Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, has written a post about Edward Snowden’s circumstances — reportedly sitting in the transit zone of the Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport while he prepares to live and work in Russia.
She gives a blunt assessment of the fate that lies in front of the 30-year-old American.
From The New Republic (emphasis ours):
The reality that lies before Snowden, however, is not that of a Petersburg slum or a cherry orchard. More likely, he will be given an apartment somewhere in the endless, soulless highrises with filthy stairwells that spread like fields around Moscow’s periphery. He will live there for five years before he will be given citizenship. He’ll likely be getting constant visits from the SVR (the Russian NSA) to mine the knowledge he carries in his brain.
That last sentence there is key: the 10,000 classified NSA files Snowden stashed all over the world are highly encrypted, so the data is most likely safe (for now) even if a foreign intelligence service acquired it.
But Snowden’s head is not encrypted. He is an NSA-trained hacker who “carefully read” 10,000 classified NSA files and knows his way around NSA interviews, and then managed to land in the hands of Russian intelligence.
Snowden started both a national and global conversation about NSA spying practices. But then, after staying in Hong Kong for a month, he flew to the place that would value his expertise more than any other country.
It’s clear that if Mother Russia is able to started mining knowledge in Snowden’s brain, they will have a field day.
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