As Snowden Vanishes, Russia Reaches Out to Him
NSA whistleblower drops out of sight in Hong Kong
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2013 4:59 AM CDT
Updated Jun 11, 2013 7:53 AM CDT
Edward Snowden is believed to still be in Hong Kong, but has left his hotel for an undisclosed location.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

(Newser) – Edward Snowden checked out of his hotel in Hong Kong yesterday and has essentially disappeared. And while he is believed to still be in the territory, Russia has suggested it might welcome the man who exposed the NSA's secret surveillance, the Wall Street Journal reports. If a request for asylum is received, "it will be considered," the Kremlin's chief spokesman says. The head of a Russian foreign affairs committee called the former CIA employee a human rights activist—and predicted "hysteria" in the US if Moscow decided to grant him refuge. In other developments:

  • There are more explosive stories to come from Snowden's leak, according to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. "We are going to have a lot more significant revelations that have not yet been heard over the next several weeks and months," Greenwald tells the AP, "and we intend to pursue every last one of them."

  • A quirky tidbit from the New York Times on how Greenwald's meeting with Snowden went down. He (along with a colleague and documentarian) were to enter Snowden's hotel and ask for directions; if Snowden felt comfortable, he would walk past them carrying a Rubik's Cube—and that's exactly how it happened.
  • Bloomberg dug extensively through Snowden's background and found little to suggest he would become one of the biggest whistleblowers in US history. Snowden, whose father retired from the Coast Guard a few years ago, never finished high school and spent a few years living alone in a Maryland condo where neighbors described him as "serious" and "studious."
  • Snowden was apparently a Ron Paul supporter, but the feeling is mutual. On Piers Morgan Live, Paul last night said Snowden has "done a great service"—and deserves a thank-you letter from President Obama. "The president ran on transparency, we're getting a lot of transparency now."
  • What Snowden will likely get instead: charged, and soon. Two officials tell ABC News the Justice Department is hustling to file criminal charges and try to get Snowden back on US soil.
  • Snowden's exposé is also causing international headaches for Obama, the Guardian reports. Angela Merkel plans to grill Obama on NSA surveillance of European communications when they meet next week, and the European Commission chief has also promised to get answers from US officials.
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Jun 15, 2013 11:44 PM CDT
I do not see what the problem is? This guy did not like the fact the Government is spying on it's people, he knew what they were doing was wrong and he exposed it. In other words he did it so everyone will know what a messed up Government we have that spies on it's people. And the reason why is only logical. They believe that there is going to be a civil war, cause they are taking away our rights. They want to know who will cause the most trouble and that is why they are spying on us. They think maybe if we arrest or assassinate them with their drones they plan to put out there it will stop the Civil war. They tried to get our guns and that did not work. So now they are just watching to see who will cause the most trouble. And everyone should watch what they say on Facebook and other social places. I gave up my facebook a long time ago, cause Anonymous had a video on the Government spying on us through facebook.
Jun 11, 2013 3:19 PM CDT
I am rather amazed at how many people seem to have a rabid hatred of whistleblowers. Its like they must be ostracized because they don't play by the "rules". Of course, a certain type of personality thinks that the "rules" are more important than honesty, government transparency, an informed public, and the rights of everyday citizens. This sort of person values dog-like loyalty and a strict adherence to hierarchy. They relish "secrets" because it makes them feel important and special. And they themselves probably have big areas of their lives that are secret and wouldn't stand up to the light of day. No wonder they hate the people who open the windows to let some fresh air in.
Jun 11, 2013 2:18 PM CDT
I cannot believe the amount of ignorance at display here. It's like watching cats on crack. Man has revealed a flaw within a system and slaves who are dependent on that system are flipping over trying to defend the corruption.