Start the process of creating a false identity (or two or three or ten) right now, if you think you may ever be in a position to need to flee across international borders. Obtain multiple sets of credentials, including passports and related documents.
I know this isn't an easy process, but it's at least theoretically possible. Neil Strauss gets into it a bit in his book Emergency, and there are dozens of other books out there on how to obtain a new identity, forge documents, etc.. And if it takes a little "black hat" hacker action as well... well, so be it.
Bribes are unlikely to succeed and will probably get you arrested. Even if they do work the person you bribed knows about your new ID. If they get arrested you'll also be caught.
That leaves stealing someone else's ID. It's not that hard but can be time consuming and of course it's illegal with a mandatory minimum federal sentence in the US. You'll need to know how to forge various documents, among other skills I won't go into. Most documents are easy to forge including many state IDs. If you don't need to travel out of the country it's totally doable. Getting a passport is much harder since you'll need to get the real thing. There are ways to do it but you'd have to be pretty serious and the risks are fairly high.
Hilarious. Former victim of ID theft here.
It used to be very easy to get copies of birth certificates and things (with almost no proof you're the person it's for), but at least in the UK, they tightened this up in around 2004.
It would be interesting to see. But even if all of the old loopholes have been patched up, I'd wager that new ones have emerged at the same time. It's just a question of finding them.
If here were willing to wait 5 years to see if the Obama administration would make things better, he probably could have afforded to wait another few years. (Though one mitigating factor is the time limit after obtaining the documents and getting found out)
Here's the math. $150,000 average - $44,000 for income taxes. Subtract another minimum of $3k to $4k per month for living expenses, given he was in Hawaii.
Snowden likely couldn't have saved more than $35k to $50k per year.
It would have taken him a decade or more to save the kind of funds required to both buy citizenship and live on it.
Cost of living in Dominica (2) is between 40-60% cheaper than in Honolulu. Working as a telecommuting freelancer I think he would be fine.
That said, yeah, probably not enough to retire on.
I'm sure there are other places that are a lot cheaper.
Of course, this all requires some foresight, as you'd have to have ID documents done with the "disguised" appearance... but that's half my point - now is the time to start working on getting alternate identities, if you think there's even a slight chance you might need it.
all of that doesn't concern snowden since he's on the run with a celeb status.
I wouldn't call that easy.
> a country allowing entrance with non-biometric passports
haven't heard of it tbh. a passport has to be valid. since Polish passports have 10 year validity, you can travel today with an old passport from late 2003. now I checked Canada demands a visa from Poles who have an old passport, not sure about, uhm, the vast whole rest of the world.
forging docs is 'the easy part', not 'easy' per se. what's challenging is crossing borders if you're on the run - you need some expertise about their security habits and diplomatic relations. if you got into criminal shit and Interpol is after you, you're screwed anyway, if they can track down top level mobsters hiding in a foreign village, they will track down an amateur.
He did his actions with the view that being public and making this public was more important than the dire consequences that were very plausible.
And naturally, creating a false identity is much harder for someone who's had access to this information. They track people like that - constantly - it's not even the same as ordinary surveillance since anyone entering this world agrees to it.
Yeah, no one would ever be able to walk out with hard drive(s) full of data and then fly to hong kong and russia and leak it with that much nsa surveillance. Oops.
"An official at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London... had also issued a letter of safe passage for Snowden. But Snowden apparently did not use it for his trip to Moscow. And it doesn’t appear that the Ecuadoran government would make a similar gesture again.
"On Sunday, Correa told the AP that an Ecuadoran official at that embassy had committed 'a serious error' by issuing the first letter without consulting officials back home. Correa said the consul would be punished, although he didn’t specify how.
"Correa’s tone seemed to have shifted after a conversation with Vice President Biden on Friday. Where Correa had earlier been defiant, he now voiced respect for U.S. legal procedures.
“'If he really could have broken North American laws, I am very respectful of other countries and their laws, and I believe that someone who breaks the law must assume his responsibilities,' Correa said, according to the AP."
Which they don't.
They could also ask a diplomat to escort him.
Like I said: Lip service. They like to talk, but when it comes to action nothing happens.
I foresee a very bad future for this man, and this is infuriating.
He had to know that canceling his passport would be the very first thing the US would do.
HN readers are so fickle. The biggest wafflers on the internet. You will find no loyalty here.
My doubts grew larger on September 25, 2010 when Daniel Domscheit-Berg aired his complaints.
And dislike was finalized on October 22, 2010 - not because of what they released, but because they shut down the archive.
It turned from WikiLeaks to AssangeLeaks after that. Instead of releasing anything, they released only what Assange wanted to release.
They have done nothing since to regain the name "wiki". Assange has made himself into the story.
Yeah, HN readers are fickle. Suggesting we/they should be "loyal" to anything, though, is ridiculous; loyalty is, depending on your point of view, either a way to trap suckers into shitty agreements or something you should only grant to people in whose intentions and abilities you have absolute confidence. I personally don't see either of those as good.
Not impossible, but highly unlikely.
It's quite a stretch to think that the Russian government was blatantly lying about this. It would be a very strange move that gains them little or nothing.
I'm willing to entertain the theory that Snowden left Moscow in the past couple days, though. It is pretty strange that no one has seen him.
Trusting the word of any politician or world leader is a risky biz.
> It is pretty strange that no one has seen him.
The most talked about man in the world was hanging around two major international airports and no one got a picture.
Color me skeptical.
There are speculations that he may be outside of transit zone, in some hotel under guard(still without crossing border): http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732387390457857...
This explains absence of photos.
"Surreal 21 hour adventure of reporter who deliberately got sequestered at Moscow airport in the hope of finding Edward Snowden"
Putin is in a pickle - he doesn't want to appear weak before the US in eyes of his people, but he doesn't want to piss off US because above mentioned things.
Most likely they built a special-purpose $5 machine to decrypt all his information. And that's why we haven't seen any photos of him since he left HK.
It looks like a foolish mistake to have left China at all instead of applying for asylum there. China would be a good place for someone like Snowden to hide out from US authorities and live a good, full life. Ecuador and Russia are both very likely to exploit him themselves or turn him over to the US when the next administration comes in.
But maybe he has something up his sleeve. I would not be surprised to hear that he's not in Moscow at all.
i'd be really surprised if Snowden hadn't been made an offer by Russia he'd have hard time to refuse - give the info to Russia or you're on the next non-stop flight to New York. Dealing with Russian government ... after not liking to deal with US ... somewhat illogical.
Wikileaks is using him for their own goals, which appear to be to snub the united states. (Their stated goals, and their actual goals do not match.)
And they have a rather poor track record at actually getting asylum. They are too public with the process. Instead of just doing it they like to talk about first, to make sure everyone knows just how much they are snubbing the US in the process.
Yes, everything is simple and easy from where you sit.
> Wikileaks is using him for their own goals, which appear to be to snub the united states.
Snowden asked WL for help, and they came to his aid. It may not work out, since their enemy is the most powerful government on earth. I hope you can forgive them if it doesn't go perfectly.
This is the most credible effort toward confronting the most crucial issues that has ever happened in my life. The ship is leaving, and you're making noise about how you don't like its paint job. I feel sorry for you that you have such a bad case of bikeshedding disease.
Sadly, it appears Wikileak's own goal is to feed the ego of Assange. They do valuable work, they just need a leader who doesn't want to be a cult leader.
Nobody's done more for the world lately, but you use your psychic powers to find some supposed flaw. It's like hating the ambulance that came to save your life because it needs to be washed (and it doesn't even really need to be washed). Bikeshed on some other issue! Anything!
Also, bikeshedding? Assange is causing problems that is not helping the Wikileaks cause. He's becoming an ineffective leader: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/28/edward-snowden-e...
Wasn't Hong Kong prepared to give him up to the US?
He should not have taken Wikileaks advice and support; sticking to Hong Kong lawyers, EFF, and maybe other whistleblowers like Binney would have been a lot better for everyone (including US national security, which is helped by ending illegal spying and by not compromising legitimate (to the US) spying on foreign governments).
Throwing his lot in with China or Russia is a very risky move. The only thing they both have in common is a desire to embarrass the US. If Snowden becomes a liability for either of those countries, they will throw him under the bus in a heartbeat.
The best Snowden can hope for is to drag out the process long enough so attention dwindles (and possibly some positive changes occur). In five years one can hope that the US gov't is of the opinion that a strong prosecution is not in their best interest.
At this point, if he's not very very lucky, he'll be back in the US against his own will in a matter of weeks or months.
Lately, the US has been very obviously attacking Wikileaks, but they've been around since long before the Collateral Murder videos, and they've pissed off China, Scientology, the Virgin Islands, and plenty others. The focus on the US was just the result of getting a vast amount of access in the form of Manning.
: Blanket statement about governments in developed countries. Not sure about Germany specifically.
This may be wishful thinking.
I'll add that if I were Snowden, I would probably avoid long-standing US allies like Germany - particularly those full of US military personnel.
Please be a little realistic. The ruling parties, with the exception of the Minister of Justice, have been so quiet, it's making the news. Mrs. Schnarrenberger (FDP) is not representative of her party, let alone the government.
Edit: Why the downvotes? As a kid, 30 years ago, I would frequently pass by the Echelon antennas. I was told they were for spying on communication. So I thought it was a given for decades that the US (and others) are spying on German businesses. The technology might have changed, but not the facts.
Wikipedia on Echelon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON
The article mentions that there is more confidential data to be released and it has been distributed to insure it's eventual release. Do you think WikiLeaks would threaten to release the information if Snowden is convicted of any crimes?
If this threat were to be made, I'd imagine the USA would convict him anyways and WikiLeaks releases all the information. And then all hell breaks loose. Or perhaps the USA negotiates with WikiLeaks & Snowden?
Also, where's Anonymous in all of this? You'd imagine they'd have their hands all over this, right?
!Just search twitter for 'operation IGNORE Assange' which I have been running since he went in there!
If the US government gets their hands on Snowden, and gets their way, I am absolutely certain America will plunge into an even darker era of deception and thought control.
Even now, most Americans are too brainwashed to care.