NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year and has finally left Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
It’s unclear whether Snowden, 30, plans to settle in Russia for the long term, or pursue safe passage onward to one of four Latin America countries that have offered him permanent asylum: Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
His local Russian lawyer told the Guardian that Snowden left in a taxicab.
WikiLeaks said in its Twitter feed that Snowden remains in the company of WikiLeaks activist Sarah Harrison. WikiLeaks has been helping Snowden since he escaped Hong Kong last month one step ahead of U.S. requests for his arrest.
A former NSA system administrator in Hawaii, Snowden revealed himself last month as the source for a blockbuster Guardian story that showed the NSA was continuously and routinely using the USA Patriot Act to obtaining bulk metadata for every phone call made in the U.S. Last week, the House of Representatives narrowly voted down an amendment that would have outlawed the metadata spying.
Other Snowden revelations have shed light on the NSA’s internet spying in the U.S. and abroad. Yesterday the Guardian published a top secret PowerPoint deck detailing the NSA’s XKeystore program, which maintains a rolling archive of internet traffic vacuumed from 150 points around the world.
According to the slides, NSA analysts can query the system using a broad range of selectors, from specific information like a target’s email address, to category searches that might produce, for example, “all the Microsoft Excel spreadsheets containing MAC addresses coming out of Iraq.”
Original article by Kevin Poulsen at http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/08/edward-snowden-granted-asylum-leaves-moscow-airport/