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Why should we believe that Snowden is in the Moscow airport?
32 points by josephby on July 1, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments
If I can briefly remove my tinfoil hat...

As far as I can tell, no media outlet has been able to independently confirm that NSA leaker Edward Snowden is actually in Sheremetyevo airport. No one has seen him, and the Russian Government has not presented him to the media. Yet the New York Times, and other outlets, report on his location as if it were a verified fact. Why is this?

Though Putin has said he is outside the control of Russia, there has to be some sort of Russian authority in that transit area and I imagine they would have detained Snowden right away. He has no valid passport and he can't get a visa. Russia also doesn't need for Snowden to be a traveling circus in their airport with his mug being beamed to the world from Russia on a daily basis until they get rid of him.

I would also think that given his situation, that they would have to put through some sort of request to the Russian government for asylum or a similar scheme for staying there without a visa (from what I have read, you can only stay at that airport for 24 hours without a visa.) That process will probably take a while.

Maybe Hong Kong and Russia have been dragging their feet a bit as an F.U. to the U.S. but it seems like they have been following their own laws. All the chatter about whisking Snowden away to some safe location seems to have come from people with no authority to do anything.

I think it's simple. Russia detained Snowden in the transit area (if for no other reason than to keep him away from the media frenzy) and that's why we haven't seen pictures of him.

Isn't it also likely that while detained, a parade of agents from Russia's special services would be attempting to talk to him? I have a hard time believing that any country, let alone the US or Russia or China, would not be at least attempting to talk to a person holed in your airport with thousands of classified documents.

I don't necessarily believe anything about Snowden and I try not to pay attention to Snowden. Snowden reportedly asked that people focus on the issue and not him, and I'm taking that to heart.

What I do try to pay attention to are the crimes my (the US) government is committing in violation of the US Constitution. And how they're using these criminal acts against friendly nations and its own citizens in order to violate additional Constitutional rights.

That's what I'm concerned with. The rest is Kardashian drama fluff disseminated to direct people's attentions from the real issue.

They're using the same method when reporting on Russia government activities that they use when reporting on USA government activities: send a stenographer to the press conference, and be sure to get press releases in copy-and-pasteable electronic form. Whatever they do, they never exhibit any skepticism.

Perhaps it's easier to see how little the popular news media contributes when they're "working" in unfamiliar environs. In this case, we can't rely on RT as a check because Russia. I just checked, and unfortunately Al Jazeera don't seem to have anything either. (Well, they had a link to the entertaining "Whistleblower" reggae mix, but no positive indication that Snowden is in the transit section.)

This is quite irrelevant to Hacker News. Please read the guidelines: http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.

Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.

anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.

This seems to. I've wondered variants of the same thing: there's a lot of authoritative commentary surrounding an issue which nobody talking has authority on (to wit: "those who know don't talk, those who talk don't know").

If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.

Poster's point was exactly that "how do they know he's there?" isn't being covered.

Obviously the overall topic is interesting (having completely taken over the HN front page at one point not long ago); "how do we know X?" is relevant thereto.

There is no point in discussing this, as this entire thread will be based on assumptions and not facts. The only 'fact' one could get would be a picture of Snowden in Russia or someplace else dated very recently, but if there was such picture, it would be in the news already.

Today there IS a very big point in discussing this. Snowden is either in that Russian airport, or he is on the President of Bolivia's plane which just had its diplomatic immunity violated. His provable whereabouts are now a big factor in world diplomatic relations.

Anything about Snowden appears to be on-topic to me.

Seeing the US Government's posturing towards information freedom advocates is central to information and data policy in the US and the Internet.

Information freedom has always been something central to the Open Source and technology communities for the past 2 decades. I don't understand how anybody finds this to not be on topic...

You start talking about Snowden, but then switched the topic to information freedom and privacy.

Anything about Snowden appears to be on-topic to me. No, his sex life, what he eats, how he sleeps, all those personal aspects don't matter, what matters is the leaks, and discussing where the person who disclosed them is at the moment is pretty useless because this will be an entire discussion based on assumptions and I think this or I think that...

Now, if you want to discuss about information freedom or privacy issues or the leaks, this thread has nothing to do about it.

Snowden is the current face of information freedom and privacy. His whereabouts, whether or not he's been secretly rendered, been abducted by the Russians, whisked away to China as a spy, or if he's made it to his final destination of Ecuador is insight into the information wars the world's governments are waging upon one another and their citizens.

As far as "...information freedom or privacy issues or the leaks, this thread has nothing to do about it.", I think you are missing the story.

Whatever happens to Snowden is part of the story. What happens to the guy who revealed this information will set the posture for how the US treats future Bradley Mannings. This incident will be shaping information security policies for dozens of governments, hundreds of multinational companies, and affect international relations between the US and the most powerful countries in the world.

This particular post raises an important question of are we being told the truth about Snowden's whereabouts? It wouldn't be difficult to imagine that some government, foreign or domestic, has him in a hole, trying to get information out of him somewhere while the speculation of him tucked in a corner of a Russian airport, drinking newsstand coffee and bathing in the public restrooms circulates the news headlines.

While on-topic, there are certainly other posts on the topic that provide much more value. Snowden's whereabouts are part of the biggest story to rock the Internet in the past decade: The US government is listening to the intimate details of everything the world is transmitting (potentially including US citizens), and some lone analyst is responsible for telling the world about these violations of privacy and trust.

Why are you trying to hijack this thread with these mentions of eating and sleeping and so forth? If this conversation truly doesn't interest you, then go read another thread.

> If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.

I have not seen anyone question the official story that Snowden is "in the transit area" despite a complete lack of independent confirmation.

While it may be that it's just a matter of safety that he is kept out of public areas, it is still an interesting and unreported aspect of the story.

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