While NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appears to have left his hotel, the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald says that he remains in Hong Kong, and he appears to be hoping to use the city’s unique status to evade the reach of the U.S. government.
But if he does have to leave Hong Kong, where would he go?
One possibility mentioned by Snowden in the Guardian is that he could be granted asylum in Iceland, the tiny Nordic nation where web-activism is mainstream and where former chess champion Bobby Fischer was granted citizenship in 2005 despite the U.S. seeking his custody.
Snowden already has supporters there. And Icelandic members of parliament, Birgitta Jonsdottir and the executive director of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, Smari McCarthy, have released a letter in support of granting Snowden asylum.
Nonetheless, it appears to be a longshot.
Icelandic officials have pointed out that in order to apply for asylum in Iceland, Snowden would actually need to be in the country already, according to an explanation forwarded by a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry.
Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson declined to comment on the case when contacted by Business Insider.
Wikileaks has called Snowden “out of date” on the country, pointing out that the new Prime Minister is a member of the right-leaning Progressive Party. “It’s hard for me to imagine that a country both diplomatically and geographically close to the U.S. would ever offer it,” Talking Point Memo’s Josh Marshall wrote yesterday.
Even Greenwald seems unconvinced by the Iceland plan. “Would you be comfortable that a country like Iceland would be able/willing to withstand hard-core US pressure?” he tweeted yesterday.
If asylum in Iceland doesn’t pan out, perhaps Snowden can take a leaf out of Assange’s book and look towards Ecuador.
At this point it’s not clear how much planning Snowden was able to do before the leaks. While the Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill has argued that Snowden had really thought out his plan, his final destination could just have been an easy flight out of America from his home in Hawaii.
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