hopefully he'll take Anna's offer and it'll all be over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      2strokerider, you've added nothing.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh it gets better

    Apparently Snowden's insurance file is bigger than Assange's.

    In there are all the files from Area 51, which prove conclusively that an extraterrestrial craft crashed at Roswell, NM in 1947, all; the DNA information extracted and sequenced from the single occupant in a neat little 3.5GB file with all the alien genes compared to human ones, details on the propulsion and navigation system from the craft and proof of a second crash also in the US in 1889 with the final resting place of the debris and its exact GPS location.

    I managed to decode a small piece of the encrypted text and it looks like this is 100% genuine.

    1. SecurityPedant

      Re: Oh it gets better

      Oh man, what's crazy is that your post, which is clearly the most stunningly made up bunch of nonsense actually fits in with the other crazy talk on this website!

    2. Alien8n
      Alien

      Re: Oh it gets better

      I dispute the claim that a UFO crashed at Roswell. It was all the fault of a flying cow and absolutely nothing to do with several pints of Betelgeusian ale at the Emperor's Tentacles. I had several light years no claims discount at the time as well. As for the body, I always wondered what happened to my pet Zarlaxian lizard...

  14. asdf

    hmm

    Sometimes I have to remind myself when it comes to transparency and the war on "XYZ" no W Bush is not starting his fourth term, it just seems like it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think I'd apply for asylum in Russia if Anna Chapman was offering too!!

  16. mike smo

    Maybe a band?

    I reckon when Snowden and the hair changing wonder dossing on the couch get out of this they should start a boy band together and take on One Direction. Oh and Anne C can be their grouped.

  17. Gil Grissum

    Marry Chapman

    Perhaps Snowden should consider Chapman's proposal. That would not only get him political asylum, wouldn't it also get him Russian Citizenship? One has to wonder if her proposal was authentic or merely an attempt to get Snowden to stay in Russia and perhaps reveal something that might be valuable to the Russians. Something more valuable than the NSA spying on US Citizens.

  18. tentimes

    Putin is keeping him for a bargaining chip

    My guess is he has no choice and is being kept there by Putin with the idea being that Putin can use him as a bargaining chip in some future negotiation.

  19. William Boyle

    From the Department of Irony Department

    Benjamin Franklin - "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty."

    I think this shoe fits, don't you? Both for us as a society, and Snowden as an individual, sigh...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From the Department of Irony Department

      well, he's given up his liberty, to a great extent, and also given up his own security (in that he's admitted committing an offence - no matter what his reasons, he still broke the rules). Sadly I'm guessing if he quotes Mr Franklin at trial - should one happen - the US court will say "who he?"

  20. Robinson

    Haha

    This guy is a comedian. Russia? A mafia run state?

    He's pathetic.

    1. KBeee

      Re: Haha

      But the Mafia is a Perfect Capitalist entity! Entrepreneurs that make lots of money! Are you some kind of Pinko Commie Liberal Socialist?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the problem..

    If he has to agree to not to release further information that could harm the US he is also agreeing that he has released information that harms the US.

    I imagine this was the sticking point with the original offer.

    The man has done us all a favour, but I doubt any will do one for him without strings attached.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope he stays in Russia

    He'll be snuffed out no matter what, which is good. It will send a clear message to other hackers and those fond of treason that they will be held accountable for their actions.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somewhere in Vigrinia

    Boss,

    How can we get rid of this pesky Snowden?

    Worker

    Remember how the KGB, sorry the FSB got rid of that Russian dissident in London?

    Boss

    Oh yes, killed him with Polonuim.

    Worker

    Exactly. make it look like Putin, sorry the FSB decided that he was no longer welcome in the new Soviet Republic.

    Boss,

    Make it so.

    The US Gov won't rest until Mr Snowden is dead and burried. They want to use him as a lesson to all other Americans, 'don't f**k with Uncle Sam. They want to make an example of him and let everyone else know that there is 'No Hiding Place. If we can get OSama then no bastard whistle-blower can esacape the US Lynch Mob.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: AC Re: Somewhere in Vigrinia

      ".....The US Gov won't rest until Mr Snowden is dead and burried...." It is so amusing for people like you to display to the World how determined you are to think the worst of the US, regardless of the facts. If the US had the simple and over-riding ambition to kill Snowden regardless, then he would be dead already. The US wants to ARREST and TRY him for criminal activity, not kill him. I suggest you raid your piggyback and look into purchasing a clue.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a problemo

    Snowden will get to be in an insane asylum for a long time.

    1. hplasm
      Meh

      Re: Not a problemo

      Well, perhaps he can talk to our Mr Bryant at length in there, during Happy Hour.

  25. Rampant Spaniel

    Could snowdon not sail to south america? this would avoid airspace issues, surely onenof those countries has a frigate they can send?

  26. Inachu

    weird!

    Snowden looks Russian anyway. He will fit right in.

  27. mmeier

    Hope he leaves Russia

    That way the USA will get him for sure. There is a nice difference between "You can not legally do it" and "My F15E carries four Sidewinders, 4 AIM-120 and 500rnd 20mm so you WILL fly where I say" No sane civilian pilot will argue with a fighter plane and the USA will sort out the ruffled feathers afterwards.Won't be the first time

    Oh, there will be protests and demonstrations for a week or three until the next sow is chased through the village. Won't help Mr. "I wanted to be a traitor" who will get free quarters, regualar meals and medical service from Uncle Sam for the rest of his life.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like